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How to Make Royal Icing

If you need a baker's version of edible glue, plain old icing won't do – you need royal icing! It's also great for decorating cakes and cookies.


  • Step 1: Mix it up Using an electric mixer, beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until they're combined. Add half a teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract if you like.
  • TIP: If your grocery store doesn't stock meringue powder, look for it in craft and party stores.
  • Step 2: Add water Add warm water and beat on high with the mixer until stiff peaks form, about six minutes. Add more water to thin the icing if it seems to thick to work with.
  • TIP: Stir in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.
  • Step 3: Keep it from stiffening Royal icing hardens quickly. To prevent this from happening as you decorate, keep a damp cloth over the icing bowl while you work.
  • Step 4: Store it Store extra icing in an airtight container in the fridge; it will keep for several days. When you’re ready to use it, re-beat it to soften it. Add a tiny bit of water if necessary.
  • FACT: The difference between "icing" and "frosting" is that icing is generally thinner and shinier, while frosting is a thicker and used to coat cakes and cupcakes.

You Will Need

  • An electric mixer
  • 4 c. Confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Meringue powder
  • 6 tbsp. Warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond or vanilla extract
  • Food coloring

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