Royal Icing

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Traditional royal icing contains egg whites, so many recipes rely on meringue powder instead. Since the flavor isn’t quite the same, add some extract or orange zest.

  • 3 cups ServingsServings


  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • ½ teaspoon almond, vanilla, or orange extract or orange zest (optional)
  • ½ - ¾ cup warm water
  • Food coloring or gel paste (optional)
  • Coarse sugar crystals in assorted colors (optional)


KIDS WITH ADULT: In the large bowl of an electric stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder until combined.  Add extract, if using, and water. Beat on medium to high until very glossy and stiff peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. To determine if it’s the correct consistency, ice one cookie. Add more water or sugar, if necessary.

KIDS 6 AND UP: If you want to use different colored icings for decorating, divide the icing into separate bowls and add assorted food colorings
or gel pastes. For immediate use, transfer icing to a pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag, and pipe as desired. If using a plastic storage bag to pipe frosting, simply fill the bag with icing and snip one corner. Store icing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.