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The Best Buttercream Royal Icing EVER

Love baking at home and need a new delicious icing for your cookies, cakes, and cupcakes? Then, you must try Royal Buttercream Icing. Made using just 5 ingredients but so flavorful and fluffy, it can add life to your not so fancy baking recipes! 

Make your own insanely addictive Buttercream Royal Icing with this 5-ingredient simple to follow recipe. Creamy, sweet, and smooth frosting.

If you love baking, then you already know the obsession of bakers to make their baked items more and more appealing. For this, like other bakers, you must have tried many types of frosting, icing, or glazes to decorate your cakes or cupcakes.

Choosing icing or frosting for your baked items is entirely up to you. We love icing your cakes because it has a better shine and a smoother consistency than frosting. Also, it rescues us every time we don’t want a thick frosting coating, but not as thin as a glaze. 

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We love cakes so much that we collected all the wonderful recipes that are easy, tasty, and can be prepared in a mason jar. Make sure to check our 51 Scrumptious Mason Jar Cake Recipes. Lather this royal icing on any of those cakes and make a real masterpiece.

Buttercream royal icing has a soft and light flavor and doesn’t have too much sugar. To customize the flavor, you can add beans, vanilla extract, or any emulsion. 

Cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting on top and a jar of it.

Why You’ll Love Royal Buttercream Icing 

  • It’s smooth, light, creamy, and stays moist for a long time. 
  • You can use it for cakes, cookies, cupcakes, or other baked food items. 
  • It’s a quick and easy recipe that you can make with the ingredients you already have in your kitchen. 
  • As it’s not very sweet, you can enjoy some of your favorite baked items coated with this icing, even on a low-carb diet. 
  • It’s easy to store royal icing buttercream to use later without affecting its flavor. 

Love creamy desserts? Then, you need to check our Strawberry Shortcake Milkshake, which is creamy, rich in strawberry flavor, and loved equally by kids and adults. 

Buttercream Royal Icing Ingredients

No one would believe that you made royal icing buttercream from 5 simple ingredients because it tastes so good that everyone will assume you made it from some fancy ingredients. Here is what you should have: 

For detailed information on the quantity of the ingredients, check out the recipe card below. 

  • meringue powder
  • powdered sugar 
  • water 
  • unsalted butter 
  • vanilla extract 
Ingredients needed to make buttercream royal icing.

Tools Needed for Buttercream Royal Icing 

Stand mixer 

Measuring cups/spoons 

Mason jar for storing 

How to Make Royal Buttercream Icing 

Follow the easy steps below to make perfect royal buttercream icing: 

  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or regular mixing bowl, add meringue powder, sugar, and 6 Tablespoons of water and mix. If the mixture is still crumbly, add another tablespoon of water. 
  2. Continue mixing for a few minutes to create a royal icing. 
  3. Once combined, add in butter and vanilla and mix on high for 5-7 mins until it's blended and silky smooth.
Collage images of how to make Royal Icing Buttercream Frosting.

What Is Meringue Powder? 

Meringue powder is an alternative to beaten egg whites in baking and is made by the pasteurization process. It’s commonly used in recipes that have uncooked eggs as an ingredient. To make meringue powder, egg whites are dried and combined with cornstarch and gum.  

When used in recipes, the cornstarch and gum create an egg white-like consistency when water is added. It’s a perfect substitute for fresh egg whites.

But, you must use vanilla extract or other vanilla flavorings in recipes with meringue powder. Vanilla helps remove the slightly starchy taste produced when water is added to meringue powder. 

With a long shelf life, it can save you from the hassle of running to the grocery store every time you need to bake something. It’s easily available at all the grocery stores and isn’t expensive. 

Bowl of icing and cupcakes with frosting.

Helpful Tips 

Remember the following tips if you want the best flavor and consistency of royal icing buttercream: 

  • Mix the basic ingredients until they get toothpaste-like piping consistency. Don’t add too much water at the start or you won't end up with the perfect consistency. Add a little bit of water at a time, mix and then add more if needed. 
  • If you want to add color to your icing, use gel food coloring. If you use liquid or powdered food color, the consistency of the icing will be affected. 
  • Strain your icing through a fine mesh cloth or sieve to remove the lumps from it. 
  • If you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer, it will just take a little longer and a lot more energy on your part.
  • If taking your baked goods with icing outside, be careful with warm weather as this can impact the texture and consistency of your buttercream. The best way to serve something with this homemade buttercream is inside a well-cooled, air-conditioned building.
  • You can use clear vanilla extract if needed.
  • We recommend using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to get nice and smooth royal icing buttercream frosting without having to use an electric hand mixer. However, if that is all you have, you can use it.
  • If this is your first time making this American buttercream, I recommend sticking to the recipe, then if you feel comfortable making it on your own, you can deviate and try any of the recipe variations that we share below.
Jar of homemade royal icing- buttercream.

Recipe Variations 

Here are some recipe variations for buttercream royal icing that you can try whenever needed: 

Use powdered egg whites - If you don’t have meringue powder or don’t want to use it, you can add powdered egg whites to your icing. The difference between these two is that powered egg whites are simply dried egg whites without adding flavorings. Using raw egg whites is also an option if you need to use something else other than meringue powder.

Add milk instead of water - If you want a more opaque appearance for your icing, replace water with whole milk. The proteins and fats in the whole milk create an opaque appearance. 

Use any extract flavoring - You can use other extracts in this recipe if you don’t want to use vanilla extract. Try almond extract, maple extract, lemon or orange extracts. You can also add a dash of lemon juice for a nice citrus flavor. You can make many different flavors this way.

Make chocolate buttercream- to turn this super fancy and absolutely addictive royal buttercream frosting into a chocolate buttercream, all you have to do is add some cocoa powder to the frosting when you are whipping it.

Jar of Royal icing Buttercream with sprinkles around it.


Why is your royal buttercream icing go soft? 

The tools you use and your environment can affect the consistency of your buttercream royal icing. If any tools are oily or greasy and the environment has high humidity, your icing can go soft.

Therefore, it’s important to check your environmental conditions and tools before making this recipe. It's also important to refrigerate your frosting when you aren't using it.

How long does this delicious buttercream icing last? 

This homemade royal buttercream frosting can last for a long time if you store it properly. Put it in the airtight container or mason jars with lids to avoid air entering the containers. Then, keep it in the refrigerator to store for 4-5 days or in the freezer to keep it fresh for up to 6 months. 

When we make this royal icing, we make a double, or even triple batch so we can store if properly or freeze it so we can always have some tasty buttercream on hand for any upcoming baked goods that we have in the works that would be perfect with some tasty buttercream dolloped on top!

Jar of Buttercream Royal Icing.

What does royal icing tastes like? 

Royal soft buttercream icing has a sweet taste with a creamy texture. Due to the addition of meringue powder, it has a vanilla flavor too. You can control the vanilla flavor in this easy royal icing recipe by checking the amount of meringue powder you add to this recipe. It's truly the perfect frosting or icing to use on any of your favorite cupcakes, cakes, muffins, or any baked goods that you enjoy putting a homemade buttercream frosting on.

What can you use this icing on?

The options to use this frosting on are endless, here are a few of our favorite ideas: Add some to a piping bag with a piping tip and make beautiful decorations with or without intricate designs on sugar cookies, wedding cakes, gingerbread houses, birthday cakes, gingerbread cookies, or any other baked good, just as you would with any other type of icing.

You can make decorated cookies or add icing flowers to cakes and cookies or any other detailed cookie designs with this tasty icing. We wouldn't judge if you just wanted to lick the buttercream frosting straight from a spoon, we know it's that good! Psst, you'd be in good company, we may or may not have done the exact same thing ourselves!

Jar and bowl of homemade buttercream royal icing.


Any leftover royal icing should be stored in an airtight container or a mason jar. You should refrigerator leftovers, they'll keep for up to 3-4 days.

Other Quick and Easy Recipes 

Want more recipes that are just mixed and served quickly like this one? You must try these! 

Jar of frosting and iced cupcakes in front.

Royal Buttercream Icing

Learn to make the most creamy royal buttercream icing with this incredibly easy recipe.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Royal Buttercream Icing
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 32 servings
Author: Mason Jar Recipe


  • Tablespoons Meringue Powder divided
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (16 ounces)
  • 6-8 Tablespoons water
  • 2 pounds unsalted butter room temperature (8 sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or regular mixing bowl, add meringue powder, sugar, and 6 Tablespoons of water and mix. If the mixture is still crumbly, add another tablespoon of water.
  • Continue mixing for a few minutes to create a royal icing.
  • Once combined, add in butter and vanilla and mix on high for 5-7 mins (yes, that's correct- no type there) until it's blended and silky smooth.

Nutritional Disclaimer

These Nutritional Facts are ESTIMATED. Your actual nutritional info with this recipe may vary depending on the brands you choose. “Mason Jar Recipe” is not a registered dietician or nutritionist. The provided nutritional info above is based on a generic calculator, if you want more accurate info, use your nutritional calculator of choice where you can choose brands and get more info that way.

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