Making the Perfect Royal Icing!

One of the questions I get most often, is what is the right consistency for royal icing? That all depends on your style and what you’re going for, as well as what ingredients you are using! This tutorial will step you through my process and help you get started creating your own masterpieces!

3 Cups Powdered Sugar (Confectioners Sugar)

Okay, first thing. This tutorial is to help you make a small batch to decorate around a dozen cookies. Next, when I am decorating cookies I like to use two different consistencies of royal icing when I am doing a small set. You can absolutely use one consistency to save time and bags. If that is what you’re going for, think toothpaste! This tutorial is going to get you to the ideal flood consistency ( the consistency you want to use for all of the cookie except the outline). To create your outline consistency, simply add more powdered sugar, but more on that later! For now, you will need 3 Cups of Powdered Sugar, 2 Tablespoons of Light Corn Syrup, 2 Tablespoons of Meringue Powder (Genie’s Dream is the BEST, pic below), and finally 1/3 cup of room temperature water. That’s it!

Available at MANY locations online, I get mine from BEE’s Baked Art Supplies

Alright, so once you have all of your ingredients, you are going to add them to the bowl of a stand mixer. A hand mixer will do just fine, just takes more work! Once you have all of your ingredients simply add them to your bowl. I personally go powdered sugar, meringue powder, corn syrup, water. But, that is just personal preference.

All ingredients added to bowl

As you can see from the picture I use my whisk attachment for my kitchen aid. I have not personally used the paddle, but I am sure that would work too. Once all of your ingredients are in there, turn your mixer on low until all of the ingredients are combined. It will have an off white color to it and look kind of slimy. (I know, that is not a good word to use but, its what I have).

Kinda slimy lookin right?

Then you are going to take a handy dandy rubber spatula and clean up your sides a bit. Now you are going to turn that beast on high and watch your icing until it turns white. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. As soon as it turns white and creamy looking turn that mixer off. If you over mix royal icing, when it dries its like biting into a rock. We don’t want that.

White and Glossy

When you have yourself a beautiful glossy white royal icing, transfer it to a storage dish. I used the classic and always affordable Ziploc container. Next grab a piece of cling wrap and lay it gently on the top. This will prevent your icing from crusting over.

Ziploc Container with cling wrap, ready for a lid and the fridge

Now you are ready to pop a lid on that container, if you can find it, and then put your icing in the fridge. I always like to let mine sit in the fridge overnight and then get it out several hours before I am ready to color and use it. If you want a thicker icing, simply add powdered sugar. Make sure it doesn’t have any lumps because that will make for a nightmare later. I can pretty much promise you that you don’t want a thinner icing, but if you do, simply add water a literal DROP at a time.

A side note, if you are making last minute icing and don’t have time to let it sit, don’t worry, it will be fine, it is just going to be thinner than you want to start with. Add powdered sugar until you get a consistency that resembles thick caramel. Like for an ice cream sundae topping. You don’t want it to be soupy, but you also don’t want it to completely hold its shape. If you are making your outline consistency, go for the consistency of peanut butter.

I hope this tutorial helps you create the most amazing icing for your cookies. However, if you are still not getting the results you want, comment on this post! I am happy to troubleshoot. Happy Baking!

Recommended Articles


  1. I use royal icing about once a year…or 2!! But I’m so excited to try this. Mine was NEVER perfect and certainly not fit for royalty. I may just have try it out before the bi-annual valentine heart cookie day.
    Thanks, Auntie Em! And I’m so happy to watch you annnnd your baking business grow.

    1. Thank you! It is so nice of you to follow everything! Maybe the recipe will help you break out that royal icing more often! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *