Royal Icing

Royal Icing

When it comes to decorating sugar cookies, there’s nothing more iconic or festive than that thick, glossy royal icing. You'll want to mix the ingredients until they're fluffy, and until the icing flows fluidly from the whisk. Once it's the texture of hot fudge, it'll be ready to apply to your cookies. After it dries, at least an hour later, it’ll take on a matte, smooth appearance resembling an eggshell, a perfect canvas for your most inspired designs.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites till light and foamy, about 1 minute.
  2. Step 2

    Add powdered sugar, cream of tartar and salt to egg whites and continue to whisk, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary, until extremely light and fluffy, almost like shaving cream.
  3. Step 3

    Thin icing with water by the tablespoonful until it has the viscosity of hot fudge. (This is the ideal texture for decorating.) Depending on your egg whites, this could be 3 to 4 tablespoons of water.
  4. Step 4

    If you'd like to tint the icing different colors, separate icing into small bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl using only a drop or two at a time, and stir thoroughly to combine, until desired color is achieved. Icing dries out fairly quickly, so keep covered until ready to use.