Royal Icing

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

This is our go-to recipe for royal icing. We use it for decorating cookies and cakes. To make it especially glossy, mix in a three drops of glycerin (available at drugstores).


  • 2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing

  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, or more to thicken icing

  • 2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin (if using); beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    royal icing with whisk
    Johnny Miller

Cook's Notes

You can substitute 5 tablespoons meringue powder and 1/3 cup water for raw eggs. Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, or anyone whose health is compromised.

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