How to make royal icing

This very easy royal icing needs only two ingredients, egg whites and sugar! Make this royal icing to pipe onto biscuits, gingerbread, shortbread and more.

In partnership and featuring recipes from Western Star.

Rate this Article
Average: 5 (2 votes)
FacebookPintrestTwitterGoogle ClassroomShare via Email

How to make royal icing

This simple royal icing recipe is made with egg whites and powdered sugar. There’s no need for special ingredients like meringue powder or glycerine. Whip up this royal icing in no time and get decorating baked goods like cookies and gingerbread. Whether you prefer to pipe, spread or dip, this recipe covers all your bases.

Royal icing recipe


4 egg whites
8 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
Beat egg whites until foamy, then gradually beat in icing sugar until piping consistency.
  • Keep your mixer on low and add the sugar gradually to avoid getting icing sugar everywhere.
  • Avoid lumps and blocked piping tips by always sift your icing sugar. Pure icing sugar has a higher tendency to clump, so it’s extra important to sift it.

Can you use icing mixture instead of pure icing sugar to make royal icing?

Icing mixture includes cornflour which stops the sugar from clumping up. This can hold onto moisture and turn mouldy if used for decorating, especially if it’s not eaten right away, like in the case of a gingerbread house.
If you’re planning on eating the royal icing soon, you can use icing mixture. If you plan to keep your decorated baked goods for a few days, it’s best to use pure icing sugar only.

Why is my royal icing so stiff?

Royal icing it will seem quite stiff. This will ensure it stays in place once it’s piped. If it’s too stiff to pipe, add 1 tsp of water at a time mixing thoroughly between additions. It should not be runny.

How to add colour to royal icing

Divide your icing into bowls in as many colours as you’d like to make. Add a drop or two of food colouring to each bowl and mix thoroughly.

How to put royal icing into a piping bag

The easiest way to fill a piping bag is to place it into a tall glass (with piping tip already in place) and fold down the top. Use a spatula to fill up the piping bag. Unfold the top of the piping bag, then twist to ensure icing doesn’t come out the top while you’re piping.


Get the recipe: Gingerbread Star Trees

This gingerbread cookie stack makes a statement edible Christmas table centrepiece. Make one to stand next to a gingerbread house, or make a few for a gingerbread tree forest.




Western Star is a contributing recipe Partner at This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Western Star and our own opinions. Find out more about the full range of Western Star products.

Never lose a recipe again
Join thousands of home cooks and collect recipes you'll not only love, but are sure to make over and over again! Organise favourites, set reminders to shop, create and share your own eBooks with a free membership!