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Royal Icing Recipe

Royal icing goes on smooth and dries with a hard finish, so it's ideal for decorating. Spread this royal icing recipe over your favorite sugar cookies. If you're making a royal icing recipe for children, pregnant women, or anyone with compromised immune systems, use meringue powder, found in the baking aisle of most markets, instead of raw egg whites.

  • yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
  • Scant 1/2 cup water

Cook's Note

Don't add all the water at first; test on parchment with the stencil to determine the best consistency.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Beat ingredients in a mixer bowl on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. If icing is too thick, add more water; if too thin, beat 2 to 3 minutes more.

Source
Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2002

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Reviews (27)

  • shaoi 17 Mar, 2012

    I think I just found my go-to royal icing recipe. It is just sweet enough and my family enjoyed it. I have about a cup left over after icing 28 medium-sized cookies for St. Patty's Day. I used it with the Ideal Sugar Cookie recipe. Thank you, Martha and staff!

  • bibliobethica 26 Feb, 2011

    I noticed Danni B is now selling her royal icing. Makes me wonder, what is the shelf life of the frosting? I always make too much.

  • Cally6 12 Feb, 2011

    And when using egg whites, do not add the water. I add a couple of tsps. of lemon juice for thinner consistency.

  • Cally6 12 Feb, 2011

    In response to dancer65, when using egg whites, place all ingredients in bowl together and mix.

  • amotn 18 Dec, 2010

    This is NOT an egg free frosting. This could cause a severe allergic reaction if you cannot eat eggs. Imagine some one telling a friend that the frosting is egg free when it is not. This needs to be renamed or removed.

  • dancer65 16 Dec, 2010

    If you are using the egg whites, do you beat the eggs whites first and then add the sugar or do you mix then together and beat themaat the same time? I am making the cookies now and need to know how to do the icing. Thanks

  • MaryGirlMomOf5 11 Dec, 2010

    If using egg whites, please be aware of the risk of Salmonella. Raw egg products should never be given to babies, small children, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system. Healthy adults who choose to consume raw eggs or raw eggs products should be made aware of the risk of food bourne illness.

  • Cally6 19 Oct, 2010

    Royal Icing Using Egg Whites: 2 large egg whites, 2 tsps. fresh lemon juice, and 3 cups confectioners (icing) sugar, sifted. Mix this altogether by hand and divide into small glass custard cups. I add a tiny bit of Wilton Icing Color gel to each cup for various gorgeous colors. My kids use water paintbrushes to ice the cookies!

  • crazymomma2day 4 May, 2010

    going to try the egg white instead of meringue powder. recipe doesnt say anything about adding color to the piping icing. Divide up once mixed and add food coloring for piping in color? any experiences, thoughts on this appreciated.

  • kniymc 19 Mar, 2010

    if you're using egg whites, you don't need water at all for piping consistenecy, but you will need a small amount for flooding. If you use meringue powder, then use the water.

    notice that the directions here don't mention the egg whites... these directions are for the meringue powder only.

  • keltaylor19 24 Dec, 2009

    I would suggest not using the water at all unless needed. I only needed about 1 T to make the icing. My kids also loved helping me. quick and easy

  • KristinWilliams 22 Dec, 2009

    I used this receipe today and discovered that even a scant 1/2 cup of water is toooo much if you use egg whites. I ended up cutting in another 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar to make it stiff enough to do outlines.

  • macpoodle 24 Nov, 2009

    how long can you keep this frosting?

  • valeriethomas 10 Oct, 2009

    it's not too late to slowly add up to 1/2 cup of water.

  • allergyfreekids 2 Jul, 2009

    This is not an egg-free recipe and should not be labeled as one. Meringue powder has egg whites in it and if it where served to anyone with an egg allergy they could have a very serious adverse reaction. If you tell someone it's egg free than it should truly be egg free or you could kill them.

  • bacraig 2 Jul, 2009

    Walmart stores carry Meringue powder in the craft section, in the Wilton products section. Larger Penny's stores carry Wilton as well.

  • pukachelle 21 Jun, 2009

    In the process of mixing and it's unclear.. too late NOW, but maybe not next time..

    If you opt for egg whites instead of meringue powder do you still add the scant 1/2 cup of water???

  • pukachelle 21 Jun, 2009

    Well I am mixing it now.. and it is too late to get feedback to help.. grrr

    Do you add the scant 1/2 cup of water if you opted for egg whites over meringue powder??

  • kristinafrench 2 Dec, 2008

    http://crafts.kaboose.com/miniature-gingerbread-house.html

    Has an egg-free royal icing. Hope that helps!

  • Evans_mom 28 Nov, 2008

    This is not really egg free, as meringue powder has dried egg whites in it. Is there any recipe that is really "egg free" for royal icing? My son has an egg allergy and I wanted to use royal icing to make him an egg free gingerbread house for the holidays.

  • Evans_mom 28 Nov, 2008

    This is not really egg free, as meringue powder has dried egg whites in it. Is there any recipe that is really "egg free" for royal icing? My son has an egg allergy and I wanted to use royal icing to make him an egg free gingerbread house for the holidays.

  • lisa_0225 27 Oct, 2008

    you can also purchase meringue powder at Walmart in the cake decorating section.

  • jenny717 3 Jul, 2008

    I got some at JoAnn Fabircs for about $5 for 4 oz.

  • BakingBarrister 3 Jul, 2008

    It is also sold at Williams Sonoma

  • reunderly 2 Jul, 2008

    You can get meringue powder at Michael's crafts, Total Crafts and AC Moore. Look for it at those stores too.

  • cleongatl 2 Jul, 2008

    Meringue powder is currently very difficult to find. Plan ahead and order it online. Otherwise, search for cake decorating supply stores in your area to find a retial outlet.

  • zionrubies 21 Mar, 2008

    I didn't know about merigue powder before seeing this recipe. My iced Valentine's Day cookies turned out beautiful and for once made it through the mail looking as good as they did when I sent them.