Spreading royal icing on a cookie.

Makes about one cup


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • Liquid or paste food colorings as needed, optional


  1. In the clean, grease-free bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed just until they become loose, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing on low speed until the egg whites become frothy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioner’s sugar gradually with the mixer on low speed. Continue to mix until the icing holds a soft peak and is dull in appearance, about 2 minutes. If desired, divide the icing among smaller bowls and add food coloring.

If you won’t be using the icing right away, take the following steps to keep the icing from drying out: Clean the sides of the bowl or container to remove any drips; if a dry crust develops on the bowl, small pieces can drop into the icing and clog the tip of your pastry bag or parchment paper cone. Place a dampened paper towel directly on the surface of the icing and then cover the bowl very tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Note: You may prefer to use pasteurized egg whites in this recipe to eliminate any food safety concerns.

One Comment

  1. nknjbubna@gmail.com

    can u share without eggs?

Leave a Comment