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. says

    Thank you for sharing this very useful information! I was recently inspired by your cookie lollie tutorial and successfully made some cookie lollies last week. When it came time to decorate them, I knew I wanted to use royal icing and the flooding technique, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. I went for it on my own, and I did a preety good job. Bu thanks to this helpful tutorial, I know next time they will turn out even better! Thanks Louise, your the best!

  2. says

    This is an AWESOME tutorial – thank you so much!! I am planning on making some decorated cookies for the Super Bowl and can’t wait to practice using your method!

  3. dawnie cakes says

    thank you so very much for ALWAYS sharing what you know and the new things you learn.. It is very loving of you to do that!!!! talk to you soon, dawn

  4. cakegirl says

    I found your cute cookie templates for these shapes. Type in the search box “cookie templates”, and the pdf will come up to download and print out. Thanks for being so generous with your knowledge and sharing with us!

  5. Yanira says

    ” I luv your work & thank you for the tips on outlining & then flooding the cookies. They are so pretty”

  6. Cake Bunny says

    So smooth they look like fondant! I wish i had the time to practice…I need to steady my hands for the piping. Thanks for another great tutorial!

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