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. Ingrid best says

    Hii Louise, I need some help with my butter cream. I never can get a good mixture when I am icing my cupcakes. Can you help.

  2. Randa says

    How long can iced cookies keep for? In Australia we don’t have pasteurized eggs so how long before a function can I ice the cookies?

    Your work is very pretty and thank you for all your helpful tips

    • Louise says

      You can make royal icing with meringue powder. Find recipe here Cookies can be stored for up to 1 month if kept in an air tight container. Of course you may not expect the cookie to be super crispy though. But it is still nice to eat.

  3. Meghan says

    Hello, how come when i felt my icing it was thick but i put on the cookie it just ran off it!?

    • Louise says

      Did you outline the cookie?? If not, it’s always good to test the consistency on a spare cookie before you start.

    • Louise says

      How do you make your RI? I sounds like it got too much air incorporated in the RI. Same can happen with the thinned RI that you use to flood your cookies with afterwards.

  4. yashil says

    hello,im yashil from so happy that i found this page.i going to try it and practise until valentine day.thanks alot

  5. Mintu says


    I found your site really informative. I have 2 questions. How long will the icing last? Since it has raw eggs I’m never sure if it has gone bad. Secondly, last time I made this icing I used water to make it into flooding consistency. The icing looked perfect soon after it was done, but once it dried it looked parched and ugly. Hope you have some answers for me..

    Thanks a lot.

    • Louise says

      I do not make it with raw egg whites but pasteurized egg whites. It sounds like you have used too much water to thin down the icing. Only add drops of water at a time. If you cannot get pasteurized whites where you are? Then make it using Wilton’s meringue powder. You can use this recipe for it then:

      Antonia’s Royal Icing for cookies (from CakeCentral).

      In a steel mixing bowl add 5 tbsp Meringue.
      Add 3/4 cup water and mix vigouously with a small wire whisk until frothy.
      Add 1 tsp Cream of Tartar and mix again vigourously with small wire whisk.
      Add in 1 kg (7-8 cups confectioners sugar) all at once

      Attach whisk attachment to mixer and blend everything on lowest mix setting for 10 minutes. Add any flavoring to taste.
      keeps in a sealed container for up to 5 weeks!!

      To make the icing thinner, just add a little water at a time and mix until the icing smooth into itself after 10 seconds.

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