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How To Decorate With Royal Icing

Storing Royal Icing Transfers

How to Decorate Cookies with Thinned Royal Icing | Wilton

Store sugar decorations ina dry place, away from the moisture. I store them layered between paper towelsheet in an airtight container. If you live in a humid area it is best toinvest into food grade silica gel packets and include a packet with royal icingtransfers. Or alternatively you can use rice. You can shape a small pouch froma food wrap and spoon a tablespoon or 2 of rice into a pouch and place it into a container. Replace itevery 3-4 months.

How To Tell When Your Icing Is Ready To Use

To test it, I run a toothpick through the center of the icing. You want to icing to naturally fill that line back in but not too quickly. It should actually need some encouragement in the form of shaking from you to come completely back together. Youll notice in the video that I let the icing sit for couple seconds, then shake it to come together completely. I do the same thing when icing the actually cookies. When I fill in the icing, itll mostly come together on its own but I shake it a little bit to help it come together completely.

You could also use a toothpick to move the icing around and help it come together, but I find that I get more air bubbles in my icing when I do that. No good.

To pipe the icing onto the cookies, youll need icing bags, couplers, icing tips , icing bag ties and icing tip covers. I suggest having enough icing tips for each color so you arent needing to switch out the tip constantly. The ties and covers are important for keeping your icing from drying out while in the bags during your decorating session. The icing can quickly dry out and leave your tip clogged and hard to work with, so the cover is important. If that does happen, a toothpick can help remove the blockage, but something it still can cause an issue once its started drying out.

Once you have your icing ready and into your bags, its time to get to piping!

Enjoy the video! Id love your feedback.

Types Of Royal Icingtransfers

Royal icing is such agreat decorating medium. Depending on the royal icing consistency you can useit to create variety of transfers.

Piped Flowers, Roses,Succulents, Sunflowers Poppies, Daisies, Daffodils, Mums, Leaves, Holy Leaves,Snowflakes, Eyes, Spider body, Flower center, Butterflies, Sprinkles

Piped Transfers made using a flower nail, or pressure piping flowers, plants, animals etc.

Sunflowers, Poppy Flowers, Roses, Succulents

Halloween Spider Cupcake Cookies

Egg and Sushi Cookies

  • Egg Egg yolk is a transfer, yellow round is airbrushed to give it more realistic appearance
  • Sushi Cookies Salmon, Tuna, Caviar and Salmon with Avocado are transfers

Textured Transfers use a decorating combs, toothpicks, fork to create textured royal icing.

Roof shingles

Stenciled RIT this is the easiest and the most effective method of creating royal icing transfers. Use stencils to make leaves, gold coins, buttons, hearts, stars, butterflies.


I used a star transfer to make Sheriff Star on my Woody Toy Story Cookies.

Gold Coins

Use tweezers to handle small decorations.

Place heart transfers ontowet icing and let dry.

Stenciled Butterflies

Shape transfers using a V shape drying tray to give butterflies life like appearance.

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There Are 3 Main Consistencies For Royal Icing:

  • Piping Piping is very stiff and gets very hard after drying. This kind of consistency is great for using as mortar on gingerbread houses. It is also good for making transfers . To get this consistency you want to have stiff peaks that dont flop over when you pull it up.
  • Outline The outline consistency is for, well, outlining. This will hold in your flood icing but wont get too hard like the piping consistency. You can easily bite into it and it wont be crunchy. It is great for sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies. To get this consistency you want to have a soft peak that gently flops over when pulled up, but not so soft that it absorbs back into the rest of the icing. You want it to still hold its form.
  • Flood This is that beautiful, glossy, fill icing. It will flood in the areas that you have outlined. It is perfect for sugar cookies. For this consistency, you want the icing to absorb back into itself in 3-4 seconds after pulling it up. It should make a thick puddle and then keep its shape.
  • The Ultimate Guide To Royal Icing

    Decorating Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing â Glorious Treats

    If youre new to working with royal icing and want to learn the basics, this is the post for you! In it youll find my go-to royal icing recipe, a break down of the basic royal icing consistencies, answers to frequently asked questions and how to troubleshoot common royal icing issues.

    Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products included in this post and recommend them because they are products I personally love and trust.

    I think we can all agree: When it comes to cookie decorating, its hard to beat the level of detail you can get with royal icing. But for a beginner, making and decorating with royal icing can feel pretty intimidating.

    Should I use raw egg whites or meringue powder? What about powdered egg whites vs. meringue powder? How do I store it? How do I use it? Whats all this talk about consistencies?

    These were just a few of the things I wondered when I started working with royal icing and boy, I didnt even know where to begin! But after decorating with it for over 6 years, Ive learned a lot about how to make it, use it and what NOT to do.

    So if youre new to royal icing and dont know where to start, this is a great place to be! Lets take some of that guess work out of your decorating endeavors.

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    How Long Will Royal Icing Last In A Piping Bag

    If you havent used all the icing in the bags at the end of your project and you want to keep it for another time, then empty each piping bag of colored icing into a new small freezer bag and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week if its made with fresh egg whites, 2 weeks if made with meringue powder or dried egg

    Can Royal Icing Be Flavored

    Absolutely! Almond, vanilla or coconut extracts are all delicious ways to flavor up royal icing. The meringue powder we use is already flavored so we typically dont need to flavor it any more. If you do want to flavor your icing, just make sure to use CLEAR extracts so you dont mess up the white color. Also, be really careful adding those extra liquids because even a little bit will change the consistency.

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    Simple Designs For Beginners

    As you’re learning to use royal icing, it is best to choose designs that are simple but stunning. These easy techniques are perfect for beginners to use for learning how to use the piping and flooding icings.

    When you’re finished, your cookie tray will be simply breathtaking. Never underestimate the power of simplicity in design!

    All the designs below use just two colors of icing — white + one tinted color of your choosing.

    Change the shape of the cookie and the color of the tinted icing and you could have a wide range of designs available at your fingers using these same simple design tricks!

    You’ll find a list of fun ideas after the demonstrations to get you started.

    How To Decorate Cookies With Royal Icing


    To start, if you havent already be sure to checkout my cutout sugar cookie recipe. Youll obviously want to start with making those cookies.

    Once your cookies are baked and cooled, its time for the fun part the decorating. The first thing to talk about is the royal icing. Dont be afraid just get in there! They may not be perfect the first time, but youll get the hang of it.

    This royal icing dries nice and firm, so you can easily stock the cookies, wrap them, whatever your preference and transport them.

    To make the royal icing, youll combine meringue powder and powdered sugar, then add water and mix together for 7-10 minutes on low to medium speed. I use my whisk attachment on my mixer. Keep mixing until the icing looses its sheen. Youll notice in the video below that my icing is fairly thick to begin with. You could have it a little thinner to start since youll end up with a thinner icing in the end, but I do like to have more control over that so I usually start on the thick end.

    Once the icing is made, be sure to keep a damp cloth over the bowl when you arent using it or it will dry quickly. I typically cover the bowl with a paper towel and sprinkle water over it. Just be sure to sprinkle more water on as it dries.

    As you add the color to your icing you can also be slowly adding more water, if needed, to get the right icing consistency. Youll see that I included video of my icing and how I test the consistency to help it be a little more clear.

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    Frequently Asked Royal Icing Questions

    Can I use royal icing to decorate a cake?

    If the cake is covered in fondant, yes. But just like butter bleed from a warm cookie, butter from a buttercream frosting will leech into your royal icing leaving it discolored. Dried or drying royal icing should not be refrigerated.

    How do I store royal icing?

    Royal icing made with meringue powder or powdered egg whites can be stored at room temperature. To keep the royal icing from crusting, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the royal icing.

    If you keep it for more than a few days, the water may start to separate from the icing. This doesnt mean you cant use it, but youll want to give it a good mix before you do. You can store royal icing in this manner for about 2 weeks.

    What are royal icing transfers/how do I make royal icing transfers?

    Royal icing transfers are royal icing decorations that have been piped onto wax or parchment paper that can be transferred to other creations like cookies or cupcakes.

    Transfers are great for making decorations ahead, perfect for beginners who may want the assistance of a stencil and can be kept in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight almost indefinitely.

    What About Royal Icing

    Royal icing is what professional bakers typically use for this kind of cookie decorating. Its made with either whipped egg whites or whipped meringue powder along with powdered sugar and water, and it tends to be a little more stable and thicker than straight powdered sugar icing.

    Royal icing is great for fine-detailed decorating work and Martha Stewart, but for the most part, Im just not that fancy. I am totally happy with a cookie simply flooded with a layer of crunchy, sugary icing. I also like the fact that straight powdered sugar icing can be made with a fork and bowl in just a few seconds and doesnt require any disclaimers about raw eggs when sharing the resulting cookies.

    These cookies might not be quite what the pros would go for, but for friends and family, these fuss-free, homemade, hand-iced sugar cookies are a credit to the cookie tray.

    If you are curious about royal icing, here are a few recipes and tutorials about working with it:

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    Prepare Your Royal Icing

    First, mix your powdered sugar with some cream of tartar this helps stabilize the finished icing and brighten the white color. Then, youll stir in by hand the egg whites, to avoid a flurry of powdered sugar when you turn on the mixer. Once the sugar is moistened, turn your mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, on low to combine the ingredients. Then, scrape down the sides, and set your mixer on high for 2-3 minutes.

    PRO TIP: As soon as you are finished using your royal icing, cover it with plastic wrap touching the surface of the icing. This rule stands from the first step to the last, whether you are working with a large amount, or mixing tiny bits of color. Always cover your royal icing immediately or it will begin to harden and become unusable.

    Next, plan or sketch your cookie design, thinking of each color as a separate layer: base , main design , and finishing details Unless you want the colors to blend and bleed into each other, youll need to let the base color dry before adding a second layer, and so on. When youre first starting out, its easiest to limit the number of colors your design utilizes try choosing two or three, maybe adding a fourth for the final layer details.

    Royal Icing Lingo Tips And Techniques

    Caramel Royal Icing Recipe &  Video of Decorating Camping ...

    Before we begin decorating the sugar cookies, heres your chance to learn the lingo before you start decorating cookies.

    A few things to remember:

    • Royal icing can be used for piping, outlining, or flooding.

    • Each technique uses the same icing recipe, just the consistency changes.

    • Royal icing can be flavored! Just make sure to use an oil-free extract or flavoring. My favorites are vanilla and almond extract.

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    Bake The Sugar Cookies

    To begin the dough for your cookies, sift together your flour, corn starch, and salt. We use corn starch to soften the protein of the flour, giving you a lighter, more tender final cookie. Then, cream your butter, cream cheese, and sugar together, followed by the extracts and eggs added one at a time, so as not to break your emulsification. Finally, youll add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, combining gently with a spatula until a dough begins to form.

    Dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, kneading it gently until it mostly comes together, in the shape of a somewhat-flattened disc. Then, chill the wrapped dough in the freezer to chill for 30-45 minutes. This allows the dough to hydrate and come together, as well as making it easier to cut into shapes. Once the dough is firm to the touch, roll it out on a silicone baking mat and stamp out your shapes, placing them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

    PRO TIP: If your dough begins to get too soft at any time while youre working with it, place the whole baking mat/baking sheet back into the freezer for a few minutes. This, again, keeps the lines and edges of your cookies sharp and clean.

    Once the cookies are all stamped out, freeze them again for 10 minutes or so, after which youll place them directly into the oven to bake. Be sure to let your cookies cool fully before adding any royal icing. Otherwise, youll have a melty mess on your hands!

    Wax Paper Parchment And Acetate

    • Wax Paper widely available. This is your cheapest option. From my experience I find that transfers stick to the wax paper slightly more than they do to the parchment. Its also easier to keep it flat. I usually prefer wax paper over parchment.
    • Parchment Paper widely available. Not all parchment is the same. When using coated parchment in my experience transfers tend to slide off really easily from the parchment. In some cases this may not be ideal. For example I used a brown parchment to make my butterflies and as soon as I lifted the parchment butterfly wings were sliding off the parchment without me even trying. So be extra careful when using coated parchment. It may also depends on the brand of parchment. I used parchment with light coating on it. Also, parchment on a roll can be difficult to keep completely flat, even with a masking tape.
    • Food Grade Acetate Sheets specialty stores. Its more expensive than wax paper or parchment paper. Make sure to use flat sheet as roll is pretty impossible to keep flat. Tip: If you use frosting sheets or sugar sheets backing material is usually an acetate. If possible I always save the frosting sheet backing material. It also works great with chocolate.

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    Eye Catching Icing Is Just A Click Away

    We know you want your treats to stand out in the crowd. Good news – show stopping icing has never been easier. Download this handy chart with the food color ratios for the perfect icing color. Youll find the latest color trends as well as some classic staples. So, have fun and get creative! Your treats will be as colorful as they are delicious.

    What Are Royal Icing Transfers

    How to Decorate Cookies with Royal Icing

    Royal Icing Transfers are edible sugar decorations prepared from royal icing. To put it simply Royal Icing Transfer is basically royal icing that was piped or spread on a piece of wax paper, parchment paper or an acetate sheet, and it was left to dry.

    Once royal icing decoration dries it can then be removed from the backing material. Then these sugar decorations can used be used to adorn cookies, cakes, cupcakes and gingerbread houses. They can prepared ahead of time.

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