Two Ingredient Royal Icing – Perfect for Decorating Cookies!

Two ingredient royal icing is truly two simple ingredients and perfect for decorating cookies. Sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread houses, any type of cookie you want to dress up! It’s smooth, velvety, versatile and so very easy to make. It’s simply egg whites (make sure they’re pasteurized if you’re not comfortable using raw eggs) and powdered sugar. That’s it! Add some flavoring if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Sugary sweetness is all you need to complement your delicious cookies! 

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Royal icing decorated sugar cookies

Egg whites cause this icing to dry hard, allowing many different techniques to be used to make beautiful and fun designs. Consistency of the icing plays a large part in the look you want to achieve as well. Three basic consistencies are used to decorate. Flood, medium consistency (outline) and decorative. 

Royal icing quote

I find my recipe usually gives me the right consistency for flooding. The one texture I use most often. I then add powdered sugar, as needed, to make it thicker if I need to, or thinner by adding a bit of water.

Royal Icing Consistencies

Flood Icing – this is thin enough to fill your outline and become smooth on its own creating the flawless, smooth flat finish. A good rule of thumb is if a spoon is drug through it, it will take 12-14 seconds to become smooth again. My recipe isn’t fool proof, because all eggs are different, but it does usually work out the first time around. If not, don’t freak out, play around with it until the correct consistency is achieved. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water and if it’s too thin, add a little powdered sugar. It does take practice, but you’ll find your groove and consistency you like to work with. It definitely needs to be thick enough so it won’t spill over the edge of the cookie, but thin enough to spread and become smooth.  I like to use this for both outline and fill, myself.

Flooding a cookie with royal icing.
Icing a cookie with royal icing.
Decorating a cookie with royal icing
Decorating a cookie with royal icing

Medium consistency– or outline, just add 1/4 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar to the flood icing recipe. Don’t add too much at once though. Just enough until the icing holds its shape, but slightly fills out. This is used to pipe the borders before flooding the cookie with icing or to create softer detail work that doesn’t require a very stiff icing.

Decorating a cookie with royal icing

Decorative – this is used for adding details. It holds its shape and is the thickest and densest of the three. Use it for piping intricate details, borders or making gorgeous flowers or other figures. Pipe onto parchment paper, let it dry completely and peel off to make cute cake or cupcake adornments. It is also spreadable, but will not give a smooth look. It looks and acts more like buttercream. I make this by adding about 3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugar to my flood icing. 

Royal icing rosettes

Royal icing can be quite finicky, but practice, practice, practice and you’ll soon figure out what works best for you. It does make beautiful, delicious cookies for any occasion! 


Sugar cookies decorated with royal icing

Let’s Make Royal Icing

In a stand mixer or hand mixer attached with a whisk, add the egg whites and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until it comes together. It will be yellowish and opaque at this point. It’s not finished yet, so turn up your mixer to medium high speed for about 3-5 minutes, whipping it until it’s fuller in body and completely white. It will take on a thicker, fluffier texture and be completely smooth and velvety. That’s all it takes! Two ingredients and a few minutes and you’ve got gorgeous royal icing.

5 from 2 votes

Two Ingredient Royal Icing

Perfect icing to decorate any cookie with! 

Course Dessert
Keyword Royal Icing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 3 Each Egg whites Large eggs
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar


  1. 1. Put egg whites and powdered sugar in a bowl and whisk on low speed until just incorporated. 

    2. Once combined, bring mixer speed to medium high and mix for 3-5 minutes until smooth, thick, glossy and completely white in color. 

    Note: add powdered sugar or water, as needed, to achieve proper flooding consistency. 

    – Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar to make medium consistency icing. 

    – Add 3/4 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar to make decorating icing. 

    – Make sure to add powdered sugar a little at a time mixing well after each addition. 

Here are other fabulous icing recipes perfect for cookies, cakes, brownies or just to snack on!!!

Let me know how your cookies turn out and happy decorating!

Here are some great tools below I used to make the most perfect cookies!

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Disposable Piping Bags

Piping Tips



You can’t be a Smart Cookie if you have a Crumbly attitude!

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8 Replies to “Two Ingredient Royal Icing – Perfect for Decorating Cookies!”

  1. 5 stars
    I was really surprised to see only 2 ingredients and how easy it is to make this icing. The cookies are beautiful! So you don’t need to cook egg whites?

    1. The egg whites are not cooked. If you’re comfortable using raw eggs you may or you can use pasteurized egg whites.

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