How to Make Royal Icing Video and Tips

I wanted to put together a little video for you today. It is called, “How to Make Royal Icing” because royal icing can be a wonderful thing or it can be your worst nightmare. When I began decorating cookies, I made batch after batch after batch hoping I would somehow find a magical formula that would allow me to make the perfect icing every time.

How to Make Royal Icing Video by www.thebearfootbaker.comSince I live in a humid climate, royal icing was not an easy thing to master. Sometimes it turns out great and other times it makes me want to pull my hair out. It is almost a living thing. You place it on a cookie and suddenly, it seems to grow and roll off the side of your cookie. Or your cookies look amazing when you go to bed and you wake up in the morning and they have bled all over the place and have developed large craters. It is like a defiant child that will always do the opposite of what you want it to do. Hopefully this how to make royal icing video and these tips will help you make that icing behave!

I don’t have all the answers but, I have turned my kitchen into a science lab preforming all kinds of experiments trying to get definite answers for us. Or at least come up with some surefire ways to prevent it.

If you want my royal icing recipe, click here for a full batch or here for a half a batch.

How to Make Royal Icing Tips:

  1. Weigh your powdered sugar ever time you make a batch. My results have been nothing but positive since I started weighing.
  2. Keep air away because the icing dries fast. Air will dry the icing and make it form a crust that will stop up your icing tips.
  3. Food Color Gels like AmeriColor or Wilton work best for adding color because they don’t add a lot of liquid.
  4. If you don’t use a sifter, at least mix the powdered sugar with a whisk to help break down the lumps. I use a whisk.
  5. Use a spray bottle to add water when thinning your icing. Gail at One Tough Cookie taught us this and it is a brilliant tip!
  6. When flavoring your royal icing, add pure flavors and not imitations. I know the imitation is much cheaper but so is the flavor.
  7. Make sure anything that touches your royal icing is “oil free!” Oil will cause your icing to separate and do really weird things. For example, if you make butter cream icing in your KitchenAid, you might want to clean the bowl with lemon juice after you wash it with hot soapy water.
  8. Once you decorate you cookies, do not cover them in an airtight container until the icing is completely dry. The icing needs air to dry and if you cover them, they will not dry. Do not rush royal icing. Give it time to dry.
  9. You can re-mix and refresh your icing if you need to. Sometimes my color will separate in the bag overnight or when placed in the refrigerator. So I place it into a bow, mix it and re-bag it. It will be good as new.
  10. I store my icing in the refrigerator when I am not using it. Since meringue powder is dry egg whites, I feel it is safer than leaving it on the counter. I remove it about 30 minutes before decorating to let it get room temperature. Then I mix it well and add it to my piping bags or bottles.
  11. Remember, what works for me, may not work for you. There are many amazing decorators out there that do things different than I do and it works. These are just guideline and tips that may help you find your way.

I hope you have enjoyed my How to Make Royal Icing video. I had fun making it and hope this tips will answer some questions you have about it. Just remember, don’t give up!! You can do it!

Here are more royal icing and decorating tips for you:
Decorate a Cookie with Royal Icing Video
Tips for No Clog “0” and “00” PME Tips
Piping Bags Ready to Decorate
Almost Empty AmeriColor Bottles…
How I Get Icing in Those Little Bottles
How to Make Flood and Outline Icing
Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating

Happy Creating,



  1. Laura Pokas says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your talent and knowledge. Another great tutorial.

  2. Do you happen to know anyone who could really, I mean REALLY use this video? Ahem, just asking. :)

  3. Great video and tips, Lisa! Love your red Kitchenaid mixer too!

  4. Such awesome tips, Lisa! I’m digging your videos :)

  5. Great post and video! It so interesting how many ways there are to make sure a simple recipe. I love learning about how awesome decorators like yourself approach RI and decorating techniques, too. Thanks for sharing Lisa!

  6. ClaudiaIsBaking says:

    Love it, but I think you should add a link to your Goldilocks icing video. I can’t begin to tell you how helpful that terminology has been to me. Goldilocks, in combination with knowing how to make RI, simplifies the whole equation. I now (honest!) make notes on my sketches with PB, MB and BB for the areas which call for those particular consistencies. You were really a “light in the tunnel” for me with consistencies. Thanks again for being so generous with your “battle-won” knowledge.

    • ClaudiaIsBaking says:

      I’m an idiot this morning. Because I didn’t see “Goldilocks” in the title of your link “how to outline and flood,” I assumed it was a different link. :::sigh::: This is further proof that I need all the help I can get from you wonderful cookies! :)

  7. Lots of great tips, Lisa! I learned the one about oil in royal icing the hard way. Not fun!

  8. Lisa, you’re the best.
    I must admit, though, I read this as How to make A royal icing video. I thought, hmmmm, Lisa must have fancy tricks up her sleeve for video making.

  9. Hi lisa,
    Fantastic video. I use the same recipe but never know when to stop beating the mix. Does it have to be very stiff?

  10. Lisa,
    For how long can you keep your royal icing (this one in the video, before thinning) in the refrigerator?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Cynthia, I only keep my icing a few days. I use a lot each week so it doesn’t have much time to go bad at my house.

      I keep it in an airtight container on the counter. I use meringue powder instead of egg whites. If I used egg whites I would refrigerate it. I personally think it is up to each decorator as to where they store their icing.

  11. Hi Lisa, please help me!:) Why is it that my icing is never shiny? I am not using cream of tartar as we dont have it in Hungary, can this cause my problem? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Timea,
      Try placing your cookies in front of a fan as soon as you apply the icing. It will allow the top coat of the icing to dry shiny. :)

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