Learning how to Decorate Royal Icing Cookies

Royal Icing Cookie

Getting creative in the kitchen with various cookie cutters, colored frosting, and candy sprinkles is so much fun! Yet, many people who enjoy decorating cookies believe it takes a lot of time, talent, and patience to achieve professional-looking results at home. 

The truth is that cookie decorating is easy to master with the right type of icing and a few basic tools. Whether you're simply interested in improving your skills or planning for an upcoming event, consider taking a few minutes to learn the basics of decorating cut-out cookies with royal icing.

What Is Royal Icing? 

Royal icing is a sweet confection that hardens as it sets. Some recipes call for egg whites, confectioners (powdered) sugar, and water; others rely on meringue powder to achieve the same results. When you're making royal icing at home, you'll need to beat the ingredients with a hand mixer until stiff peaks begin to form. Once you've achieved the right consistency, you can customize the color with food coloring pastes and gels.

When you want the fun of cookie decorating, but don't want to devote a lot of time to baking and preparing royal icing, a cookie decorating kit could be your best option. Color My Cookie Collections give you six pre-iced cookies plus everything you need to decorate like a pro, including royal icing and edible watercolors.

Royal Icing Cookie Decorating Techniques 

Whether enjoying the simple pleasures of a Color My Cookie Collection or using your own cut-out cookie recipe at home, it's much easier to create impressive-looking cookies with royal icing than you might expect. Within a relatively short amount of time, nearly anyone can master the following royal icing techniques.


Piping takes a little practice, but the results are worth the effort. For writing, outlining, and detailing, fill a small pastry bag with royal icing. Then, cut off the very tip of the bag (or use a decorating tip). The texture of your icing should be firm enough for your dots and lines to hold their shape.


Flooding creates a uniform, glossy layer of icing over the surface of your cookies. For best results, first, pipe an outline to keep the icing from oozing off the edge, then fill. After filling your outline, gently shake (or tap) your cookie until the surface is smooth. Eliminate any air bubbles with a toothpick.


Bleeding two (or more) royal icing colors can look quite impressive. When you place one color on top of another while both layers are still wet, you'll get a blurred effect where the colors merge. For more intricate designs, try running a toothpick through the icing before either layer dries.


You can add sparkling sugar, jimmies, or nonpareils to your creations with a technique called flocking. After piping or flooding an area, sprinkle the sugar (or candy) over your icing. Once the icing sets, shake off any excess. Royal icing typically sets within 5-10 minutes.

Adding Pearls, Dragèes, and Candy

You can also use royal icing as an edible "glue" to hold various dragèes like pearl balls, Jordan almonds, or candy-coated chocolates in place. Simply add a dot of royal icing with your piping bag and stick the candies where you think they look best. When precision matters, try using tweezers.

Shop Our Cookie Decorating Collections 

Decorating cookies is as much fun as eating them, maybe more. Whether you're looking for something creative to do with your family or an interactive activity for a birthday party or baby shower, Color My Cookie helps make the occasion memorable. Although cookie shapes and decorations vary by theme, each Color My Cookie Decorating Collection includes:

  • Six delicious pre-iced shortbread cookies
  • A palette cookie with edible watercolors
  • Two paintbrushes and cups for water
  • Royal icing, sprinkles, and other edible decorations
  • Online cookie decorating tips (link provided)

Decorated cookies have a way of making special occasions festive and ordinary days memorable. Color, My Cookie Decorating Collections, are currently available online and in more than 30 stores nationwide. Visit Color My Cookie to browse our cookie themes, find answers to frequently asked questions, or contact us for more information about custom orders.

Image Credit:  TorriPhoto / Shutterstock