Cake Central › Tutorials › How To Make Royal Icing That Wont Dry Rock Hard

How To Make Royal Icing (that won't dry rock hard)

 

 

There is one thing every cookier needs in their arsenal... a favorite royal icing recipe. The royal icing recipe that I'm sharing with you today is my favorite because it is not only yummy (of course!) but it is the perfect texture. There is a not-so-secret ingredient that allows the icing to harden enough for stacking and shipping while remaining soft on the inside. No more biting into a beautifully decorated cookie and cringing because the icing is rock hard!

 

Begin by using a whisk to mix 5 tablespoons of meringue powder and 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar with 3/4 cup of warm water. Mix it for about 30 seconds, making sure that you get rid of all lumps.

 

Now, get ready for a vicious arm workout! In a separate large bowl, sift two pounds of powdered sugar. I always make a mess doing this, so if you figure out how to do this without getting sugar everywhere, you're a superstar in my eyes! Pssst... I heard an unconfirmed rumor that you can skip the sifting as long as you're not doing piping with a really small tip.

 

 

Next, add the water mixture to the powdered sugar and mix it for about a minute to get it all combined. Then, add 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon of glycerin, 12 drops of white gel food coloring, and your flavorings (I like to use 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon almond, and 1/4 butter). The corn syrup is an ingredient that is usually mentioned as optional in classic royal icing recipes. It adds a little gloss and elasticity to the icing. The glycerin is the not-so-secret ingredient that keeps the icing from being rock hard. You can find it in the baking section at craft stores or online. The purpose of the white food coloring is to make the icing a pleasant bright white instead of off white.

 

Now, put your mixer to work! Beat the icing on medium for about 6 to 8 minutes, until you can make a stiff peak that holds its shape. Pause and scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing if needed.

 

 

 

 

If you are saving the royal icing for later use, I suggest storing it in Tupperware containers (that you use for icing only), covered with plastic wrapped, and sealed tightly. If you are ready to start decorating, separate your icing into smaller bowls, color with gel food coloring, and add water (a tiny bit at a time) to get the consistency you want.

 

Well, what are you waiting for? Now that you're a royal icing ninja, grab your sugar cookie recipe and get baking!

 

 

 

Comments (20)

thanks for the great recipe I will try soon!
@mamasmanna Hope you like it as much as I do!
My worry is stacking them. Yes, I don't like the icing to be rock hard but it does help with stacking/transporting. Does this one do well stacked? Or do you need to keep each cookie flat?
Can this be used for flowers to be made ahead and saved? What is the shelf life?
@goodbakedgoods Absolutely! I use this icing and package, stack, and ship my iced cookies all the time without any issues.
@jemogo You can use this icing to make flowers and any other royal icing decorations. Since this recipe uses meringue powder instead of egg whites, royal icing decorations last pretty much forever. Just store them in an airtight container. The only thing you need to worry about is breakage.
awesome, thanks so much @sugarkissed_net!
I cant wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!
baking is a new passion to me i did my first ever 2 tier birthday cake for my niece's 18th birthday the cake looked amazing i also made high heeled shoe's and a bag they also looked great but when you tried eat them it was like chewing on a stone lol so this recipe should be great thanx.
This is quite a discovery, this tip will make the cookies easier to decorate, and better to eat. Thanks.
I will try this out on cookies. I never decorated with royal on cookies because of the way royal hardened up. This will be fun to try!!
Can you use this on cakes?
Can I use this recipe to cover a cake? Thank you so much for your help.
I have to try this... I love Royal Icing.  thank you for this.  !!!!
What brand meringue powder do you use?  And what does the cream of tartar do for your icing?
I understand you need flowing icing for cookie decorating? Can we get this to flow as well?
How does this icing hold up if you need to do stringwork?
Hi. I really want to try this as I have a wedding reception in 2 weeks I'm preparing for. The only issue I have is that we don't get meringue powder where I am...what do I do?!
I'd Really appreciate your answer
I use this minus the corn syrup it is great, works for piping and flooding. I never sift. just use a whisk and stir gives the same effect as sifting
Do I make any changes to this if I want to use it for Lambeth and Australian piping?
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