This Royal Icing is vanilla-infused and dries dry to the touch. It’s the perfect icing for topping holiday cookies. It takes only 3 required ingredients (egg whites, vanilla extract & powdered sugar) to make and add gel food coloring to customize the color.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Hi Everyone, this Royal Icing is the perfect recipe for icing gingerbread cut out cookies, sugar cookies, or other desserts and pastries.
This is a sweet icing recipe that, when dry, is dry to the touch and crisp.
It goes best on a crunchy or firm type cookie.
Our family loves decorating holiday cookies (like for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, etc.).
Whenever we do cookie decorating with multiple colors of Royal Icing for cookies, it’s a whole family event and so much fun!
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Royal Icing is easier than you think!
There’s no need to be intimidated by Royal Icing, it only has 3 required ingredients and you can optionally add gel food coloring if you want.
I made sure to add a full tutorial video on How to Make Royal Icing and videos of each step to the bottom of this recipe post to walk you through every step!
Be sure to see my recipe card notes at the end of the post to get all my tips and tricks for this recipe.
You can make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator if that’s easier for you.
It keeps in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Try my How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract tutorial here on the blog if you want to make your own homemade vanilla extract.
If the powdered sugar that you are using is lumpy, I suggest sifting it to get a smooth result.
RELATED: Sand Tart Cookie Recipe
Our Other Recipes
If you like this recipe, then check out our other recipes and posts on our blog:
This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown’s Royal Icing recipe.
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If you try this Royal Icing recipe and like it, please give it a rating in the recipe card below and let us know in the comments at the end of the post.
Thank you for reading and following along!
- 3 ounces egg whites, pasteurized
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 18.5 ounces (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
- food coloring
- To Make the Royal Icing: In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the egg whites and vanilla extract, set the mixer to low-medium speed.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar until it's fully incorporated and glossy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides, if needed. The icing should be glossy and have stiff peaks when done. Use the icing as is or continue to step 3 to add food coloring. Continue to Step 5 for adding the icing to a piping bag.
- Adding the food coloring: Divide the royal icing equally for how many different colors you want (alternately, you can make multiple batches of royal icing, if you need a large amount).
- Add the gel food coloring to each bowl and mix until evenly combined, add more until the desired color is reached. You can spread the icing as is or you can continue to step 5 to put the icing into a piping bag.
- Adding Royal Icing to a Piping Bag: Using a tall, wide-mouth, mason jar, drape the piping bag in the jar, then spoon the icing into the piping bag, take the piping bag out of the jar and gently shake the piping bag, so the air bubbles rise to the top and the icing goes lower to the tip of the bag. Twist the top of the bag and knot it so that icing can't escape out the top. When you are ready to use, you can either cut the tip or use a piping bag and icing tips.
- Consumption of undercooked or raw eggs shellfish or meat may increase foodborne illness.
- Egg Information: For your information, 1 large egg is 1.67 ounces which is a little less than 2 large eggs. For this recipe, use whites from 3 eggs. You can also use egg whites from a carton.
- Storage: This recipe can be made ahead of time and will stay in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Home Chef Tip #1: You can use a plastic storage bag (like a Ziplock-type bag) to pipe the royal icing if you don't have a piping bag.
- Home Chef Tip #2: Make sure not to leave the royal icing out uncovered because it can dry out fast due to the low moisture content of the icing.
- Home Chef Tip #3: You can use a tall, wide-mouth mason jar to drape the icing bag over so that you can easily fill the icing bag.
- Home Chef Tip #4: If you need the icing to be very white, you can use clear vanilla extract for the vanilla, I linked to this product in the recipe card.
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- Watkins All Natural Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla, with Pure Vanilla Extract, 11 ounces Bottle, 1 Count (Packaging May Vary)
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 357Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 0gSugar: 79gProtein: 9g
Please note that the Calculated Nutrition is an estimate at best.