How To Make Royal Icing

Cookies and cakes can be decorated with royal icing, a type of frosting made from confectioners’ sugar, egg whites, and flavourings. Buttercream frosting is smooth and creamy, while royal icing, once it hardens, has a more candy-like consistency.

You might be wondering if this is safe to eat. That’s right! You can use this simple royal icing recipe to attach edible decorations (such flowers or buttercream roses) to the tops of cakes or cupcakes, or to decorate and flood sugar cookies.

If you want to learn how to create royal icing, I have a video and some simple directions for you below.

How To Make Royal Icing

How Long Does it Take for Royal Icing to Dry?

Six to eight hours of drying time is required for royal icing. Put it on your cookies by flooding, spreading, or piping and then let them sit at room temperature. However, if you’re not careful, royal icing will dry while you’re still using it.

If you don’t want your icing to set as you decorate, cover it with a damp cloth and stir it every so often. If the mixture becomes too thick, a little water at a time will do the trick.

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The Stain Resistance of Royal Icing

When stored in the refrigerator, royal icing keeps for three days. If you store your royal icing in the refrigerator, it will keep for longer than three days, but you’ll get the greatest flavour and texture if you use it within that time frame.

In that case, your frosting can have an undesirable texture. Royal icing can be stored in the freezer for up to a month; however, it must be completely thawed before use.

Storing the King’s Cake Icing

Royal icing that contains either fresh or dried egg whites should be kept in the refrigerator. Meringue powder royal icing can be kept at room temperature indefinitely. Royal icing can be frozen in airtight containers or resealable freezer bags.

When ready to use, let it thaw at room temperature. Glass or ceramic jars are ideal for keeping royal icing. When you’re ready to store your icing, move it to a new container and cover it with wax paper, parchment, plastic wrap, or a damp paper towel.


  • Two cups of powdered sugar
  • You’ll need 1 large egg white or the dried egg white equivalent
  • 1/3 of a teaspoon


  1. Sugar, egg white, and water should be mixed together in a big dish. It should take around 2 minutes of stirring with a wooden spoon for the ingredients to come together and form a thick, smooth icing.
  2. If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the icing will keep for up to 2 days. Use a fork to mash it up before applying. If it seems overly thick, stir in a few drops of water at a time.

Thin royal icing with water (or lemon juice), or thicken it with powdered sugar. Mix well after adding a tiny amount of liquid or confectioners’ sugar, such as 1/2 teaspoon at a time, and then decide if more is needed.

When “flooding” cookies with icing for the background, use a thinner, spreadable royal icing, and save the thicker icing for “piping” lines and making rosettes. Adding a few drops of food colouring to your royal icing will turn it into any colour in the rainbow.

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Keep in mind that you only need a small amount of food colouring to achieve the desired effect, and that the icing’s colour will deepen as it dries if the initial saturation isn’t quite what you were hoping for.