How to make your own royal icing on homemade cookies

Royal icing is made from powdered sugar, egg whites and flavoring and is used to decorate cookies and cakes.

While buttercream frosting is creamy and soft, royal icing sets, which is exactly what you want when decorating your child’s birthday cookies with these gorgeous butterflies and flowers.

Royal icing takes between six and eight hours to dry. So if you’re baking cookies for a birthday party or school bake sale, make sure you decorate them ahead of time so the icing has enough time to dry before transporting the cookies.

A handy tip is to keep your icing covered with a damp cloth while you decorate your cookies, as the icing will start to dry while you’re still decorating, especially if you’re taking too long with your decorations.

SEE ALSO: The Perfect Sugar Cookies

Easy royal icing recipe


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg white or equivalent amount of dried egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon of water


  1. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, egg white and water. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the glaze is thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. The glaze will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Beat with a fork before use. Stir in very small amounts of water if it seems too thick.
  3. Royal icing can be thinned simply by adding water (or lemon juice) or thickened by adding powdered sugar. Add liquid or powdered sugar in small increments, e.g. B. 1/2 teaspoon at a time, mixing thoroughly before deciding if you want to add more. Use thinner, spreadable royal icing to “flood” cookies for background work and thicker royal icing to “pipe” lines and create rosettes.
  4. To add color to your royal icing, a few drops of food coloring saturate your royal icing with any color of the rainbow. Just remember that a little color goes a long way – if the color isn’t as dark or saturated as you’d like, remember that it will darken as the glaze dries.

*This recipe was found on

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