Desserts, recipes, Vegan
comments 58

Vegan Royal Icing – Aquafaba Recipe

vegan-royal-icing

A couple of years ago, I developed a short-lived obsession with decorating cookies. I bought a bunch of cookie decorating tools and they have been collecting dust in my cupboard ever since.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with aquafaba as an egg-replacer. That stuff is magic. I used it to make a vegan pavlova. If it could handle being whipped into airy meringue, I knew it could be used to make royal icing.

This recipe makes about 3 cups of icing, enough to decorate 30-50 cookies depending on how much coverage and detail your designs include. 

A little note on food coloring: I use americolor gel colors to get vibrant and beautiful shades. I have seen them sold as vegan food coloring, but if you are strict about veganism you should check with the manufacture. Since I’m not a vegan, I will take my chances. 

Vegan Royal Icing - Aquafaba Recipe
 
Serves: 3 cups
Prep time:
Total time:
 
This vegan royal icing uses aquafaba in place of eggs. Aquafaba is the brine drained from a can of chickpeas.
Ingredients
  • 3 fl oz aquafaba (chick pea brine)
  • 4 cups confectionary sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, whip the aquafaba on high until just foamy (about 30 seconds).
  2. Turn off the mixer and add the confectionary sugar and vanilla.
  3. Cover the mixer with a kitchen towel to keep the sugar from blowing everywhere.
  4. Mix everything on medium-high for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until it is ready to use.
  6. Before decorating your cookies, add food coloring and adjust the consistency of the icing by adding water ½ tsp at a time.

 

58 Comments

  1. S.CHHEDA says

    Aquafaba isn’t a brine. Brine usually has salt. It is more a chickpea water or bean water which is what aquafaba translates too.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Although you are technically correct, the term “chick pea brine” is often used by people searching for Aquafaba recipes. Using the term helps people find the content, even if it isn’t by-the-book.

      • Bubbly says

        I second you Jasmine. The process of making it easier for people to understand and simplifying the complex is being overlooked by people and criticizing has kind of become the trend but lets take it in much constructive manner and positive ways on the road to progress and I am sure your recipe is appreciated and liked, loved by many just the way I do. Thanks a lot for your recipe. Haven’t tried it yet but will definitely do.

  2. I just found out about aquafaba today! I can’t wait to make vegan chocolate mousse. YUM! And um…… these cookies are GORGEOUS!

  3. Hi,
    I landed on Facebook vegans hits n misses from Gretchen Price of Gretchen’s Bakery to geeky cakes to vegan hits n misses.n saw ua post der n landed here..nice blog. I would like to try this icing.I have one Wid d egg from Gretchen. It’s awesome. But since I like to experiment Wid d things.. Want to try dis too..in d recipe u said whip it just until foamy.. So is it dat we dun want peaks just get a foam n mix sugar?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi there, you are correct. You don’t need to whip it for long, you just want a foamy or frothy mixture.

  4. Hi,
    Forgot to ask ya..of u have a gud vegan cookie recipe.. The one one which u hv done icing.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I haven’t perfected my own vegan sugar cookie recipe yet. I just adapted a non-vegan one by using Earth Balance in place of butter and aquafaba instead of eggs. They turned out okay, but I still want to perfect the recipe before sharing my own!

  5. Hi,

    How long does this icing last , already placed on the cookie??
    I want to make cookies for my 2 yr toddler birthday party, which is in 2 weeks, and I have a lot of things to do , so I want to do as much as possible before that weekend.

  6. MizzK says

    What kind of food coloring did you use in the photo? I have been searching for a good vegan food coloring that produces intense colors. Thank you for this recipe!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I use americolor gels. I did some research in vegan forums and came across a few discussions that described them as vegan-friendly. You should confirm with the company if you are a strict vegan or serving your food to strict vegans. I’m not vegan, so I was willing to take the forum discussions at face value.

  7. spudchick says

    Very exciting! I’m not vegan but I like to make things vegan-friendly when I can. Also read about aquafaba in making marshmallow fluff with real marshmallow root, which I’m excited to try. More evidence that chickpeas are magical. So does the icing firm up pretty well? Are these gorgeous cookies stackable when dry?

  8. Mason says

    This is great! I’m not really sure why anyone, even nonvegans, would want to use raw egg whites when this recipe works!!

  9. Aaron S says

    Hi-
    I followed your recipe but the mixture is completely liquid and won’t thicken for some reason. I tried adding more aquafaba but it’s still soupy. I’m using my food processor so I wonder if that’s the problem.
    I’m making the frosting for gingerbread cookies for a vegan holiday potluck tomorrow night. :/

    • Aaron S says

      Oops — it was the food processor! I busted out my hand crank mixer and it worked like a charm 😀

      • Jasmine Lukuku says

        Hi Aaron, thanks for circling back and letting me know it was the equipment and not the recipe! I hope your cookies turn out perfectly for your potluck!

  10. Esther Michel says

    Hi. thanks for the recipe I ill try it out this coming week :). i just wanted to know if the picture that feathered with the recipe is authentic or if its a stock image ?, because they look fabulous. And also will it have shine to it as regular royal icing? thanks again 🙂

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      That is my own feathering work. I’m glad to know it looks good enough to be a stock image. 😛

      • Jasmine Lukuku says

        I forgot to add, mine had a shine to it. Yours may vary depending on your drying methods and the contents of your powdered sugar. Some powdered sugar has additives to keep it from clumping.

        I use a fan to help dry mine and they tend to be shinier that way.

  11. Lindy says

    Hello, I am about to make this icing, and I’m wondering what the equivalent of 3 fl oz is? (# of Tbsp?)
    Canadian and US ounces are different.
    (I really don’t want to screw this up!)

  12. Michelle says

    This is awesome! I am slowly making the transition to becoming vegan and just finished making a batch of ginger cookies. I used flax eggs for my recipe and was hunting all over the net for a way to make the royal icing. I cant wait to try this 😀

  13. OMG. I wanted to thank you for sharing this. I have a home bakery that specializes in organics and food allergies. My old icing recipe for eggless icing was stackable to an extent, but never dried hard. 2 things I wanted to share with you. 1. I made aquafaba fluff earlier in the week and the left over turned liquid again, so i just used that, and it came out great. 2. Not all confectionary sugar is vegan. If your interested in finding a vegan source, I found this blog a while back that has a list of bone char free vegan sugar. http://www.ordinaryvegan.net/vegansugar/

    • correction: I meant to say I used the liquid fluff in place of the brine and skipped out on a bit of the sugar and the vanilla since it already contained these things. My fluff had a pinch of cream of tartar, which is also in regular royal icing.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Thanks Gypsy! I’m in Canada and I recommend Red Path sugar for a totally vegan option. I’m not vegan so I’m not as fussy for my own consumption, but it is definitely worth pointing out for the vegan readers! Thank you for sharing that link!

  14. Samara says

    Hi Jasmine, love the recipe. I’m curious about your interest in vegan cooking, and a vegan cookbook, when you’re not vegan. What led you down the vegan cooking path?

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Samara,vegan baking appeals to my “problem solving” nature. The challenge is making a vegan version that tastes as good or better than the traditional version. My vegan recipes tend to get rave reviews, so I started doing more and more of them. I figure, even if I’m not vegan I can work towards a more plant-based diet.

  15. Kelly says

    This is a great find. I have a customer requesting vegan cookies. Finding this recipe for RI is great. If anyone knows of a great rolled sugar cookie recipe that is vegan I’d love to see it.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Kelly, I am actually working on one right now for my upcoming ecookbook. Stay tuned!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Yes, as long as you use a powdered sugar that doesn’t contain a gluten-based starch. Read the labels of your sugar to see before you buy. 🙂

  16. Recipe looks great. Have a question you have to store in the fridge but once icing is on cookies how long can it stay at room temperature. Thank you

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Sugar cookies will survive a long time at room temperature. I like to eat them within a week, but I know many cookie decorators who say they are good up to a month. You need to make sure they are wrapped airtight.

      • Thank you for getting back to me, so the icing is fine a week and does not require refrigeration once on cookies.

  17. Marcia says

    Hi Jasmine,

    Will this icing be strong enough to hold a gingerbread house together like traditional royal icing?

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Yes, it is exactly like regular royal icing. It dries totally solid.

  18. suzie says

    I am looking forward to trying your RI. I am so excited, I have wanted to play with decorating cookies for some time, but could not and would not use eggs, since I am vegan. I have one question, I don’t want to make any mistakes. Has the Aquafaba you call for, been reduced or is it straight from the can?

    Thank-you for your work and for sharing said work,
    Suzie

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Suzie, I usually use reduced aquafaba…but if the stuff your chickpea brine in the can is already thick it will work. It really depends on the brand. If it seems similar in consistency to an egg white, you should be fine. This recipe is pretty forgiving.

      • suzie says

        Thank-you so much for getting back to me, I know answering our questions takes time away from your creating. Thank-you again for all your work,
        Suzie

  19. suzie says

    I forgot to ask you in my previous comment, would you consider making a you tube of how you decorate your cookies. I don’t even know where to begin to do the techniques you use. Your cookies are lovely.

    Thank-you again,
    Suzie

  20. Andrea says

    Okay-this might be a stupid question-but all I have is a can of chickpeas that is salted. It just occurred to me that I might need SALT FREE beans for a sweat recipe. Can you let me know if I don’t need to worry about that 😉

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Unsalted is preferred, but I’ve used the salted version before and it has been fine. You will barely taste it.

  21. Happy Vegan Frosting says

    Thank you for sharing! This is PERFECT!!! I just made a batch using 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon water instead of vanilla extract as I didn’t have clear vanilla extract. This is just dreamy and looks great on my gingerbread cutout cookies.

  22. Happy Vegan Frosting says

    And my can of beans was salted. This frosting is still sweet, but not as sweet as other recipes. I like this one best. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *