Antonias Royal Icing
I am a southern girl and 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.
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 at Royal Icing [Fresh Eggs, Meringue|Liquid Egg Whites Recipes]
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 (if your meringue powder doesn’t list it as an ingredient)
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 the 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. The 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.
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 the mixing bowl on your Kitchenaid and mix until all the powdered sugar is mixed in. The original recipe says to mix for 10 minutes, but I don’t mix it that long because 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 other 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
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.
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.
Thanks so much for the tips!! I love, love following your blog!!
Hi how long do you let it sit for? Also does it sit in fridge or just over the counter?
I keep my icing at room temperature on the counter. It will last several days. Just be sure to give it a good mix before you add your food gel colors.
hi ..is 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.
You can also try adding a pinch of salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer and will make any flavoring you do add more pronounced. Really experiment with flavoring. Try lemon juice, or Almond if you like those, or you can add a little butter flavor with vanilla. The combination of a little lemon,, a little orange and a little vanilla is good. Remember to subtract water for each additional amount of flavoring you add.
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:)
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
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!!
Hi Liz! I will admit that icing consistency is one of the hardest things to get right when it comes to making cookies. It takes practice but, once you figure it out, you will be able to achieve just about any cookie you want. I have a few posts that might help.
Here is how I make my icing: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2011/12/antonis-royal-icing/
Here is a post I did to help with icing consistency: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/03/royal-icing-consistency/
Let me know if you have any other questions.
What recipe do you use for icing to fill in eg on owl cookies
I use this recipe. If I need thicker icing, I add less water. Hope this helps!
I love this recipe and it usually always turns out. Once in a while my icing turns really hard on my cookies. Most of the time they harden enough to be able to package them but they are a bit soft when you bite into them. Any thoughts on what makes the icing so hard? It was raining when I made my last cookies……
There are a few things I would recommend you check.
First, do you weigh your powdered sugar? I think you should because your icing will be the same consistency every time you make it. I weigh mine every time I make it. You can get an inexpensive food scale online or at Wal-Mart.
The second thing I think you should do is read this tip from Georganne at LilaLoa. http://www.lilaloa.com/2014/04/can-you-save-overmixed-icing-quick-tip.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Lilaloa+%28LilaLoa%29
Georganne suggests over mixing your icing will affect drying time and texture once the icing is dry. I totally agree with her.
Hope this helps!
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.
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…
I am working on a post about this. Sweet Sugar Belle uses a fan. See her post here http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2011/04/my-1-fan-wfmw/
Also, try using less water when you mix your colors. Thin icing tends to bleed more than the thick icing.
thank you!!! 😀
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.
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.
I hate those little craters in my cookies but, we all get them from time to time. Sweetopia did a post about how to prevent air bubbles in your icing and you can find it here: http://sweetopia.net/2010/02/how-to-prevent-air-bubbles-in-royal-icing/. I hope it helps:)
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.
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!!!
My icing looks shiny because I dry my cookies with a fan like Sweet Sugar Belle says on this post: http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2011/04/my-1-fan-wfmw/. 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 email@example.com. I will be happy to help!
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!!!!!!!!!
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.
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.
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!!
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?
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.
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.
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 ?
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,
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?
You aren’t doing anything wrong. If you want your icing to be shiny when it dries, place the cookies in front of a fan as soon as you decorate them. The fan dries the top layer quickly and makes it shine. I learned this trick from Sweet Sugar Belle. If you want more information you can find it in Sweet Sugar Belle’s post: http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2011/04/my-1-fan-wfmw/
Thank you so much. You’re an angel:)
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.
looks like i’m late to this party! i hope you are responding here 🙂 so i have made the RI with 8-10 T of meringue powder and RI with 5T, like yours and the recipe from sweetopia (which is pretty identical to yours). with the 5T, my icing dried so shiny, but there were craters all over my piping. with the higher meringue powder icing, there have not been craters, but it dries less shiny (i always use a fan). and also with your recipe, i have way less time to work on marbling because it crusts faster. do you know why the craters would happen more with this recipe? i love the shine, but i don’t want little holes in my piping 🙂
i have recently decided to sell my cookies–i have found my passion at almost 40! i really want to find the perfect recipe, but need some troubleshooting tips. thanks so much!! your cookies are beautiful!
There are seveal reason your icing might get craters in it. One thing I found that helps is to let my icing sit a little after it is made. The air bubbles will rise to the surface and you can pop them before you fill your piping bags or bottles.
Second, the size of the tip has a little bit to do with the craters. The bigger the tip, the more craters will appear in your icing. I think it is because a smaller tip helps pop them as you add the icing to your cookies. You can watch one of my videos to see how I use the tip to icing the cookies. I place it in the icing as I flood and it also helps.
Third, once you make royal icing it will stay fresh for a week maybe even two but the problem I have is it seems to have more craters in it. Fresher icing (no more than 3 days old) always works best fro me.
Fourth, thicker icing seems to have less creaters in it for me. You might try to use a thicker icing for flooding.
If all of this does not help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what else we can do to help! 😉
thank you for sharing. I live in the West Bank Palestine and I can’t find meringue powder. do you have a recipe that uses egg whites and can share it. Also I’ve tried to border a cookie and fill it out right after (as I’ve seen on
videos) but sometimes the flooding covers the border do I need a stiffer icing for the borders?
Hi Ana! I do have a recipe for royal icing that is made with egg whites. Here is the link: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2015/04/egg-white-royal-icing-recipe/
There are different ways to outline and flood a cookie. If you want your border to show, outline the cookie and let the outline dry for about 10 minutes. Then, flood the cookies and don’t over fill it with icing. Just pipe less so you can see the border when the icing is dry.
If you don’t want the border to show, outline the cookie and flood it immediately. You can push the flood icing right up against the outline without causing it to fall off the side of the cookie. This will make your cookie look like there isn’t a border. It will be smooth all the way to the cookie.
Hope this helps,
thank you 🙂 I will try it and let you know how it went
I have tried Antonias royal icing a few times and always find it gets too hard on the cookie. The family didn’t like the hard texture. Am I possibly doing something wrong? Thanks for all your help and your wonderful site.
Royal Icing does dry hard and some people don’t like it for that reason. I really don’t think my recipe is all that hard but it depends on what peoples version of “hard icing” is. LOL
You can try buttercream (http://thebearfootbaker.com/2015/09/american-buttercream-frosting-recipe/) or glaze if your family doesn’t like royal icing.
Anita at Sweet Hope Cookies made a Frankenfrosting combining glaze and royal icing. I have not tried it but I have heard it is good. You can find her recipe here: http://www.sweethopecookies.com/sweet-hopes-frankenfrosting-the-best-cookie-icing-ever/
I hope this helps!
Very nice! I just love the Gage.
Hi Lisa, I soooooo love your blog. Thanks for sharing all these ideas.
I have a couple of doubts. This will be my first time making sugar cookies and also icing.
How many days will they stay good. Also when do you suggest I bake the cookies so that I can ice them.
I already had some meringue powder with me and it already has cream of tartar in it. Do I need to add any extra? I have the Wilton one.
I am glad you are starting to make cookies. You are going to LOVE baking and decorating them! I hope you get hooked as much as me! 😉
Sweetopia did a really good tutorial on how long a sugar cookies will stay fresh. You can find that info here: http://sweetopia.net/2012/02/how-long-do-decorated-cookies-stay-fresh-what-is-the-shelf-life-of-decorated-cookies/.
When to bake and ice them is up to you. I suggest you allow yourself time to decorate them and time for them to dry completely before you package them.
If your meringue powder has cream of tartar in it you don’t need to add more.
I just wanted to thank you for all your wonderful videos and recipes I am new to baking and I feel that you have help me so much. I enjoy trying new things thanks to you, Before when trying new recipes they wouldn’t turn out and this discouraged me from trying more. Since I have found you on pintrest you wonderful ideas encouraged me to try again and so far I have tried your cake release, your buttercream icing and your royal icing and I am happy to say they all worked out wonderfully
thank you again for all your wonderful post and I am excited to try learning how to decorate cookies and cakes now.
Awe Monique! You are so sweet! Thank you for the kind words.
One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog was to give people tips and tricks and to encourage them to do things in the kitchen. I’m always glad to hear that someone is encouraged to try something they didn’t think they could do. I would love it if you shared some pictures of your creations with me. Tag me on FB or shoot me an email. I would love to see your amazing work!
PS-I’m here if you need me and always want to help if you have questions. During the summer I’m slower to answer because I live at a summer camp for kids but don’t give up on me. I will answer! 😉
Hi, I’m new in making Royal icing… Can I know your powder sugar is it same as icing sugar?? You are using Meringue Powder can replace on others?? How abt egg white?? But I hv no idea what the weight of using egg white for doing Royal icing… Pls advise …
Thks & Appreciated !!
Confectioners’ sugar is often called powdered sugar and icing sugar. It’s the same thing but different areas call it different names. They’re all a finely ground sugar that has been turned into a powder form.
I do use meringue powder to make my royal icing but sometimes I use egg whites. If you’re looking for an egg white royal icing recipe here is the link to mine: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2015/04/egg-white-royal-icing-recipe/.
My recipe calls for 4 egg whites. One egg white weighs about 35 grams so 4 egg whites will weigh about 140 grams.
Hope this helps,
I can’t wait to try your recipie! I just started decorating cookies and find that my royal icing is VERY hard once it dries. How can I make it softer? I need it hard enough to stack but not rock hard when you bite into it. Thanks!
Have you tried my recipe? I think it’s pretty soft. If not you might want to give Wilton’s a try.
I’m going to give it a try this week! Fingers crossed!
What is your preferred brand of meringue powder? I hear it makes a difference in the taste of RI depending on what brand you use, do you find this to be true? Thanks! Dora
I usually use Wilton most of the time because I can find it in local stores. CK’s is good and there are a few others like Fat Daddio’s. Some people hate Wilton and others hate CK. I’ve found it’s a very personal thing to the user. If your searching, I’d suggest buying a small container of different brands and seeing which one you like best. Will you let me know which one is your “go to” meringue powder? You may find one we all need to try.
Thank you! Yes I will let you know if I find a “go to” meringue powder! I’m really struggling with the taste of RI so I hope I can find something that I like. Take care…Dora
Just saw your comment and thought I’d add that I love Wilton! I have tried others and not only are they more expensive, by far, I haven’t found that much difference in the taste or texture.
I buy mine off of Amazon and it’s a lot cheaper than in stores, especially the 16 oz, which for some reason is cheaper than the 12oz.
Texture for me is different based on how long I actually mix it. It seems to make it dry harder and sometimes have a chalky taste. I ONLY mix mine until it forms a nice, stiff peak and then I’m done. I can always think it as needed. 🙂
“Thin”…. not think! Smartphones aren’t always so smart! LOL
What brand is your scale? I buy everything off Amazon and wanted to see if they have it as well. Thanks so much!!
I was looking at making a RI (first attempt!). I noticed in your half recipe link you also use vanilla extract as an ingredient, but there is not mention of it in this recipe. Do you use it in both, and if so, how much for this batch? I would guess 2 teaspoons since the other is just a half batch? But just wanted to check 🙂
Also, how many cookies would you say a full recipe of RI covers?
I just wanted to let you know that this is the BEST royal icing I’ve worked with! I’ve used the recipes from Joy of Baking, cookbooks, and elsewhere, and this is hands down the best-tasting icing. Even my husband said it tasted better and he didn’t know I switched recipes! Your recipe and the tutorials on 15-second icing helped make some football players very happy at their senior football picnic!
For what it’s worth, I used Wilton’s meringue powder. I didn’t have a scale so I went by the weight on the bag of powdered sugar plus a little measuring. And the cookies stacked great once they were dry.
Again, THANK YOU! Your site is a wealth of info for the amateur baker like me!
I’m glad you like it, Rachel! Thanks for hanging out with us and let me know if you need anything!
Hi there I’m going to try out your royal icing recipe for the first time fingers crossed can I know how much is 2.25 ounces of icing sugar in grams? I’m a bit nervous and want everything to be accurate 🙂 thank you and I love your blog I’m so glad I stumbled upon it, it has such amazing and useful content keep doing what you do ❤️❤️
Here is a weight chart that might help you https://thebearfootbaker.com/2016/01/flour-sugar-weight-chart-cheat-sheet/. Have fun!
I was looking for the tip on bleeding. Did I miss it? Especially black on white
hi I love all your tips and all your suggestions thank you. my question is is this… Is this royal icing the same recipe I would use to make those hard candy decorations that you can put on top of a cake?
The royal icing is the same icing you decorate sugar cookies with. It will dry hard and you can use the decorations on a cake or cupcake. You will need to be careful though because of the moisture in the cake icing. It can cause the royal icing decorations to melt.
How much do you thin the icing for flooding vs. for outlining?
I use the same consistency to outline and flood the cookies. It’s 15-Second Consistency.
Hi! I’m fairly new to cookie decorating and am quickly falling in love with it. For years I was intimidated by royal icing but finally jumped on board but struggle with the crispy crust on top, I want it to be durable but soft-er. Based on the reviews of your recipe it sounds to be just what I’m looking for. I’ve followed the Wilton recipe and I’m curious what the addition of cream of tartar does?
If you use Wilton Meringue powder you don’t need Crean of tartar because they add it to their powder.
Did you know that cream of tartar is a byproduct of the winemaking process?
When grapes are fermented during the winemaking process a powder forms on the inside of the barrels. It’s scraped off and cleaned and then ground into the powder form we all know. Isn’t that interesting? Wine barrels are where the cream of tartar comes from.
Another question you might ask is why do we use Cream of tartar?
It is used for stabilizing egg whites. It will help strengthen the structure of the bubbles and give the whipped eggs more volume.
Cream of tartar is pretty interesting and I wrote a post on it a while back. You can read it here:
I think you’ll find it interesting and it will help you understand how it works with the egg white.
Could you use this recipe to cover petit fours?!?! Looks like a glorious royal icing. Can’t wait to try this.
I’ve never used it for petit fours. I usually use the Martha Stewart Petits Fours Recipe. I’m sure you could use any icing you want, but keep in mind when this royal icing dries it dries very firm or hard.
Here’s the recipe for Martha Stewarts recipe if you want to check it out.
Will this icing hold up if I cover it (per your instructions) overnight?
Yes it will work, Barbara. You can keep this royal icing for about a week.
Hi. Quick question. Your recipe didn’t list Vanilla, but your directions have it in it. Do I need to add vani!la?
I add one teaspoon of vanilla to the recipe. You can even use clear vanilla if you’d like. 😉
Thanks for this Lisa! The recipe I use is so similar. I’m curious what setting you have your mixer on when you mix ? Merry Christmas 💕
Lisa, Ive just made up a batch of your RI for the first time to work on some cookies tomorrow. My question to you is this; when you are prepping the individual colors do you use very small batches to keep the icing from drying out? How do you keep the edges from falling into the greater portion? I am guessing just wiping down the sides with a warm wash cloth? But I really want to get this right, would you mind sharing the ‘boring details’ with me? Im trying not to waste anything and get this right! Thank you for your great posts and videos they are so very helpful. <3
Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. As a matter of fact, I’m working on a royal icing video now. LOL
The key to keeping your icing from drying is to keep the air off of it always! Don’t let the air touch your royal icing until you are adding your food gel colors and then again when you decorate your cookies. When I first started making cookies I would cover my royal icing with plastic wrap and I’d make sure the plastic wrap was touching the top of the royal icing. This kept it from drying out.
Now as soon as I make the icing I place it in tipless bags and tie the top so the air doesn’t touch it. This will keep your icing ready until you are ready to use it.
Hope this helps.
This was a great tutorial! 🙂 You do really cute cookies, keep up the beautiful work!
(I’m Antonia74) ♡
Hi! I love your recipes! My question is with layering. I tried doing a Santa Claus face and layered white royal icing on top of his red hat, Waited about 45 minutes between layers so it could dry, and could still see the red through the upper white layer. Would you recommend using the fridge at all to speed up the drying process between layers? I try not to use too much food coloring, but can’t get that “deep Christmas” red I am going for without using more than a few drops. I am excited to try this, because I have had issued with bleeding in the past too.
I know I’m late answering this question and I’m so sorry! I’m going to answer now and hope if you still have this question it might help prevent your icing from bleeding in the future.
Once you decorate your cookie with your first color of icing place it in front of a fan and let it dry for a few minutes. It will start to dry and the top layer will form a crust. Then, you can add the next color.
If you let the first color of icing sit and dry for a long time it will try to soak up the water from the second color of icing you add and that will cause the colors to bleed.
What I recommend is you make a batch of cookies and mix some royal icing in the colors that traditionally bleed like red and black. Then, pipe those colors next to some white icing. Let some of the icing dry for a while, let some crust over then add the next color and practice piping them on your cookies and find out what works for you in your humidity.
If you practice you will see what works best for you.
This works for me and it is all my opinion. I can’t swear to any of it but it does work for me and I hope it works in helping you find out how to prevent your royal icing from bleeding.
I love baking and decorating sugar cookies. I have a lot of experience, but it seems I have really felt the love for my cookies when I found your site. I just want to say thanks and let you know that your recipes are great, your frosting is fabulous. I hope all is well this holiday season and you are decorating and baking up a storm.
I rarely ever pay for information found on the web. But your site was worth every penny. I applaud all your efforts and hard work.
I’m Not sure you’ll see this because I see that this is a very very old post but I just found it. Is your 15 second consistency piping or flood? I’m planning on trying my first cookies next week 🙂
The 15-Second Icing Consistency acts as both outline and flood. Just outline with it, wait a few seconds, and then flood. You will need to use a scribe tool, toothpick, or a turkey lacer to swirl in the royal icing to push it into place and pop any air bubbles. Have fun decorating.