Beautifully decorated cut-out cookies for every celebration and holiday are totally attainable at home with this easy royal icing recipe for sugar cookies and a few tips & tricks to give you the confidence you need to try this technique yourself!

I've shared three of my favorite sugar cookie recipes (classic cut-out sugar cookies, chocolate cut-out sugar cookies, and oatmeal rolled sugar cookies), but I can't just give you a cookie recipe without sharing an easy royal icing recipe for sugar cookies, now can I? Be sure not to miss any of my cookie recipes!

Five bags of royal icing dyed in pastel hues with tips and couplers for decorating sugar cookies with royal icing.

Easy Royal Icing Recipe for Sugar Cookies

Here is my confession for the day:  I kinda sorta didn't like sugar cookies for years. I know! What kind of monster am I? Apparently the kind of monster that somehow had only ever tried sugar cookies that tasted like cardboard with an edible cement icing on top that was hard enough to break a tooth. But then my friend Tiffany entered my life with her delicious edible works of art and showed me that there was a way to have your cake (erm, cookie?) and eat it too.

Tiffany and I swapped services with each other where I took family photos for their Christmas cards and she made fancy sugar cookies for my oldest daughter's birthday. But I was still feeling too intimidated by sugar cookies back then to ask her to actually show me her decorating ways! And then, of course, she moved.

So I finally had to bite the bullet and figure out royal icing for sugar cookies on my lonesome. But you know what? This royal icing recipe is great and so much more doable than I previously thought!

An image of egg-shaped sugar cookies spread out for decorating with royal icing, with one cookie having a border of blue royal icing already piped around the edges.

I had some pretty strong misconceptions going in to this endeavor. Such as:

  • You need to be an artist to create a beautiful sugar cookie decorated with royal icing. Totally not true. I mean, it's not like I'm heading to Cookie Con any time soon (yes, there is a convention for cookie artists!). But to make a cute, easy polka dot design? You got this.
  • Getting just the right consistency is practically impossible and one drop of water too much will cause your icing to run everywhere. False. Yes, thickness or fluidity is important when decorating sugar cookies with royal icing, but it can be demystified by knowing that the two main consistencies used are a thicker piping consistency (think the consistency of toothpaste or really soft cream cheese) and a thinner flood consistency (think the consistency of honey or shampoo).
Dozens of sugar cookies with a simple polka dot design, stacked and ready for transport.

What is royal icing?

Royal icing is a sweet, hard icing made from powdered sugar, egg whites or meringue powder, and flavorings like vanilla or a squeeze of lemon juice. It is used to decorate sugar cookies and gingerbread houses.

The biggest difference between royal icing and a frosting like buttercream is in the texture: buttercream is creamy and soft whereas royal icing hardens to an edible candy-like shell.

Royal icing dries out completely and almost makes sugar cookies look too perfect. Ya know, if they are decorated by a pro with mad piping and flooding skills instead of somebody like me with a shaky hand and general lack of patience for precision and perfection when I just want to be cramming the dang cookies in my mouth already!.

Is royal icing safe to eat?

Yes, absolutely! Some people worry about salmonella that is sometimes found in the yolk of the egg, but royal icing made with meringue powder or pasteurized eggs is totally safe for consumption.

How to make royal icing

Making royal icing is actually very simple, especially if you use meringue powder which can be ordered online through Amazon or found at any local craft store like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or Joann's in their baking supplies section. If you cannot find meringue powder or would rather use raw egg whites, you could just replace both the water and meringue powder called for in the recipe with 3 large egg whites.

I like to add the powdered sugar (also called confectioners sugar) and meringue powder to the large bowl of my stand mixer first and whisk them together first before adding the water and vanilla while the mixer is running. Then it is just a matter of letting the mixer run on medium speed (high speed adds too much air) until it forms stiff peaks and the icing loses some of it's glossiness, about 7-10 minutes.

You want to start off with this stiffer, thick consistency icing because it's easy from there to thin the icing out to a flood consistency. Like I described above, the thicker icing should be spreadable and it reminds me of the consistency of toothpaste or very soft cream cheese. It should be easy to pipe out of a narrow decorating tip like a Wilton #2 or #3 (although you could totally just use plastic zip-tight bags with the ends snipped off).

An image of white royal icing in a stand mixer with the beater lifted out of the mixing bowl to show how thick the icing is.

At this point, while the icing is thick, divide it between separate bowls for each color you want. Mix in gel food coloring (affiliate link) (I prefer AmeriGel colors) until you get the shade you want.

Once colored, you can further divide each color in two if you plan to use both thick and thin icing to decorate your cookies (more about why you might take this approach in a second) and thin out just half of each color by adding 1 teaspoon of water, then additional half teaspoons of water, stirring well after each addition until you reach your desired flooding consistency.

For flooding, the icing should be thinned out enough to melt in on itself in about 10-15 seconds when you run a knife through it (again, think honey or shampoo viscosity), but not so thin that it will run off the sides of the cookie.

If you go too far and get your flood icing too thin, don't try to save it by adding in more powdered sugar. Instead, you will need to add a spoonful or two of thick icing and mixing that in. It's just easier to thin out your icing slowly so you don't go too far. 

How to use royal icing

There are two ways I would recommend decorating sugar cookies with royal icing. The first is to use thick icing to pipe a border around the edges of your cookie, then fill in with flood consistency icing.  The upside to this approach is that you get a barrier of thick icing to help hold in the flood consistency icing, in case you are worried about getting it too thin the first time you attempt royal icing.

If you take this approach, definitely color the icing while it is still thick, then thin out half of each color so that both consistencies are the same shade instead of trying to match colors later on. This takes a little more effort and forethought, which is a negative for me, but still worth trying at least once. The other downside is that a border of thicker icing is usually visible in the finished cookie.

On the other hand, you can thin out all of your icing from the get-go and use flood icing to both outline and fill your cookies by piping the border with flood icing and then immediately using the same consistency icing to flood the middle of the cookie, using a toothpick or scribe tool to fill in gaps between the border and the flooded center.

The upside of this approach is that your border will completely blend in with the flooded center and be invisible. Also, you avoid the nuisance of having to make two consistencies of every icing color by using flood consistency for all your decorating. The downside is the risk that your flood consistency icing is too thin and it could run off the edge of the cookie. Either approach works, although I think the second one is my preferred method.

How to decorate with royal icing

Once your icing is ready to go, you need to transfer it to a piping bag or ziploc bag to be used for decorating your sugar cookies. While you could use do this directly and either throw away the disposable piping bags afterwards or mess around with washing them out, another approach is to lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter, pour your icing from the mixing bowl onto the plastic wrap, and then wrap it up tightly into a little package like these ones in the picture.

Then you just insert each little bundle of frosting into a piping bag, snipping off the tip and attaching a piping tip with a couple. Then when you have used up your frosting, you can just pull out the empty plastic wrap and discard it, which saves you the expense of using a new "disposable" pastry bag each time (because honestly, they aren't that cheap and they are a pain to wash).

An image of 7 different colors of royal icing, each wrapped in a pouch of plastic wrap for inserting into a disposable piping bag.
An image of royal icing in various colors being prepared for decorating sugar cookies.

Or you could just use plastic zip-tight bags and snip off the ends if you don't want to invest in tips and couplers and bags. Just start really small when snipping off the corner of the bag since it's not like you can undo things if you snip too much and get too heavy of a flow, which will make it practically impossible to do clean piping of borders around your cookie edges.

Outlining and flooding

When outlining the cookie, I find that it is actually easier to hold the piping bag slightly above the cookie so that the icing sort of just falls onto the cookie instead of dragging the tip right along the surface. It's sort of like laying down a thin rope of icing along the edge and you can practice on a piece of plastic wrap or plate to get the hang of it before you actually start in on a cookie.

Also, if you have a shaky hand like me, it might help to stabilize your arms by resting them on the edge of your work surface.

An image of an egg shaped sugar cookie with a border of blue royal icing piped around the edge.

How long does royal icing take to dry?

Once the cookies are decorated with royal icing, they will take about 6 to 8 hours to dry out at room temperature. Which means if you want to pipe more detailed designs without them settling in to the first layer of icing, you are most likely looking at a multiple day decorating process.

Since I'm still a novice when it comes to decorating with royal icing, I find the wet-on-wet technique where you pipe a second color right on to the still-wet first layer of royal icing to so that the design melts together to be just right for my purposes of balancing a desire for cute cookies with my need to eat the cookies sooner, rather than later. I achieved the polka dot design in these Easter egg cookies this way, by piping dots of white onto the still wet pastel colors. It was easy and I think the cookies turned out cute!

For these particular Easter Egg sugar cookies, I was inspired by this tutorial and did my best to recreate her simple design using a wet-on-wet technique with flood consistency royal icing.

Can I freeze royal icing?

Yes! Royal icing can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. It's a great way to plan ahead or to save any leftover royal icing you have after making sugar cookies. Just be sure to seal each color separately in a freezer-safe, airtight bag before freezing it. 

Then when you are ready to use it, just transfer the icing to the fridge to thaw overnight and let it come to room temperature on the counter the next day and use like normal.

Sugar cookies decorated with royal icing can also be frozen as long as the icing has had time to set completely first. Just thaw at room temperature before enjoying. 

More Dessert Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Easy Royal Icing Recipe for Sugar Cookies

4.88 from 133 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Beautifully decorated cut-out cookies for every celebration and holiday are totally attainable at home with this easy royal icing recipe for sugar cookies and a few tips & tricks to give you the confidence you need to try this technique yourself!

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
  • 6 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring (I like AmeriColor)

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the meringue powder and powdered sugar, then slowly mix in the water and vanilla while the mixer is running on medium-low speed.  Increase speed to medium and beat until stiff peaks form, around 5 minutes.  This can be done with a hand mixer, but will take a couple minutes longer.
  • Divide the thick white icing into individual bowls for how ever many colors you want and add gel food coloring, a few drops at a time, mixing well until you achieve the shades you like.  From there, you can reserve half of each color at piping consistency for piping borders as described in the post, or thin all the icing to flood consistency.  
  • To thin each color to flood consistency, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time and stir well, continuing to add water by ½ teaspoon increments until you reach your desired consistency.  
  • Once your icing is colored and the right consistency, scoop it into a piping bag fitted with a size 2 or 3 tip.  Decorate your sugar cookies by first outlining the border, then filling in the middle with flood icing which should settle into itself.  Use a toothpick or scribe tool to fill in any gaps by spreading the icing around, then tap the cookie on the counter a few times to help the icing settle into a smooth, even layer.
  • Dry cookies at room temperature for 6-8 hours until the royal icing is completely firm before adding additional layers or design or stacking for transport.

Video

Notes

Be sure all bowls and utensils are totally grease-free or your icing will never reach the consistency you are going for.
Using Egg Whites: If you cannot find meringue powder or would rather use raw egg whites, you could just replace both the water and meringue powder called for in the recipe with 3 large egg whites. 

Nutrition

Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 8mg | Sugar: 20g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

Share This With the World

PinYummly

Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Royal icing is so much fun to work with. I have only made it once before, and this seems similar to what I used. Great way to decorate cute cookies....and the grandkids love when I make them cutout cookies.

  2. 5 stars
    I have to be honest -- I've always been intimidated by rolling out sugar cookies and cutting with a cutter - because they inevitably stick -- so I've never actually made it to the Royal icing phase of cookie baking. After reading through your very thorough breakdown, I can see the benefits of the flooding approach done in two stages and I love the way your cookies turned out. Now I'm going to have to get over my gun-shy nature of the cookies themselves... You're nudging me in that direction. Thanks!

    1. Oh no! That would definitely be a problem if your cutters stick to your cookies! I haven't experienced that myself, but I wonder if it's a problem with the cookie dough or with the cutters?

      1. keep a mound of flour close by. Dip cutter into flour between cuts. This will keep dough from sticking to cutter.

        1. 4 stars
          Lisa, try chilling out your dough first. First roll dough out with rolling pin and some flour, then chill in freezer a couple of minutes (only to chill NOT to freeze), then pull out of freezer and start cutting shapes. (Warm dough always sticks to everything.) Additionally after cutting shapes put cookies back on a cookie sheet and freeze again for a minute or two, then put straight in the oven. If your quick you could chill once cut and put in the oven but I'm never that savvy LOL This helps cookies keep from spreading when they're being baked!

          1. I had the same problem with sticking and almost gave up on cutout cookies until I read the freezing after rollout tip. It works great! My biggest problem now is finding people to give cookies to because I definitely don’t need to be eating sugar cookies! 🙂

          2. Everyone keeps says dust the cookie cutter with flour....nope...dust it with powder sugar. Why would you want a flour tasting cookie? Learned that trick from a pastry chef years ago. Also cough must always be chilled, so work in small sections. What you aren't using, keep in the fridge, covered. And don't over handle your dough. The butter in the dough will get too warm and you'll end up with flat and more than likely over done cookies.

          3. I seldom read something I haven't heard before but the chilling of the dough before putting in the oven to keep them from spreading is new for me. sure wish I had seen this like 4 hours ago as I just made sugar cookies and they did indeed spread. I'll have to remember the chilling part. As they spread they tend to lose a lot of detail. thanks.

    2. 4 stars
      Use flour on the cutter and get a thin metal spatula and rub some flour on that as well to get them off the counter.

    3. Try dipping your cutters in four before you cut. It definitely helps keep them from sticking...most of the time. 😉

    4. I roll my cookies between two layers of parchment paper so they don’t stick to the counter or the rolling pin. Make sure you don’t roll them too thin and your cutters really shouldn’t stick to them either. We love roll out cookies at Christmas!

      1. I also use parchment paper to roll out the cookie dough between & I also like to use a sheet of parchment paper to line the baking sheet so the cookies are easy to take off of the pan after they’ve baked. 

    5. Tip: Dip your cutters in a bowl of flour, cocoa powder, or confectioners sugar before cutting your cookies out (depending on what type of cookie you're making) - this keeps fine detail in cutters from holding onto the dough

  3. 5 stars
    Royal icing is such a fun thing to play with! I made some for a youth activity once for cookie decorating. I'll be sending people your way for royal icing awesomeness.

  4. 5 stars
    My friend and I LOVE to make cookies! I've been meaning to try making royal icing so we can decorate the cookies. I'll have to try it with AmeriColor as your colours look amazing!

  5. 5 stars
    I have heard of royal icing but never tried it. This is great, thank you for the step-by-step pictures, that is very helpful. This would be so much fun to do with my daughter, definitely saving this for when she comes home next month:) She has a sweet tooth so I know she will be all over this.

  6. 5 stars
    It's been years since I worked with decorating icing and I admit I need practice. I loved doing it. It was cupcakes for a bake sale and my daughter's grade school. I made violets on the top. They were so cute -- I lost the recipe for the icing so I truly appreciate having a recipe to pin. I'd love to be making cute cookies and cupcakes for the grandsons.

  7. 5 stars
    I have never made icing at home before, and didn't know the difference in royal and buttercream!! This was so informative- I feel so much more cookie smart now 😉 Also these cookies are gorgeous- I'm so impressed!

  8. 5 stars
    What a fantastic tutorial for making royal icing and decorating cookies! I love the polka dots you got on your Easter cookies with the wet-on-wet technique. I haven't tried my hand at cookie decorating in years, and this post is making me want to break out my piping bags and make some sugar cookies for spring!

  9. 5 stars
    Gahhh! These cookies are so pretty and I am in love with these pastels! I've never made nor worked with royal icing before, but I've always found it to make the prettiest cookies. I think I'm just afraid of screwing it up, because I don't bake often. These have me tempted to try, though!

  10. 5 stars
    I have never made royal icing but am mesmerized by the sheer talent of some cookies designers. I can tell from your post, it's not as intimidating as I once thought it was. And those polka dot cookies?! They scream Spring and I need all the reminders of Spring in my life right now as I stare out my window gazing at snow! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  11. 5 stars
    I love the idea of making my own royal icing rather than having to purchase it. Your recipe looks super easy and delicious. Plus, can I just say I love the colors you chose!

  12. I just made some "Captain America" shield cookies and by the next day the colors are starting to bleed into each other. What can I do to prevent this for the next time?

    1. I really don't know what to recommend about this! I haven't had that particular issue happen before! What kind of food coloring are you using?

    2. 5 stars
      Next time your icing needs to be less wet. Also, try to use as little food coloring as you can to achieve your desired color. Color depends over time so if you can, try coloring your icing the day before you need it so you can get away with even less color. Lastly, try to split your decorating over two days if possible. Allowing for longer dry times in between colors that could bleed would help. As far as Cap's shield goes, I would start with the white part of the shield (not including the star) and let it dry completely and at the same time, pipe some stars onto some parchment and let them dry. You can use a template for help if you need to. Then, the next day or at least 6 hours later, pipe in the blue and top the blue with your now dry star (icing transfer) and fill in the rest of the shield with the red.

      1. 5 stars
        A question for Steph. You suggested making the icing ahead of time. How would you recommend storing it until use? In or out of the fridge? How long will it last? I would love for this to be an option!

        Amy, I am excited to try your method. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  13. 5 stars
    I having a problem with my icing. I usually buy it already made up ready to go but I got some of the meringue powder and made some but after a day and half its still pretty wet to touch . It started out stiff and I separated it in fee small containers for different colors but I don't understand what I did wrong . I hope somebody can tell me I have alot of cookies laying here waiting to dry.

    1. Oh dear! That definitely sounds like a problem and they shouldn't take that long to dry at all. I've never had this particular issue happen, but my guess is that there is a measurement mistake that happened somewhere. My only other possible explanation that I can think of is that humidity could be playing a factor or that it's an issue of the food coloring that was used? I'm sorry! I really wish I knew but this is an issue that hasn't come up for me before.

  14. This is the best, most descriptive post I've come across for this type of icing, what you're even doing with it and how to do it so it turns out the way you want!

  15. How about using the eggwhites!? How to loosen or how to thicken? Do you have recipe for royal icing using ehg whites, I can’t find merengue powder please help i need to make cookies this week end and i dont have a idea of making toyal icing, thank you hope to hear from you soon 😉

    1. Yep - just replace the meringue powder and water called for in the recipe with 3 egg whites. Then if you need to thin it out, just add a little water at a time, as explained in the instructions. Good luck! You can do this!

  16. 5 stars
    I was looking for a way to decorate cookies at a workshop with kids and this would be amazing- I’m just worried about drying time and transporting them home. Could you recommend anything to speed up drying time?

    1. Honestly, it's not something I have ever tried. I've heard that maybe you could put them under a heat lamp or food warmer to speed up the process a bit, but I haven't researched it.

    1. Hmm, I've never tried that approach. I would think that small amounts like dots might be okay, but I would wonder about whether it would even be possible to get them into the bag without messing the design up in the first place.

  17. Would this royal icing Harden like normal royal icing? Wondering if it can be used to hold together a gingerbread house?

    1. Yes, the thick consistency would work for holding together a gingerbread house. Just don't thin it out and maybe give some structural support to the gingerbread house while the icing dries.

  18. Good Afternoon! I'm venturing out and making cut-out Sugar Cookies with Royal icing for the holidays, and, hopefully, for gifts to the most very special people !! Can you please tell me which meringue powder you have the best success with and which Meringue Powder tastes the best when made up into Royal Icing?
    Thank you for your assistance and for your recipes !!
    Wish me LUCK !!

    1. Good luck! I have never done a taste comparison with different types of meringue powder but haven't had any problems with the Wilton brand meringue powder that I just get at my local craft store.

  19. 5 stars
    Thank you. I really love all the details! This is the first time I have tried icing and the cookies turned out great (I just need some practice to make them look good).

  20. 5 stars
    Thank you for this! I'm trying to learn how to work with royal icing and this is everything I've been wondering all in one blog post. Perfection!

  21. So very glad to find this site. I have 3 grand daughters ages 7, 9 & 11. They love to help me in the kitchen and this year they are wanting to make cookies and decorate them. The recipes for cookies and royal icing are going to be a welcome part of this venture. Thanks for all the information.

  22. Hi,

    Great post! I never thought of storing the colors of frosting in plastic wrap and inserting into the piping bags. Do you just pull one of the twisted plastic ends through and cut it off all together and then screw on the tip? How far ahead would you say the icing can be made and colored if stored air tight? Thanks!

    1. Yep - just pull the twisted end through and cut it off, then screw on the tip. I wouldn't make it more than a day in advance personally, although I think you could do it and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days.

    1. You can try using the drops but I find that they don't get the same quality of coloring as the more concentrated gels.

  23. I’m working with this recipe. Your ideas are great! I’m suspecting that I can keep the royal icing overnight in the fridge, so that I can take it over to my son & daughter-in-law’s home in the morning for decorating sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies after they bake. Is there any problem with how long in advance that the royal icing is made? Just wondering.

  24. If I substitute egg whites for meringue powder, how many should I use? Will this substitution affect the taste of the icing?

    Thanks!

  25. 5 stars
    Thank you for the awesome recipe and guide Amy! Worked perfectly for my first sugar cookie attempt this holiday season!

  26. Great tutorial on making decorated sugar cookies! Thank you! I've been working on making beautiful cookies for several years and it really does get better with practice. The most helpful tip I found here was wrapping the icing in plastic wrap before placing it in the piping bag. I will try that this morning! I can only imagine how much this will cut down on messy icing seeping out of the top of the bag!

  27. I was so disappointed and frustrated. I was making Valentine's Day cookies for my class. I have taken cake decorating classes and consider myself pretty capable. I made the icing as instructed but ended up with fluffy meringue. I probably added 1/2C of water waiting for it to become more like honey. It never did. After an hour, I went to xxx sugar and water. The consistency was better. I really want to make these cookies. Help!!

  28. 5 stars
    First, I love this post. It had plenty of detail and i cannot wait to try this whole Royal icing thing. Second, quick question, when decorating the cookies and letting then dry over night how do you keep the extra Royal icing left in the piping bags fresh? Well it not harden like the icing on the cookies? How Will I be able to use it the next day? Sorry newbie here!!

    1. I'm glad you find this post so helpful! That's how I was trying to write it because I couldn't figure this stuff out easily when I was first starting too! As long as the royal icing is covered tight - like no air in the bag at all (including the tip, which should be sealed), it won't harden into a lump! Just twist the end completely closed tight up against the icing and seal the tip with a little plastic wrap.

  29. Maria, thank you for the details on chilling the dough to prevent sticking! I make dog treats and finally have my recipes tweaked to where there's little sticking but when you're turning out 5 lbs of treats per batch, even a little eats your time. A friend had suggested chilling the dough but not the details of how long and how.

  30. 5 stars
    Ok, folks. I need your help and expertise! I bake and sell dog treats and recently have tried my hand at decorating some. I've vastly improved - my last attempt did not look grainy after several days and fall off at a touch. Instead of working in different colored icing I used a base white and painted the treats with gel color and vanilla extract. Score. BUT... if I snap the treat in half for my dogs the icing shatters like glass. I've had issues with the icing not drying even 24 hours later so, per another site, I dried them in the dehydrator @ 95 degrees, with the door off. I had to leave the house, so, they ended up drying for 6 hours. Did I overdo it? Another thought, these treats are made with whole wheat dough. Could that be an issue? They're dehydrated, but I see other people icing treats so that shouldn't be the problem. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

  31. What a great post!

    Had a few questions:
    once decorated and ready to dry... what do you store it in to dry at room temperature?

    How many days can you make this in advance before serving? For example if I made the cookies and icing and decorated on Tuesday, would they be good for Friday?

    1. You need to leave these out to dry. I also set the decorated cookies back onto baking sheets so I can move them over to a stove or countertop so I have free space. And these kind of decorated sugar cookies hold up well for at least 5 days or so, so yes, you would be totally fine to make them on Tuesday and serve on Friday.

  32. After reading comments I was nervous because it didn’t seem very many had actually tried it. I bake custom cakes all the time but I’m too shaken for detailed piping. I’ve attempted royal frosting 2 other times. I can say this recipe is full proof. Measurements are spot on. I did add a bit more flavoring, but other than that. It was perfect. Your tips were helpful. If you have any trouble with this recipe then you had to miss measure or miss a step. They turned out perfect minus the fact I need a bit more practice. Ben my 8 year old could use it with no problems. Thanks for the recipe!

  33. Everyone always only shows 1 set of bags. Do you have multiple bags of same color? I'm so scared to even attempt this. I've made several dozen cookies and never decorated them because of intimidation

    1. I completely understand how you feel! It took me ages to try royal icing because I was intimidated by it too! I typically only have one bag of each color, but I suppose that would depend on how many colors you are using and what your design will be.

  34. I will looking forward to using your suggestions,thank you for your honesty. This will be my first attempt cookie coloring.

  35. You can also dip the cookie cutters into some coconut oil (melted) to keep from sticking to the dough (or counter-I always flour my surface before putting dough down of any kind). Oil also works well for your hands to keep dough from sticking to your hands! 

    1. Sorry - they were in the post but not in the recipe card itself. I updated the card to include instructions for how to substitute egg whites in the Notes section.

  36. I never thought that making cookies would be this simple. I really want to go to the kitchen right now, feeling really excited to try. Thank you for sharing!

  37. I love the use of Saran wrap for the frosting I will try that. When I cut-out cookies, I roll them out on aluminum foil and then just transfer the foil to the cookie sheet. You should leave a little bit of space between them when you cut them out, then I just shift them a little to add more space between them, but the dough should be cool. I always refrigerate my dough before rolling them out.

  38. Totally love this recipe. I used pepermint oil instead of vanilla for my Christmas cookies and they were a huge hit! I went a little too heavy on oil not realizing the potency but again, people loved them.

  39. I'm sure you put a time limit for how long the R/Icing is good for but I cant find it. Also can it be kept in the refrigerator or just left out? It is only going to be used for decorating a gingerbread house (not to be eaten). And can it be frozen to use at a later time? I have 3 G/B houses & a santa & sleigh w/reindeer to do as well with a 21/2 year old child so pretty sure they wont all be done at the same time. LoL
    Thank you for any & all suggestions

    1. If you use the meringue powder, you can store it at room temperature for up to 3 days. Just keep it covered tightly with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out. If you use actual eggs though, be sure to keep it in the fridge, again for up to 3 days. I have never tried freezing royal icing before but I did a little research and it looks like it would work! Just thaw in the fridge and then let it sit out on the counter for 30 minutes before using!