Easy Royal Icing

Royal Icing Recipe


  • 6 Tbsp Aquafaba (I prefer salt free) or Vegan Meringue powder as per instructions
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract (clear if you have it) or any clear OIL FREE flavoring 
  • 1.5 Tbsp Lemon, lime or orange juice
  • 1 tsp cream of Tartar 
  • 5 cups 575 g bag of Powdered icing sugar (sifting is recommended) 
  • Optional * 2 tsp vegetable glycerin (keeps icing from being rock hard and can help add shine to finished product)
  • Water for thinning to desired consistency
  • * For thicker version see note at bottom



  1. Add aquafaba to the bowl of a clean grease free stand mixer.  If using vegan meringue powder add as per package instructions with water to a small mixing bowl, or directly in stand mixer bowl.  Whisk either the aquafaba or powder and water together until dissolved, smooth and frothy.
  2. Whisk until frothy, you can use a hand whisk also
  3. Add cream of tartar whisk for 30 seconds until dissolved.DSC_9279
  4. Add the sifted icing sugar and using either paddle or whisk attachment mix on med/high speed for 2 minutes until mostly blended.DSC_5675
  5. Add the glycerin, vanilla, and lemon juice (or oil free flavoring of choice) (oils are not your friend when making royal icing, make sure your utensils are completely oil free)
  6. Mix on slow with the paddle attachment or whisk attachment of your stand mixer for 2 min until combined.  Either the paddle or whisk attachment will work, however the paddle attachment may have less bubbles in the final icing when thinning.  The jury is still out on this one.DSC_5678
  7. Wipe down the sides of your mixing bowl to incorporate any sugar left on the sides of the bowl and continue mixing for 8 minutes on med/high speed.   You will know when it is finished as it should look like thick high meringueYou can use the whisk attachment.  It adds more air so I prefer it when I want super thick and fluffy frosting that I won’t need to thin, ie: gingerbread house making.IMG_2502
  8. For a thicker version of the Royal Icing add 6 cups of icing sugar instead of the 5 in the recipe.  Add 2/3 of the icing and then slowly add the remain 2 cups.  I also like to use the paddle attachment for the thicker version.  Makes it easier to blend together for a smooth consistency.   DSC_9281

You can see that the beater or the icing barely moves if you shake the icing or set the beater in the icing.  That is how thick it will get.

It is now perfect consistency for glueing gingerbread houses

Thinning for piping and cookies

  1. Divide into smaller bowls and tint with food colouring of your choice or leave white.
  2.  VERY IMPORTANT: When thinning your icing thin slowly with water.  Using a squirt bottle is a great way to add water drops at a time so you don’t add too much.  It’s difficult to re-thicken royal icing.
  3. In separate bowls add the food colouring before thinning either by 1/4 tsp or a few drops of water at a time until you get the consistency needed for your project.
  4. For piping, I usually work with the 25-30 second smooth (if your cut the icing with a butter knife the cut will smooth over and disappear within that time frame.
  5. For flooding, I thin to 15 to 20 second smooth count) But that works for me.  Test it yourself to see what works for you.
  6. I like to cover the stand mixer bowl with a damp cloth and a plate to prevent the icing from crusting on top and sides of bowl  (which will interfere with piping of the icing as it can clog the icing tips)
  7. Use a small spray bottle (used only for this purpose) if it starts to dry in the stand mixer bowl or small individual bowls while working with the icing.  This icing crusts quicker than you think humidity depending.  Don’t add too much water, just a mist or you may change the consistency.
  8. Fill your piping bags with icing for piping edges and decorative piping
  9. For flooding I like to use wilton squeeze bottles.
  10. Start your project
  11. Let finished icing dry for 4-6 hrs or overnight I like to pipe in a warm room with a fan on low facing the cookies to help dry and maintain some of the sheen but a fan is not necessary.
  12. This recipe makes perfect royal icing transfers  –  I make a pattern, print it off on paper, cut to fit a sheet pan and then place parchment over the top.  Pipe and leave to air dry overnight.  IMG_2505

5 thoughts on “Easy Royal Icing

  1. Marion says:

    Thank you for the Royal Icing Recipe.Your Gingerbread Houses are very beautiful,they are beautiful centrepieces.Your are The Handy Homemaker your work is awesome.You and your beautiful family have a Merry Christmas.🎅🎄


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