Dec 19

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{Video} How to Pipe Lines with Royal Icing

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Hope you’re enjoying the holiday hustle and bustle, and hope you have some time to fit a little cookie decorating in. The cookies I’m about to show you in this video are great in that they’re versatile… Make your icing to match the theme and voila, colour co-ordinated decorated cookies for any type of event! The icing lines may seem daunting at first, but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make these too.

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 {Video} How to Pipe Straight Lines with Royal Icing

Click here if you can’t see the video.

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If you’d like to try making these, here’s what you’ll need…

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What you’ll need to make decorated cookies with royal icing lines:

If you prefer written format to video, here’s a summary of the main points which have helped me improve my line piping technique:

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How to Pipe Royal Icing Lines – Top 10 Tips

1. Royal Icing Consistency is Key

One of the most important tips has to do with the consistency of your royal icing. Too thick and your lines might curl, crumble and break. Too thin, and they’ll look like a soupy mess. I use the 10 Second Rule to help me find the right consistency for piping. You can find a post and video on the 10 second rule by clicking here.

2. Piping Tip PME #1.5

My favourite piping tip is #1.5 made by PME. It’s fine enough to be able to pipe details, but large enough so that it doesn’t clog like piping tip #’s 1, #0 or #00 often do. If you don’t have access to the #1.5, #2 is the next best thing (in my humble opinion). One thing to note – If you’re using a tiny piping tip, such as #00, #0 or #1 you should let the icing come together (See Consistency Video), at about the 5 second mark, instead of the 10 second mark. You might also want to check the post on Avoiding Clogging in Piping Tips.

3. Don’t Overfill your Piping Bags

It’s easier to pipe detail when your piping bag isn’t too full. Much like writing with a pen, a large, fat pen would make it more difficult to write nicely.

4. Practice First

Your hand may need a little practice to get the feel of the piping motion, and practicing on parchment paper first ensures that you’ll be piping nicely when you’re ready, instead of possibly wasting a few cookies.

5. Let Your Icing Fall

Gently squeeze the icing out of your piping tip, let the icing catch on the surface you’re piping on, lift the tip away from the surface, and let your icing fall, while guiding the piping tip/bag. You’ll end up with a smoother line which is easier to control.

6. Piping Pressure

When you’re piping, try and use the same amount of pressure on the piping bag to squeeze the icing out.

7. Piping Direction

Pipe in the direction you feel comfortable with. I prefer piping from left to right, probably because it’s similar to writing. You can pipe right to left, top to bottom or bottom to top. Have fun experimenting!

8. Avoid Pulling

While you’re piping and letting the icing fall into place, it’s easy to move your hand a little too fast, while not pressing enough icing out. The result is usually a broken line.

9. Speed

Tying in to #8, sometimes piping too fast can lead to icing lines breaking. I find that mistakes happen more when I’m going too fast, and piping at a slower speed gives me more control over how the icing falls.

10. Mistakes Can Be Corrected

Toothpicks are a great tool to fix mistakes with. Anything from a broken line, a ball of icing at the beginning of your line due to too much pressure, or just general mistakes.  Use your toothpick to remove excess icing, move icing around or scrape your mistakes off.

These tips are what have helped me improve in terms of piping lines – now I just need help lining up my lines so that they’re symmetrical… maybe I could have measured out the angles/spacing and marked the edges with a dot of icing and then just connected the dots with the lines. Buuut, was having too much fun to bother doing that. Maaaaybe next time. Could also use some help in the photography department. I have got to get a better handle on my camera settings, lighting and editing. Oh well. Hope you like the pics anyways.

Thanks to the über-talented Yukiko of Rosey Confectionary Sugar Art for letting me use her Christmas ornament design (above in pink – top right of the photo), and for basing my fan cookie design on hers. I absolutely adore her work, and have a hunch you might too.

If you’d like to see another video on piping lines, the lovely and witty Gail of One Tough Cookie has a fantastic video here, on U of C. You’ll enjoy seeing her amazing cookies and ‘cookie cakes’  too! Click on over here to take a peek at her site!

Piping lines doesn’t have to be a daunting or intimidating decorating technique. It can actually be a fun experience! Granted, that’s coming from a cookie-obsessed gal, but I hope you try it out and drop me a line letting me know how it went.

If you enjoyed today’s tips, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought or if you have any questions.

xo,

Marian

p.s. Please let me know in the comment section below on facebook or twitter, what you’d like to see in the next video.  Happy decorating!

p.s.s. I’ve linked this post to the talented Tidy Mom’s I’m Lovin’ It. Check out what the talented Cheryl is sharing today – she always has the best ideas!

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99 Comments

  1. December 25, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink
    51

    Thank You for this wonderful tutorial! I am always reading your posts! As I mentioned earlier in the comment in your latest giveaway (but it is impossible for you to remember it among so many comments) about my gingerbread doll house; I have it now in the English version off my blog. It would be an honor for me if you watch it.
    Merry Christmas for You and your family!

  2. December 26, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink
    52

    @ Heleen: Aw, thanks! I tried to go to your link but it didn’t work. Maybe there was a typo? Would love to see your gingerbread dollhouse if you’d like to try and share the link again. Merry Christmas to you and yours too!

  3. December 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink
    53

    Hi Marian! I think today there is some problem with the service provider and I can’t get to my blog either. If try again later and I can post You the exact link later when it is working.

  4. Isabel
    December 27, 2011 at 4:48 am | Permalink
    54

    Hi Marian!
    Your cookies… really wonderful, as usual and the video is so clear and nice…! (I really love the music you choose… my childen got crazy and kept on dancing the whole morning ;o) …)
    Congratulations for your work… it’s amazing!
    Happy holidays from Spain!

  5. December 27, 2011 at 7:08 am | Permalink
    55

    Hi Marian!
    Now the link is working; there was a very bad storm yesterday in southern Finland and it is still stormy winds here in the middle parts too.
    Here is the direct link to the dollhouse: Gingerbread house Villa Rosa if this is not working please copy this one: http://heleens.com/blog/3110575.

  6. December 27, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink
    56

    The cookies looks supercute! It’s really inspirational to visit your blog!

  7. December 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
    57

    BTW, your photos are more than adequate and this blog looks great. Did someone help you set up your blog or did you do everything yourself? Is this blog providing an income? Just wondering as I embark on my new journey since closing our luxury linen shop. I’m sort of a boat without a rudder but trying to enjoy the ride. Thanks for the piping tips. Looks like fun.

  8. December 28, 2011 at 7:24 am | Permalink
    58

    Tienes unas galletas preciosas, divinas, no sé que calificativo ponerle porque son una preciosidad. Felices Fiestas.

  9. Kimberly
    December 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
    59

    Perfect, absolutely perfect as always. Your cookies are so sharp looking! They have perfect edges! Gorgeous!

  10. December 30, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink
    60

    Your cookies are always absolutely gorgeous! I have learned so much from your blog. Thank you so much for this video. I used it as inspiration for my Christmas Tree cookies http://mrsfoxssweets.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-tree-cookies.html Have a wonderful New Year!

  11. December 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
    61

    @ Isabel: Yay! I’m so glad they like the music too… I loved it the first time I heard it. =) Happy holidays from Canada!

    @ Heleen: Wow, wow and triple wow! BEAUTIFUL work!
    @ Me And My Sweets: Thank you!
    @ Lisabeth Rosenberg: No problem. Gisele Jacquenod helped me set the blog up and now someone else (Arthur) helps me with the new designs etc. He’s in school for design and doesn’t have a site yet. In terms of income, it pays my costs. I’d do it no matter what though – love blogging here!!
    @ Sofía: Gracias y Felices Fiestas!
    @ Kimberly: Thank you!
    @ Christina: Gorgeous cookies – I love the colour combo.!

  12. Michelle
    January 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
    62

    THANK YOU!!!!!! Great video!!!

  13. Sue
    January 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
    63

    Sorry one question…how long can the icing last in the bags?

  14. marian
    January 10, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink
    64
  15. Denise
    February 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
    65

    I just stumbled on your blog and am enjoying it so much. Your cookies in this post are so beautiful, but they look really think compared to mine. I would love to get that uniform look and that thickness to my cookies. Do you roll these out to 1/4″ thickness or is it thicker?

    Thanks.

  16. Etty Barus
    February 14, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink
    66

    Hi Marian,
    I’m Indonesian and live in Jakarta. I’m beginner in cookies decorating, your website is very helpful, thanks for the tutorial. You are very talented…:)

    Etty Barus

  17. marian
    February 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
    67

    Hi @ Denise: Yes, these are about 1/4 of an inch. Honestly though, you can roll them out to any thickness you like.. they’re crispier of you make them thinner and vice versa. Of course, you can’t go thicker than about 3/4 of an inch or they won’t bake well.

  18. marian
    February 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
    68

    Hi @ Etty Barus: Thanks for dropping by! I sent you a facebook mail with what we communicated with on email.

  19. michele
    July 6, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink
    69

    Hi Marian! Do you use your 10 second icing for all of your decorating? Even the fine lines in your tutorial or is that icing thicker? Everything you make is just beautiful and inspiring! Thank you!

  20. marian
    July 6, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink
    70

    Hi @ michele: Most of the time I do, yes, and for these lines I did yes. If you wanted your lines to be thinner or smaller you’d have to make the icing thicker. You’d probably want to use a smaller piping tip as well. Clogging can then happen more, so if you like, just in case, here’s a post you might want to check out: ;-) http://sweetopia.net/2010/03/how-to-prevent-your-tips-from-clogging-and-what-to-do-if-it-happens-top-10-tips/

    Another time I’d use a different icing consistency is for stencilling. Here’s that example if you like: http://sweetopia.net/2012/02/video-how-to-stencil-on-cookies/

    Hope that helps!

  21. michele
    July 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink
    71

    Thank you Marian!!!

  22. July 19, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink
    72

    Thanks for share all your knowledge …. God bless you!!

  23. July 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
    73

    You’re welcome, @ michele!

    Thanks @ Mariné!

  24. Paula Ferreira
    December 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink
    74

    Hi, please , when I prepare a royal icing and add a color and start my decorating cookies, if I stop my decorating and start again the next day, I can use the same icing or I need to make a new one? Tks

  25. marian
    December 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
    75

    Hi @ Paula Ferreira: Here is a post for you on storing royal icing etc.;
    http://sweetopia.net/2011/01/how-do-you-store-royal-icing-and-how-long-can-you-keep-it/

  26. Christy
    December 16, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink
    76

    Hi Mirian,

    I have really enjoyed all your videos! Could you please tell me what the name of the song is that is playing during the “fast forwarded”part of the video? My kids heard it and they’re going crazy looking for it, but I’ve had no luck!

    Many thanks, and Happy Holidays,

    Christy

  27. Cecilia
    December 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink
    77

    I love your work! You are amazing! Your videos are fantastic, sometimes I fail, thou. :)
    Thanks for sharing your talent!

    Warm regards

    Ceci

  28. marian
    January 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
    78

    HI @ Christy, I’m so sorry for the delay! I’m still catching up on answering questions/comments. The song is called Adventures Of Darma by Cybordelies.

  29. marian
    January 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
    79

    Thanks @ Cecilia!

  30. marian
    January 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
    80

    @ Christy: I should mention that I got the song from a stock site that did their own version of the song (I need to buy music for YouTube videos so that I’m not infringing on Copyright).

  31. rick
    February 7, 2013 at 2:39 am | Permalink
    81

    Very nice instruction. I hope to practice before my first set of desserts ordered later this month that need to be set with a gazillion straight royal icing lines per individual desserts. Thx. I feel this helped plenty.

    Rick

  32. Sabina
    October 26, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink
    82

    Thanks for taking the time to explain your techniques thoroughly and the reasons behind why it works. Makes it easier to absorb it if one understands why they are doing something, instead of just “this is the way something is done”. You are a good teacher and very talented:)

    • marian
      October 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink
      83

      Awww, thanks Sabina and Rick!

  33. January 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
    84

    I would definitely eat that. So sweet.

Show Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. [...] I knew when I found these paris design sticky notes by Jillian Phillips, I just had to make a cookie version. They were so fun to make, and really quite simple once you know a bit about piping royal icing. If you need some guidance, a good place to start is with my Cookie Decorating Tutorial, and two videos on Icing Consistency and How to Pipe Icing Lines. [...]

  2. [...] If you need some more guidance, a good place to start is with my Cookie Decorating Tutorial, and two videos on Icing Consistency and How to Pipe Icing Lines. [...]

  3. [...] place to start is with this Cookie Decorating Tutorial, and two videos on Icing Consistency and How to Pipe Icing Lines. For a tutorial on how to make gumpaste or fondant leaves, click here. (These are just a little [...]

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    [...] If you need some more guidance, a good place to start is with this Cookie Decorating Tutorial, and two videos on Icing Consistency and How to Pipe Icing Lines. [...]

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    [...] This last one was made by piping wet-on-dry icing lines… [...]

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