How to make royal icing

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by Book Recipe
How to make royal icing

Royal icing is on the menu in Book recipe, and we are going to teach you how to make this delicious recipe from scratch!

Follow along with the ???? recipes below????????????????

How to make royal icing
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Royal icing

Rating: 3.3/5
( 3 voted )
Serves: 37 ounces Prep Time: Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 2 lbs powdered sugar (I never sift, but you may want to)
  • 1/2 cup + 2-4 TBSP lemon juice
  • 45 grams meringue powder


  1. Using a paddle attachment (or whisk if you prefer), beat meringue powder and 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP lemon juice on medium-high until foam forms (approx. 1-2 minutes). Scrape down the sides at least once.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and mix at low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Mix on medium speed for 2-4 minutes until a fluffy icing forms at either a stiff or medium peak, depending on yours needs (depending on your environment and desired consistency, you may need to add some or all of the additional 2 TBSP lemon juice).


Be careful not to over mix, as that can cause air bubbles or ruin the icing (it will crumble when dry). Watch the mixer carefully in this last stage as the mixing time can vary greatly.

This recipe make about 35-37 ounces of icing. A standard 3.5" cookie typically requires 1-1.25 ounces icing/cookie. Of course, this depends on the design! I like to budget 1.5 ounces icing/cookie just to be safe. So this recipe makes enough icing for 24 (2 dozen) cookies.

Please note that my lemon recipe does NOT work with some food coloring due to the high acidity. I have found that it does not work with the Americolor pinks or The Sugar Art Master Elite pinks. The only pink I can use with my lemon recipe is Wilton pink or The Sugar Art Master Elite in Burgundy at a lower saturation. For optimal use of The Sugar Art Master Elites, it's best to use a vanilla recipe, however, I prefer to use my lemon recipe and use the Wilton pink.

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My royal icing recipe is traditional in that it uses just meringue powder, powdered sugar, and liquid. However, what makes my icing unique is that I use lemon juice (instead of water & vanilla) for both the liquid AND the flavoring (once mixed I do use water to thin for the different consistencies). I love the contrast and acid the lemon icing provides against the sweet vanilla bean sugar cookies I use. My cookies have been described as a sugar cookie meets SweeTART. I’d say that’s a win!

If you do not like a strong lemon-flavored icing…

  1. Use less lemon juice. Play around with subbing water 1:1 for the lemon juice. Start with 1/2 water and 1/2 lemon juice and see what you like!
  2. Use water and extract instead (no lemon juice). I have never personally made any other flavor royal icing, but I know you can sub the lemon juice with water and add 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract (you will likely need to lower the amount of water by 1 TBSP since you’re adding additional liquid from the extract). [you can use any oil-free extract or emulsion]

Recipe video


Video transcribe
Hi everyone this is grace and today i will be walking you through exactly how i make my personal royal icing recipe note that all the exact measurements and the products that i use will be linked in the description of the video first up what i’m doing is adding the meringue powder and the lemon juice to the bowl the goal in this first stage is to beat

The two of them together to incorporate and form a nice foam you’ll see here that i’m using a paddle attachment i know that a lot of people prefer to use a whisk attachment at this stage and then switch to a paddle when you add the powdered sugar but me personally i don’t want to dirty both of those if i don’t have to so i just go with the paddle and it

Works for me i’ll need to scrape the sides a little bit in a second but it has always worked i will admit that i didn’t used to do this stage when i first started making royal icing i would just add everything together and mix it all to incorporate together but i find that it is very easy to over beat royal icing and you really don’t want to overbeat royal icing

Because if you do then it will do two things it will incorporate too much air and that’s if you can still salvage the icing but if you have gone too far then you will get to a point where the icing will dry and it will kind of crumble and you won’t know this until you’ve decorated all of your cookies and they’re all done and then you cry because you realize

That the icing has been overbeaten ugh it’s it’s the worst so i have found that doing this stage separately helps to combat the fear of overbeating because it’s it’s the act of beating the meringue powder i think too much into the powdered sugar which is what gets the overbeaten texture but i i’ve yet to come across overbeating at this stage maybe it’s

Possible i just haven’t had it happen as a test to know if i’ve over mixed my icing or not i always put a little bit of icing on a plate after i’ve mixed it in the bowl then by the time i’ve mixed my colors and bagged my icing i can tell if the icing is hardening the way it’s supposed to so here i am i’m going to take my spatula and you can see here i’ll come into focus with the

Camera and that is the kind of foam that i’m looking for at this stage now that i’ve gotten my meringue powder and my lemon juice to where i want it i will add in my powdered sugar whenever i make icing i actually almost always make a double recipe but for this video i’m making a single recipe i find a single recipe works for about

Two dozen cookies or a single batch of dough but of course it depends on the cookie recipe you use and i’m first going to turn on my mixer on low because i don’t want all that powdered sugar to go flying everywhere and i find if i start on low get it to incorporate then i run less of a risk of having it fly everywhere it’s also good

To keep in mind also to combat the over beating is to use that paddle on the lowest setting you can get away with to make your royal icing because the faster you beat it the more rotations are on that paddle the more you’re going to be beating this icing and so just you know ramp up go slow start and then and then ramp up from there so i started at a low speed

Went up to about a medium there and since it has just incorporated i want to take a second to scrape down those sides i’ve yet to find a mixer that i don’t need to scrape down the sides i feel like it’s just par for the course and it’s important to do this i think just that it just as it has incorporated not to wait too long because again everything i’m doing here i’m trying to

Prevent my icing from getting overbeaten and now i can really see it’s it’s come together and you can see it starting to get fluffier and fluffier i’ve also found as you beat the icing it will get a little whiter because if you’re either you’re using vanilla or you’re using lemon juice like i am obviously that’s going to kind of tint the icing to something not quite white

Something in the act of beating the icing makes it whiter i’m going to scrape down the sides one more time so that it can incorporate a bit better something else to keep in mind about royal icing is the more you beat it the stiffer the icing gets i know i still don’t entirely understand why but it’s something about the meringue powder

It just gets stiffer so you’ll actually notice with the next time that i start mixing this icing that it’s actually going to get a bit stiffer than it is right now and this is kind of it totally fascinates me with royal icing and it’s awesome that it does this but it’s also one of those reasons why it can be too easy to over mix because for example if you’ve accidentally added

Too much liquid to your icing and then you think well let me just mix that a little bit longer to get it thicker you may cross that point of over mixing and then and then it’s just sad and i maybe i would cry i don’t know if you would cry but you can tell you can tell here that the icing has gotten thicker because it’s sticking to the sides more and it it just has kind of a more ribbed texture to it

So i now think i’m at the place where i want to test if i’m at the right consistency here and i want to show you i either start at a stiff peak or a medium peak consistency depending on the needs of my set i only started a stiff peak which is the thickest consistency i ever work with if i actually need a stiff peak if i don’t need a stiff peak then i’m

Going to mix to a medium peak which is why i give you a range of how much liquid so here is a stiff peak so you pull the spatula or spoon out and the icing stands up straight for the most part another way to test the consistency is to do this kind of tap on the icing and then lift up directly lift up from

The icing and see here you can see that it’s kind of forming those peaks that’s another way to just test your peaks are they stiff peaks are they medium peaks are they soft peaks i’m all about the peaks so just doing another i like to do a couple of tests just to make sure so that one was a kind of maybe not a great test i go back in let

Me try one more time okay i can tell that this icing really is stiff like it’s sticking up straight now that i’ve confirmed i’m at a stiff peak i actually want to start with a medium peak so i’m going to add just a bit more lemon juice so that i can mix the entire bowl to a medium peak if you’re going to further thin your icing in the bowl

Keep in mind to not over beat it can be really easy once you’ve initially mixed your icing and you’re trying to maybe add a color to the bowl with you know gel food coloring or you’re trying to thin it to actually cross that threshold of over beading when you’re just trying to mess with it a little bit before you take it out of the big bowl so i’m putting it on a very low speed

Right now i’ve added my additional liquid which was it looked like maybe around half a tablespoon but you really have to work with what you’ve got work with what kind of environment you’re in and i’m just mixing that maybe like a medium low now when i was mixing before that was more like a medium speed you can get up to more like a medium-high even high when doing

The meringue powder and lemon juice at the beginning but you also want to be mindful obviously of not over beating but even just mixing a bit too much you’ll incorporate too many air bubbles so keep that that speed low i also want to make it clear that when i’m mixing my icing in the mixer i only ever beat to a medium or stiff peak nothing softer than that i find that

When i try to do something thinner i always always over mix my icing so here i’m doing that tapping motion again to check my peaks and you can see that they’re kind of they are folding over a little bit which is what you’re looking for in a medium peak so you can see that it’s folding over but it’s still very much holding its shape

That is a medium peak stiff peak stands straight up medium peak folds over ever so slightly so i’m just doing a little more tests in the bowl make sure i’ve got it as i’m doing a few more tests just to show you what the medium peak looks like i want to talk about the amount of liquid to add to royal icing you’ll see in the description that i have a range of a liquid amount

And that is because how much liquid you need for your royal icing depends heavily on the environment that you’re baking in what’s the temperature is it dry is it humid so i actually made this video over the course of two days why i tried it once on day one and i tried it again the next day and the first day that i made it it was way too dry

So i had to add more liquid and then i used the exact same amount of liquid today in this video and it was perfect for my stiff peak so it’s really varies there’s no exact science you just need to start with a base recipe and go from there i hope this video has helped just remember to give yourself some grace pun intended know that royal icing is hard it takes a lot of tinkering trial and error fail succeed but i have

Faith in you you can totally do it

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1 comment

Oropeza Venegas angélica susana December 8, 2021 - 19

Me gustan las recetas de Chef Anna Olson. Siempre que puedo veo sus programas


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