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Recipe: Royal Icing

Posted by Lisa Courtney on

Now I'm NO expert on cookie decorating but I inevitably find myself sucked back into their sugary charm every now and then!

Like anything you will get better with practice but even beginners can whip up some pretty impressive looking numbers. Choose simple designs and embellish with sugar pearls or coloured crystal sugars to hide any imperfections.

Royal Icing

  • 3 tablespoons of Meringue Powder*
  • 4 cups of sifted icing sugar
  • 8 tablespoons of warm water


Beat all the ingredients together using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Continue beating for approx 7 minutes.

The consistency of the icing is key when it comes to cookie decorating and you will find a million and one tutorials or offers of advice on line. I found that I preferred an almost flooding consistency of icing that will just hold its shape. I like to outline and flood with the same consistency for a number of reasons such as time, amount of piping tools required, clean up and general laziness!

You can test this consistency by dropping some icing from a spoon back into the icing bowl. If it smooths out in about 10-15 seconds you have what they call flooding consistency. The other method is to first outline your shape with a thicker medium consistency then add a few drops of water to your icing and flood the center.

Once you have your icing select the colours you need. I use Wilton's Gel colour which gives you vibrant colour without having to use a lot. Use a toothpick and add a very small amount of colour to your icing and mix well until you get your desired colour. Fill your piping bags with their tips attached. My favourite tip to use for basic cookies is the Wilton #3 tip.

Carefully outline the shape you are creating using a steady and medium pressure on your piping bag. Make sure you're holding the tip a little way off the cookie to create a nice smooth line. Flood inside your outline with the same colour then use a wooden skewer in a light circular motion to fill any little gaps. Repeat this process for each part of the cookie you need decorated then leave to set for at least four hours but preferably over night before storing in an air tight container.

*you can find meringue powder at specialty baking stores such as Milly's Kitchen. Royal Icing can also be made with egg white if you don't have access to meringue powder.


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