Feb 06


{Video} How to Outline and Flood Cookies with Royal Icing

Share it!   

Outlining and Filling Cookies with Royal Icing {Video Tutorial}

If you can't see the video, click here.

Decorating cookies is often called flooding because you can essentially create a dam, border, wall or outline of royal icing on the edge of your cookie, and then  flood or fill in that dam with icing.

It's one of the first techniques I once struggled to get right… Either my icing was too thick or too runny. When I first began decorating, it definitely wasn't as easy as it is now.

The good news is, is that there are a few key tips, which will help make flooding cookies easy and fun. {And would have helped me had I known about them!}.

I should mention first that this is what works for me – it's what I've figured out I like best – you may prefer a runnier or even thicker icing. It's all personal preference, and after playing around and decorating a bit, you'll figure out what works for you too!

Here's how I flood my cookies with royal icing… (This is the same video as what's at the beginning of the post, which I’ve put it here again in case you missed it. Sometimes the page takes a while to load):


{Video} Outlining and Flooding Cookies with Royal Icing

If you can't see the video, click here.

If you'd like to try the recipes I used in the video, you can find my royal icing here, and the shortbread cookie recipe, here.


Sweet News:

A few more "sweet" things I'd love to share with you:

LIVE Streaming Event this Wednesday, February 8th, 8pm EST

  • I'll be at a live Cookie Decorating Event with Redpath Sugar this coming Wednesday, February 8th, at 8pm EST. Click here to see the details and to find us on Wednesday! It's basically a live video streaming where you can either phone, skype, facebook, twitter or email your questions in, and myself and the Redpath Sugar girls will chat with you on the spot! Come join us for some Valentine Cookie Decorating, to ask questions or just chat. I'd LOVE to 'see' you there and will do my best to answer your cookie decorating questions, if you have any!
  • Redpath is hosting a contest for these prizes as well:

Sweet of the Month

The new Sweet of the Month is up and running… You can vote for your favorite sweets here and enter your own treats in a new contest, soon after Valentine's Day.


It's pretty, it's stress-relieving, it's inspiring, it's addictive, it's Pinterest, and I *heart* it. It took me a little while to get going (I didn't see how I'd have time to try even one more thing), but I'm happy I finally did. I fit it in here and there… even for 10 minutes or so before I go to bed and actually find it relaxing and fun. I'd love to see what you're pinning as well and if you'd like to find me, here I am.


Random but wanted to share with you… I'm loving the Instagram app on my iPhone. It's an instant and fun way of capturing what you're doing through photos and sharing with family and friends and seeing what others are up to as well. A great way to stay in touch!

And last, but not least, I'd like to leave you with some sweet sentiments 😉 so thought I'd share some of my favourite Valentine quotes with you.


Favorite Valentine Quotes

The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of.  ~Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670

We're all a little weird.  And life is a little weird.  And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love.  ~Robert Fulghum, True Love

Grow old with me!  The best is yet to be.  ~Robert Browning

Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.  ~Rose Franken

For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
~Rosemonde Gerard

Trip over love, you can get up.  Fall in love and you fall forever.  ~Author Unknown

What I need to live has been given to me by the earth.  Why I need to live has been given to me by you.  ~Author Unknown

A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.  ~Latin Proverb

Without Valentine's Day, February would be… well, January.  ~Jim Gaffigan

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.  ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We don't believe in rheumatism and true love until after the first attack.  ~Marie Ebner Von Eschenbach, Aphorism

True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights.  If you hear bells, get your ears checked.  ~Erich Segal

Take away love and our earth is a tomb.  ~Robert Browning

Thank you to Terri Guillemets of The Quote Garden, for a snippet of her amazing array of Valentine quotes!


What are you up to for Valentine's? Making sweets for your loved ones? Eating lots of chocolate? Drop me a line and let me know!

Happy Valentine decorating to you!


p.s. If you'd like to never miss a post, and/or receive more tips on cookie decorating, click on this button below to sign up for free:

Related Content


  1. Katelyn
    February 12, 2012 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    I know ive asked you this before but u told me it depends sice i didnt give u an example. Soo.. If I was to make one batch of your sugar cookies, about how many “lip” cookies would I be able to get out of that one batch? And how long would the lip cookies have to cool until they are ready to be iced?

  2. Leigh
    February 13, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I love love love your website!! I have tried many different marbling techniques – I love the way marbling looks on cookies, however, I have one problem. A couple days after the icing has dried, not only does the icing seem to fade and look dull, but the color bleeds into my white top coat. The colors don’t seem to bleed the first day, it’s only a couple days later that it seems to do that. Any suggestions or ideas as to why my icing dulls so much and bleeds AFTER being completely dry?? Is it possibly I let them sit out too long to dry?? Thank you!!

  3. Martha Eager
    February 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, you are amazing, love you´re perfect work. you´re tutorial it´s going to help me a lot.

  4. February 14, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    This is so sad:
    “Dieses Video ist in Deutschland leider nicht verfĂźgbar, da es mĂśglicherweise Musik enthält, fĂźr die die erforderlichen Musikrechte von der GEMA nicht eingeräumt wurden.”

    Can you upload it to vimeo again or somewhere else? ahhhh this is SO not fair :-)))
    I have to make a move to Canada finally 🙂

    These cookies are so so adorable, Marian.

    niner 🙂

  5. February 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian
    I am about to try your sugar cookie recipe and royal icing! Your cookies look absolutely amazing! I was wondering if you could create a video about coloring the icing with the deep colors you use? My icing always is so pale….
    Thank you!

  6. February 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Penny: Absolutely, will add it to my list.

    HI @ Leigh: Check out my tutorial section for a ‘preventing bleeding’ tutorial and check out my video on ‘drying cookies’. xo

  7. February 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    HI @ Sol: Thanks for visiting! If you share a photo of your cookies on my facebook page, I can give you suggestions on improvement. It’s hard for me to advise if I can’t see the icing etc.

  8. Laura
    February 28, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian.
    I live in South Africa in a very humid climate, and when I leave my cookies to dry overnight they go soft/soggy, is there a solution to this?
    I have heard about a heat lamp? But is there a chance that there is another reason.

  9. February 28, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Hi @ Laura: If you like, I have a video on ‘drying cookies with royal icing’ which answers your questions. It’s on my youtube channel (yellow youtube button top right of blog). xo

  10. Linda McCormick
    March 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    First off- you are so very awesome…I love your blog!!!!!
    So i watched your tutorial on flooding , shared the youtube to my facebook wall …I was so excited to try it. I am doing Monster High Skullette transfers. OH MY< can you please tell me what I did wrong with the consistency of my icing. I can't chuck them out the window due to time constraints – kids will still eat them. But the icing just would not smooth out! I used a no.2 tip and the icing came out of the bag pretty nicely. I shook and shook the pan. ( my rear end probably shook more) if you can give me some insight? Thanks!!!

  11. marian
    March 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness@ Linda McCormick, you made me laugh (the rear end part)! I AM sorry to hear that you’re having smoothing over issues though!
    2 things you can do – Use a larger piping tip (3 or 4), so that the lines to smoothe over are essentially ‘fatter’ than #2 lines.
    Or, add a little bit more water to thin the icing just a tad more.

    Beyond that – if you want me to double check to make sure it’s not something else – a photo would help if you’d like to send one to me. sweetopia AT inbox DOT com

  12. Linda
    March 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    @ marian: okay sounds good. I will have to take a pic tonite and send to you from my hubby’s i phone! Thanks Marian ( glad i gave you a giggle- laughing keeps me sane!)

  13. Malinda
    March 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I love your blog! May I ask Where did you get your lip cookie cutter?? Thanks! : )

  14. April 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    OMG, the LIPS! I would love to know where you got the lip cookie cutter? Love the photos!!

  15. marian
    April 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Malinda and @ Holly: It’s a Wilton cutter! xo

  16. Mary
    July 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    @ Marian,

    Hi Marian, I’m having trouble finding the right consistency for piping outlining. Please help!♥


  17. marian
    July 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Mary: I have a video on how I find my consistency on my Youtube page – have you seen it? Here’s the corresponding post:

  18. February 10, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I love visiting your site every now and again! I get so much inspiration from your beautiful cakes and cookies!
    I have a resting dough in the fridge just waiting for baking and decorations =)
    /Emma from Sweden

  19. marian
    February 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Have fun, @ Emma!

  20. March 29, 2013 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    OMG beautiful work! Can’t wait to try it!

  21. Jen
    April 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I keep watching this tutorial over and over again…it is amazing to me how easy you make this look!! I hope someday I can pipe and flood with such ease! Amazing! Love your blog and all of your work! Thank you!!

  22. April 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Have fun, @ Caitlyn Wu!

    I hope you do have fun playing around, @ Jen!

  23. Jacquelyn
    April 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi, what piping tips do you use to outline and then flood?

  24. Jacquelyn
    April 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    oh and how long does it take for the cookie to be completely dry? thank you!

  25. marian
    April 15, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Usually a tip #2 or #3, @ Jacquelyn. Here’s a video on drying royal icing for you:


  26. Erin
    May 20, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I just found your site this morning while searching for help decorating cookies on Pinterest. Wow…your site and cookies are AMAZING! I’m incredibly inspired by everything you do 🙂

    I’m planning to make a pretty big batch of packaged starfish cookies for my son’s birthday party this weekend. I’ve watched lots of your videos and read many posts and am feeling so much more prepared!

    My question is about timing. Is this correct: Bake the cookies…wait 24ish hours for them to dry…outline…wait 15 minutes…fill with base color…wait 6-12 hours…pipe details (only a few dots in one color)…let dry for 24 hrs and package? I’m so glad I didn’t wait until the day before to start looking into this 🙂

    Also, what are your thought on store-bought sugar cookie dough? Just curious!

    Thank you so, so much for all of your tutorials, photos, inspiration, etc! You are wonderful!!

  27. marian
    May 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, @ Erin! Yes, that’s correct, although really you don’t need to wait 24 hours before you start decorating them. Once they’ve cooled to room temperature, you can begin. In case you haven’t seen this post on cookie decorating schedules, here you go:


  28. Tammy Hanlon
    May 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Dear Marian,
    I would like to know what other kind of mints would work for few drops? They do not have trebor mints here that I can find. Can the mints be hard mints, or do that need to be a soft mint? And the mints are white , would they melt clear? Please help.

  29. marian
    May 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    HI @ Tammy Hanlon: In my experience the Trebor worked the best because it’s already clear… if the candy mints are white they tend to melt white. The Trebor and candies I’ve experimented with have been hard candies. If you can’t find something clear, I would try isomalt. Good luck!

Show Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. […] 1a) Flood your heart cookies with pink royal icing. Let them dry overnight. If you’d like some more information on how to flood cookies, click here; How to Flood Cookies with Royal Icing. […]

  2. By Happy Valentine’s Day! « oh my omiyage on February 14, 2012 at 5:36 am

    […] Valentine’s Cookies from Sweetopia […]

  3. […] particularly in the cookie department.  One of the skills that I was trying to perfect was “flooding” the cookies, I have come to learn that this technique is nothing to be fearful of.  If you […]

  4. […]   How long does it take to make and decorate cookies? Depending on whether or not you’d like to make to make them in a shorter time frame, or longer time frame, here are two, free, printable Cookie Decorating Schedules. […]

  5. […] If you need some more guidance, a good place to start is with this Cookie Decorating Tutorial and two videos on Icing Consistency and Flooding Cookies. […]

  6. By How to Make Lemon Cookies | Sweetopia on July 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    […] like to see a distinct outline. I use the same icing to outline and fill in, as it saves time. Here's a video if you'd like to see […]

  7. […] like to see a distinct outline. I use the same icing to outline and fill in, as it saves time. Here's a video if you'd like to see […]

  8. By Baby Shower Cookie Favors | Sweetopia on August 20, 2012 at 7:55 am

    […] besides the teddy bear, you'll need to outline and flood your cookie with the icing.  Here is a video on how to do that. For detailed decorating tips, this tutorial may be helpful for […]

  9. […] a video on how to outline and fill cookies with royal icing, check out Sweetopia. She uses a 10 second icing, but the method is the […]

  10. […] Simple Valentine Cookies […]

  11. By {Video} Simple Valentine Heart Cookies | Sweetopia on February 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    […] If you’d like more detail on how to outline and flood cookies, here’s a video for you; How to Outline and Flood Cookies. […]

  12. […] Living 7. X’s and O’s Cupcakes from Martha Stewert Living 8. Valentine Cookies from Sweetopia 9. Double Decker Stripey Cookies from Bake at 350 10. Pink Meringue Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd […]

  13. […] like to see a distinct outline. I use the same icing to outline and fill in, as it saves time. Here’s a video if you’d like to see how. 3. Shaking – Shake gently to help smooth icing over. A couple of […]

  14. […] been very good at the whole decorating cookies thing. Not until I found a great tutorial over at Sweetopia. So if you are thinking that you won’t be able to make these, think again ’cause […]

  15. […] To make flower cookies start by flooding all your cookies. If this is your first time decorating I would recommend using just one colour to flood all of your cookies. If you’re feeling brave then go ahead and make several different colours. If you need help with this step check out Sweetopia’s video tutorial. […]

  16. […] a video on how to outline and fill cookies with royal icing, check out Sweetopia. She uses a 10 second icing, but the method is the […]

  17. […] How to Flood Cookies with Royal Icing […]

  18. […] Hoe decoreer je de wolken koekjes Of je de wolken koekjes nu op een stokje maakt of gewoon los, hieronder vind je een 2-tal video’s voor elk proces. Met de videos’s van Marian van Sweetopia wordt het allemaal een stuk eenvoudiger. 1) Hoe bevestig je het koekje op een stokje 2) Hoe je koekjes decoreert met icing. […]

  19. […] Hoe decoreer je de wolken koekjes Of je de wolken koekjes nu op een stokje maakt of gewoon los, hieronder vind je een 2-tal video’s voor elk proces. Met de videos’s van Marian van Sweetopia wordt het allemaal een stuk eenvoudiger. 1) Hoe bevestig je het koekje op een stokje 2) Hoe je koekjes decoreert met icing. […]

  20. […] Flooding Basics {Video} […]

  21. By How to Decorate Cherry Pie Cookies | Sweetopia on October 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    […] the pie plate shape with royal icing, using a #2 tip. For detailed decorating tips, this tutorial may be helpful for […]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: The following tags may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Chocolate Royal Icing Recipe

Chocolate Royal Icing Recipe

37 Comments | Posted November 1st 2018

Privacy | © Copyright 2009-2019, Sweetopia. All Rights Reserved.