Royal Icing Tips and Tricks

Royal icing is great to use on sugar cookies. It dries hard with a lovely matte finish. They are much easier to store and transport (than cookies covered in buttercream). But make sure you don't stack them right away. Allow iced cookies to harden overnight before stacking.
Decorate with Royal Icing
  • Outline the cookie first with a darker color. Let dry for about 15 minutes. When decorating with a pastry bag and tip make the icing a bit thicker so it doesn’t drip off the back of a spoon (or out of your pastry bag!)
  • Fill in the outlines. The icing needs to be a bit thinner now so it can spread easily, similar to heavy cream.
Use an artist’s brush, or
Spread icing with a small decorating spatula (The Fat Daddio's SPAT-TPROS works well here) or
Dip the cookie straight into the icing. A great technique with smaller kids.
QUICK TIP: Royal icing will dry out quickly. Cover your bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and stir frequently.
  • Now add the sprinkles! Let these cookies dry for 24 hours before stacking or storing.
  • Want to try some fun designs? Here are some suggestions:
Pipe straight lines of color on a solid background. Pull through perpendicularly while still wet with a toothpick for a marbling effect.
Pipe décor onto wax paper. Let dry, then transfer to cookies. Can be propped up at angles in frosting to create a 3-D effect.
Write out names or words in frosting.
Try using one shape for many kinds of cookies. Hearts can be hearts and fish and strawberries. Ovals can be eggs and chicks and portraits. Once you have a basic shape, you can do all kinds of things.