Easy Royal Icing

Bring your cookie and cake decorating to a whole new level with this beautiful and shiny icing! Perfect for sugar cookies! The shiny Royal Icing will make your homemade cookies look professional!

Royal icing is a type of icing that is typically made from confectioner sugar, flavorings, and sometimes egg whites or meringue powder. It is used to decorate cookies and cakes. It has been said that royal icing originates from England. The earliest reference to the icing was during the 1600s for a recipe called Egg White icing where egg whites and sugar were mixed together. The name Royal Icing may have come from when the icing was used to decorate Queen Victoria’s wedding cake in 1840. Royal Icing has been a favorite decoration for desserts for the royal family for many generations. The icing even adorned the eight-tiered wedding cake for Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. The main difference between Royal Icing and other icings like Buttercream is the texture. Royal Icing starts off smooth then hardens, while Buttercream is creamy and soft.

Royal Icing is not just for the aristocracy, it can easily be made at home using some simple ingredients! To be honest, the idea of making Royal Icing always intimidated me as a baker. I would see beautifully shiny cookies at bakeries and on the internet and be in awe. Once I started practicing creating the icing, I realized that it was not too difficult to make at all. I wanted to frost sugar cookies with my niece and nephew and I thought it would be nice to use royal icing. It was a messy process, but super fun. The cookies came out looking great and tasting delicious! I hope this recipe brings a lot of joy to your family and friends too. Please enjoy!

Royal Cookie Icing Recipe

Yields about 2 1/2 cups icing

Specialty tool: Hand held mixer

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Inactive Time: 5-10 minutes

This icing works great with cookies, but it can also be used for desserts like cake.


2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon clear corn syrup (I use Karo syrup)

3-4 tablespoons milk

A few drops of gel food coloring


Add powdered sugar, corn syrup, and milk to a large bowl.

Using the hand held mixer, mix the ingredients together until nice and smooth. Icing will be white.

When the desired consistency is reached, add a few drops of gel food coloring to get the color to your preference if you do not want white icing.

The icing is now ready for frosting!

Get some cookies, like sugar cookies, ready for frosting!

How to Frost Cookies with Royal Icing:

With a butter knife or a piping bag, gently outline the surface cookies with royal icing.

Once the icing has set for 5-10 minutes then the middle section of the cookie can be filled with icing.

Top with desired toppings like sprinkles, candies, or mini marshmallows.

Let the icing set on the cookies for another hour before eating.

If done correctly the icing will look smooth and shiny on the cookies.

Make Ahead Instructions:

Create the frosting to the above instructions.

Leave frosting at room temperature. The surface will harden slightly.

When you are ready to use the frosting, add a few drops of hot water to the icing and stir to smooth consistency.

Frost the cookies using the instructions above.

A hand held mixer is great for making icing because it ensures a smooth consistency.

Gel food coloring is best for this recipe because too much liquid in the recipe ruins the effect of royal icing.

Decorating cookies is a fun and messy activity to do with kids! They just love it.

This icing is best stored in a glass or ceramic containers.

For best results, use icing within three days of making it.


Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake


2 thoughts on “Easy Royal Icing

  1. I know these! I tried making them for my grandma for her B D, but they all just mysteriously shrunk. haha. Do you like baking? I love baking. Especially baking cookies and donuts.


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