Vegan Royal Icing

This easy vegan royal icing recipe is ready in minutes. It sets quickly and dries like a pro. You’ll love the delicious almond flavor, exciting colors, and texture! Use this one icing recipe for both flooding and outlining your vegan sugar cookies. Follow our step-by-step guide to master the art of decorating with plant-based elegance.

A stack of heart-shaped sugar cookies have pink and orange frosting. There are bowls of frosting behind them.

Did you know you can make royal frosting without eggs? Not only is it easy, but I also say it’s preferable.

Make this vegan royal icing with no aqufaba. That’s right! Simple ingredients is all you need for perfect icing to decorate holiday cookies. 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!

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  • Almond Elegance: The addition of almond extract brings a sophisticated and delightful flavor to your cookies.
  • Vibrant Hues: Achieve a spectrum of colors using organic food coloring gel for visually stunning and plant-based treats.
  • Foolproof Consistency: Our guide ensures the perfect flooding/filling consistency, allowing you to effortlessly decorate cookies like a pro.
Ingredients for frosting sit on a white counter, including powdered sugar, and almond extract.

Key Ingredients for Royal Icing

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, including substitution ideas:

  • 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. Best Choice – Ener-G Egg Replacer. Substitutions – Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, available in the baking aisle.
  • Water — If you have hard water consider using filtered water.
  • Almond extract — I find almond extract to create a distinctive sugar cookie flavor. Best Choice – Pure almond extract for intense flavor. Substitution – Vanilla extract for a different twist. Find it in the baking aisle.
  • Powdered sugar — We’ll add powdered sugar to make the icing sweet and give the perfect consistency. Available in the baking aisle.
  • Food coloring — I recommend using organic food coloring gel to get the most color with the least impact on the icing consistency. Best Choice – Natural organic food coloring gel. Substitution – Regular food coloring gel. Find it in the baking or specialty foods aisle.

What’s missing? Did you notice there’s no corn syrup? Let’s keep this icing simple and corn syrup free!

Marly’s Tips

If the icing becomes too thick, keep a mister bottle nearby and mist the frosting until it’s at the right consistency.

A spoon drizzles vegan royal frosting over a bowl full of more icing.

How to Make Vegan Royal Icing

  1. Stir together Ener-G Egg Replacer, water, and almond extract until well combined.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, stirring until a spreadable consistency is achieved.
  3. Adjust thickness with a smidge of water if too thick. Mist with a mister bottle if needed when adding food coloring.
  4. Add food coloring for desired hues. Dip cookies or fill squeeze bottles for decorating.
  5. Allow cookies to sit for 2-3 hours up to overnight after decorating.
A spoon drizzles vegan royal frosting over a bowl full of more icing.

Pro Baker’s Tips

  • Check flooding consistency by pulling a spoon out of the icing – it should hold its shape.
  • Smooth icing by dropping cookies on the counter or using a toothpick for an even distribution.

Creating Decorative Vegan Sugar Cookies

Excited to make some beautiful vegan royal icing cookies? I’m confident you’ll adore this process!

Begin by crafting vegan sugar cookies in your preferred shapes using delightful cookie cutters. Ensure the cookies cool thoroughly, becoming firm and ready for the application of vegan decorating icing.

Once your cookies have reached the ideal temperature, dive into the frosting process with these steps:

  1. 1. Prepare the Icing Colors: Make a batch of the finest vegan royal icing and divide it into bowls based on your chosen colors.
  2. 2. Add Vibrant Hues: Introduce food coloring gel to the icing, selecting colors that align with your creative vision.
  3. 3. Piping the Outline: Take your preferred colors and skillfully pipe an outline around each cookie.
  4. 4. Filling with Flair: Generously fill the center of the cookies with the vibrant icing.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to work with this vegan cookie icing.

Don’t feel obligated to employ piping tips unless you’re crafting intricate designs, as seen in the case of Vegan Gingerbread Cookies. A butter knife or the back of a spoon works splendidly for most cookies.

To achieve a flawless finish, gently drop the cookie onto the counter a few times or utilize a toothpick to ensure the icing evenly spreads across the entire surface.

I hope you enjoy the creative process of making these delectable vegan sugar cookies!

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 an excellent set for piping cookies, including tips for outlining and filling the cookies.
A hand holds a frosting bottle and is outlining a sugar cookie in pink frosting. there are more cookies and frosting behind it.

Icing Consistency

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.

Storage Tips

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.

Reader Reviews

I made pink, red and white valentines cookies with this icing and it was perfect. Thanks!


I used this frosting to make my first vegan sugar cookies and it was perfect!


More Icing and Frosting Recipes

A stack of heart-shaped sugar cookies are frosting in pink and orange. There are bowls of colored frosting behind it.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Can I freeze royal icing?

Royal icing can be frozen for up to 2 months. Store it 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 icing for cookies, and garnishes on cakes. You can even drizzle it on vegan cinnamon rolls, and chocolate candies (in place of white chocolate drizzles) such as vegan Oreo truffles.

Here are some more favorite recipes to try this eggless royal icing:

Several frosted sugar cookies have bowls of frosting behind them.

That’s it for this vegan royal icing. Enjoy!

A hand holds a frosting bottle and is outlining a sugar cookie in pink frosting. there are more cookies and frosting behind it.

Eggless Royal Icing

It's easy to make your own eggless royal icing. Typical royal icing is made with egg whites, but this eggless royal icing has all the same texture, shape, and flavor!
5 from 7 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 60kcal


  • 4 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (see notes for homemade)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • organic food coloring gel


  • In a medium bowl, stir together the egg replacer, water, and almond extract. Stir until combined.
    A hand stirs together an egg replacer mixture.
  • 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.
    A spoon drizzles vegan royal frosting over a bowl full of more icing.
  • 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.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)


Storing Royal Icing

Transfer 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 Cookies

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.

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 Replacer

You 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.
Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 15g | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

10 Responses to Vegan Royal Icing

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAngel Reply

    Does this royal icing set hard? I need it rock hard for shipping.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Angel. When I frost cookies with it I set it out for 24 hours and the frosting does set very firmly.

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCat Reply

    Hi, recipe combined super well and made some excellent designs on ginger biscuits…only issue is it never fully set. There is a fairly strong firm film over the top but as soon as you bite in its runnier underneath and the biscuit has lost its crunch. any tips for what I could be doing wrong? Thanks!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Cat. Your ginger biscuits sound amazing! I use the 10 – 20 second rule when it comes to the consistency of royal icing. And just so you know, that consistency is constantly changing as the frosting sits or if color is added. To use this rule, grab a spoon and drizzle some of the icing over the rest of it (in a bowl). It should start to dissolve into the rest of the icing within around 10 to 20 seconds. If it dissolves quicker than that, it’s too thin. You’ll want to add a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar at a time until you achieve the desired icing consistency (that dissolves into the rest of it within that 10 to 20 seconds timeframe). I hope this is helpful. Feel free to email me if you have other questions: marly at namely marly dot com.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySparks Reply

    Can I use Bob’s red Mill egg replacer instead of the energy and replacer for this will icing recipe?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Absolutely that will work!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNikki Smith Reply

    I’m about to have a go at your recipe. I’m making vegan kiss biscuits and decorating them for a 1st birthday. The birthday boy has severe anaphylaxis to dairy and eggs. Fun bickies for all the kids should be good. I’m a bit of a fuss pot with decorating, so I’m hoping it works. I will post after my project, with pics if possible and if any one wants

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m excited for you Nikki! I hope the birthday party goes well and the decorating works out, too! You can send me pics directly via Instagram:

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarge Reply

    5 stars
    I made pink, red and white valentines cookies with this icing and it was perfect. Thanks!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKirsten Reply

    5 stars
    I used this frosting to make my first vegan sugar cookies and it was perfect!

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