Royal Icing Cookie Tips – Mother’s Day Cookies

Are y’all tired of me talking about these cookies yet? I could talk about the royal icing cookies all the time! They are my latest DIY obsession because there are so many different ways to decorate them. I’ve shared my favorite recipes several times now, but I’ll share again at the end of this post just in case you need the links. For this post, I wanted to share some tips for making cookies and share my latest creations.

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.

First tip, take your time. What I like most about the cookies is the decorating process. It doesn’t take much effort at all to bake them, but the decorating takes time. The 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 are endless. In another lifetime, aka college life, I sold fondant cakes to help support myself and my wedding planning. I feel like the experience gained during that time has helped me with decorating the cookies. The royal icing also takes time to set and dry. I usually do my base layer the night before, unless you are doing wet-on-wet designs, which I’ll talk about in another post when I decorate butterflies. With the designs I’m sharing in this post, the solid background colors were done the night before.

The second tip, 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, you can ruin it by adding too much water. However, if you have extra icing set aside, you can add some of it to bring the consistency back. You can’t save it if you ruin all of your icing. 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. Coloring your icing in separate containers is suggested too unless you rinse the container each time.

The third tip, 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. Haha, 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.

Lastly, the fourth tip, freeze the cookies. I haven’t shared this tip before because I wanted to try it myself first, but they freeze great. I wrapped completely dry cookies, make sure the icing is dry, or your work will be ruined, in plastic wrap and then layered them in a container with a lid. When I was ready to use them, I took them out of the container but left them in the plastic wrap laying flat on the counter while they defrosted. There was absolutely no change in them, which shocked me. I was worried my decorations would smudge or crack, but they looked the same as the day I froze them. YAY! Now I can make cookies ahead of special occasions and not rush to complete them.

Finally, on to my new 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. For some reason, I didn’t film the wood grain part, so I’ll try to explain it for 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 shallow 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 a 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 phrase with some flowers. The bricks are food coloring mixed with water to use as paint. Here’s the video for the home cookie.


Here are some additional resources to help you create your own royal icing cookies.

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 is here.

Lastly, I have included a link to my Pinterest cookie board. I love finding new designs to draw inspiration from. As always, if you give this a try let me know. I’d love to see what you are creating.

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