Royal Icing Recipe - a practical guide (with photos) to Royal Icing

How to… Make Royal Icing Iced Biscuits – Ideal for Christmas!

| November 26, 2010 | 50 Comments

Royal Icing Recipe

Hello, let me introduce to you the lovely Bhaven from Biscuit Village who is sharing their very own Royal Icing Recipe with you today. If you haven’t visited their site before, you simply MUST! If you thought biscuits were boring, think again – at Biscuit Village you can get Greeting Card Biscuits (how cool is that?!), Thank You Biscuits, for Him Biscuits… anything biscuity that your heart may (or may not know) it desires. What is even lovelier, is that Bhaven shares some of their tip top biscuit and icing recipes as well as “How to”. So. Sit back. Get your cup of tea and imagine dunking those scrummy festive biscuits. Over to Bhaven.

Hi, I’m Bhaven and I run Biscuit Village, the boutique biscuit bakery and we love to share our passion for biscuits and design with one and all and are thrilled to be collaborating with Red Ted Art to bring you this web-tutorial on one of our favourite topics  and to share with you our very own Royal Icing Recipe.

I am always being asked the question as to how we decorate our Biscuits at the Biscuit Village. I’ve been icing for many years now and I must say there certainly is an art or skill to some of the more complex designs I produce but that said icing itself can be incredibly simple and rewarding.  It can also be a fun creative process to enjoy on a solitary afternoon with a nice cup of tea or something to enjoy with your children, friends and family. It certainly is art and possibly the “tastiest” art in the world!

Biscuit recipes can be sourced from numerous locations like the internet or various cook-books, you can even ice on your Grandmothers age-old family recipe as long as the surface is smooth and fairly even. Here is a simple traditional British biscuit recipe that I love to bake with children when at home or with friends as it is simple and produces a no-nonsense biscuit with a smooth enough surface for icing. Professionally I add Honey and Golden Syrup to my biscuit recipe to create a harder smoother surface that’s more durable.

BISCUIT RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

  • 175g/6oz Plain Flour
    100g/4oz Butter or Margarine
    50g/2oz Caster Sugar

METHOD:

  • Pre-heat oven to 150°C/300°F Gas 2
  • Cream the butter or margarine and caster sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
  • Stir in the flour and once mixed knead the dough together until it forms a ball, add a sprinkle of flour if the dough is at all sticky.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 4-6mm thick.
  • Cut out the dough using your chosen cutter.
  • Place the biscuits on a floured baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Wait 20-30 minutes for the biscuits to cool down and then the fun begins! You can commence icing your very own design.

For Royal Icing we will need:

  • Piping bags – These can be shop bought from specialist baking retailers and some high street supermarkets.
  • 2 small bowls and teaspoons
  • A Cocktail Stick or pin/safety pin
  • A Small Spatula

We will need to produce 2 batches of icing, one for the lines and one for the flooding. The icing texture for flooding is runnier which is achieved by adding a few more teaspoons of water. This is explained below,

INGREDIENTS:

  • Egg white (fresh or dried egg white powder), Icing sugar, Water, Food colouring, now for a festive treat we want to use the main colours of Christmas but the choice is yours.
  • You can also buy royal icing mix where you just add water, it’s entirely up to you.

METHOD:

  • Mix 8g egg white powder and 60ml water until fully mixed and the texture is smooth. (If you prefer to use fresh egg whites take 2 medium egg whites and mix moderately. Do not add water to this.) Now add 400g icing sugar, you can use an electric mixer but ensure you start slowly and build up to a healthy speed. Once the icing sugar has melted into the liquid you can speed up the mixer (approx 3min). If you’re using a wooden spoon, beat/mix for longer.
  • Move your required amount into a small bowl. Add a tiny amount of colouring using a cocktail stick and stir. add more to achieve your choice of colour but note that darker colours involve more colouring also its important to note that icing darkens further upon drying. Move all the coloured icing in to a piping bag. Now your line icing is ready to use.
  • For flood icing, make the colour same way as you did for line icing then add  around 1-2 teaspoons more of water to your mix, do this 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the icing is more like runny custard. Icing consistency can change quickly so be sure to do this slowly and ensure it does not become too thin.  Move this flood icing to a squeeze bottle or just use teaspoons to spread on a biscuit.
  • You can store your icing in the fridge for a few days in an air tight container to keep it fresh.

Biscuit Village Tip : If you’re using fresh egg white, add 1 tsp of lemon juice when you beat the ingredients. It’ll make the icing sugar a little bit whiter.)

 

Lets get icing!

I like to draw an outline on my biscuits first then flood the biscuit with runny icing. This will produce a smooth appearance on the surface.  We’ve chosen a Christmas Bauble as it will give you the chance to be creative and the results can always vary as baubles don’t really follow any particular style. It’s the perfect shape to begin with.

1)      Scoop/empty some of the icing into a piping bag.

2)      Snip the end of the icing bag, we want to make this incision very small so we can ice our outlines with a thin line.

3)      Hold the bag around 1-2 cm above the biscuit so you can manoeuvre around the biscuit without breaking your lines.

4)      Start piping lightly and let the icing land on the biscuit, now draw your outline. First around the entire edging of the biscuit, staying millimetres into the biscuit.

5)      Once you have completed the circuit and lined the edge, you can draw your central lines across the middle.

6)      Wait 10 minutes for the icing to dry. Now, choosing your desired colour you want to begin flooding the sections. Flooding is when you apply runnier icing to fill the small area you have created within the biscuit. Flooding will be easier if you can snip a little more of the tip of the piping bag to allow more icing to emerge with one squeeze.  Touch the edges of the lines with the icing to completely fill the gaps. It is important not to over-flood the area or icing will drip over the line and onto the side of the biscuit.

7)      If there are any air bubbles in the icing use a cocktail stick to perforate them.

8) Here is a lovely decorating tip that I use at Biscuit Village. While the icing is still wet, pipe short amounts of another colour icing as dots and leave them. This will dry in line with the background colour making a lovely dotted effect.

 

9)      Another idea is to sprinkle glitter onto the wet icing and leave. Once dry shake off the excess glitter. It makes for a lovely sparkly design.

10)  I’d recommend waiting 2-4 hours for the icing to dry before adding anymore decoration. Once dried you can add a layer or two of decoration. Perhaps small wavy lines or dots, crosses, stars, in short anything you want. For this decoration, it’s best to use the line-icing mix we made earlier. This will be stronger and able to stand alone on the smooth surface. The flooding-icing will flood your area again and run its own course.

You have just made your very own iced biscuit. What we have done today is just the tip of the iceberg. The world is your oyster, the biscuit is your canvass and the icing your paint of choice. Be creative and have fun, that’s the most important thing.

Here are some more ideas:

For more ideas and designs visit my online bakery at www.biscuitvillage.com or join us at one of our workshops. Please leave any questions in the comments area and we will try and answer them for you or contact me on info@biscuitvillage.com. I hope you enjoyed our tutorial and will give our royal icing recipe a go!

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Category: Christmas, How To's

Comments (50)

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  1. Jessica North says:

    I really love the ideas. The biscuits look stunning. We will be trying these ideas this Christmas

  2. Brilliant tips, thanks for this! Am printing it out to keep for reference!

  3. Wow! They are stunning! I too will be printing this out and adding it to my Christmas file, brilliant! Thank you! (and thanks for linking to Festive Friday, it’s perfect Festive Fayre!)

  4. Red Ted Art says:

    Hooray, so pleased you lovely ladies like the Tutorial! Do let me know how you all get on – am an Icing Novice myself!!!

  5. Amanda says:

    Love your tips for Royal Icing! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Megan says:

    Wow- these are gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat :)

  7. Rose says:

    Fascinating article. Rather useful and looks like stacks of fun for the children to enjoy. We’ll be trying this on the weekend.

    PS- I think I will need your skills for our official gifts so will be contacting you for my christmas order

  8. These look amazing! I can’t wait to try! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase – I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today – stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Hope you have a fabulous week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  9. Dana says:

    Great post! I would love it if you would link this up to my Strut Your Stuff Party! http://danajeanward.blogspot.com/2010/11/link-up-giveaway-and-winner.html

  10. yummy!!! these are beautiful!

  11. Kathleen says:

    Those are so lovely, thanks for the tutorial!

  12. I adore these biscuits! I wish my icing looked as professional as that but I need a heck of a lot of practice. Furthermore, I always have problems with the consistency of my icing, either it’s so runny it flows straight out the nozzle or is too hard and difficult to direct. Must try harder!!

  13. Amy says:

    This a great idea! I’m including it in the handmade gift roundup at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com on Friday

  14. Red Ted Art says:

    Hello everyone! Thank you for your lovely comments! I am sure the Biscuit Village will appreciate them too!!

    Amy – and thanks for the feature! That is fabulous!
    Dana – have linked up already!

  15. Sarah says:

    These are beautiful!! I just took a cookie decorating class last night and am excited to try your recipes and decorate some more!

  16. Allie says:

    FABULOUS! Great instruction! WOW!
    You should come link this up to my weekly Thursday Making It With Allie Link Party! I think it would make a Fabulous addition!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

  17. Denise says:

    Wow, these are Beautiful! I have never heard of Caster Sugar, so looked it up and it is Superfine in USA. I am copying this recipe and will be making and sending to our Son and fellow Soldiers in Iraq. He loves Royal Icing and these look sturdy enough to mail. Thanks again and so glad to find you in bloggy land. Newest follower, the Bulldog, which is our Granddog Mack who we are keeping while Colt is away. Come visit me and follow back if you like. Would love to have you on my blog.
    Blessings,
    Denise

  18. Bev says:

    wow what a simple recipe! No egg (will have to use different icing tho but no worries!) so easy to make allergy free! I will make some for the boys with new easter egg cutter! :)

  19. Oh! I saw these at Christmas but they are GORGEOUS as Easter Eggs! Thanks so much for linking! x

  20. Krystine says:

    Wow, they look so good! Thanks for sharing!

  21. These are amazing…thanks for the tutorial :)

  22. Anel @ T.N.C. mom says:

    hallelujah!! thanks for sharing this. I’ve been wanting fore the longest to learn how to do this, making my own royal icing intimidated me a lot but you’ve explained it sooo well. thank you!!!

  23. Red Ted Art says:

    Ooooh good luck, would love to hear how you get on!!

  24. Fiona Erlandsen says:

    Just bookmarked this page, hopefully get time to do the biscuits. A great tip for the royal icing with the egg whites. I always have the problem of it going rock hard, but can’t get glycerine in Lanzarote/Hemsedal in Norway…So thanks will hopefully get to post our results!

  25. Messy Missy says:

    Wow, thanks so much for the tutorial and recipe. What a great find!!

  26. Mary says:

    wow these are FAB love the tut and I will so be trying this!!

  27. This is so great! I am going to bookmark this and refer to it again. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  28. I wish I had a steady enough hand to do this! They are so precious!!!

  29. Shirley L says:

    These are stunning!! I have yet to try royal icing but you have inspired me :)

  30. Wow! Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I haven’t been able to figure out exactly how to make my icing look “right”. I think I’ll try this way next time.

    Thanks for sharing this idea on my linky party!

  31. Just wanted to let you know, I loved this how-to so much I shared it on my blog:

    http://binspiredmama.blogspot.com/2011/04/binspired-link-love_15.html

    THANKS!

  32. Thanks for linking up to Creative Juice Thursday! Hope to see you back this week…

  33. MillyGandy says:

    Brilliant! Always wondered how the Pros iced cakes/bisuits and why my offerings are always last to sell at the Xmas Bazaar ;-) Will defo. be trying this one over Xmas. Thanks.

  34. These look amazingly delicious!

  35. kate says:

    these are great im gonna try them now thanks

  36. kate says:

    I am so looking forward to making these and I have never seen a biscuit recipe as simple as this hope it works

  37. melissa says:

    I made this icing for valentines biscuits for my husband. Do they look as good as yours? No, but they look amazing considering I made them myself.
    I had fun making them and being a complete novice was worried I would stuff it up, but I didnt make any mistakes it was very simple.

    I will continue to use this recipe and instructions for future biscuits, and they will only look better as I keep practicing.

    Thank You

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Oh thank you so much for coming back and letting me know Melissa! That is wonderful am so pleased you like the Tutorial and recipe!!

  38. Josie says:

    Hi there, these all look wonderful and my daughter has just started her food tech GCSE at school and I would love to get her into something like this and find somethin else we can do together. You mentioned using honey and golden syrup for a smoother, harder surface, would you mind outlining the quantities you add and do you substitute some of it for the caster sugar? Many thanks

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Hi Josie,

      Many thanks for contacting us via RedTed.

      I think the best solution is to use my favourite easy to bake recipe below, give it a try and let me know if you have an questions. All the best and I hope you enjoy them :-)

      Vanilla Biscuits
      Butter 125g
      Sugar 125g
      Golden Syrup 120g
      Egg 56 (1 egg)
      Plain Flour 402g
      Self Raising Flour 50g
      Vanilla 1/2 tsp
      • Mix the sugar and butter until creamed
      • Add the golden syrup, vanilla and eggs
      • Mix thoroughly until light and airy
      • Add flours and slowly mix until combined (if in electric mixer, the last mix only needs about 40 seconds to a minute)
      • the mix can be a little moist, if so, add a sprinkle of flour and knead and form a round smooth ball, pat this down.
      • Put dough in fridge for about 2 hours
      • Take out, leave for 5-10 minutes to warm up slightly and then roll and cut adding more flour if needed.
      • Bake on 130c for 17 minutes, turn the trays around and bake for a further 7 minutes. (You do this to ensure an even bake as most ovens vary in temp from left to right or top to bottom)
      • Leave to cool and use the RedTed guide to icing to complete your biccie treats

      Do let us know how they do,
      Best wishes,
      Bhaven

  39. Red Ted Art says:

    Don’t they just?!

  40. adamaysa says:

    how many biscuits would you say each recipe will make?
    thanks

  41. Brenda says:

    I love all of your items you have done. I have frozen egg whites. Can I use them just like they are or should I add anything to them. Also, where can I print off your royal Icing recipe. I can’t seam to find out how. How do you bookmark. I’m not sure.Thanks Brenda

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Hi Breanda, I don’t currently have a “printer friendly” setting on my website. I need to figure out how to do that! Sorry.

  42. Sophie says:

    How long do the cookies keep after you’ve iced them ?

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