Royal Icing Tips & Tricks

Makes 1 3/4 cups of icing (enough for 1-2 cookie bouquets, depending on the number of colors used)


Using Powdered Egg Whites (Meringue Powder)

  • 1 lb powdered (or confectioners) sugar
  • ¼ cup powdered egg whites/meringue powder (available at major grocery stores in baking aisle – Denise uses “Deb-El” brand)
  • 7 tbsp water (or 3½ tbsp strained fresh lemon juice + 3½ tbsp water)

Using Fresh Egg Whites

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1⅓ cup powdered (or confectioners) sugar + 1⅓ cups sugar added separately

For Decorating

  • food coloring
  • parchment paper for piping cones


Using Powdered Egg Whites

  1. Beat the above ingredients (excluding the food coloring) together until all ingredients are well incorporated


  1. Divide into separate bowls and color with desired liquid or powdered food coloring. Consistency should be fluid, but not runny. If using a gel-type coloring, you may want to add a little extra powdered sugar to prevent a runny icing
  2. Fill a small pastry bag with a fine tip, a parchment piping cone, or a sealable plastic bag no more than half-full of icing. Cut tip of cone or bag off to let icing flow
  3. Be sure to keep the icing tightly covered while you are working with it, or a hard layer may develop on the surface
  4. If you are writing words or doing precise details, thicken the icing slightly with confectioners sugar. This will prevent the icing from running and blurring the words
  5. Allow iced cookies to dry uncovered several hours to overnight before sealing in small bags (if using). The thicker the coat of icing, the longer the cookies will take to dry

Using Fresh Egg Whites

  1. If you prefer to make royal icing with fresh egg whites, combine 2 large egg whites with 1⅓ cup powdered sugar. Microwave on high until mixture reaches 160° to protect against salmonella bacteria. This should take 30-60 seconds. Add an additional 1⅓ cups powdered sugar, and beat on high until icing is cool and holds stiff peaks
  2. Divide, color and decorate as above

Note: Very tightly covered, icing will keep for two or three days at room temperature or about one week in the refrigerator.