How to Decorate Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sugar cookies can be decorated with royal icing in a variety of ways:

  • Make royal icing. Then separate the icing into different bowls. Color the icing. Then thin it out as needed depending on if you’re flooding the cookie, or use it thick for fine details.
  • Line the sugar cookie with thick royal icing in a piping bag. Then take some of that icing and thin it out with a bit of water or milk. Place the newly thinned royal icing and cover the cookie ~70 % in icing. Then take the tip of your piping bag and spread the icing right to the edges of where you’ve lined it. Let it dry overnight before adding any other icing to it to make sure the royal icing does not bleed together.
  • Add royal icing to the top of the cookies, then place a few sprinkles into the icing and let it dry.
  • Flood the royal icing onto your cookie. Let dry. Then add thick royal icing to the top in a criss-cross decoration, lettering, or other designs to the top of the cookie. Always let the cookie dry overnight in an airtight container until you serve them. Sometimes the icing can take all night to dry.
how to decorate sugar cookies with sprinkles

How to Flood Sugar Cookies

  1. Line the sugar cookie with thick royal icing in a piping bag
  2. Take some of that icing and thin it out with a bit of water or milk. 
  3. Place the newly thinned royal icing and cover the cookie ~70 % in icing. 
  4. Take the tip of your piping bag and spread the icing right to the edges of where you’ve lined it. Let it dry overnight before adding any other icing to it to make sure the royal icing does not bleed together.
how to flood sugar cookies

How to Decorate Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

Sugar cookies can have sprinkles added to them right after they come out of the oven. The sprinkles will adhere to the cookie as it cools. If you wait until they’ve dried fully, the sprinkles will not stick to the sugar cookie.

Another option is adding frosting – royal icing or buttercream icing. After you’ve added your icing to your sugar cookie, add the sprinkles where you would like them right away. The sprinkles will harden into the icing as it cools.

Circle Sugar Cookie Decorating Ideas

  1. Flooded, then add lettering.
  2. Flooded, then add hearts, stars, or pipe flowers and leaves.
  3. Flooded, then pipe with your star piping tip all over the cookie to give it a rough look.
  4. Flooded, then pipe with your thin long piping tip and make figure 8’s to give it an infinity look. 
  5. Flooded, then add sprinkles.
  6. Add sprinkles directly onto the cookie as it cools.
  7. Write lettering directly onto the cookie
  8. Decorate as a: Christmas bulb, soccer ball, basketball, baseball, tire, engagement ring, wedding ring

Do cookies with royal icing need to be refrigerated?

No. You can keep sugar cookies decorated with royal icing at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Can you freeze decorated sugar cookies?

Yes. You can freeze decorated sugar cookies for up to 6 months.

What’s the best sugar cookie recipe that holds its shape?

Sally’s Baking Addiction has a great recipe for the best sugar cookies that hold their shape when using cookie cutters. The chilling time is a requirement which allows the sugar cookies to hold their shape so well.

sugar cookie recipe that holds shape

How do you store decorated sugar cookies?

Decorated sugar cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Store them in the freezer for up to 6 months in an airtight container.

How long do cookies take to cool before decorating?

Cookies take about 20 minutes to cool before adding decorations to them. Icing will melt off of the cookie if it is too warm, so let cookies cool to room temperature before decorating them. 

how to bake perfect sugar cookies

What to use when decorating cookies?

8 foods to decorate cookies with:

  • Sprinkles
  • Icing – royal icing or buttercream icing
  • Chocolate – dipped or shavings, Smarties
  • Toffee bits
  • Candy, gummies, candy eyes
  • Nuts
  • Marshmallows
  • Dusted powdered sugar 
chewy sugar cookies with frosting

Leave a Comment