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 easyย 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. Louise says

    Rita: Good. I hope it goes ok ๐Ÿ™‚

    nc: Mostly I do outline with the same colour. Only I used white here so that it was better to see how much I flood the cookies.

    Kirsten: Thank you

    Leslie: I hope that you can use my tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚

    mamazieza : Royal iced cookies do not stay super crunchy. but they dont get soft either. What happen it you keep your iced cookies in a cookie jar?

    Julie: Thank you

    Tortelinchen: Im only glad that my tutorial help you out ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. says

    The last two days I spend a lot of hours in my kitchen and the results are some very cute cookies. Thank you very much for your tutorial. It was very easy for me to follow your instructions.

  3. says

    I just came across your blog today. What great pictures and the cookies are absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to try out your techniques.

  4. mamazieza says

    Hi Louise

    You wrote that you left the biscuits overnight with the runny royal icing.. wouldn’t the biscuits get soft? Or maybe it is because of the weather in my country..when we left biscuits in an open will become soft and not crispy.

  5. Leslie says

    Thank you so much. I have quite the cookie cutter collection, tips, etc. But I never can find the instructions for how to decorate the cookies. THANK YOU!!!!! I buy magazine after magazine because of the cookies on the cover.

  6. nc says

    I love this. I will definitely try it. I do think that it looks much better when you do the outline in the same colour though, as to give it the look that you didn’t actually outline it.

  7. Rita says

    Thank you for answering, Louise! I have the recipe with your add on instructions and can’t wait to make a batch!

  8. Louise says

    sheela.aziz: im sorry. But only makes this for fun for me, my family and to show my readers.

    sweetmeoffmyfeet: Its a UK brand but I guess that americolors has one close to this color. Remember to let the tinted icing mature overnight to get it dark without adding too much color.

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