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Royal Icing Recipe

Our home economists share the recipe for this classic decorating icing that sets up and dries quickly. It's nice to use when cookies will be stacked on a plate.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 10 min. YIELD:40 servings


  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Food coloring, optional


  • 1. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint with food coloring if desired. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.
  • 2. To decorate, place icing in a pastry bag. For border decorations and dots, use #3 round pastry tip. For small detailed decorations, use #1 or #2 round pastry tip. Yield: about 1 cup.

Nutritional Facts

1 teaspoon: 24 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch.

Reviews for Royal Icing

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MY REVIEW User ID: 6679326 214393
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2014

"I'm looking for an icing/frosting that I can decorate on my cookies and then freeze.

The ones I've tried discolor after I defroz the cookies."

sgronholz User ID: 1473861 64707
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

"I tried this icing on my gingerbread cookies this past weekend and was thrilled with the results! I will definitely make it again."

KaSm User ID: 4498999 71201
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2010

"There are two royal icing recipes. Which one is better?"

alexa621 User ID: 4357376 148475
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2009

"I added some vanilla and almond extract and it was really good! I was expecting it to be more functional than tasty for some reason, glad I was wrong!"

sugarbooger111 User ID: 4634436 148473
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2009

"Cream of tartar is best known in our kitchens for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. It is the acidic ingredient in some brands of baking powder. It is also used to produce a creamier texture in sugary desserts such as candy and frosting, because it inhibits the formation of crystals. It is used commercially in some soft drinks, candies, bakery products, gelatin desserts, and photography products. Cream of tartar can also be used to clean brass and copper cookware."

dmmg User ID: 3353712 159179
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2008

"how can I make meringue powder myself it is possible? Thank you."

Kimmer66 User ID: 3383794 150277
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2008

"Does this frosting have a good taste? How does it compare to the other frosting choices? I've never worked with this before but heard it was best for cut-outs and ginger people. Thanks!"

winchel1 User ID: 3519544 71970
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2008

"what is the cream of tarter for in royal icing? I have made tons of royal icing and have never seen it added in a reciepe before"

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