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Under 30 Minutes

Royal Icing

Royal icing is best for decorating cookies, since it dries to a plaster-hard finish. This recipe yields enough to cover about 100 three- to four-inch cookies. To ice all those in this story, you will need to make two batches of icing; increasing the recipe by half won't work well.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups
Royal Icing

Photography: Sang An

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2012


  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder (
  • Scant 1/2 cup water, plus more if needed


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and beat with a mixer on low speed until smooth and opaque white, about 7 minutes. If icing is too thick, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing has the consistency of glue; if too thin, beat icing 2 to 3 minutes more, or add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Reviews (1)

  • krhemmer 6 Dec, 2013

    I make royal icing ALL the time to decorate cookies and I can tell you that when it doesn't have any added flavoring it tastes AWFUL!!!!! Add at LEAST 2 tsp of your choice of flavoring - I add 2 tbsp to mine when I make a batch with 2 lbs of sugar. It tastes heavenly! My favorite is butter/vanilla.

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