Made using only three ingredients, this easy royal icing recipe is great for outlining and flooding sugar cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, adding icing flowers to treats, and other icing designs. Because this royal icing hardens as it dries, it’s not recommended for icing cakes and cupcakes, but it’s the perfect hard icing for cookies with its smear-proof finish that will keep your fingers icing-free. Royal icing decorations can even be made weeks in advance and frozen for up to 2 months. Though traditionally made with raw egg whites, this royal icing is made without eggs and uses Wilton Meringue Powder.
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Stiffer consistency: Use 1 tablespoon less water. Stiff royal icing is preferred for making 3-D decorations. With stiffer royal icing, opt for larger piping tips to relieve the pressure on the piping bag. Medium consistency for icing outlining: Add ⅛ teaspoons of water for every cup of stiff icing. Use a flat utensil like a small angled or straight silicone spatula to mix in a figure 8 motion. Avoid beating or mixing vigorously.
Thin consistency for flooding: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use a grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency. Use a flat utensil like a small angled or straight silicone spatula to mix in a figure 8 motion. Avoid beating or mixing vigorously.
How to freeze: Place leftover icing in zip-top freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months. When you're ready to use it again, thaw your royal icing for at least 12 hours in the fridge. Before reusing, re-whip using a paddle attachment on low speed until it's back to the correct consistency. Never store royal icing decorations in the freezer. Instead keep decorations in an airtight container in a dry, dark place to prevent fading.