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 intricate designs. Because this icing hardens as it dries, it’s not usually recommended for cakes and cupcakes, but it’s the perfect hard royal icing for sugar cookies with its smear-proof finish that will keep your fingers icing-free.
Royal icing decorations can be made weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months. Though traditionally made with raw egg whites, this royal icing is made without eggs, using Wilton Meringue Powder instead.
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Use grease-free tools: Keep all icing utensils and bowls completely grease-free for proper icing consistency and to ensure the icing properly sets.
Use Meringue Powder: Meringue Powder is a must for this recipe. Do not substitute with raw egg whites (which can be a food safety issue) or dried egg whites; neither will produce the same results as Meringue Powder.
Don't overbeat: Do not overbeat the royal icing base. This will incorporate too much air, which will create bubbles. Vigorous stirring will also create air bubbles.
Cover with a damp towel: Cover the decorating tip with a warm, damp towel to prevent the royal icing from drying when not using.
To speed up the drying process: Royal icing can take up to 2 hours to dry. Place iced treats in front of a fan to speed up the icing's drying process.
Storage: Store royal icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. 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 for up to 6 months.