How to flood cookies with royal icing


I get a lot of questions on how I decorate my cookies with royal icing. I like the method where you first outline the cookie and when the outlining is dry you flood the cookie with a runny icing. It gives the cookie a smooth look and when its dry, you can pipe details on the cookie. Flooding cookies is easy and so much fun to do.

I use a piping bag with soft royal icing and a tip 3 for my outlining most of the time. I make my royal icing soft with few drops of water, but not softer than it keeps its shape when I pipe. Stiff icing will make the icing curl and it can be hard work for your hands. Try and pipe a few strings on your worktop, to see if its good consistency.

I hold my bag about 1/2″ above the cookie. That way I can navigate the icing without breaking it. It takes a few practice. For the second outline on the cookie I use a piping bag and a tip 2 with soft icing. If you are not happy with the outlining, use a small spatular to scrape off the icing and start over.

For flooding I always use a squeeze nozzle bottle for my runny icing. That way I can change the tip and I dont have to worry about icing running out of the piping bag when not used. I can storage any left over icing as the squeeze bottle comes with a screw cap.

I always let my flooded cookies dry over night before I continue decorating.

This is what I use:
Cookies You can use this shortbread cookie recipe
Royal icing (find info on how to make runny icing)
Food gel colors
Squeeze nozzle bottle
Piping bag with coupler
2 x tips no. 3
Small spatular
Small pin (to perforate airbubbles)
Small thin damp brush (I use this if the outlining need to be repaired)

Step 1:
Pipe the outline of the cookie. Let it dry a few minutes before you flood with the runny icing.

Step 2:
Take the squeeze bottle filled with runny royal icing. Start piping from the outside and work your way into the middle. Be careful not to over flood the cookie. If any air bubbles comes use a pin to perforate them.

Let the cookies dry overnight. Use a tip no.2 to pipe second and other details.

Tip 2:If you want to decorate with glitter or sanding sugar? Then shake it over the wet cookie. Let it dry comepletely before you shake off any excess glitter.

Tip 1:You can make dots on a flooded cookie. Take another squeeze nozzle bottle and a tip 2, fill it with runny icing in another color and pipe dots into the wet icing.

I always let my flooded cookies dry over night before I continue decorating.

Happy Caking



  1. Gordon says

    If I were to pipe eyes and a mouth on the cookie . let dry overnight and then flood the cookie. will the eyes and mouth survive and still look like eyes and a mouth ?

  2. Whitney says

    That are some. Cool stuff I would use a pipping bag because my mom took a cake class and she did one of those I help her with it it came out pretty good we put are s in the fregitarter for a about 2mins

  3. Jacque says

    I use Wilton’s Royal Icing recipe with Meringue powder. I flooded the cookies, and they sat overnight. They haven’t hardened at all. Any suggestions?

  4. Magnolia says

    Hi, great instructions, but i have a doubt: Could i use a piping bag instead of a squeeze nozzle bottle to fill de cookie or to make dots or so?

  5. Kay Lechner says

    Is it safe to eat Royal Icing since it has egg whites in it? Also – how far in advance can you make it, or how long will it keep?

    • Courtney says

      You’ll be fine if you use them. I have been using a recipe with egg whites for years and I am fine. If you are selling them, or are giving them to a pregnant woman, elderly person, or a young child then you can use pasteurized egg whites instead. You can also use meringue powder.

  6. Alex says

    Thank you so much for the STEP BY STEP instructions..I have 3 little kido’s and i am so excited to make these for their birthday parties !!!!


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