An easy 4-ingredient recipe for vegan royal icing that’s dairy-free, egg-free, corn-syrup-free, and soy-free. It’s made with aquafaba, so no meringue powder, and it can be used to both border and flood cookies. It’s the perfect icing for your celebration / holiday cookies and gingerbread houses and you can even add colour to it if you’d like!
Add aquafaba and lemon juice to a medium bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip at low speed for 30-45 seconds until the aquafaba is foamy. Use either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with the balloon whisk to do this.
Stop the mixer and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Start the mixer on low and mix until the powdered sugar and aquafaba have combined, then turn the mixer up to medium speed and whip for 6 minutes until royal icing is shiny, thick, and has the consistency of thick white school glue. While whipping, stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
Test for Consistency: Fill a spoon with icing and drizzle it back into the bowl. The ribbons that the drizzled icing form should take about 12 seconds to disappear/re-incorporate back into the icing. (For gingerbread houses, it should re-incorporate in about 20 seconds)
To make the royal icing thicker: Add more powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, whip and repeat until desired consistency is met.
To make the royal icing thinner: Add water or more lemon juice, ½ of a teaspoon at a time, whip and repeat until the desired consistency is met.
Before making this recipe, please read all of the helpful tips and FAQ above, as well as the notes below.
This recipe makes 1 and ¾ cups of royal icing.
It is important that all tools you will be using be free from any oil and oil residue. Oil will prevent your aquafaba from whipping properly.
Either homemade aquafaba or canned aquafaba can be used for this recipe. If you are using canned, use unsalted chickpeas and pour the aquafaba through a sieve to catch any chickpea pieces and chickpea skin.
If you don't have lemon juice, you can use ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar as a substitute. Don't use vinegar, the scent and flavour will come through in the finished icing.
If you are using your stand mixer, depending on the model, it's possible that the attachment may not be able to reach down far enough in the bowl to whip the aquafaba properly, if that's the case, for step 1, whip it with a hand whisk until it's foamy and then proceed to step 2 using the stand mixer.
To thin out your royal icing, add a little water or more lemon juice. Add ½ teaspoon at a time, mixing and testing in between each addition.
To thicken your royal icing, add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up. Add 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing and testing in between each addition.
Refrigerating leftovers: Put leftover royal icing in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. When you're ready to use it, bring it to room temperature, give it a good mix and it will be ready to go.
Freezing leftovers: Place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. When you're ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, bring it to room temperature, give it a good mix and it will be ready to go.
Nutrition info is based on a 1 teaspoon serving of royal icing made as the recipe is written and is to be used only as a rough guide. Click here to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.