Monday, January 9, 2012


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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.

{Video} How to Pipe Straight Lines with Royal Icing

Click here if you can’t see the video.
If you’d like to try making these, here’s what you’ll need…


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


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.

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