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Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Elizabeth Heiskell
Nathan Congleton/TODAY
Prep Time:
10 mins
30 cookies

Chef notes

A lovely cookie, personalized with royal icing, is a detail your guests won't soon forget.

Technique tip: I won't lie, this recipe takes practice and it's not as easy as it looks. I suggest trying this process only after you have placed an order for them with your local bakery.

Use less water for a stiff icing that's perfect for attaching cookies to cake stands. Use more water for thinner icing suitable for piping delicate designs on cookies.


  • 1 16-ounce package powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder, such as Wilton
  • 6-8 tablespoons warm water
  • dozen 3-inch sugar cookies


Beat the powdered sugar, meringue powder and 6 tablespoons of the water with an electric mixer at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add up to 2 tablespoons additional water, 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe desired design onto cookies. Let stand until the icing hardens.