This vegan royal icing is so easy to make and it’s ready in minutes. It sets quickly and dries like a pro. You’ll love the delicious flavor and texture of this frosting that makes decorating cookies so fun! Use this one icing recipe for both flooding and outlining your vegan sugar cookies.
Did you know you can make royal frosting without eggs? Not only is it easy, but I also say it’s preferable. This easy royal icing recipe is perfect for decorating holiday cookies. Of course, I’m vegan so I’m biased, but I could never imagine using any other kind of decorating icing again.
I use this vegan royal icing for both piping, outlining, and flooding my cookies. The icing is thick enough to outline and yet still thin enough to flood. Talk about convenient!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Egg replacer is used instead of meringue powder to create the perfect consistency for this icing
- Adding a bit of almond extract creates a flavorful frosting
- Keeping a water spritzer handy keeps the consistency of this frosting perfect for your sugar cookie decorating days
- No corn syrup is used, keeping this icing simple and corn syrup free
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Egg replacer — You’ll need some Ener-G Egg Replacer (paid link) or see the recipe notes for a homemade version. Use this as your vegan meringue powder.
- Water — If you have hard water consider using filtered water.
- Almond extract — I find almond extract to create a distinctive sugar cookie flavor. You can substitute vanilla extract.
- Powdered sugar
- Food coloring — I recommend using organic food coloring gel to get the most color with the least impact on the icing consistency.
How to Make Vegan Royal Frosting
This is an easy royal frosting recipe because it has so few ingredients and comes together quickly. Here are the steps to make it:
- Stir together the egg replacer, water, and almond extract.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, stirring until a spreadable consistency is achieved.
- Add food coloring to achieve the desired color intensity.
- Dip cooled cookies in desired icing colors.
- Decorate cookies by filing frosting bottles with colored icing.
- Allow frosted cookies to sit until the icing sets for 2 to 3 hours up to overnight.
If the icing becomes too thick, keep a mister bottle nearby and mist the frosting until it’s at the right consistency.
Make sugar cookies using your favorite shapes. Be sure to let the cookies cool completely so they’re nice and firm before adding the vegan decorating icing.
- To decorate cookies: First, pipe the outline, then fill.
- You don’t have to use piping tips unless you’re doing intricate designs, such as with Vegan Gingerbread Cookies. I use a butter knife or even the back of a spoon to push the icing around on most of my cookies, and it works just fine.
- Gently drop the cookie a few times on the counter, or use a toothpick to smooth the icing until it evenly distributes across the cookie.
I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to work with this vegan cookie icing.
Handy Frosting Tools:
- Frosting Bottles (paid link) — I prefer the convenience of these frosting bottles as compared to piping bags. This kit comes with some basic piping tips too.
- Piping Bags (paid link) — These 16-inch piping bags are pretty handy for decorating.
- Organic Gel Food Coloring (paid link) — I like this organic gel food coloring set because they’re dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and more. The colors are highly pigmented so you only need a drop or two.
- Piping Tips (paid link) — This is a great set for piping cookies, including tips you can use for outlining and filling the cookies.
Once the frosting sets, pack them in an airtight container. They will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature or up to 10 days in the fridge when stored correctly. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
After mixing the ingredients, lift the spoon up. If the icing that drizzles back into the bowl holds its shape for 5 to 10 seconds, then the icing is perfect for flooding and filling your cookies.
- If the frosting is too thick — Keep a water spritzer nearby and lightly spritz the frosting until it’s a spreadable consistency
- If the frosting is too thin — Add more powdered sugar.
More Royal Icing Recipes
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Spread this Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting over cookies, too
- Vegan Vanilla Frosting
Can I freeze royal icing?
Royal icing can be frozen for up to 2 months. Store leftover royal icing in freezer bags, with each color in its own bag. Thaw the icing by placing it in the fridge overnight or set it out at room temperature for several hours. Be prepared to spritz it with water if it has thickened.
Is meringue powder vegan?
Meringue powder is made from eggs and is therefore not vegan. However, a simple substitution is using an egg replacer mixture.
Can you make royal icing without a mixer?
It’s easy to make royal icing without a mixer, especially when you’re using this recipe for vegan royal icing. The consistency is perfect after simply stirring the ingredients together.
Ways to Use Eggless Royal Icing
Use this vegan royal frosting as icing for cookies, garnishes on cakes, and even drizzles on muffins and chocolate candies (in place of white chocolate drizzles). Here are some favorite recipes to try:
That’s it for this vegan royal icing. Enjoy!
Vegan Royal Icing
- In a medium bowl, stir together the egg replacer, water, and almond extract. Stir until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, stirring until a spreadable consistency is achieved. If icing is too thick, add a smidge of water. However, if you add food coloring in drops, that will add moisture to the icing too. Keep a mister bottle nearby and mist the frosting if it thickens.
- Add food coloring to achieve the desired color intensity. Once cookies cool, either dip them in desired icing colors or fill squeeze bottles with colored icing. Decorate cookies and then allow them to sit for 2 to 3 hours up to overnight.
- For the best consistency for flooding/filling, if you pull the spoon out of the bowl, the icing that drizzles off the spoon should hold its shape for several seconds before dissolving back into the rest of the frosting. If it's too thin, add a little bit more powdered sugar.
- To decorate cookies: First, pipe the outline, then fill. Drop the cookie a few times on the counter, or use a toothpick to smooth the icing until it evenly distributes across the cookie.
- Once the frosting sets, pack them in an airtight container. They will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature or up to 10 days in the fridge when stored correctly. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
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Storing Royal IcingTransfer unused royal icing to an airtight container. You can also add a piece of plastic wrap to be in direct contact with the icing. This helps prevent it from drying out. Store royal icing at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It thickens as it sits, so you will need to stir it and possibly spritz it with water before using it.
Decorating CookiesYou don’t have to use piping tips unless you’re doing intricate designs, such as with Vegan Gingerbread Cookies. I use a butter knife or even the back of a spoon to push the icing around on most of my cookies, and it works just fine.
Royal Icing Tools
- Gel Food Coloring — I prefer organic gel food coloring (see the post for the link).
- Piping Tips — I like using Wilton 3 and 4 tips because they’re easy to work with.
- Frosting Bottles — I prefer frosting bottles to piping bags because I find them easier to work with and clean.
Egg ReplacerYou can order Ener-G Egg Replacer or use this as a substitute: 2 tablespoons potato starch, 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. This is a very similar formula to the egg replacer mentioned above.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.