Small Batch Royal Icing

My very favorite Gingerbread House Icing – the perfect small batch Royal Icing recipe for decorating cookies or holding gingerbread houses together!

I have already given you my Best Soft Cut Out Cookie recipe and my preferred Buttercream recipe. Since I get lots of requests for my Royal Icing recipe I thought I would confess: I am somewhat of a Royal Icing newbie. I still feel awkward and unsure when I’m making it. Buttercream and I are best friends but Royal Icing is more like a Facebook acquaintance. 

I call this recipe “Small Batch Royal Icing” because I often do not have use for a ton of Royal Icing so I make just enough to fill 2 large Wilton decorating bottles. But since I refer to it semi-often here I thought I should let you know my preferred method.

My very favorite Gingerbread House Icing Recipe

Use royal icing when you want a smooth surface that dries hard. This is also the frosting that is used to hold gingerbread houses together- it dries like glue. However if you flavor it correctly (lemon, almond, or vanilla, etc.) it really can taste good so don’t be afraid to try it. I make mine with meringue powder but some people use egg whites. (I am not listing a RI recipe using egg whites here because I have never made it that way.) I always make WAY too much royal icing so this small batch is the solution for me.

Small Batch Royal Icing Recipe

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Yield: 2 cups frosting

Prep Time:10 minutes

Total Time:10 minutes

This icing dries very stiff and can be used for gingerbread houses and decorated cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 Cup warm water (plus more for thinning to flood consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla or almond extract

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine powdered sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Add the water and extract slowly. Beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (about 5-7 minutes).

Notes:

  • This makes a very stiff icing that will harden as it dries. You will use this to outline your cookies (with a squeeze bottle or piping bag). Using the same batch of icing, add drops of water to thin the icing to flood consistency and fill in your cookie.
  • I always make WAY too much royal icing so this is the solution for me. If you need a large batch I would suggest bumping the powdered sugar up to 4 cups, the meringue powder to 3 Tablespoons, and the water to just under 1/2 cup. Flavor to your taste.