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Butterfly Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Royal Icing

An easy Royal Icing base recipe that can be thinned with water to achieve all consistencies of decorating icing.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 large batch


  • 6 ounces warm water (3/4 cup )
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2.25 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract or almond extract (or extract of choice, optional)


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand or with the whisk attachment until it is frothy and thickened, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the powdered sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix slowly on the lowest speed for a full 10 minutes. The icing will get thick and creamy.
  • Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.
  • Remove some of the icing to a small bowl and add small amounts of warm water (~ 1 teaspoon at a time) to reach the desired consistency - run the icing off the back of a spoon back into the bowl, and if the drips disappear into the icing in 5-10 seconds, it's good. If you have gone too far and it's too thin, add more of the original "stock" to make thicker. Color as desired.


Source: Adapted from Sweetopia
You're Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword cookies, dessert, gluten free, royal icing