EGGLESS – Royal Icing

Developing an eggless royal icing was never on my to-do list, but I thought I had some meringue powder in my baking supplies. Turns out I didn’t, and I couldn’t run to the store when I had planned on icing the sugar cookies I had baked the day before. Thus the science experiment of creating eggless royal icing.

Royal icing is typically used for detailed designs, I also use it when we make gingerbread houses because it also dries quickly and is a great edible glue. When I decided to try my hand at eggless royal icing, I knew I would need to be able to create a binding agent chemical reaction. So I dug through my baking supplies and found my ziplock bag full of unflavored powdered gelatin packets, that’s when an idea formed.

If you haven’t already realized, royal icing is typically made with some sort of egg white. If you are adventurous and not afraid of the possibility of salmonella then you can use regular egg whites. Those who like the tradition of using egg whites, but are cautious use pasteurized egg whites in a container. Then there is meringue powder, this is dehydrated pasteurized egg whites which is then blended into a powder form. The act of beating the egg whites is what causes the binding in typical royal icing.

The eggless version has the same principle with the binding agent except no eggs-instead the gelatin is dissolved in hot water and once cooled is added slowly to the powdered sugar, alternating between adding the gelatin mixture and distilled white vinegar.

I know, I know…vinegar in an icing?! Hear me out…YOU CAN’T TASTE IT! The beauty of this eggless royal icing is it tastes, looks, acts, and is exactly like the typical royal icing…except eggless. So…if you have an egg allergy, or are like me and find you aren’t prepared and don’t have meringue powder like you thought you did…then try this eggless royal icing out.

Eggless Royal Icing

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course condiment
Servings 5 cups
Calories 44 kcal


  • electric mixer
  • glass measuring cup, or plastic-needs to be see through
  • silicone spatula


  • ¼ tsp unflavored gelatin one packet equals ¼ tsp
  • ¾ cup water boiling
  • 32 oz powdered confectioners sugar
  • tsp distilled white vinegar
  • food coloring optional


  • In a glass measuring cup, pour ¾ cup of boiling water into it. Add in the gelatin powder and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Let sit until cooled to room temperature, but still liquid consistency.
  • Add half of the powdered confectioners sugar into the bowl for the electric mixer. When the gelatin mixture is room temperature, add ½ tsp of the vinegar into the powdered sugar and turn the mixer on low. Slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl as it is mixing. ONLY pour in ¼ cup of the gelatin mixture at first. Then turn the mixer off and add the rest of the powdered confectioners sugar in. Add in another ¼ of the vinegar and turn the mixer back onto low, slowly pouring in another ¼ cup of the gelatin mixture in while mixing. Add in another ¼ tsp of vinegar in while mixing, then add in the rest of the gelatin mix. Let combine completely.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium high and every minute add in the rest of the vinegar ¼ tsp at a time until you’ve added a total of 1½ tsps into the icing. Keep the mixer going on medium high while you do this. Then place the mixer on high and beat the icing for 2 minutes.
  • Add any color of food coloring you desire and fold into the icing gently until the color is evenly distributed. Using either a piping bag or a ziplock bag, add your icing inside. Seal off the tops with a rubber band, icing band, or a clip so the icing doesn’t slip out the top. Snip the corner or bottom of the bag, realize that the higher up you snip the larger the hole will be. If I am icing cookies, I like the hole to be really small, but if we are trying to make gingerbread houses I like the hole to be on the larger size.
  • Ice the baked good, the icing will set relatively quickly so be mindful of that. When I iced the sugar cookies, it only took the icing 5 minutes for the top layer to being to set. For the icing to fully set, it took about 45 minutes. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Whatever air is in the container will cause the icing to harden, so place plastic wrap right up against the top of the icing to keep it’s consistency.


Serving: 1TbspCalories: 44kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 1mgSugar: 11gCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Keyword frosting, icing, royal icing, sugar cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you’ve ever worked with royal icing before, especially for intricate cookie decorating, then you know how difficult it can be. The icing only has a finite amount of time of pliability, and any little mistake can be easily visible. That being said, I will say this was my first time icing sugar cookies. I’ve only ever used royal icing in the haphazardly, crazy family time in speed decorating gingerbread houses.

I am not going to sugar coat it, attempting the piping with the royal icing on the sugar cookies caused my inner teenager, who used to be a proficient cake decorator at Baskin-Robbins, cringe like crazy. My steady, quick hand in using piping bags isn’t like it used to be; still, the attempt was super fun and the results weren’t half bad. My hats off to those very talented bakers who have mastered the royal icing of cookies. Have you attempted royal icing piping on sugar cookies before? How did you fare?

Hope y’all are having an amazing week! Stay safe, be kind, and hug your loved ones! Happy Holidays!

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