Royal Icing

Decorating holiday cookies with royal is a wonderful tradition.

  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 1999


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, sugar, and 2 teaspoons water on low speed for 10 minutes. Add food coloring to achieve the desired color. Icing needs to have different consistencies, depending on how you use it. For piping, the icing should easily pass through a pastry tip and retain its shape. For spreading, also known as floodwork, the icing should have the consistency of squeeze-bottle mustard. If the icing is too thick, add water a few drops at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions. If the icing is too thin, beat 2 to 3 minutes more.


Egg whites can be replaced with five tablespoons meringue powder mixed with a scant 1/2 cup water.

Cook's Notes

Pregnant women, babies, young children, the elderly, or anyone whose health is compromised should use meringue powder instead of raw egg whites.


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