Antonias Royal Icing

I am a Southern Girl. I was born and raised in the hills of Tennessee. In the south we have a saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Well, isn’t that true? If something works don’t mess with it. That is how I feel about my royal icing recipe.Royal Icing Recipe by I have only tried 2 and I like them both. Each one offers something a little different but I am going to share my go to recipe. It is called Antonia’s 74 Royal Icing Recipe. I don’t follow the recipe step by step because I found a way I like a little better. You can play around with it and find what works best for you.

I have a friend named Hani who has a beautiful blog. It is called Haniela’s food and photography. She has a great step by step tutorial for this recipe. You can see how she does it here.

Supplies for Antonia’s Royal Icing Recipe:

2.25 pounds of Confectioners’ Sugar or Powdered Sugar
¾ cup of water
1 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
5 Tablespoons of Meringue Powder

I like to get all the ingredients ready before I begin. You don’t have to have a food scale but after I bought one, my royal icing consistency improved tremendously. I get the same results every time and I love that!

This is my handy dandy little scale. I picked it up at Wal-Mart for around $20-$25. It was SO WORTH IT!

All you have to do is place your Kitchen Aid mixing bowl on it and turn it on. It will automatically subtract the weight of the bowl. Love that!

 Next, I add 2.25 pounds of powdered sugar. Or if you don’t have a scale, .25 pounds is approximately a cup.

I know I will probably get a lot of questions about this but I don’t sift my sugar. Feel free to sift if it will make you feel better. When I first started making royal icing I never skipped sifting. Then one day, I was watching Martha Stewart and she said you don’t have to sift all the time. WHAT??? Did I hear her correctly?? She suggested using a whisk to get out the lumps. It changed me forever. I am now a person who whisks only! I have not sifted since that glorious day and I have not had any problems with clogged tips when decorating.

Now it is time to add the other ingredients together. I start with the wet first.

I pour the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract into the ¾ cup of water. You might have to adjust the amount of water depending on humidity in your area. A little less water if it is very humid. I do use a little less most of the time but you will need to play around with it and see what works best for you.

You can also use different flavors. Just be sure they are oil free. Oil will make your icing separate which will result in spotty icing on your decorated cookie.

Then add the 5 tablespoons meringue powder and the 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar.

Whisk these together until the top looks foamy.

 Like this.

 Now it is time to add the wet and dry ingredients together.

I use the paddle attachment to mix but I have seen people use the whisk attachment. It works both ways.

Place mixing bowl on your Kitchen Aid and mix. The original recipe says to mix for 10 minutes. I don’t always wait that long. I get impatient and mix for about 3 minutes. It works for me but you mix as long as you feel comfortable with.

 I test it and see if it makes a good peak. Then, I know it is ready.

Then, I place the icing in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I place the plastic wrap on the icing and gently press down all the way to the sides. The plastic wrap touches the icing all across the top. I do this because I don’t want any air to dry it out. The recipe calls for covering the bowl with a damp towel but I seem to have better luck this way.

Remember, royal icing will dry on the surface really fast and you will get little dry pieces that clog your tips and will drive you crazy when you try to decorate. I cover mine immediately and I don’t have any problems.

There you have it! Like I have said before, I am self-taught but this is how I make my royal icing. I don’t try many others recipes because this one works for me and I like to keep things simple.

If you want to see a video of me making this recipe, click here. If you would like to see a video on how to decorate a cookie with royal icing, click here.

How to make Royal Icing Video
Half Batch of Royal Icing Recipe
Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating
How to Outline and Flood a Cookie Video
How to Fill those Little Bottles with Icing

Happy Creating,



  1. I have been having problems with my royal icing. When I leave it overnight the next day it is really runny. Is there anyway to prevent this or correct it without having to re mix all of the colors?
    Love your cookies by the way.

  2. Thanks for sharing!!! What speed do you mix your frosting on?

    • Hi Amalia, I mix on low until the ingredients get wet then I kick it up to 2 or 3 until it gets mixed. The recipe calls for mixing it for 10 minutes but I only mix for maybe 3 min. at the most. I found the more I mix it the more air bubbles are in it. Hope this helps.

  3. Hi Lisa!
    Thanks so much for the tips!! I love, love following your blog!!

  4. hi there a a such thing as a good tasting RI …my kids hate it and refuse to eat it ive used like 3 diff. recipes and no luck with them …they like the sugar glaze as do i but i like decorating with RI …any help would greatly b appreciated !! thank u …i find u to b so creative and so very helpful ..i think thats y i came to u :)

    • Christy – I found that the brand of meringue powder really changes the taste of royal icing. I use Ateco or Americolor (found it at a specialty store in my area but can also be purchased on Amazon). Wilton = not yummy.

    • Hi Christy! Have you tried to add different flavors for your family? Spices Ect. has a ton of flavors that you can add to your icing. If you chose to add flavors, be sure to check the label to make sure they are oil free. Royal Icing and oil do not play well together! Let me know if you need anything else.

      PS- Sorry it took me so long to reply! Your comment somehow sneaked in and I didn’t see it! Have a great day:)

  5. margaret deblasio says:

    I love your website, and all of your self-taught tips! I have been baking and decorating cookies for years, self-taught also:) I am so excited to try your RI recipe! I can never get my icing totally smooth without running off sides? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!:) MD

  6. Liz Ackers says:

    Hi. I saw your owl cookies on Facebook and I am hooked. I have a small business and my problem is the consistency of my icing. My icing is either too thick for flooding or too thin and it runs off the side. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

  7. What recipe do you use for icing to fill in eg on owl cookies

  8. When I flavor my RI i like to use real juice from a lemon. But I heard that this has some natural oils in it. Is this what causes my RI to collect a clear layer at the bottom of the bottle when left out over night? I have bought a bottle of lemon flavor but it also has natural lemon oil but I have not used it yet. Do you have any suggestions? I really like the taste that the lemon gives it but wasn’t sure if the lemon was the reason for the clear layer under the icing.

  9. hi! i have a problem and maybe you can help me! when i use royal icing to decorate cookies, when gets dry, the colors blends! i don´t know why…can you help me? i use wilton colors…
    thank you!!!

  10. Hi Lisa, your RI recipe looks good for me: I do want try it. But I’ve a problem: I don’t have cups measurement but I have a digital scale, so can you tell me how many grams are five tablespoon of meringue powder? can you suggest me a brand of meringue powder? thank you.
    p.s. your cookies are simply faboulous.

  11. Robin Torres says:

    Just wanted to say, I love your Royal Icing Recipe, I love the addition of Cream of Tartar, to the Meringue Powder and how it foams up prior to adding it to the dry ingredients. I was using another recipe prior, but had trouble with consistency issues.This recipe seems to dry more evenly and also a little shinier than my other recipe. Still having trouble with tiny pin holes every so often and can’t seem to figure out the culprit behind that. It’s not bubbles, it’s more like tiny craters.

  12. Thank you for your tips on Royal Icing and Fondant from Marshmallows. I would like to try fondant on cookies. Never tried it before.

    Do you have cookie ideas for fondant? Do I have to use Tylose powder?

    • I am working on fondant ideas now and will share them throughout next year. You don’t have to use Tylose in your fondant but, if you want to make certain flowers it really helps.

  13. Hi Lisa,
    I need help. Does your royal icing look like it gets soft 30-35 min after you make it? Mine does. It does not crack while piping but it certainly does not look shiny and smooth like yours in your pictures. I find a lot of information on how to make royal icing but almost none when it comes to leftover royal icing. Do you put yours back in the mixing bowl and re-whip it everytime you want to use it or just mixing with a spatula is good enough? I am NEW to all this and am kinda LOST! No, I lied! I am COMPLETELY lost!!! Please help?
    :-) Thank u, Lisa!!!

    • Hi Milena.

      My icing looks shiny because I dry my cookies with a fan like Sweet Sugar Belle says on this post: When you dry the icing with the fan it will dry with a nice shine and it reduces the colors bleeding together. If your icing is “soft” then don’t use as much water to mix it. I like my icing a little on the thick side.

      I also don’t use “leftover” icing. I like fresh icing but, sometimes when the icing is left overnight it will separate or get thin. That is the only time I remix it. If it gets too thin, I will add a little powdered sugar to get it the consistency I want.

      If you have any other questions. please email me at I will be happy to help!

  14. Hi there, I just found your blog today and I love it :-) I am a pretty new to detailed decorating. (meaning caring more on what my goodies look like lol)!! I have a couple questions if you do not mind. First, my RI seems to be merigue like…really puffy…query too much mixing? I have tried multipl recipes. Sometimes, it will call for a couple of tbls water and i end up using like a half of a cup. I have tried mixing less but just get a goopy mess. Second, do you make this recipe…THEN divide it up and add water for the flood or add powder sugar to this one BATCH of the rceipe ?? Oh man I hope this makes sense. Thanks so much for your help. Michele

    • This is the recipe I use. I try not to make it to thin in the mixer. I place it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and let it sit for a little while and gather my bags and bottles. As I mix the colors, I scoop out small amounts of icing and I add water to get the consistency I need. I only mix long enough for everything to get mixed together. I do not beat my icing for more than a couple of minutes.

      Hope this helps!

      • Awesome…yup I think I am waaaay overmixing…i’ll let you know…and i just found your sugar cookie recipe :-) LOVING your site!!!!!!!!!

  15. Thanks for the recipe. I have a good recipe but I think with the temp/humidity change of where I live really affects how my icing reacts. I’ll try yours out. Thanks! Just curious, what does the cream of tartar add to the icing? I know some recipes call for it and some don’t. 😉

    • Cream of Tartar is a is a stabilizer. It is added to beaten egg whites to increase their stability and volume. You might also want to check the ingredients on your meringue powder because some of them have added cream of tartar for you.

  16. Hi Lisa,
    Wondering how you get your RI to dry so shiny. Mine always looks dull. I use CK meringue powder and add 1 tsp of corn syrup which I thought was supposed to help (but doesn’t seem to help me). I also add fresh lemon juice. Could this be my problem? I saw you use a fan too. Is that the answer? Thanks for any tips.

    • I really think the fan has everything to do with the shine. It is a trick Sweet Sugar Belle shared with us and it really works. Try it on the next batch and see how your icing dries.

  17. Hi! I just discovered your awesome website via Pinterest and I’m happy I did! I’m new to cookie decorating and one problem I’ve having is when the RI dries, some of the details like eyes, a nose or fine outlining FALL OFF when I’m ready to package it or put it in box. Any ideas please? Thanks!!

    • Hi Nanette,
      If your details and outline are falling off when packaged I would say the problem is the icing consistency. I even asked another cookie friend of mine and she thinks the icing may have to much air in it. What icing recipe do you use and how long do you mix it?

  18. Nancy Richardson says:

    This is going to be my first attempt at RI. I’m sure you have answered this question but to make the flooding icing do I just add a little water? Also at what point should I tint my RI? Thanks

    • Hi Nancy. Flood icing has a little more water added to it. I have added a few links to the bottom of this tutorial that will help you. There is a video on how to outline and flood a cookie, a royal icing consistency tutorial and a beginners guide to cookie decorating. I think they will answer all your questions.

      Let me know if you have any questions after reviewing the tutorials and videos.

  19. Hi Lisa! I really enjoy visiting your blog. Great post about royal icing! I really like the idea of using a scale to weigh the powdered sugar. I will look for a scale like yours, during my next visit. to Walmart. Could you tell me where to purchase the oil free flavoring for the royal icing? Thanks so much!

    • I mostly use pure vanilla extract and almond extract. Sometimes I use peppermint. I just pay close attention to the lable before I buy it. Oil will be listed if it contains oil.

  20. hi, i love your blog , thank you because i have been learning so much from your tutorials. I would like to know how many days can i keep this royal icing ?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Evelyn,
      I think fresh royal icing is the best. It tastes great and is easy to decorate with but, you can store it for a week and maybe even up to two weeks depending on where you live. The humidity is a big issue with royal icing. I suggest you make a batch and test it after a week and then again at two weeks and see how you like it. Check the taste and try to pipe with it.

      Hope this helps,

  21. Hi I’ve been using your royal icing recipe since I discovered your site and I love it. I have a small problem though. When I start piping out the icing on cookies, it’s shiny. But when it dries up, the shine disappears. What am I doing wrong?

  22. Carmen Aquino says:

    Hi, Lisa!

    I love it, your cookies! I’m beginner, I have a question, the royal icing goes in room temperature or in frigde.


    • I keep mine room temperature. I use it fairly quickly so I don’t worry about placing it in the fridge. If you do, remove it and allow it to come to room temperature and stir it before you decorate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>