Traditional Royal Icing for Sugar Cookies

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • food coloring

Put all ingredients (except food coloring) in a mixing bowl and beat with mixer on medium-high for 10 minutes. The icing should be thick and shiny, but don’t expect it to look like whipped cream.

If you’re coloring it, just take out what you need and put in a little bowl and stir in food coloring.

Cover the bowl of icing with a clean damp cloth in between uses so the icing stays moist.
If the icing is too thick, just a few drops of water stirred in will thin it out. Do this after you add the food coloring, since that will also add liquid and thin out the icing.

This old fashioned icing hardens nicely to a pretty shine. It’s not the easiest to make and handle, but it makes an extra special icing. If you’re making festive Cut Out Sugar Cookies, you may want to try this traditional icing.

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Annie - December 5, 2010

It sounds delicious, but almond is not part of a traditional Royal Icing. It is and ingredient of Marzipan, though.

Rhonda - December 8, 2010

The reason for using almond extract is so that it doesn’t change the color of the icing to keep it white. Otherwise you need to use the imitation clear vanilla extract.

Shawn - December 8, 2010

Be careful with the raw eggs too – especially with all the egg recalls lately.

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