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Pink Royal Icing Piping Bags Lined Up

Classic Royal Icing Recipe

This is a basic, but delicious 3-ingredient Royal Icing recipe that is perfect for cookie decorating.
Prep Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar 450g
  • 2 Tablespoons Meringue Powder +½ teaspoon
  • ¼ Cup Water + 1-3 Tablepsoons


  • Measure 4 cups (450g) of powdered sugar and sift into a large bowl.
  • Sift in 2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon of meringue powder into the powdered sugar.
  • Add ¼ cup of lukewarm water and beat with a hand or stand mixer on low for about 30 seconds. The mixture will be very dry and have many small clumps.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of water (one at a time) and continue beating on low for another 30-60 seconds. The mixture will start to moisten and large clumps will form and it will appear slightly yellow.
  • Gradually add water ½ - 1 teaspoon at a time (or use a spray bottle to better control how much water you are adding). Continue beating on low until the icing gets smooth, turns white, but should still be quite thick.
  • Cover the completed Royal Icing with a wet paper towel to keep it from drying out when you are mixing colors.
  • Plan what colors and consistencies you will be using.
  • Spoon out the royal icing into a smaller bowl for your first color (start lightest and work your way to the darkest colors) Add food coloring in small amounts at a time until you achieve the desired color.
  • Using the spray bottle (or drops of water at a time) get the dyed icing to the thickest consistency you will need for that color. Add a portion of this to a piping bag and tie shut.
  • With the remaining icing of the first color, add more water to achieve the next thickest color, and continue this process until you have all of the first color secured in piping bags.
  • Continue this process with each color until you have all of the royal icing consistencies and colors you need for your project.
  • One batch of royal icing should decorate approximately 24 medium (3") cookies. This could vary depending on how large your cookies are or how much detail icing you need for your design.
  • Any extra royal icing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few weeks or up to a few months in the freezer. To use again, bring back to room temperature and stir very well. If you have extra icing in piping bags you can also keep in the refrigerator or freezer in a ziplock bag.
Keyword Cookie Decorating, Royal Icing