Perfect Royal Icing Recipe

If you are searching for a fantastic icing to add to any cookies or cakes, then we have a royal recipe that is fit for a queen. Unlike other popular types of frosting, like buttercream or cream cheese frosting, royal icing involves egg whites, which helps add to the richness and overall flavor. There are so many things to love about this recipe for royal icing, including the fact that it requires just a handful of ingredients. This would be great to make ahead of time as it lasts for about a week in the fridge. One more bright spot is the prep time of just 15 minutes, and for this recipe, no baking is required.

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating came up with this delightful recipe that will satisfy any sweet craving you may have. "This icing has a wonderful richness and super-smooth texture. It's just perfect for icing cookies!" Brookes raves. "Royal icing is a meringue-like, white icing that sets with a smooth, firm finish, making it great for using on cookies."

Gather the ingredients for perfect royal icing

As with any other recipe, the first thing you will need to do is gather the ingredients. You will only need a handful of items, including pasteurized egg whites, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and glycerine.

Combine the egg whites and powdered sugar

Go ahead and add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer. "Whipping the egg whites gives that smooth, fluffy meringue texture," Brookes notes. This is why you just need the egg whites, not the yolks, for this particular recipe.

Gradually add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar to the egg whites at a time. Be sure to mix with a spoon after each addition. Once you have added all the powdered sugar, mix the mixture with a whisk attachment. Turn the speed to medium and continue stirring until the icing forms stiff peaks.

Add the lemon juice and glycerine

Once stiff peaks form, you can add the remaining two ingredients — lemon and glycerine. Mix again one more time to combine.

"The secret ingredient here is the glycerine," Brookes notes. "It adds a lovely shine to the icing and makes it a little more soft and workable."

Spread this icing on cakes or cookies

The last thing you will need to do is serve and enjoy this delicious icing! Brookes recommends using it "for any intricate cookies/cakes. You can make multiple colors and pipe different designs and patterns if desired."

This icing tastes fantastic and would make the perfect addition to most sweets. "The taste is super sweet and a little more light and creamy than a standard icing glaze due to those whipped egg whites," Brookes says. Plain and simple — it's yummy!

How long does the icing last?

You can make this icing ahead of time, if you wish. Or, you can keep leftovers to use for another icing project. "​​You can keep it in the fridge up to 1 week," Brookes notes.

We hope this royal icing adds the perfect "sweet" to your cookie or cake!

Perfect Royal Icing Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
This perfect royal icing goes great on top of cakes and cookies.
Prep Time
Cook Time
royal icing in a bowl
Total time: 15 minutes
  • ⅓ cup pasteurized egg whites
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon glycerine
  1. Add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time, mixing with the spoon after each addition.
  3. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, mix with the whisk attachment at a medium speed until the icing forms stiff peaks.
  4. Add the lemon juice and glycerine and mix again to combine.
  5. Serve the icing on cakes or cookies.
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