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Royal Icing

Yield: Yields 1-1/2 cups.

The classic decorating icing can be tinted nearly any shade with food coloring.


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice or water; more as needed
  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar; more as needed
  • Food coloring, optional

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1 Tbs.
  • Calories (kcal) : 40
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 0
  • Fat (g): 0
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 0
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 0


  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer on low speed until uniform, smooth, and stiff; you’ll see it change from a grayish color to opaque white. Add more lemon juice or water a little at a time as needed to thin it. (Remember that liquid food coloring will thin it further.) To test for the right texture for piping, a ribbon drizzled on top of the rest of the icing should disappear in 15 seconds; for “flooding” large areas (like the red wrist of the mitten in the photo above), the texture should be of newly melted chocolate. When adding food coloring, start with a drop or two and mix thoroughly after each addition.

Make Ahead Tips

Store for up to two weeks, covered airtight in the refrigerator. Let soften and stir with a spoon before using.


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