What Is Royal Icing? How Do I Make Royal Icing?

What Is Royal Icing? How Do I Make Royal Icing?

New to making royal icing? You're in the right place! Let's first talk about what royal icing is, and what desserts royal icing works best with. 
Royal Icing is different from other icings becuase royal icing hardens when it dries. The recipe below will harden like regular normal icing, but will give you a soft bite. Royal icing works best with cookies but can be used to dip pretzels or other cookies and treats, it can be used to make your own sprinkles or icing transfers, and even to decorate gingerbread houses!
Coastline Cookies Co
Royal Icing Recipe

This recipe is for a single batch of icing (2 pounds). Icing can be stored in air tight containers- more details at the bottom of this page.


Ingredients (Single Batch)

  • 1/3 cup Meringue Powder
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp corn syrup
  • cream of tartar
  • food coloring (optional)



  • In a separate bowl, whisk together warm water and meringue powder until it becomes frothy. There should be a layer of bubbles on top when it is mixed together.
  • Pour froth mixture into a large mixing bowl / KitchenAid with paddle attachment and mix only 1 pound (half of total amount of powdered sugar) on slow.
  • Add vanilla, corn syrup, a few shakes of cream of tartar and optional food coloring (or add food coloring(s) at end step)
  • Add remaining 1 pound of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  • KitchenAid mix on stir until ingredients are mixed together thoroughly, then adjust to speed 2 for 10 seconds, adjust to speed 4 for 10 seconds, and stop. Icing will look shiny.
  • Add food coloring(s) as desired
  • Pour icing into air tight container/bowl and store at room temp, fridge, or freezer. I personally like to store mine in the fridge. More storage tips below.
  • Place icing in piping bags. Bags can be with or without icing tips. Seal the piping bag with a clip, a rubberband, a knot, or tape, make a small cut at the tip with a scissors, and you're ready to start decorating! If you don't have piping bags available, I have seen ziplock bags be used in place of icing bags. Make sure the bags are sealed well! 
  • When decorating cookies, icing can take between 12-24 hours to fully dry. Icing will dry smoother and faster if dried in front of a fan.



Icing "consistency" is how thick or how thin your icing is. When flooding a cookie (filling in the whole cookie with a base layer of icing) you'll want a thin consisteny. For florals, fine details, and writing, you'll want a thicker consistency. Finding the right consitency takes some practice so don't stress if you don't get it right your first go around. Icing consistency is easy to adjust. For a thicker consistency icing add additional powdered sugar. For thinner consistency icing add water. Mix in small amounts of powdered sugar or water and add more as needed until you get the desired consistency. 


Storage Instructions:

Store icing in an air tight container. Icing dries quickly when exposed to air. Icing can be stored up to 2 weeks at room temperature, 8 weeks in a refrigerator, 3 months in a freezer, and 6 months in a deep freezer. Labeling your icing with a date can help you keep track of when it was made. Icing can be stored in piping bags. If separation occurs massage icing in piping bag or remove icing from piping bag, mix it well and/or add fresh icing, and rebag icing for use. 


Recipe to print out.

Download the recipe file HERE.

Stored in sealed, air-tight containers. Store at room temp, in the fridge, or in the freezer. See storage instructions above.


Piping bags sealed with a tape sealer. Can also use rubberbands, clips, or the bags can be tied in a knot. Bags must be tied or the icing will crust and dry. 


My set up when I'm ready to decorate. I use paper towels and I have a scissors, a scribe, a booboo stick, and a brush to help me decorate. I will go over tools in another blog post. If you don't have any of these tools that's ok! A toothpick and a scissors will do just fine :)

Coastline Cookies Co

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