Easy Royal Icing Recipe

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5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

Royal icing is easy to make and is ready in just a few minutes. Use this lovely royal icing to decorate cakes, cookies, or easter eggs.


Royal icing is a sweet easy-to-make icing that has a smooth and hard finish when it dries. It can be pure white or you can also add various colours, depending on what you need to decorate. It is used by many professional cake makers to decorate the lovely sugar craft cakes they make and also for cookies, cupcakes or Easter goodies. You can use it for flooding designs on cookies and cakes when runny or as outlines to decorate intricate designs or even write when thick.

Originally called ‘Egg white’ icing until the 1800s, it was only after it was used to decorate Queen Victoria’s wedding cake in 1840 that it came to be called Royal Icing.

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Royal Icing?

All you need to make royal icing is egg whites, icing sugar, and essence. You can also add food colours for colourful icing and citric acid or lemon juice for a pure white colour icing.

How To Make Royal Icing?

In a bowl, beat an egg white with a whisk or a fork. Add in powdered sugar, a little at a time, and beat it into the egg white. You can also use an electric beater if you wish.

Egg white with a fork in a yellow bowl.
Beat the egg white
Powdered sugar added to a yellow bowl next to food colour bottles.
Add in the powdered sugar

If you want to use the icing as a decorative filling, keep it a bit runny, as you can see below. But if you want to use it to decorate or design intricate flowers or laces or letters, make it a bit thicker, so it does not run. You can use the thicker icing as a border for your designs and the runny icing for the filling or flooding. Allow the border icing to dry, before you fill in the surface inside.

A bowl of white icing with a fork in it.
Mix it well

Add in more icing sugar until you get the right consistency and the icing is thick enough. Also, add a few drops of the essence for a nice flavour. You could use vanilla or strawberry or butterscotch. If the royal icing is too runny, add in more icing sugar, if the royal icing is too thick add a little water or more egg white to soften it.

More powdered sugar added to a bowl with icing and a fork.
Add more powdered sugar
Royal icing in a yellow bowl with a fork.
Get the right consistency

If you want a pure white colour, add a few drops of liquid citric acid or a few drops of sour lime or lemon. If you want colour, add the food colours you prefer. You can use different bowls to do this if you need a lot of coloured icing. If you need just a little coloured icing, you can keep it separate in the same large bowl itself.

White icing in a yellow bowl with pink and green colour.
Add the food colour
Green, pink and white royal icing in a yellow bowl with a fork and spoon.
Mix the colour well

Use a homemade piping bag to decorate your cakes or cookies, cupcakes, or Easter eggs.

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A hand holding a disposable homemade icing bag.
If you’re in a hurry, use a homemade disposable icing bag
Royal icing being used to stick sugar craft flowers on a cake.
Use icing to decorate sugarcraft cakes
Easter bonnets decorated with royal icing.
Royal icing decoration for Easter bonnets
Easter eggs and bonnets decorated with royal icing.
Easter goodies decorated with royal icing
3 Easter eggs with royal icing decorations.
Decorate Easter eggs with royal icing

Recipe Pointers For Royal Icing

  • Beat the egg white with a whisk, fork, or even an electric beater.
  • If the icing is too runny, add more icing sugar to get the right consistency.
  • If the icing is too thick, add a little water to soften it.
  • Use citric acid or lemon juice for a pure white colour.
  • Add essence to the royal icing for a nice flavour.
  • Store the icing in an air-tight container if you are keeping it for a long time as icing hardens if exposed to air.
  • While using the icing, keep the vessel covered with a damp cloth or cling wrap.

FAQs About Royal Icing

Why is Royal Icing called That?

The icing dates back to the 1600s when it was called ‘Egg white’ icing. It got the name ‘Royal Icing’ after it was used to decorate Queen Victoria’s wedding cake in 1840.

What is the difference between icing and royal icing?

Icing (glaze icing) is made from just water and powdered or icing sugar and royal icing also uses egg whites.

How long does it take for Royal Icing to Harden?

Royal Icing takes about 6 to 8 hours to harden when kept to air. Be careful when using the icing though as it could start to dry if not covered properly.

Why is my royal icing not shiny?

Royal icing may look dull due to humidity in the air which makes it dry slowly and it could be dull and fragile.

How Do You Check The Consistency Of Royal Icing?

Check with a fork, take a little on the fork and tilt, the speed at which it runs, will show you the proper consistency. It should hold the shape of the drop, but not run.

How long can you store Royal Icing?

Royal icing made with egg whites can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Other Recipes You Might Like

You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).

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Green, pink and white royal icing in a yellow bowl with a fork and spoon.

Easy Royal Icing (Egg White Icing)

Sarah
The sweet Royal Icing is easy to make and ready in just a few minutes. Use this lovely royal icing to decorate cakes, cookies, or easter eggs.
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

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Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Meal Prep
Cuisine East Indian, Fusion, International
Servings 1 Cup
Calories 28 kcal
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Ingredients
  

  • 1 Egg Whites
  • 100 grams Powdered Sugar As per consistency
  • 3 drops Essence or Flavour
  • 2 drops Food Colour Optional, depending on how dark you want the colour
  • 4 drops Citric acid Or lemon juice. Optional, for pure white icing

Instructions
 

  • Beat the egg white in a bowl with a fork, whisk or an electric beater.
  • Add powdered sugar, a spoon at a time, and mix it well.
  • If runny, add more powdered sugar, a spoon at a time.
  • Keep adding in sugar till you get the right consistency.
  • To check consistency with a fork, take a little icing on the fork and tilt, the speed at which it runs, will show you the proper consistency. It should hold the shape of the drop, but not run.

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Notes

  • 1 cup of icing sugar is approximately 120 grams. 
  • Beat the egg white with a whisk, fork, or even an electric beater.
  • If the icing is too runny, add more icing sugar to get the right consistency.
  • If the icing is too thick, add a little water to soften it.
  • Use citric acid or lemon juice for a pure white colour.
  • Add essence to the royal icing for a nice flavour.
  • Store the icing in an air-tight container if you are keeping it for a while as icing hardens if exposed to air.
  • While using the icing, keep the vessel covered with a damp cloth or cling wrap.

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Stainless Steel Forks

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 49mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

Pinterest image of Easy Royal Icing recipe.
Pinterest image of how to make royal icing.

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