Royal Icing Cookie Tips – Mother’s Day Cookies

Royal icing cookies are one of my home baking obsessions. There are so many design possibilities, and I love experimenting with different techniques.

For this post, I will share some tips for making cookies and share two Mother’s Day creations. If you want to learn to make royal icing and sugar cookies, I have free resources available to help you further, but this post is a great start.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, which allows me to provide all of this content to you for free.

Tip No. 1

Take your time. What I like most about making cookies is the decorating process. It doesn’t take much effort to bake them, but the decorating takes time. This time needed for decorating is why these cookies are so pricey, but also why they are so loved. 

The details you can add depending on your skill level and supplies are endless. You can pipe, paint, or stencil designs onto cookies. The most enjoyable part for me is coming up with unique designs for the cookies I’m creating.

Another thing that takes time is royal icing. For some designs, you have to allow it to dry before adding the next layer of icing or details. I usually do my base layer the night before, unless it’s a wet-on-wet design. With the designs I’m sharing in this post, the solid background colors dried overnight.

Tip No. 2

Separate the royal icing into different containers. I’ve said this in a tutorial video before, but it’s worth repeating. When you are working with royal icing, there is such a thing as too thin. However, if you have extra icing set aside, you can add some of the reserved icing to bring the consistency back. 

Another reason to separate your icing is that the royal icing starts drying quickly. Keep the container sealed or covered with a damp paper towel. Mixing crusty edges of a bowl will give you clumpy icing, which is no fun and will stop up your piping bag. Coloring your icing in separate containers is suggested, too, unless you rinse the container each time. Here are some video tutorials to help with royal icing.

Tip No. 3

Your cookies aren’t going to look like Pinterest wins the first time. Be sure to have realistic expectations about your cookies, and don’t forget to practice. Practicing is part of the fun! If your cookies are not what you thought they would be, eat them and try again.

I’m sure you have some friends and family who wouldn’t mind a less than perfect, yet tasty cookie. Don’t be hard on yourself and have some fun creating and trying different designs, and you don’t need a ton of supplies to get started either. I still use minimal decorating supplies.

Here are my favorite tipless piping bags, edible markers, and gel food coloring.

Mother’s Day Cookie Designs

Finally, let’s look at my Mother’s Day cookie designs. I wanted to try the rustic wood looking background for the lavender bunch, and I am pleased with how it turned out. It was super easy too. 

I didn’t film the wood grain process, so I’ll try to explain it to you. Take the back of a spoon and spread thick consistency royal icing over the cookie. Once the cookie is covered, use a toothpick to make deep lines for the shiplap look, and make slight marks for wood grain. I let the background dry overnight before adding the lavender bunch on top. Here’s a video of the piping process. I used Wilton tip #3.

When I was going through my cookie cutters, I found a gingerbread house cutter and thought it would make a cute Mother’s Day cookie with this phrase: “Home is where mom is.” I decided not to add too many details to the cookie and focus on the words with some flowers. The bricks are food coloring mixed with water to use as paint.


If you are curious about which supplies you should purchase, I have created an Amazon shopping list, which includes what I use to decorate my cookies.

The royal icing recipe can be found here, and the cookie recipe I love is here.

Lastly, I have included a link to my Pinterest cookie board. I like finding new designs to inspire me. I’d also love to see the cookies you’re creating. Tag me on social media @annakateturnerdiy across them all. If you have any questions for me, please reach out. Enjoy the process; it’s so much fun!

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