Tuesday, July 16, 2013

OuiSugar Royal Icing Recipe

When I need Oodles of Poodles or a Kennel of Collies, my go-to
cookie cutters is Dog Set #1 from my Martha by Mail collection!
There are still quite a few Martha by Mail cookie cutter sets I'm desperate
to find to complete my collection but every set I already own is cherished!
I released the pooches from the safety of my baking pantry to create cookies
for one of the most ardent dog lovers I know. In fact, since she often spends her
weekends giving goats mani-pedi's at a friend's farm, this person also qualifies
as the biggest animal-lover I know! Last year for her birthday, I attempted this
dog cake. But if you read that post, then you already know it was an epic fail!
So for my friend's birthday confection this year...
I'm sticking with something I know... Cookies!
There's a cake too but we'll get to that a little later. For now, I want to share
with you something I get asked about all the time... My royal icing recipe!
If you've ever tried to work with royal icing you may know that it can be a bit
fussy. And, you may also know that following some of the recipes out there
can lead to plenty of frustration and lots and lots of wasted ingredients...
So let's talk about how to achieve royal icing worthy of our cookies!
First of all, do not depend on a box or bag of powdered sugar to actually
be a pound (or two pounds) of sugar. I've found a two pound bag of sugar
can weigh almost a quarter pound more! Also, sifting powdered sugar is
not optional. To achieve smooth royal icing, sifting is absolutely essential!
My recipe does not depend on pound measurements at all... To
create perfect royal icing, I measure my powdered sugar in cups!
In my opinion, whether you use meringue powder or egg whites, royal icing
leaves a lot to be desired in terms of taste. Personally, I believe the culprit
to be the sugar. I used to add extracts to flavor my royal icing; however, I've
found that fresh lemon juice is the only way to achieve a truly delicious icing!
If you have your heart set on a vanilla or almond flavored royal icing you can still
add those extracts (as long as they are clear/colorless) but do yourself a favor and
keep the lemon juice! It adds a little zip and a clean-tasting finish to royal icing!
Make sure you use a press with strainer to ensure
no seeds or bits of pulp escape into your icing!
For my recipe, I use 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 9 tablespoons
of warm/hot water and I never convert the tablespoons into cups!
I confess to being raw-egg phobic when it comes to using them in recipes that
require no cooking... Therefore, I rely on meringue powder for my royal icing!
Measure out seven tables spoons of meringue powder into
eight cups of sifted powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer...
Whisk the powdered sugar and meringue powder to incorporate and then
add 9 tablespoons of warm/hot water and 3 tablespoons of fresh-squeed
lemon juice. I use warm/hot water because I believe it helps to dissolve the
sugar better, for a creamier/smoother result. I also recommend you mix your
icing on medium speed and only until it comes together and begins to shine...
Those other recipes that instruct to mix on high speed for 10-12 minutes only
produce dry, brittle and broken royal icing. Trust me... 4-5 minutes is all you need!
After it is mixed, I immediately transfer my icing to quart-size
containers. These containers make it easier to keep my icing
air-tight because air is the enemy of royal icing before it's used!
My recipe yields 1.25 quarts of icing, which is plenty to ice two dozen
5-inch cookies. Remember this... It is always better to have too much
icing than too little. I find that when I'm worried about whether or
not I have enough icing, my decorating becomes less creative. When
there's plenty of icing to experiment with more colors/designs... I do!
After loading my icing into containers, I tap the bottom of them on the
counter to remove air pockets and settle the icing. Then, I press plastic
wrap directly onto the surface of the icing and seal it all up with a lid!
How you store your royal icing is just as important as the recipe you
use. I also do my best not to tint more icing than I need because after
it is tinted, royal icing is almost impossible to keep for more than a
few hours. To store not-tinted icing overnight, I first make sure it is
completely covered with plastic wrap, the lid is on tight and then I
turn the container up-side-down and place it into the refrigerator!
Refrigerated royal icing will keep up to two days. I don't find it
necessary to let my icing come to room temperature before using
it but I always give it a few stirs with a spoon to ensure there's no
separation of the sugar and liquid... And, to get it moving again!
Remember too that temperature and humidity play a big
part in how royal icing behaves. I find that as long as I am
comfortable playing in my kitchen my royal icing will be too!
Before I publish my royal icing recipe for
you I want to leave you with this tip...
Seriously though... When I need only a tiny bit of icing to
complete a cookie, I avoid messing up a clean bottle or
using another decorating bag by loading just the tip!
After the tip is filled, I attach it to one of my decorating bottles...
And, go to work to...
Finish my cookie! After I'm finished, all I have to clean is
the tip and bottle coupler. If a little icing gets on the rim of
the bottle, I just wipe it clean with a damp paper towel!
If you would like to give my royal icing a try to achieve
decorating results like the ones I'm about to share with you...
Grab a pen and write this down!
Measure 8 Cups of sifted Powdered Sugar
into the bowl of your stand mixer...
Add to the sugar, 7 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
Whisk the sugar and meringue powder gently to incorporate...
Add 9 Tablespoons of warm/hot water to this mixture...
Add 3 Tablespoons of fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice...
And, mix on medium speed, using the paddle attachment for your mixer...
Mix 4-5 minutes or just until your icing comes together and begins to shine!
You're looking for a pearly, glossy shine and...
The consistency of smooth peanut butter or toothpaste!
Transfer your icing to quart-sized containers
If you don't have them, a bowl is fine
Cover by pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface of your icing...
Seal with a lid...
Or another piece of plastic wrap if covering a bowl
Until ready for use!
Remember, I've put together a comprehensive cookie decorating
kit that includes everything you need to decorate cookies like I do... The
first time and every time! Also, my recipes and all of my decorating tips
have been compiled into a 36-page, illustrated guide you can get here! 


  1. The marbled dough makes gorgeous dogs! I can't wait to try mixing the two doughs myself. It's just been too darned hot here to inspire me into the kitchen...not even to make bread!
    I have to confess I'm not a royal icing fan. I think the key is the fresh lemon, an not the bottled stuff. I think that's where I goofed when I made this before.
    Thanks for the recipe; I will try it again! I think the pink poodles are my favorite. :)

    1. I agree, Nancy! Can you imagine bears?! Sooo cute! xo

  2. Oh me oh my ohhhhh

    Janet, you are a wonderment of fabulosityness (they are words, I made them up!). These cookies are amazing. I have been waiting and waitng to see what the dog bones were going to go with, and I have to say that the wait was more than worth it.

    I always add a bit of lemon juice to my royal icing too. You can make a great drippy icing for a cake with icing sugar and lemon juice too.

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful is all I can say.

  3. FInally, that much-needed Royal Icing Recipe!!! I'm going to try it today and let you know how it turns out. I can't wait to try it on some baked cookies I happen to have.

    With your clear instructions and tips I just know I'm going to have success with it!!!!!

    Love the oodles of poodles and the rest of the pooches!



  4. Hi Janet. I cannot tell you how many times I have attempted to make royal icing. I have tried so many recipes, but for some reason, my icing never dries completely. It is always tacky. I don't know what I do wrong. I don't think that I use too much water. I have followed Bake at 350's step by step instructions, but it never works for me. Do you have any suggestions?


  5. Hi there, Wendy!

    I am so sorry to hear that you've had trouble achieving good results with royal icing; however, I promise it's possible! :)

    Do give my recipe a go... I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised by the taste and the way the icing comes together and dries. That being said... In terms of your icing's inability to dry - There are two possible reasons... First, your environment could be too warm and/or humid. You should never attempt to bake (for your own comfort!), or work with royal icing if the temperature in your home/kitchen is above 70'ish degrees. Second, if you water down your royal icing too far it will never dry. Be careful to add water just a few drops at a time and STOP when your icing settles back into the bowl (after being drizzled with a spoon) after 10-12 seconds.

    If your icing settles back quicker than a 10-12 second count, you've gone too far with too much water - and again, your icing will never dry to that hard candy-like surface we all look for. I wrote a post where there's a photo of my flood icing being poured into a squeeze bottle - if you'd like to see it, please go here:


    I often describe the consistency as Elmer's Glue...

    My icing dries to wear I can touch it and not ruin it in about an hour to two hours HOWEVER, that does not mean I can bag them or even attempt to write on the surface - Although I have bagged cookies after 6-8 hours to meet certain deadlines, I like to wait until they cookies have dried over night. Now for cookies covered with an edible icing logo/sheet, you're looking at a 2 days drying time - And, depending on the size of your cookie and depth of the icing, it could even take 3 days because the icing image prevents air from drying the icing as quickly - it just takes time.

    I know a baker that runs a fan over her cookies to achieve a faster drying time - if you must bake when it's hot outside and your inside temp is at or above 70 degrees, I strongly suggest you utilize a fan to keep the air moving and to ensure your cookies dry. I hope this helps you!

    Please do try my recipe, make sure your temp and humidity isn't too high and please do let me know if you have additional questions. I am SO happy to help you. My e-mail address is: jcbridge@aol.com

    Always my best!


  6. Nancy, Amy and David - Thank you for your kind words! xo

  7. Thanks Janet! I am going to try your recipe. I just moved to San Diego from Portland. Maybe the difference in the environments will help:)


  8. How long does the royal icing keep after you make it?

  9. Thank you, Janet for sharing your technique for royal icing, and sharing photos of the adorable doggies! I have a couple of questions: do you separate your icing into "piping" icing and "flowing" or "fill-in" icing? I heard something like the 8 or 10 second drip test, so if the drip of the icing disappears in the bowl of icing within 8 seconds it is for filling. If the icing disappears in 10 seconds, it is for piping outlines. Also, do you replace the 3T bsp of fresh lemon juice with 3 TBSP of vanilla or almond extract?


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