Royal Icing Recipe

I don't quite know how royal icing got its name, but I always thought its the best description for the icing. In its totally white and silky smooth texture, the icing does indeed carry a aura of grandeur with it. 

The thing I like most about this icing is the fact that it is not affected by its surrounding temperature, which means, it does not melt or loose its consistency in heat. I live in a hot and humid climate and having to work with icing that is heat sensitive is always a problem. And because of this, when it comes to piping flowers, I always prefer this icing to buttercream.

Also, this is one icing is so easy to wash up. Its absolutely grease-free and that makes it super easy to wash. Having said that, when making the icing, it is absolutely important to make sure there is not even a tiny trace of grease in any of the utensils used or else the icing will remain runny and not turn out as as fluffy as it should be. 

Another important note about this icing is the ability to change its consistency from stiff to soft and runny. Stiff consistency is necessary for piping work, be it flowers, borders or Lambeth string work. In its runny consistency, this icing is used for flooding work. Flooding work or also sometimes known as color flow is basically the art of using royal icing to create icing plaques in various designs and shapes. It is typically made by diluting the icing with warm water. In adding the water, its always better to add a little at a time, until the icing reaches a consistency where a cut though the icing with the back of a spoon closes back in the count of 10 seconds. 

Although royal icing has always been typically made using egg whites, meringue powder is now the preferred option among many cake decorators. I have the recipes for both versions of the icing here and although I have personally tried both many times successfully, I now only use the recipe that uses meringue powder instead of fresh egg white simply out of convenience. 

Royal Icing Recipe 1 (stiff consistency)


225g icing sugar, sifted

1 egg white 

A few drops of rose essence

A few drops of lemon juice


Beat egg white until it is stiff and frothy. 

Add icing sugar, a little at a time and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Finally add the rose essence and lemon juice and continue beating until the essence and lemon juice is well incorporated.  

Use the icing immediately, otherwise, cover it with a damp cloth to prevent crusting. Color the icing as you wish.

Royal Icing Recipe 2 (stiff consistency)


500g icing sugar

2 ½ tbsp meringue powder

5 tbsp warm water


Sift the icing sugar. Add meringue powder and mix well.

Add water into the icing sugar and meringue powder mix. Beat the mixture until it becomes fluffy and stiff peaks form. 

Use the icing immediately, otherwise, cover it with a damp cloth to prevent crusting. Color the icing as you wish.

More Icing and Frosting Recipes:

Buttercream Icing

Butter Icing

Chocolate Ganache


Glaze icing

Chocolate Icing

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