Royal Icing

By PotsandPans Culinary Team

Royal icing is typically used to decorate sugar cookies or for piping intricate decorations on a cake.  It can also be used to glaze petit fours or individual cakes.  When adding food coloring to royal icing, concentrated gel paste works best as it will not thin out the icing.

  • Yield: 1-1/3 cups (10.5 ounces) Icing-Serves 24 medium decorated sugar cookies
  • Course: Dessert

All you need for this recipe and more...


  • 2 (2 ounces) large egg whites, pasteurized
  • 2 teaspoons (0.3 ounces) lemon juice
  • 3 cups (8.25 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites with lemon juice.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until smooth.  Should be thick and emulsified. This will take about 5 minutes.
  3. If necessary add more powdered sugar or water depending on the consistency desired. 
  4. Add food coloring if desired.  
  5. The icing needs to be covered immediately with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the icing, sealing off all air as it hardens when exposed to air.
  6. Royal icing covering a cookie may take up to 24 hours to harden completely.  If you are piping lines or outlines on a cookie royal icing may take between 2 to 6 hours to dry completely.