Royal Icing

Royal Icing

Recipe from Alton Brown


3 ounces pasteurized egg whites* (see note below)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar (measure it *after* you sift it)

In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. *See note below* This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

My notes:

  • Eggs: I have used both freshly cracked eggs and carton egg whites. The freshly cracked eggs turn out a little better, but not wildly different.  If you’re worried about using raw egg whites then go with the carton of pasteurized eggs.
  • If you want your icing to be runny enough to flood the cookie, don’t beat to stiff peaks.  (see picture below of tree cookies for what I mean by flooding)
  • For a double batch of these sugar cookies, make at least 2 batches of icing.
  • Prepare everything before you start whipping the eggs. Sift and measure powdered sugar.  Set out individual bowls to prepare for food coloring.  If piping the icing, have bags with icing tips ready to go before you start.

Other Royal Icing recipes:

Antonia74 Royal Icing  – uses meringue powder instead of egg whites.


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