How to: Royal Icing

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This is pretty much the best way to decorate cutout cookies. The icing looks so professional and put together. If you’ve never done royal icing before it is actually pretty easy, just mostly time intensive.  Because all the ingredients for Royal Icing are gluten free you can use these on GF cutout cookies.

List of what you’ll need:

One batch of cutout cookies

One batch of Royal Icing

Gel Food Colors

Piping bags fitted with connectors and tips

Squeeze bottles

Airtight containers (one for each color you will be using)




Royal Icing:

4 Cups Powdered Sugar

2 Tablespoons Merengue Powder

5.5 Tablespoons Water

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Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until the icing has a matte finish. Separate the icing into air tight containers (divide into as many containers as colors you need).

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Taking one container at a time, mix an additional tablespoon of water into the icing. This should be a good consistency for piping. If it still seems too thick mix additional water into the icing one half tablespoon at a time. Mix thoroughly before using.

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Once you have the icing at a good piping consistency mix the colors into the icing. Using gel colors will get the best results. If you use liquid colors it can change the consistency of the icing and make it unusable. I am partial to the Wilton Gel Food Colors. You can easily mix these into the icing by using a knife to remove a bit of gel coloring from the tub and mixing thoroughly into the icing.

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When your icing colors are prepared, take piping bags prepared with connectors and icing tips (I prefer to use a Wilton Circle #3 tip). Using a spatula spoon a good amount of the icing into the prepared piping bag. Squeeze the bag to remove excess air and move the icing down into the tip. Prepare each of the colors in separate icing bags. Cover the extra icing so it does not dry out.

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Taking the prepared piping bags, pipe an outline around the entire cookie. Let the outline sit for at least an hour before moving onto the next step.  Once you have outlined all of the cookies take any extra icing out of the bags and put back into the airtight container.

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When the outline has set, prepare the rest of your icing. Add approximately an additional two tablespoons of water the icing. The icing should fall off the back of a spoon in a smooth ribbon. If you happen to thin the icing too much you can add powdered sugar to thicken it up. Pour the prepared icing into squeeze bottle. Flood the area inside the outline with the thinned icing.

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If the icing does not go all the way to the edges you can use a toothpick to move it around. You also can use the toothpick to pop any bubbles that might appear in the flooded icing. The goal is to have the icing be as smooth as possible. Let the icing dry overnight before serving the cookies.

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You can use additional piping icing to decorate the tops of the cookies once the icing has set.

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Source: adapted from Annies-Eats

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