How to Make Royal Icing without Meringue Powder or Eggs

Meringue powder isn’t necessarily something you keep on hand, and you can’t always pick it up at your local grocery store.

Can you make royal icing without meringue powder? The short answer – yes! You can use egg whites instead.

Decorating cakes and cookies is an enjoyable hobby, and it’s fun to create intricate designs for special occasions.

With royal icing at your disposal, you can do almost anything from precise lettering to adorable faces.

Royal icing is generally easy to make and only requires a few ingredients, but what if you’re missing one of those key pieces?

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a few tips on how to make royal icing without meringue powder.

Royal Icing Recipes

Meringue powder gives royal icing some elasticity, making it easier to work with. Plus, it helps the icing dry faster and remain smooth.

Thankfully, you can make royal icing without meringue powder by substituting pasteurized egg whites.

What in the world are pasteurized eggs? Pasteurized eggs are eggs that have been heated in their shells to destroy bacteria and viruses without cooking them all the way through.

You can find pasteurized eggs at your grocery store with the other eggs. Just look for the label indicating pasteurization.

Now that you know what pasteurized egg whites are, let’s get started with our royal icing!

royal icing recipe

Making Royal Icing Without Meringue Powder

Yield: 30 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

You only need three ingredients to make royal icing without meringue powder.


  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh is better)


    I'm going to show you the best royal icing recipe without meringue powder required.

    1. Use your electric mixer with the paddle attachment. For the best results, it's a good idea to sift the powdered sugar, then add the pasteurized egg whites and lemon juice.
    2. Mix on low until it looks uniform with a glossy sheen. Kick up your speed to medium for around five minutes. Note that you may have to bump it up to a medium-high setting for a few more minutes.
    3. Your royal icing is ready when you notice stiff peaks forming. Shake the bowl a bit to make sure the peaks stay put before declaring victory.
    4. Store your icing in containers covered with plastic wrap. Leaving the icing uncovered can result in a crusty layer that ruins the batch.

    This easy royal icing recipe without meringue powder required. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 61Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g

What if you want to make royal icing without egg whites or meringue powder? No worries! We’ve got you covered on that front as well.

This recipe yields royal icing without eggs or meringue powder, and it still makes gorgeous, sugary decorations!

Again, the electric mixer is preferable for this recipe because it quickly delivers the smoothest, most uniform icing.

royal icing recipe 2

Making Royal Icing Without Meringue Powder or Eggs

Yield: 25 servings
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

This royal icing recipe calls for a few more ingredients but no eggs or meringue powder.


  • 6 cups of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup of light corn syrup (if you use dark corn syrup, it will tint your icing)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
  • A pinch of salt to taste (optional)


    1. Combine the powdered sugar, corn syrup, extract, and salt until you get a smooth, silky icing.
    2. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, to thin the icing to desired consistency. Note that it's easier to thin icing than to thicken it again, so go easy with the milk.


You may want to use thicker icing to cover a cookie and slightly thinner icing for piping and lettering.

It's also a good idea to use thicker frosting to outline, let it dry a little, and then fill in with a slightly thinner consistency.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 25 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 29gProtein: 0g

This recipe enables you to make royal icing for sugar cookies without meringue powder. Do it yourself now!

You didn’t think we’d skip over the original royal icing recipe with meringue powder, did you?

If you prefer to take the classic route, this is the tried and true method.

Stick with your electric mixer for this version.

royal icing recipe 3

Making Royal Icing with Meringue Powder

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

The easiest way to make royal icing with meringue powder.


  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons warm water


    1. Combine the ingredients and beat on low until you notice peaks forming. It should take no more than ten to 10 to 15 minutes.
    2. It's important to let air bubbles escape before using the icing. You can either let the royal icing aside for at least 15 minutes or tap the bowl several times to force the air up. Gently stir the icing to make sure you release all of the air.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 24gProtein: 0g

Finding the Proper Consistency

Using royal icing is all about consistency, so let’s do a brief rehash of how to attain the thickness or thinness you desire.

  • For layering, like three-dimensional decorations, use less water. With stiffer icing, you need to stick with thicker tips in your decorator bags.
  • Outlining requires a medium, toothpaste-like consistency. To achieve this thickness, add about ⅛ teaspoon of warm water to each cup of icing and gently blend it with a spatula.
  • Filling or flooding calls for thinner icing that pools and spreads within an outline. Add about one teaspoon of water for every cup of icing used. Slowly stir the water in with a spatula. You may need to test the consistency before using it to decorate.

Helpful Tips Getting the Most Out of Your Royal Icing

Royal icing helps you create gorgeous desserts, but it’s a bit finicky at times. Here are some tips and tricks to make your life easier.

  • Grease is the enemy of royal icing. Make sure that every utensil and tool you use is completely grease-free.
  • Overbeating and vigorous mixing create air bubbles in royal icing, making it unusable.
  • When you aren’t using the icing, try covering it with a warm, damp clean cloth or towel.
  • Setting your finished goodies in front of a fan can help them dry faster.

You can store unused royal icing for up to two weeks as long as you put it in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature.

When you’re ready to use it, gently mix it to get the desired consistency.

FAQs When Making Royal Icing

What can you use in place of meringue powder?

You can use egg whites to make royal icing when meringue powder is not available. Or you can find all the available meringue powder substitutes here.

Can I use cream of tartar instead of meringue powder for royal icing?

No, you can’t! Cream of tartar is a stabilizer that is often used to make meringue to keep the eggs from collapsing.

They are different in terms of functionality and composition

How can I thicken royal icing without meringue?

I prefer adding sifted powdered sugar to make the royal icing thick. BTW, you’d better not add too much water to avoid this problem.

How do you make royal icing shiny?

You can use cold water and milk interchangeably, both of them will give you a high shine appearance. And both will harden once set.

How do you fix sticky royal icing?

Thinning icing with too much water will make it sticky. In this case, you can stir in some sifted powdered sugar to recover.

Can I make royal icing without meringue powder or corn syrup?

Yes you can! You can replace meringue powder with egg whites. As for the corn syrup, it can just add shine and a more fluid consistency to your royal icing. So it’s not necessary.

Final Thoughts

While many people prefer to use meringue powder, it’s possible to successfully make royal icing without meringue powder.

You may need to experiment with consistency, and it may taste a bit different, but royal icing is mainly about the presentation!

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