Royal Icing

Classic Royal icing

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves: About 3 cups

Royal icing is one of the common ways to top cakes or cookies. It’s made from powdered sugar, egg whites. You can use all kinds of colors to create a perfect sugary design.

One of the best parts of royal icing is how easy it is to change. Need a thicker icing? Add more sugar. Too thick? Add more egg white. And once the eggs are room temperature you can have the frosting ready to go on a sugar cookie or your gingerbread house in minutes!

Speaking of gingerbread houses… I made a gingerbread house this Christmas and I set up the house and it held wonderfully. It was the spitting image of a royal mansion. (If I were a gingerbread man I’d probably pay a ba-zillion ginger snaps – would the currency of a cookie be a dollar or euro? I’m pretty sure it’d be other types of cookies, you know, the most common thing around. But then again, we don’t use dirt or stones at the store.) But hey, don’t trust me. Take a gander at this illustrious picture 🙂

Gingerbread House Failure, Royal Icing
Normally, I won’t post anything like this. But I got such a kick out of it. AND it’s an excellent reminder to check the thickness of the icing. And remember to put the right sections of the gingerbread house together 🙂

Haha, ok. So it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. I actually made the icing way to runny and didn’t realize it until I was decorating the gingerbread house. Needless to say (but I will anyway) I was just too happy to eat those gingerbread cookies to realize how liquid the icing was.

Royal Icing

Making the icing is actually extremely easy. In four simple steps, you’ll learn to love the simplicity as much as I do!

Let’s begin by setting our ingredients out. We’ll need 3 large whites (room temperature), 3/4 teaspoon (2.5 grams) of cream of tartar, 3 and 3/4 cups (600 grams) of sifted powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) of vanilla extract.

Combine the cream of tartar and egg whites. Then beat until frothy.

Now, add the powdered sugar. I like to add about 100 grams (or 3/4 cup) at a time until it is all incorporated.

Beat to Thicken Royal Icing

Once you see those peaks form you’ve finished! You only spent maybe ten minutes putting this together! Now go decorate a cake or make a gingerbread house better than the way I made mine! Haha

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Royal Icing

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: About 3 cups

A quick easy recipe for the pure white icing to decorate your cookies and cakes.


  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon (2.5 grams) cream of tartar
  • 3+3/4 cups (600 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract


  • 1)

    Beat egg whites: Beat the cream of tartar and egg whites until frothy.

  • 2)

    Fold in powdered sugar: Add the vanilla to the bowl. Fold in 2/3 cup (roughly 100 grams) of powdered sugar at a time to the egg whites.

  • 3)

    Beat until stiff peaks: Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, beat the mixture until it becomes thick and stiff peaks begin to form.

  • 4)

    Decorate: If the icing will be dyed, separate into separate containers before adding coloring. Use immediately or store in an airtight container up to 2-3 weeks.


  1. If cream of tartar is unavailable, it can be substituted with lemon juice. Generally, for every 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of lemon juice is used.
  2. If the icing needs to be thickened, add powdered sugar and stir until desired consistency.
  3. If the icing needs to be more liquidy, add a little egg white.
  4. Adding vanilla will darken the icing. Do not add if it needs to be a bright white.

Like how it tastes or have a question? Let us know here :)

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