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Royal Icing is a favorite of professionals who use it not only for frosting cakes and cookies, but for intricate piping as well. It is a white icing that dries smooth, with a hard, matte finish. Gel or liquid food coloring can be added to produce a wide range of colors. Drying time will vary based on humidity levels and how much icing is used. As a general rule, the top will begin to harden at 30 minutes, but will still be soft underneath. It's best to let royal icing dry overnight.