How to make Royal Icing


If you are looking for the perfect frosting to glue your gingerbread house together, then you’re going to want to use Royal Icing.

Royal Icing is also the perfect icing for decorating sugar cookies!

So I’m going to teach you how to make Royal Icing right here, right now!

How to make Royal Icing. (Gingerbread House glue!!)

It’s super duper easy and only has 3 ingredients.

Egg whites, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

You can make this in the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand mixer.

First thing you need to do is beat your egg whites until they are frothy (as pictured above).

Then you will gradually add powdered sugar. Anywhere between 3-4 cups of powdered sugar depending on how big your egg whites are.

Add the vanilla extract to give it a nice flavor. You could use lemon juice, almond extract, or any other extract you prefer (in place of the vanilla) to flavor the icing.

Once it’s reached a thick and smooth consistency you can place it directly into a zip close bag for storing, or into a frosting bag fitted with tip for immediate use.

If you are wanting to add color to your frosting you would simply beat in your color choice (gel colors work best) at the end, just a drop or two at a time, then decide if the color is to your liking, add more if necessary.

For making a gingerbread house, just plain white works for me!

How to make Royal Icing. (Gingerbread House glue!!)

This frosting hold together wonderfully. That little teepee was solid within less than two minutes!

I actually built the remainder of the gingerbread house last night with my kids, and that little teepee was the covering to our porch. The Royal Icing held up so strong that we built a two story house and didn’t have any cave-ins! So if you’re looking for the perfect glue to build your gingerbread house…

This is it!

Make sure you don’t miss a thing! Follow I Wash You Dry here:

How to make Royal Icing
The best Royal Icing recipe for decorating sugar cookies or building gingerbread houses
Serves: 2¾ cups
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl beat the egg whites until frothy.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, half of a cup at a time, making sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until the icing becomes thick.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and beat until soft peaks form.
  4. Place the prepared frosting into an air tight container and leave at room temperature until ready to use. Or place directly in to a frosting bag fitted with a tip and use immediately.
Notes from Shawn:
If you have an aversion to consuming egg whites, you can substitute with Meringue powder which can be purchased at craft stores and anywhere cake decorating ingredients are found.

disclosure: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. 


  1. I am so glad that I came across this post because I plan on making gingerbread houses with my kids very soon!

  2. Thanks for sharing! This will definitely save me from another gingerbread house disaster.

  3. I’ve always been too terrified to try and make Royal Icing. Your photos and tutorials make it seem so much simpler. Thanks! Now I’m making it for my gingerbread house and other treats this season.

  4. Debbie Mitchell says:

    I used this recipe last night for my daughter’s birthday party and it worked great! I even made mine in my vitamix to save some dishes. :) Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  5. So for a school project I am gluing together chocolate chip cookies. The only way I could think to make this chocolate though is coco powder, and I think that would throw off the proportions with the powdered sugar. What do you think?

    • Hi Dena, I’m not sure how the two would react, but I think since cocoa powder and powdered sugar are similar in consistency that it might work if you throw in a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder with the powdered sugar. Just use a little less powdered sugar than what the recipe calls for. Good luck!

  6. looking forward to using this to glue my fondant Palm tree together. How far in advance can I make this recipe and how long does leftovers last? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jocelyn, if you keep the royal icing in an air tight container (place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the icing to prevent crusting), in the fridge, it could last for a week. I wouldn’t make it too far in advance though, as you’ll most likely have to remix the icing to get it back to proper consistency. Fresh is always best, but I hope this answers your question! :)

  7. Can I make this the night before or will it harden? I need to bring icing to school for my daughters class to make gingerbread houses.

    • You can definitely make this ahead of time. Make sure to cover it completely (put a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface of the icing if storing in a tupperware), so it will not harden. Hope that helps! :)

  8. I am using this recipe for my classrooms annual gingerbread house making party. Do you think I can make this and put into baggies for the next days use? I need 22 baggies and see its about 4 cups a serving. Is this enough for only one house? Thank you very much in advance! Sorry so many questions , but don’t want 22 crying children if houses fall apart hehe

    • Yes, I would just make sure that you squeeze all the air out of the baggies so they do not harden. There is enough frosting to make a few houses, I’m not sure about 22 small houses, especially since children LOVE to use LOTS of frosting. I would make two batches to be on the safe side and divide the frosting out and just let them know when it’s gone, it’s gone. Hope that helps!

  9. i just wanted to add that when I took cake decorating and we used royal icing we had to make sure all utensils were clean and didn’t have any oily residue on them as this would ruin the icing (ie spatulas, bowls, rubber shapers, etc)

  10. If I wanted to make it peach royal icing how would I do that?

  11. I used this recipe and found that it was really thick to the point that the egg whites didn’t absorb the icing sugar so I added a smidge of water and it was perfect!

  12. Worked great & made 4 little girls happy. Thanks!

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