Jun 13


Cookie Decorating Tutorial – General Tips & Butterfly Cookies

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This is my first tutorial on tips and tricks for decorating cookies with royal icing.  I have to say first off, that I’ve learned many great tips from various sources on the internet, from books and from cookie decorating classes.  If you’re interested in other sources here are the main ones I’ve learned from:

1.  Internet:

http://cakecentral.com - Find forums to chat with others about cake decorating etc., photo galleries for inspiration,  tutorials and more on this gold mine of a cake decorating (& more!) site.

http://www.cakejournal.com/ - A lovely site with beautiful work by the author, Louise.  She’s so great you might want to just leave here and check out her tutorial on decorating cookies!  Why am I even writing this?! =)

http://chiccookiekits.blogspot.com/ - Meaghan’s got a great site dedicated to all kinds of cookie decorating.  In addition to publishing her own book, Cookie Sensations, she writes for www.craftgossip.com edible crafts section.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZBXVveAEPE – Cat Cora from Iron Chef, shows how to decorate cookies on youtube.com.  Hers is good for the beginner.   There are lots of other video tutorials on youtube as well!

There are so many other great sites out there; have fun surfing!


2.  Books:

Peggy Porschen’s books have great recipes, easy to follow instructions, and beautiful cakes, cupcakes and cookies.  She has a new book coming out in July, Cake Chic. I can’t wait for it!

Cookie Craft by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer is another excellent resource. It covers all the practicals of cookie decorating… from making or freezing the dough to a myriad of fab cookie ideas.

Toba Garrett’s Creative Cookies is one of the first decorating books I’ve bought. She covers many different techniques for decorating cookies, from piping royal icing, to covering them with fondant etc.  For the beginner and advanced!



Bonnie Gordon’s School of Cake Design (www.bonniegordoncakes.com) - Super if you live in the Toronto area!  I enjoyed the cookie decorating class offered there and learned some helpful tips.  There are many other great-looking decorating classes I’d like to try in the Toronto area, but haven’t taken the classes yet, so I can’t comment on them at this point in time.


Okay, here we go!

Decorating cookies is often called ‘flooding’ because you can essentially create a dam,  wall or outline  of icing on the edge of your cookie, and then  ’flood’ or ‘fill in’ that ‘dam’ with icing.  There are those who like to decorate without using a dam by just applying the icing, but I find that I’m able to add more icing onto the cookie when the dam holds it in, therefore making the cookie surface look more thick and rich.


One of the most important components of decorating cookies is the royal icing itself.   I have two favorite recipes; Antonia74′s (from cakecentral.com), and Peggy Porschen’s recipe from any of her books.  Here is Antonia74′s icing recipe for decorating cookies:


Royal Icing Recipe


6 oz (3/4 cup) of warm water
5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 kilogram (2.25 lbs.) powdered icing sugar

*** Note; if your meringue powder has no vanilla flavour (vanillin powder) in it, add a teaspoon of clear vanilla to this recipe.


In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.

Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.

Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.

Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.

Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.

Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.


Besides your cookies and the ingredients for the royal icing recipe, you’ll need your tools:

Cookie Decorating Tools:

1) piping bags

2) elastic bands

3) piping tips(at least #’s 1-5)

4) couplers

5) coupler covers – these aren’t necessary; you can just rest your tips in a damp cloth

4) glasses – to stand your icing bags in

5) clean cloths – a few damp and dry ones nearby

6) toothpicks

7) food gel coloring


Icing Tips and Tricks:

One of the most important things I’ve learned about cookie decorating is that if your icing isn’t at the right consistency or thickness, the experience can be very frustrating.

So, once you have made the icing, it ususally needs to be thinned a bit to create the best consistency for decorating.   This means that it needs to be fluid enough so that it will flow just enough that it settles into your cookie dam, but not too much so that it runs over.

You may realize that that the icing was thinner before you whipped it for 10 minutes according to the recipe, but it does make a difference in the texture that you mix it that long.  Do mix it for 10 minutes and then thin it out if you need to.

Add just drops of water at a time to make the icing runnier.  If you add too much water at a time it’s more difficult to thicken it with icing sugar than it is to add water to it.

The trick I use to make sure my icing is at the right consistency, is called the “10 second rule“.  Drag a butter knife through the surface of your royal icing and count to 10.  If the icing surface becomes smooth in anywhere between 5-10 seconds, then your icing is ready to use.  If it takes longer than approximately 10 seconds, the icing is too thick.  Slowly add more water.  If your icing surface smoothes over in less than 5-10 seconds, it is too runny.  Mix your icing longer or slowly add more sifted icing sugar to thicken it.

I learned a slightly different ’10 second rule’, through Sarah Bell at Bonnie Gordon School of Cake Decorating… she likes to dip a spoon into the icing, lift it and let ribbons of icing drop back into the bowl, and count how many seconds it takes to make that surface flat again.  (5-10 seconds).


Some people use a thicker consistency icing to outline their cookie shape and then a runnier one to fill it in.   I have come to prefer using the same icing to outline and flood because it saves me time.  (I don’t have to prepare two icings for each color, prepare two piping bags for each color etc.).  That being said, the icing then can’t be too runny, because the outlines will not form properly.

Some decorators like to flood their cookies with a very runny icing, so if you are one of them, prepare two icing consistencies, one thicker, one runnier.  The thicker icing should not be so thick that it is dry and curls when you try to pipe it.  It should just hold it’s shape when you pipe it onto the cookie.


Coloring Icing:

Once you’ve managed to reach the desired icing consistency, add food paste coloring of your choice.  I use a toothpick to slowly add color bit by bit.  Because deep, dark colors such as red or black usually require a lot more food paste coloring, I’ll use the end of a butter knife to scoop out those colors if they’re in a tiny container.  I should also add that I have come to prefer the Americolor brand for black especially.  Americolor uses squeeze bottles which makes adding the color much easier, and it seems to bleed less into other colors.

Another tip when it comes to adding color to your icing; the colors usually deepen with time, so I try to color my icings 24 hours in advance to see if I’m happy with them.

Also, stirring your icing to add color will incorporate air into it, so if you leave the icing sitting for a while the air bubbles rise to the surface, where you can pop them by gently stirring just a little before you add the icing to the piping bags.

One more tip to help avoid air bubbles in your piping bag; massage the royal icing a bit before you twist the top end of the piping bag closed.  Press the icing in the bag upwards, starting from the tip and working your way up, pushing out the air bubbles as you go.   Then push it back down towards the piping tip.


Filling Piping Bags:

I have disposable and non-disposable piping bags for decorating.  Either are fine, however, I tend to lean towards disposable because I can quickly see what color each bag has in it.  Important when timing is key!   That being said, you could color-code each with a matching elastic if you don’t like using disposable bags.   I’ve also tried using squeeze bottles with my students at school, and they’re also great for being able to see the colors easily, they aren’t very messy, and the icing can be kept in them as they’re airtight with the wee little lids.  Trying not to lose them with teenage students is a problem though!  Sorry guys it’s true!  ;-)    For me, the bottles are really only good for filling in, or flooding, so I tend not to bother with them for the most part.

Cut off the ends of your disposable piping bags, insert the coupler, tip and close it off.  I generally use a number 2 or 3 piping tip to outline my cookies and a number 2 – 5 to flood them.   The larger the cookie, the larger the piping tip.   There are some great tips for small details, such as 00 or even 000, however they clog very easily!  I like to use tip #1-#1.5 for smaller details.

Get as many glasses as I have colors out, add a clean, damp cloth to the bottom of each, and set one empty piping bag into each as well, with the opening of the piping bag folded over the rim of the glass.  Fill the piping bag with your royal icing.  I find it easier to fill the bags with icing when I have two hands free.

Twist the openings of the piping bags closed, and tightly secure them with elastic bands.  Work over your icing bowl so that the icing dripping out of the tips doesn’t go all over your work surface.  Rest your finished decorating bags back in the glasses until you’re ready to use them.


Outlining Cookies/Piping Techniques:

Practice piping on your work surface so that your hand gets some practice before you begin the cookies.  I usually find I need a few minutes to play around before my piping improves.  I decorate my least favourite cookies, or my extra cookies first; that way if I make a mistake it won’t matter as much!

Outline the cookies first, and wait at least 15 minutes before you flood the inside of the ‘dam’.  If  the outline is a dark color such as brown or black, I wait 24 hours before flooding the cookie.  It lessens the chance that the colors will seep into each other.  If you live in a humid climate, air conditioning or a dehumidifier will help prevent color seepage as well.

I should also mention, that if you don’t like the look of the outline on the cookie, outline your cookie and fill it in right away.  The icing needs to be at medium consistency for this… not too runny or it will just flow everywhere, and not too thick or it won’t settle smoothly.

To outline the cookies,  hold the bag at a 45 degree angle and position the tip at a corner of the cookie.  Put enough pressure on the bag so that the icing comes out and start moving towards the direction you’d like your icing to flow at the same time.  About a centimeter after you’ve begun your outline, start lifting the piping bag away from the cookie, so that the icing just falls onto the cookie.  Start coming back closer to the cookie when approaching another corner.  If the cookie is more intricate, or has more corners, you may not be able to just let the icing fall as there won’t really be room to.  Also start to apply less pressure as you approach the corners.  While decorating, every once in a while I twist and tighten the top part of the bag to create pressure so that the icing flows well.


Flooding/Filling In Cookies:

When your cookies are ready to flood use a #3 – #5 sized piping tip.  The larger the cookie the larger the tip.  Start at one area and quickly zig zag back and forth until you’ve covered your cookie.  Don’t worry if you haven’t filled in every little spot; speed is more important at this point.  If there are a few spots that haven’t quite filled in once you’ve basically covered the whole cookie, use your piping bag, a toothpick or a paintbrush (used only for food), to push the icing around and fill in the gaps.


If you would like to add more icing colors to your cookie so that they ”meld’ into the base color, you need to add it right away.  The base layer starts to dry quickly so you need to add your next colors as fast as possible.  For example, I added these two black lines and one colorful line and then drag a toothpick through them.



The ‘eye’ of the butterfly is then made by layering a few colored dots on top of each other, with the white or light color second last and black last.  Dots are easy to make; position your piping bag straight above the area you’d like to pipe and gently apply enough pressure so that just a dot comes out of the tip.  Stop the pressure on the bag and lift it away.  Take your next color and keep layering, making sure that your dots get smaller each time.



Fill in each wing or every two wings at a time.


Packaging and Storing Cookies:

Let the cookies dry for 24 hours before you package them.

If you’d like to store them in tupperware instead of packaging them, stack them with the largest cookies on the bottom and the smallest, most delicate ones near the top, and insert parchment paper between each layer.  Store in a cool, dry area.  I try to make mine no more than one week in advance, and advise people to eat them as soon as possible!  They should be eaten within one month for sure.  Some people claim they are fine even up to 3 months, however, I’m a firm believer in “the sooner, the better!”


I hope this tutorial has helped you!  I welcome any questions or feedback… Have I forgotten to mention something?  Do you need clarification on anything?  Please ask or let me know!

If you like learning with video, you can also find me on YouTube, by clicking here.

Have fun creating!!




butterfly-all-colors1 For some other butterfly cookie examples see this older post  here.


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  1. Danielle Birdwell
    June 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    A girl can never have too many cookie cutters :)

  2. Wendy
    June 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I really appreciate the ease and humility with which you share your experiences. Your directions are easy to follow and you do it in such an encouraging and complete way! What I can’t figure out is how you have time to make cookies, explore new ideas, maintain a well-done website and still live real life! Do you give lessons on that too!?!?!

  3. marian
    June 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Wendy: That made me giggle! Thank you for your kind comments!
    The answer… not much sleep?
    Kidding… (but not?). I sleep on average 6-7 hours per night, which is pretty normal I think. It’s definitely a juggling thing… I do struggle with balance and have written a post alluding to it here; http://sweetopia.net/2011/11/cookie-making-schedule-free-printables-ballet-tutu-cookies/

    When “something has to give” it’s usually here :( so that’s when I’m not able to post… can see in the archives that some months have more posts than others. I think out of four years though, only 2 months have 1 post. I do love blogging here on Sweetopia, and get to meet such nice people, and people who leave me nice comments, like yourself.
    Thanks again. xo

  4. sarah
    July 5, 2013 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    im in love with what u do! do u have an email i cld contact u at?

    • marian
      July 5, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Glad you like it, Sarah! My email contact form is on the home page… where there’s a pic of me… right beside that. xo

  5. sarah
    July 5, 2013 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    p.s. look @ the time im looking @ ur site!! =) =)

  6. Carol
    July 7, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Just found your blog today! I am truly impressed by creative cookie baking! lol
    And am definitely going to give it a go:) You make it looks so easy also & I think with practise I might get close to what you achieve. thankyou so much for sharing your ‘art’.

    I will be a regular for sure!

    • marian
      July 7, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Hi Carol!
      Welcome, and glad to have you here! If you haven’t seen them, I have made some videos which may help you. Feel free to ask questions if you have any – happy to help!
      Looking forward to seeing you around. :)

  7. July 11, 2013 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Hi Marion, I have been following you for years and adore your cookies! Thanks for sharing all you do!
    I decorate with black icing a lot. Do you have a problem with the black bleeding into the other colors? I have tried letting the black dry completely before adding another and when its still wet. It doesn’t always do it and was wondering if you have found a fool proof method?

    Thanks so much Wendy

  8. merry
    July 26, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    hi marian,

    i want to ask if this recipe of royal icing can made in half? tnx.

    July 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    los felicito. soy adicta a tu pagina

  10. Rebecca
    August 7, 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    How long can the Royal Icing be kept?? If not using all the icing at one time can it still be thinned later for use? This really helped me to begin doing some simple cookies for some friends. Is there a page that shows how to do the more complicated flowers and other cookies where you have to use the brushes to form the petals on the edges?? Once I make the Royal Icing and have it left over dies it need to be put in the refrigerator until I use you again depending on how long you can keep it.

    Thanks so much this was so very helpful to me.

  11. August 12, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    How do you store the left over royal icing (and for how long)? In case of storing, how do you bring it back to the right consistency?
    Thank you much! :-)

  12. Stacey
    August 15, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    LOVE the cookies.

    I live in Abu Dhabi, and I can not seem to find Cream of Tartar, is it important for the recipe or can I leave it out?

  13. Sujata
    August 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi! Love thenbutteefly cookies! Iv been wanting to try these since a while.. Can u help me with an eggless recipe for royal icing??!!

  14. Afsheen saleem
    August 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    @ stacey i live dubai, try lukin for it in Abu Dhabhis LULU supermarket… i found mine over there.. i hope this helps :D

  15. Afsheen saleem
    August 23, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Stacey, were you able to get meringue powder? … as i cannot seem to find that.

    • Jefflyn
      September 19, 2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      Hi afsheen,
      Meringue powder is available at Tavola. I just bought mine yesterday from the Mall of the Emirates branch. I’m not sure if they have a branch in Abu Dhabi, though. It’s a bit pricey. 25 dhs for 113 grams :S

  16. September 23, 2013 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Valuable info. Lucky me I discovered your website accidentally, and I’m surprised why this twist of fate didn’t
    took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  17. HannahP
    September 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi, just wondering where you buy the piping tips and couplers in the picture with the pastel blue, pink and green icing? I so far haven’t found any that match! Thanks :)

  18. Michelle Brown
    October 3, 2013 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    I haven’t even iced a cookie yet, but I had to comment. I have read every post you have and watched a couple of videos and I am blown away at your talent and MORE importantly your willingness to share what you know so completely. I am brand new to cookie decorating so I am soaking up as much info as I can before I making my second attempt (my first attempt was a MAJOR fail, suffice it to say I mixed my icing for 10 min on medium high. I’m sure I need say no more), which will be in about 30 minutes and in my travels thru the web there are people who charge for tutorials of info that you an many others offer freely. No judgement on her, it’s just that I am a stay at home wife with medical issues that keep me from working outside the home. I love to sew and bake but sometimes sitting in one position for any length of time is an absolute no no, so sewing is out and baking is in, which is fine with me (I take my goodies to my small group on Thursday eve or to church, as to not gobble it all up myself. Anyway, no job means not a lot of liquid income with only my hubby’s income so all that to say, it is a blessing beyond belief to find people with so much talent willing to share it with all of us. Thank you, Marian!!
    PS. I will post again once I have finished my second attempt.

    • marian
      October 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Hi Michelle! Thanks for your comment and I wish you all the best with your baking and cookie decorating adventures! Please do share your cookies – it makes me happy to see others who are benefiting from Sweetopia!

  19. October 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi!! First of all, thank you so much for your very informative site! I love all your creations and have been trying to incorporate your tips into my cookie decorating. I am a cupcake/cake maker, but admit sugar cookies are giving me a run for the money!!

    I do have a question…I have been following your 10 second rule, but am having a few issues:

    1) The icing seems to continue to thin after I have gotten it to the 5-10 second consistency. Even after sitting for 10-15 minutes, it’s thinner than when I had first gotten to the right consistency. Is this normal for RI?

    2) Even at the right consistency, the icing just starts coming right out of the tip. I am having trouble starting any kind of line or decoration because the second I start, there’s a little ball of icing that comes out and kind of curls itself around the tip before it hits the cookie. It’s hard to explain, but I’m not sure if it is because the icing is too runny, even though I have it at the 5-10 second rule consistency? I wind up with a big glob of icing at the start of every line or decoration.

    3) Even using tip #2, I’m finding that the icing spreads and so even writing letters results in the icing spreading so much that an “e” becomes a solid dot and these are not small letters. How can I keep this from happening?

    Thank you!!!

    • marian
      October 23, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Hi Alle,

      I’ll try my best to answer your questions. :)

      1) Do you live in a humid environment? Are you storing it in the fridge? Are you adding a lot of gel food coloring after you’ve already thinned it? The RI doesn’t usually continue to thin after making.

      2) Please see my video tutorial on piping lines.

      3) Thicken the icing a little for small writing and / or use a tiny piping tip.

      Hope that helps!

  20. Lisa
    October 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I love your web-site and all the how-to’s. I have tried a few of your recipes and people always ask for them. I am excited to try cookie decorating, you instructions seem easy to follow. Thank you, I look forward to all your posts.

    • marian
      October 23, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much, Lisa!

  21. Kathi
    October 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    First of all I just want to say that you do an amazing job at your cookie decorating! I am going to try my hand at decorating some pumpkin cookies for my daughters Halloween party and I am curious about how many cookies this icing recipe will decorate? I will be using a small/medium size pumpkin cutter and need to make about 30 cookies. Thank you so much in advance!!

    • marian
      October 23, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Hi Kathi,
      It should make about 30 of those cookies. Have fun decorating!

  22. nida akif
    October 24, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Hie marian.came accross ur blog while searching how to decorate cookies..all I can say after reading this is…love u marian..muah:) ur a gem ♥

    • marian
      October 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi Nida, :) thanks!

  23. Michelle Roza
    October 24, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I havent been able to see all of your tutorials but the couple that I have seen are let me tell you AWESOME!!!!!

    Really enjoying this….will make some cookies tonight with my babies…LOL they are 3 and four and enjoy baking with mommy (although she doesnt know how to but this mommy does it because I see the smiles on my baby).

    So what I want to say is Thank you for not holding back with your humble knowledge ;)

    • marian
      November 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Aww, thanks Michelle!

  24. Celine
    October 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Will it be too sweet to decorate royal icing on the cookie?

    • marian
      November 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure it’s a matter of preference. You may have to try to find out.

  25. Rifke H
    October 31, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much! I am soon going to be making some sugar cookies for a Christmas market, and flooding them with royal icing – my first attempt at this, and I appreciate the excellent advice so freely given!

    • marian
      November 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Have fun, Rifke!

  26. Charron
    November 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi… I’ve been browsing your site with great enthusiasm, gaining inspiration at every turn. I finally decided I was ready to get started decorating the cookies I’ve baked, so I whipped up a batch of the royal icing you provided a recipe for. I followed it exactly, and it came out beautiful, thick, glossy, and absolutely inedible. Its salty, bitter, nasty… I coloured a bit, and its still yuck. I spread some on a broken test cookie and let it dry, and still… what did I do wrong?

    • marian
      November 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi Charron,
      That’s too bad! I’ve never heard of royal icing tasting salty, bitter or nasty. What ingredients did you use?

  27. CC
    November 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian, you’re so blessed with talent! your work has been such an inspiration . i follow your guides/tutorials/tips to a tee but can’t seem to get my cookies to look as smooth, polished and exquisite as yours! mine look like they either have blemishes on them or little holes (i’ve already used a toothpick to get rid of air bubbles) or smeared or have a kind of ‘spongy’ look!

  28. Debora Marchi
    November 20, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Olá Mirian, seu site sem dúvida foi o melhor que já encontrei desde que comecei a me aventurar com os cookies.
    Sou brasileira e aqui o clima não ajuda muito, é quente e úmido, moro no litoral e a melhor época de vender os cookies é no Natal, em pleno verão. Então sofro muito com a massa por ser a base de manteiga, não ficam crocantes.
    Você teria alguma dica de como eu poderia armazenar antes de decorar e após para a secagem do glacê?
    Agradeço se puder me ajudar, desculpe mas usei o tradutor para mandar esta mensagem. Um grande beijo e obrigada pelas dicas.

    (Hello Mirian, your website was definitely the best I’ve found since I started venturing with cookies.
    I am Brazilian and here the weather does not help much, is hot and humid, I live on the coast and the best time to sell cookies at Christmas is in midsummer. So I suffer a lot from the mass to be the base of butter, do not get crispy.
    Do you have any tips on how I could decorate store before and after drying for the frosting?
    I appreciate if you can help me, sorry but I used the translator to send this message. A big kiss and thanks for the tips.)

  29. Sharon Formosa
    November 29, 2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    The icing receipe above came out perfectly. I always used the egg white to mix royal icing. This time I tried yours and I am very with the result. The consistency of the mix is very good to work with. Highly recommended!!! Thanks

    • Sharon Formosa
      November 29, 2013 at 2:57 am | Permalink

      ** very happy

    • marian
      November 29, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Yay! Glad to hear it, Sharon!

  30. Trish
    December 15, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Marin

    When you want to put food coloring in when do you do it.

    • marian
      December 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I put the food coloring in when the icing is all mixed. Have fun decorating, Trish!

  31. Victoria Taloni
    December 15, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I ran across you website today and am sooo psyched to start trying to decorate my cookies. I never realized there was a whole world out there that I have never entered. I am a retired graphic designer and have been looking for something creative to do. I have a friend that makes beautiful cookies and always have wondered how to do it. Your tutorials, and your calm manner, has spurred me on to this next challenge. I know from experience that it all takes practice, practice, practice. Thank you so much for your beautiful work.

    • marian
      December 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Hi Victoria,
      That’s wonderful! I often wish I had the talents of a graphic artist, or that I had also gone to school for that. Who knows what the future holds, lol. Have fun with your cookie decorating experiments… Practice certainly does help, but will come much easier with tips etc. Can’t wait to see your progress!

  32. Debora Marchi
    December 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian, thanks … you made my job to work here in Brazil! Love sweetopia.net
    Your tips help me a lot, thank you, Merry Christmas!

  33. Stephanie
    December 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I’m wondering which royal icing recipe is better… the one with the egg whites or meringue powder? I have previously made one with meringue and it just didn’t taste right. Any suggestions?

    Thank you so much!

  34. Kylie
    December 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    My icing turned out grainy and didnt have a shine. I used gel coloring, could this be why?

    Thanks for your time


  35. Tina
    December 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Any tips on getting the right amount of powdered sugar without having a scale? I am needing a measuring cup measurement. Thanks:)

  36. December 29, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Very good blog post. I definitely appreciate this site.

  37. Kylie
    January 4, 2014 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your reply Marian.
    Yes they looked dull like the one where glycerin was added although I never used it. I’ll just have to keep practicing!
    Your tutorials are really helpful. Looking forward to more of your posts.

    • marian
      January 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Have fun playing around, Kylie!

  38. Yasmine
    January 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian! I love your site and this looks sooo pretty!
    I don’t have any meringue powder where i live (Sweden,it’s not so common here) and I was just wondering how many eggwhites i should be using insted of the meringue powder.

  39. Yanina
    January 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian :) love your blog, I have a doubt, can we use the icing recipe to draw something and when its dry then put it on a cake. I need to draw Ariel from the little mermaid. Thanks

  40. Anna
    January 14, 2014 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    I just made these cookies today! First time ever! You are such an inspiration! Wish I can share the pix with you via the comment so you can see the result of your tutorial! Thanks a bunch!

  41. Isabella
    January 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Hello! Great post. I have a question about storing so that i can prepare larger batches ahead and not rush through the process.
    1- how long can you store the dough before baking it and how?
    2-how long can you store the cookies without icing and how?
    3-how long can you store the cookies with icing and how?

    I know that you covered this in your post, but i wasn’t certain about what step the cookies were stored at (decorated or not)

    You’re the best!

  42. Ash
    January 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    My Son’s First Birthday is coming up next month and I saw #1 cookies decorated with his name on it but I am on a budget and I would like to recreate the cookies for his birthday. However, I don’t know anything about baking cookies. What is the best dough (sugar or shortbread) to use for a novice like me. I don’t have much time, what do you suggest frosting, icing, fondant? Please please help…Birthday is in 2 weeks.

  43. January 31, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Hello Mariam
    1- love everything here: the name of blog, ideas for decorating, describing methods, photography,….

    2- i didn’t do any decorating on cookies and just watching photos of theme and hope to do it some days but it was far for me.

    3- one day i started this job by your nice “sugar cookies” recipe and it was wonderful.
    at that time because of the expensiveness of meringue powder in my country i couldn’t buy it so i started with “egg royal icing” and i had very very bad experiences with it. tooooooooo many bulbs, watery,shiny surface, not drying after a week!…. although i had do any advise from you but i didn’t have very good results.

    4- i didn’t do any cookie decorating after that till i finally bought a box of meringue powder and last week i started decorating cookies again with your great recipe for royal icing.

    5- i come here to say a big thank you to you for your great recipes cos i had nice success in this job:
    Thank you mariam.

    i have to mention that last year i had make a gingerbread house with your recipes of curse with egg with but for that house it was very nice and had make some children happy with having that house.

    i had photographed this jobs but here is not any option for uploading photos.

    again thank you and want you to know that: i am the big fan of you

  44. Nida
    February 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear Marian,

    “Let the cookies dry for 24 hours before you package them.”
    I have doubt, do u mean that after decorating the cookies, we just leave them (open air) for 24hours? It won’t be staled??

    Thank u in advance.

  45. Himashi
    February 7, 2014 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    I love your tutorials. You are amazingly talented. Thank you for being so lovely to share your knowledge with everyone.
    I have a question for you, where did you buy your sil pat mats? and what type is the best for cookie baking?

    Thanks alot, best wishes from Australia, Himashi

  46. Michele
    March 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


    I am so glad I stumbled across your website! I am very new to cookie decorating, and the amount of information you share on here is wonderful, exciting and very much appreciated!!! You make cookie decorating seem so easy, and very fun! I feel your love to all of us who are searching for help. Thank you so very much!!! I can’t wait to begin……

    Blessings to you,
    Alberta, CANADA

  47. April 2, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your blog? My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would really benefit from a lot of the information you
    present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Regards!

  48. April 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Any time I have made sugar cookies, your royal icing recipe has been my go-to! I have been getting compliments on my cookies (have a long way to go but definitely improving!) and I always recommend them to this page because this recipe (and directions) is foolproof :) Thanks so much!

  49. Joyce
    April 19, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Is it ok to use icing sugar with cornstarch? or must it be pure icing sugar?

  50. May 3, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

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