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Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

These sugar cookies with royal icing are the perfect addition to any Christmas cookie gift box!
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time12 mins
Royal Icing5 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Christmas, Cookies, Gifts, Holiday, Holiday Baking
Servings: 24 cookies


For the Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional for extra flavor)

For the Royal Icing

  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder
  • 9-10 tbsp room temperature water


For the Sugar Cookies

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract if using. Beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. If dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour as needed.
  • Remove dough from bowl and wrap in plastic wrap in a ball. Chill for 1-2 hours or up to 2 days.
  • Once dough is chilled, remove from refrigerator. Let dough come to room temperature and then divide into two pieces. Lightly flour a table top or piece of parchment paper and roll 1st dough ball out until it reaches 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to create cookies. Repeat with remaining dough. If cookies become to warm, you can refrigerate them for 20-30 minutes before baking. They will hold their shape much better this way!
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place cut out cookies about 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, decorate with royal icing.

Instructions for Royal Icing

  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the icing ingredients together on high speed for about 5 minutes. You will know when the icing is done when you lift the whisk and the icing drizzles down into the bowl and melts into the rest of the icing within 5 - 10 seconds.
  • If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon of water to the icing until it is the desired consistency. If it is too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar to the icing until it is the desired consistency.
  • Add gel food coloring as desired to batches of icing. When not using the remaining icing, keep a damp towel draped over the top of the bowl. Icing dries within about 2 hours.


Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Sugar cookies will stay fresh for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
If you have leftover icing, you can freeze in a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature when ready to use.
Tools and Ingredients:
KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Rodelle Vanilla Extract | Rodelle Almond Extract | Meringue Powder | Gel Food Coloring