How to Make the Best Recipe for Royal Icing Sugar Cookies!

The tantalizing smell of freshly baked sugar cookies wafting through your house is pure delight. Whether it's for the holidays or just a regular Tuesday, there's no wrong time to whip up a batch of these classic treats. But to create that perfect sugar cookie, the kind that's beautifully golden with just the right amount of sweetness and crunch, you need more than just a recipe. You need an easy master guide. That's exactly what we'll provide here: The ultimate sugar cookie baking guide!

January 24, 2024


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If you're ready to take your sugar cookie experience to the next level, consider exploring topics like how to decorate cookies with royal icing like a pro, the age-old debate of royal icing vs buttercream, a sugar cookie recipe for decorating, or even a sugar cookie recipe without butter or without vanilla extract. Experiment with sugar cookie toppings, master the art of decorating cookies like a pro, and discover the mysteries of how long royal icing takes to dry. Don't forget to explore a sugar cookie recipe without baking powder and a royal icing recipe tailored for sugar cookies. Your sugar cookie adventure is about to become even more enchanting! 

And don’t worry, we will provide you with the best royal icing sugar cookie recipe. 

Let’s get started! 

The Basics of Baking Sugar Cookies, And The Best Royal Icing Recipe for Sugar Cookies 

First things first, let's lay the groundwork with some fundamental principles. Baking sugar cookies may seem as easy as pie, but adhering to these basic rules can elevate your cookies from good to AMAZINGGG. Rule number one: Always have your oven toasty and ready by preheating it. Your cookies will thank you for it. Precision is key in baking; be sure to measure your ingredients meticulously - your measuring cups and spoons will be your best friends. Also, quality matters when it comes to ingredients. Don't skimp on them. Your cookies are worth it! One more thing: let your dough chill out in the fridge before rolling it out. This helps you handle the dough better and keeps your cookies from becoming sugar pancakes in the oven. Our royal icing recipe is tailored for sugar cookies, so follow the instructions, remember these basics, and you're setting yourself up for sugar cookie success! 

Selecting the Right Ingredients

Let's talk about ingredients, the lifeblood of any sugar cookie recipe. As is true in all baking, the kind of ingredients you use can truly make or break your end result. In the case of sugar cookies, the beauty truly lies in their unpretentious simplicity, which also underscores the importance of using high-quality ingredients. 

Picking the right ingredients is half the battle won, setting the stage for a batch of sugar cookies that are bound to make your taste buds dance with joy. So choose wisely, bake passionately, and most importantly, savor the delightful journey!

How to Decorate Cookies with Royal Icing Like a Pro

To decorate cookies with royal icing, start by outlining the cookie's shape with a thin border. Once dry, flood the interior with a slightly thinner icing for a smooth finish. Use a toothpick or small tool for precise detailing. Experiment with colors and have fun adding your creative touch to each cookie. Allow the icing to set completely before enjoying your beautifully decorated treats!

The Secret to the Perfect Sugar Cookie Dough! 

Mastering the art of sugar cookie dough and cookie decorations is all about finding harmony between your ingredients. Begin your dough expedition by blending your butter and sugar until you're greeted with a delightful mixture that's airy and fluffy - the perfect cloud-like texture. Next, tenderly mix in your eggs and genuine vanilla extract, allowing the beautiful aroma to seep into the mixture. Following this, it's time to gradually introduce your dry ingredients to the party. The dough you're looking for is smooth and soft, yet not clingy or sticky. The secret weapon in your dough-creating arsenal? Chilling. An essential step, chilling the dough not only makes it more manageable when it's time to roll, but it also keeps our beloved cookies from morphing into sugar puddles in the oven. Achieving the perfect dough is indeed a delicate dance, but with these steps, you'll be twirling towards the most heavenly sugar cookies in no time!

The Art of Rolling and Cutting Sugar Cookies

Roll up your sleeves, it's time to bring out your inner sculptor! After your dough has been adequately chilled, lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. This is a surefire way to keep your dough from sticking and leaving you in a sticky situation, pun intended. When rolling out your dough, target that special sugar cookie thickness of approximately 1/4 inch. This is the sweet spot that strikes a balance between a satisfying crunch around the edges and a melt-in-your-mouth soft center.

But the real magic happens when you brandish your favorite cookie cutters. This is where your sugar cookies begin to take form, quite literally. Transform your dough into an array of whimsical shapes that spark joy. Whether it's classic circles, dainty hearts, or festive Christmas trees, let your imagination run wild. This is a delightful moment, especially when shared with loved ones, that will surely evoke laughter and create fond memories.

One tip for the intrepid baker: work quickly and efficiently during this step. Remember, your dough prefers the chill of the fridge to the warmth of your kitchen. If it starts to soften, don't hesitate to pop it back in the fridge for a quick chill session. This will ensure that your cookies hold their shape while baking. So grab that rolling pin, let your cookie cutters take center stage, and shape your way to sugar cookie perfection!

Baking and Cooling Your Sugar Cookies

Ready to fill your home with the intoxicating aroma of baking sugar cookies? Let's get that oven humming! Slide your sugar cookie creations into your already-preheated oven and keep a watchful eye as they bake. As soon as those edges start hinting at a beautiful golden hue, it's time to remove them from the oven. Overbaking is a no-no as these delightful cookies will continue to solidify during the cooling process. Once out of the oven, patience is key. Resist the urge to immediately transfer the cookies. Let them catch their breath on the baking sheet for a few minutes.

This mini timeout enables your cookies to firm up just enough to ensure they don't crumble during the transfer. When the time is right, gently move your cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Remember, speed is not of the essence here. Rushing this step could lead to breakage and let's be honest, nobody likes a broken cookie! So let them cool, be patient and soon you'll be rewarded with perfectly baked and cooled sugar cookies ready to be decorated to your heart's content.

Decorating Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing     

Just one word of caution: ensure your cookies are stone cold before embarking on this decorating journey. Icing has a notorious reputation for running off warm cookies faster than a melting ice cream cone on a hot summer's day. So keep it cool, let your imagination soar, and watch as your sugar cookies transform into edible works of art!

How Long Does Royal Icing Take to Dry?

Usually, six to eight hours. At least! 

Tips for Storing and Sharing Your Sugar Cookies

Once your sugar cookies have transformed from doughy disks to artistic masterpieces, it's time to think about storage and sharing. If you're not gobbling them all up right away, you'll want to ensure their freshness for as long as possible. Enter the trusty airtight container. Kept at room temperature, your sugar cookie wonders will maintain their delightful texture and taste for up to a week. Although, given their irresistible nature, it's unlikely they'll be hanging around for that long!

And let's not forget about the joy of sharing these confectionery delights. Sugar cookies have a well-earned reputation for being the perfect edible gift, and there are so many brilliant royal icing cookie ideas online. Whether you're attending a party or just want to brighten someone's day, these treats are a surefire hit. Be sure to package them carefully to avoid any breakage en route to their new home. After all, these are not just cookies; they're lovingly crafted works of art!

Elevate your sugar cookies with a smooth and glossy royal icing. Our easy royal icing cookies recipe for beginners guarantees a perfect finish that's as beautiful as it is delicious. It has 3 ingredients, and takes exactly 10 minutes to make. 

The best cookie icing recipe is SOooo easy to make, and makes all the difference. It’s a butter-free option, and honestly, just the best Icing to decorate your cookies. We won’t tell anyone you're eating it like that from the fridge, we promise. 

Here's The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe for Decorating



Moment of Truth! How Do You Make Cookie Icing?

Here Comes the Best Part. 

Our Best, Most Easy Royal Icing recipe for Sugar Cookies!

Let's uncover the magic that breathes life into your sugar cookies. What enhances this experience? The elegance of simplicity within our carefully chosen ingredients.

Crafting the perfect icing becomes a joyous venture with our wonderfully simple recipe featuring just three ingredients: water, meringue powder, and powdered sugar. This uncomplicated trio not only promises a smooth, glossy finish but also ensures a hassle-free adventure in your baking endeavors.

Water: The Essential Elixir

In our icing recipe, water acts as the binding force. A mere touch is all you need to attain the right consistency, silently playing the role of an unsung hero that unites the other ingredients, making your icing easy to spread and a pleasure to work with.

Meringue Powder: A Baking Essential

Enter meringue powder, a versatile ingredient and the secret weapon in our icing arsenal. Its addition brings stability to the mixture, allowing your icing to set beautifully. With easy incorporation, even beginners can achieve a professional-looking finish.

Powdered Sugar: The Sweet Finale

Powdered sugar, the sweet kiss that concludes our icing masterpiece. Its fine texture ensures a lump-free, smooth mixture. Beyond sweetness, powdered sugar plays a crucial role, giving your icing that delightful glossy sheen that makes your sugar cookies truly irresistible.

No Baking Powder, No Vanilla Extract, No Butter Sugar Cookies Icing Recipe 

A keen eye may notice the absence of baking powder and vanilla extract in our icing recipe. Forget about excluding egg whites because there are no eggs in our royal icing either. Deliberate simplicity is our focus, aiming for a result that complements the natural sweetness of your sugar cookies without unnecessary additives.

Whether you're a seasoned baker or just starting your culinary journey, our easy-peasy icing recipe guarantees success. With minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, decorating your sugar cookies becomes an enjoyable journey. So, let your creativity flow, and watch as your cookies transform into edible masterpieces with this effortlessly simple icing.

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Mix time: 5 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes 

Yields enough icing for 2 dozen cookies. 


½ cup room temperature water

½ cup meringue powder 

2-pound bag powdered sugar 


  1. In the mixing bowl, whisk (by hand) water and meringue powder until foamy.
  2. Attach bowl to mixer set-up with paddle attachment. 


  1. Add half of the powdered sugar to the bowl with the water, and attach the paddle attachment, mix on speed 2-3 until sugar is combined. Mixture should look like a very loose glaze in an off-white color. 
  2. Add remaining powdered sugar, and very small amounts of water if too dry, until icing is bright white and no signs of clumps of powdered sugar. 
  3. Once all sugar has been added, turn the mixer onto 3-4 speed, and mix for two minutes. 
  4. Do not exceed 8 minutes of mixing. You will risk overmixing. 
  5. Final icing should be bright white, stiff and shiny. 
  6. Transfer icing from mixing bowl to large container with a lid. 

After you have our wonderful recipe, the main question will be: how to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing? That’s completely up to you, but the most important thing is, don’t forget to use your imagination. The sky's the limit. Have fun! 

Here are some common FAQs to ensure you're well-prepared for your baking journey. From choosing icing to tweaking recipes, we've got you covered.

Royal Icing vs. Buttercream?

Q: What's the difference between royal icing and buttercream for decorating sugar cookies?

A: Royal icing is a smooth, hard-drying icing perfect for detailed designs, while buttercream is softer and creamier, offering a different texture and taste.

Is There a Sugar Cookie Recipe Without Butter?

Q: Can I make sugar cookies without using butter in the recipe?

A: Yes, you can substitute other fats like margarine or shortening for butter in a sugar cookie recipe, but keep in mind it may affect the flavor and texture.

Is It Possible to Make a Sugar Cookie Recipe Without Vanilla Extract?

Q: Can I omit vanilla extract in a sugar cookie recipe?

A: Yes, you can skip vanilla extract if needed. While vanilla adds flavor, you can experiment with other extracts or flavors like almond or citrus for variation.

How to Get Ideas for Sugar Cookie Toppings?

Q: Where can I find inspiration for decorating sugar cookies?

A: Explore ideas on social media platforms, baking blogs, or cookie decorating books. Nature, holidays, and personal creativity are excellent sources of inspiration.

Sugar Cookie Recipe Without Baking Powder?

Q: Can I make sugar cookies without using baking powder?

A: Yes, you can use alternatives like baking soda or a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda. Adjust the quantities accordingly for leavening.

Do I need icing to decorate cookies?

While not mandatory, icing is a popular choice for decorating cookies. It offers a versatile medium to add colors, intricate designs, and a touch of sweetness. However, alternative decorations like sprinkles or melted chocolate can also be used based on personal preference and desired aesthetics.


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