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It’s football season and you need a sweet treat to enjoy the big game! Try my best chocolate royal icing recipe for game day because it’s the treat everyone will love. I mean c’mon! Chocolate football cookies with chocolate royal icing? It can’t get better than that!

football shaped cookies with football themed chocolate icing

Best Chocolate Royal Icing Recipe

Sure you’ve heard of – or maybe made – Royal Icing before, but have you ever made Chocolate Royal Icing? Whenever you need to make a brown icing color, instead of using food coloring, add cocoa to make chocolate flavored icing. It’s perfect for frosting chocolate sugar cookies or chocolate cut out sugar cookies!

Chocolate Royal Icing tastes better than plain and it’s no more difficult to make. It’s the perfect frosting for football cookies!

ingredients of chocolate royal icing

Ingredients in Chocolate Icing

  • Meringue powder: if you don’t have this you can use one egg white instead.
  • Cocoa powder: one cup cocoa powder together make this an ultra chocolatey goodness recipe. You can use regular unsweetned cocoa powder or Dutch process for a deeper color and flavor.
  • Water: warm water is needed to bring the icing altogether.

Click to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

How to make Chocolate Royal Icing

  1. Place powdered sugar, meringue powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  2. Add warm water and mix until stiff peaks form, adding another tablespoon of water during mixing. You may add water as you mix but only add ½ teaspoon at a time. You want the consistency to be able to hold a peak but the peak curls but doesn’t disappear in on itself.
  3. Place about half the icing in a piping bag fitted with a #2 or #3 round tip. Be sure to cover the mixing bowl with a damp paper towel so the remaining icing doesn’t dry out.
  4. Outline your cookies with the icing and let the cookies dry for about 15 minutes or until the icing is firm enough that flooding the center won’t break the edge.
  5. Add a bit more water to the remaining icing, mixing until the icing drizzles back on itself and slowly dissipates, but isn’t so runny it just disappears on itself. Place in another piping bag fitted with a #5 round tip and flood the centers of the cookies, using a toothpick or spatula to carefully spread the icing to the edges.
  6. Let the frosting completely harden this may take hours or overnight.
  7. Add white laces to the chocolate hard icing using vanilla frosting if you’re making footballs. You can just add a bit of frosting or melted white chocolate to a ziplok bag and cut off one tip, or use a #2 round tip with a piping bag.
football shaped cookies with football themed chocolate icing

Expert Tips

  • For a clean and sharp icing edge, use a toothpick or spatula to carefully spread the icing to the edges.
  • If your frosting is too runny you can add more powdered sugar.
  • If the royal icing is too thick, add a bit more water.


Can you freeze chocolate royal icing?

You can freeze royal icing except only once while it’s on the cookie. 

How long does royal icing take to dry?

This brown icing takes hours or overnight to harden. 

What are the best tools for royal icing?

An electric mixer and icing pipe bags with tips.

What is the difference between royal icing and regular icing?

Royal icing hardens like a hard candy texture while regular icing stays soft.

football shaped cookies with football themed chocolate icing

Chocolate Royal Icing Recipe

4.50 from 8 votes
Learn how to make chocolate flavored royal icing for when you make football coookies.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


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  • Add powdered sugar, cocoa, and meringue powder to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons water.  Beat until peaks form and it’s lost it’s glossy sheen, about 7-10 minutes. Add a bit more water as needed for piping consistency.
  • Use a small round tip (Wilton 2 or 3) to pipe the edge of the cookies. Let dry. Then change the tip to a 5 and flood the center, using a spatula to help you spread the frosting to the edges. Allow to dry completely before doing any other decorating.
  • If you're making football cookies, use white frosting or melted white chocolate to pipe laces.

Recipe Notes

  • Sometimes I find that sweet spot of water where when I pipe it’s smooth enough to not run, so I just do the edges and fill the cookie all at once. Other times if it’s too stiff, I’ll pipe the edges, let it dry, then add more water to thin and flood the center.
  • If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  • If the icing is too thick, add more water.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 0.5mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 15g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on February 5, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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