FoodUnleash your creativity: master royal icing in under 30 minutes with just 3 ingredients

Unleash your creativity: master royal icing in under 30 minutes with just 3 ingredients

Royal icing for decorating
Royal icing for decorating
Images source: © Adobe Stock
6:22 AM EST, December 13, 2023

The icing, known as Royal icing, is made from egg white, powdered sugar, and a hint of lemon juice. It's primarily used for decorating cookies, gingerbread, and cakes. Its snow-white color and property of quickly hardening without flowing off baked goods distinguish it. Read on to see a step-by-step guide on how to prepare such icing.

How to make excellent royal icing

The golden ratio of egg whites to powdered sugar is 1:5. It's essential to grasp that this ratio is in grams. For example, if the egg white weighs about 1 ounce, we would add about 5.3 ounces of powdered sugar to it. You can adjust the icing consistency as desired by adding more powdered sugar or a bit of lemon juice or water.

The inclusion of lemon juice improves the mixture's flexibility, making decorating easier. Sifting the powdered sugar beforehand is also crucial for a smooth, lump-free icing.

We might over-aerate the icing by beating the mixture too intensely, causing air bubbles to form. These can be eradicated by bursting them with a toothpick. Another important aspect to consider is coloring. If you plan to use colorants, it's better to opt for gel or powder ones, as liquid colorants could dilute the icing materials.

Step-by-step recipe for decorating with royal icing


See how to make icing for decorating
See how to make icing for decorating© Pixabay
  • 2.1 ounces of chicken egg white (approx. 2 medium eggs),
  • 10.6 ounces of powdered sugar,
  • A tablespoon of lemon juice,
  • Optional: food coloring.


  1. Sift the powdered sugar and pour boiling water over the egg.
  2. Combine egg whites, lemon juice, and powdered sugar in a separate bowl. Mix everything with a hand mixer at low speed using hook attachments (avoid using whipping attachments).
  3. After about 10 minutes, the icing should be smooth and shiny. At this point, you can add food coloring to the icing. Stir to combine.
  4. When not in use, cover the icing with a foil (pressing it directly onto the surface of the icing) to prevent it from drying out. The icing can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
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