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Vegan Cookie Icing (Royal Icing)

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This simple vegan royal icing is the perfect icing for vegan sugar cookies or gingerbread houses, really anything you need vegan icing for.

vegan royal icing recipe

There are multiple ways to make royal icing. The most traditional royal icing recipes use egg whites which are not vegan.

Many of them, if not using egg whites, will use a meringue powder made from egg whites.

They make a vegan meringue powder, but I’m looking for simple ingredients you will likely have on hand.

There are ways to get around using egg whites. Some people use chickpea water, also known as aquafaba, which is just the leftover liquid in a can of chickpeas; people also use light corn syrup.

This recipe doesn’t use any of those, which makes it nice to have everything on hand to whip up when you need sugar cookie icing.

What you’ll love about this recipe

  • It’s perfect for any cut-out cookies
  • It has simple, easy ingredients
  • You don’t need any special equipment (no stand mixer or hand mixer needed)
  • This recipe makes small batches
  • It’s perfect for people with egg allergies
  • It’s an easy recipe

What ingredients do you need for an eggless royal icing recipe?

  • Powdered sugar- also known as icing sugar- is the perfect sugar for making cookie icing. It’s important to sift it, so you remove all the clumps. There is no substitute for powdered sugar. You can make your own by grinding granulated sugar, but to be honest, I’ve never loved powdered sugar that way, so I would stick to the store-bought.
  • Non-dairy milk- you can use soy, almond, or oat milk. Whichever you prefer to use is fine. You can also use water if you’re out of non dairy milk or just because you want to.
  • Vanilla extract- you can use a different extract if you don’t want a hint of vanilla in your frosting. You can use almond, lemon, or whatever fits your cookie flavor profile.
  • Food coloring of choice- you can choose if you want to use a natural food coloring or one full of dyes. You typically get much more vibrant colors with regular food coloring, but if you’re trying to avoid artificial dyes, go with a natural one. 

How do you make a vegan royal icing recipe?

Step 1-

vegan royal icing before mixing

Add the sifted powder, 2 TB of non-dairy milk, and vanilla into a medium size bowl and mix with a whisk or fork until smooth add food coloring and stir. You can add more liquid, 1 TB at a time to determine how thick you want your royal icing to be. If you want multiple colors separate in bowls before adding the food coloring. 

You want it to be fairly thick but not paste. It should spread but not be runny.

Step 2-

vegan icing mixed

Add your icing to a piping bag and add a thin tip.

Step 3-

vegan icing piped around the cookie edge
vegan royal icing filled in

Pipe onto your cookie; this will take a while to fully dry and be stackable. It’s best to outline the design you want and then fill in the cookies.

If you want to add layers of design with a different color, you will need to wait for it to dry before adding the next color, so it doesn’t blend.

vegan royal icing on a vegan sugar cookie decorated

How to serve

This wouldn’t be served on its own since it’s a frosting or icing, but it goes great for:

  • Decorating Christmas cookies
  • For vegan shortbread cookies or vegan sugar cookies
  • Icing gingerbread cookies
  • Or any vegan cookies that need an icing

If you want to use different colors for decorating, you want to either split the batch into two or however many colors you need or make multiple batches for your colors. This makes a small batch.

How to store

vegan sugar cookies decorated


This can only be stored for a few hours because it hardens. Keep it at room temperature in an airtight container if you want to use it later. You could add additional vegan milk if you need to use it later, but the best way to use this is fresh and discard any leftovers.


This vegan cookie icing can’t be frozen.

Pro Tips

  • If you don’t have piping bags or a pastry bag, you can use a small ziplock lock bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag, you won’t be able to get intricate details but it will work for overall decorating.
  • If you want your icing to be extra shiny, you can add a little bit of corn syrup.
  • If you want to add sprinkles, you want to do so before it sets, right after you spread it on.
  • If the icing is too thick, you can add a tiny bit of vegan milk; go really slow with the amount because it can get too thin real fast. If it gets too thin, add a little more icing sugar.

Variations and ad ons

  • You can use any extract. I like to use a combination of vanilla and almond extract.
  • You can use water instead of vegan milk if you need to.

The best way to store iced cookies

decorated vegan royal icing

You want to make sure to leave plenty of time for your icing to set up. It will take a few hours for the icing to be fully set on the cookie. Because of that, you want to wait to store them.

Once they set enough so that your finger touching it doesn’t mess up the frosting, then you’re ready to put it away. If you need to stack them, then it’s best to use parchment paper to separate between the layers of cookies.

Recipes you may like for vegan baking

vegan royal icing

Vegan Royal Icing

Print Pin Rate
Prep : 5 minutes
Cook : 0 minutes
Additional Time: 0 minutes
Total : 5 minutes
Servings: 44 1/2 TB servings


  • 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1-4 TB non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • food coloring of choice


  • Take the sifted powder 2 TB of non-dairy milk, and vanilla, mix until smooth, add food coloring, and stir. You can add more liquid, 1 TB at a time to determine how thick you want your royal icing to be. If you want multiple colors separate in bowls before adding the food coloring. Pipe onto your cookie, this will take a while to fully dry and be stackable.
    You want it to be fairly thick but not paste. It should spread but not be runny.


Serving: 11/2 TB | Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0.01g | Fat: 0.01g | Saturated Fat: 0.001g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.001g | Sodium: 0.3mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 0.001g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.01mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan royal icing for cookies, vegan sugar cookies
Author: Courtneys Homestead
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Recipe Rating


Thursday 9th of February 2023

You have listed the powdered sugar as all purpose flour in the recipe image. Might want to change that...

Courtneys Homestead

Thursday 9th of February 2023

Oh my goodness! You're sure right! So sorry about that, I have it fixed now, thank you so much for letting me know! I hope you have a great day!