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. sheela.aziz says

    thank u for what ur sending im opening a sweet shop mini cakes,chocolates
    in my country please let me know from were can i buy your products and your price ‘

    thank sheela.aziz

  2. Louise says

    apparentlyjessy & Pam: Thank you.

    Lindsey: Its the same royal icing I use for both outlining and flooding. Just thin it down with water.

    Carol: it comes from a set of painters spatulars. So I guess that you can find it in craft stores.

    Helen & Robin: Thank you

    Teri: Squeeze bottles are so brilliant for flooding. also I find it much easier not to overflood my cookies. I have never had problems with my runny icing shrinking. If you read the Royal icing tutorial at the end I explain how I thin down my RI. The trick is to add just enough drops of water (I use another squeeze bottle for that filled with water) if you add to much water it will quickly stay at the bottom of the bowl.

    Ladybug Luggage, Ellysa, Whitney & Rubina: Thank you all.

    dulzuramagica: Yes drops of water only 🙂

    Cake Bunny: Oh im sure that you would do it good.

    Yanira: Thank you

    Cakegirl: Have fun with the templates. You know… sharing is the best!

    Dawnie Cakes: Thank you so much. I have so much more I want to show and share but sometimes so little time.

    Rico: Thank you for the comment.

    Jennywenny: Oh you are going to love them. They are so good.

    Chelle: Have fun with your super bowl cookies 🙂

    Sandee: I am only happy to share my tricks. I hope that you will have fun the next time.

    laling: thank you

    Rita: I not sure because normally I use confectioners icing sugar instead of caster sugar. I think its hard to get a nice clean cut because of the tiny sugar grains. But what I do is only to cut a small piece of dough at a time. So it is a bit hard to roll out but the cut out cookie keeps its shape better I think. I still bake a whole plate though.

    Also I dont use baking powder in my cookie dough. Try this shortbread cookie recipe but add 1 egg beaten lightly to the recipe (add it after butter/sugar)

    dayanara:Yes the second outline is the “top” decoration like you can see on the mosaic photo.

    Janet Kiesler: Please see my reply for Rita. Thanks

    Milismilis: I use disposable icing bags. I only have largeones that I cut smaller so it is a bit of waste. I think that Wilton have some small ones. Depending on how many cookies you need to make 1 cup of royal icing goes a long way. Only fill your piping bag with RI so that you can close your hand around it. It is much easier to pipe and handle that way.

    Rhonda: Thank you! Its the best part of blogging.

    decadent cookies: Well some of them are home made templates. So they are a bit time consuming to cut out by hand. but I have many cookie cutters too. I get them from &

    You can find the templates for download here

    melysa: Thank you

  3. says

    Thank you for the how to.

    I didnt know about the squeeze nozzle bottle and would be getting some soon.

    I have a question about pipping bag.
    I do not find any small piping bag for icing.
    You do cut a big icing bagwhen outline it?
    As not much quantity is needed for outline and it would be handy if small disposable piping bag is available.

  4. Janet Kiesler says

    I’m with Rita, how do you get your cookies to bake up so nice and still maintain there shape? Your cookies are beautiful, thanks for the pictures and the inspiration to practice, practice, practice.

  5. dayanara says

    I love your cookies!!!!!! When you talk about the second outline you use tip 2 with softicing, What second outline? Are you talking about the decorations that go on top? Thanks, cant wait to here your response!

  6. Rita says

    How in the world to you get such nice crisp edges on your cookies? And they’re so flat and even! Mine always look lumpy/bumpy and the edges are always rounded off. Any help with this problem?

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