How To Make Royal Icing for Sugar Cookie Cutouts

decorated gingerbread cookies with royal icing

This simple Royal Icing Recipe can be used for pipe and flood cookie decorating, decorating gingerbread cookies, or use as “glue” to hold together pieces in a gingerbread house.

HOW TO MAKE ROYAL ICING

It is easy to make royal icing, especially when you use meringue powder which can be ordered online through Amazon or found in many craft and grocery stores. If you cannot find meringue powder or want to use raw egg whites, you could just replace both the water and meringue powder called for in the recipe with 3 large egg whites. Be careful not to get ANY yolks in your egg whites as this could make your icing a mess and not set properly.

You will want to mix the powdered sugar and meringue powder in a stand mixer or whisk them together before adding the water. Add the water to a stand mixer while the mixer is running. After that – just let the mixer run on medium speed until stiff peaks form, the point the icing loses some of its gloss or about 7-10 minutes, and when it is about the consistency of toothpaste.

While the icing is still thick, divide it up into bowls for each color that you want. If you want to make flood icing (instructions below) account for the colors you want to flood with too. I prefer gel food coloring for mixing into icing. It allows for more consistency and bolder colors. You can still mix pastel shades with gel, so it’s a good multi-purpose food coloring for icing.

Royal Icing that doesn't require raw eggs for decorating sugar cookies and gingerbread men
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Royal Icing Without Raw Eggs

Use this easy Royal Icing for decorating sugar cookies and gingerbread houses, without the use of raw eggs. It uses meringue powder instead of raw egg whites, and can be used for both pipe and flood icing.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword icing for sugar cookies, meringue powder, royal icing, sugar cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Author Carey Greene

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix the powdered sugar and meringue powder in a stand mixer or whisk them together before adding the water.
  • Add the water to a stand mixer while the mixer is running.
  • Let the stand mixer run on medium speed until stiff peaks form, the point the icing loses some of its gloss or about 7-10 minutes, and when it is about the consistency of toothpaste.
  • Divide icing up into bowls for each color you desire.
  • Mix in gel food coloring, if desired

How To Thin Royal Icing for Flood Icing

To make flood icing you start with the thicker consistency icing you made above because it’s easier to thin it out into flooding consistency. The thicker icing as made above should be spreadable and like soft cream cheese. It should be easy to pipe out of a narrow decorating tip.

Once colored, you can further divide each color in two if you plan to use both thick and thin icing to decorate your cookies and thin out just half of each color by adding 1 teaspoon of water, then add in additional half teaspoons of water, stirring well after each addition, until you reach your desired flooding consistency. Flooding icing should spread slowly, but still ‘fill in’ within about 15 seconds, and not run off the edges of a cookie. It should be the consistency of honey.

See my recipe for wonderful sugar cookie cutouts here on the blog.

Royal icing on a gingerbread snowflake cookie cutout, for Christmas cookies

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Making royal icing to pipe and flood decorate sugar cookies or gingerbread men.

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Carey Greene Owner of EnFete boutique party supplies for all your occasions - read all about her

I’ve always loved to throw a good party. But I always knew, it’s not just a party. Whether it’s a birthday, bridal shower, anniversary or baby shower, a special event is just that—truly special.

Hi, I’m Carey! The Owner and Designer behind EnFete. I was bit by the party planning bug at just six-years-old and haven’t looked back ever since. 

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