How to – Basic Flood Icing

Flood Icing is a great way to get right to the edge of your cookies, with no naked biscuit left blushing on the plate. It’s best when used for large, solid color panels and simple design, but there are also some advanced techniques that’ll let you do really intricate designs with a bit of practice.

They take a little patience, but if you’re making a few; by the time you get to the end of the row with one step, your first cookie should already be ready for the next.


This beginner/intermediate design will require:

  • A writing tip (Such as  Wilton #2)
  • Any larger tip
  • Royal Icing
  • Food coloring

If you need these done fast, you can make 2 batches of each color, and refrigerate the batches you plan to use for the outlines. Be careful though, if you go too fast, the colors can spill as they warm to the room, so still try to take a little time. Royal/Glace Icing is the topping of choice for this one. Everyone has their own tricks for getting the best consitency, but typically, the basic “just add water” method on the box will make it the right amount of runny for this technique.


1 – First, separate your color panels. If you’re not great at free-hand icing don’t worry, simply take out your cookies mid-bake place a printed stencil over them, and score the cookies surface with a sharp knife. You’ll only need to nick the surface, don’t go too deep! This will provide you with nice, easy channels in the cookies to lay your outlines.
2 – Take your number 2 tipped icing and draw your outlines. For simplicity, try to use a light color, as it’ll blend into the other icing when you flood it, without leaving any evidence. Once you’ve made all your outlines, leave the icing to cure slightly, before adding your colors. If you’re making several; this is a good time to move onto the next one.

3 – Fill! I use a plunger-style icing tool for this, rather than a bag, just because it’s easier to measure how much icing is going into each area, but a bag and some control will do just fine. Fit a slightly larger tip, just to make it easier on your hands and gently fill your separated panels, one color at a time. if you are doing this from an icing bag, dipping it in warm water will make the icing runnier, if it has already started to cure.

4 – Even out each panel as you go. If the icing isn’t quite settling the way you want it to, a sewing needle or a thin shaping tool dipped in hot water or alcohol (Vodka works particularly well) will allow you to poke at any high or hollow spots, and level them out.
Since the outer outline has nowhere to hide, it’s best to do this in whatever color runs up to the edges, even if it’s a darker or more vibrant color, like this fire-truck red.

5 – Lastly add the white’s, like the eyes in this one. You want to be absolutely sure that the surrounding icing is dry for this one, as white can stain very easily. Give the borders a gentle nudge with a dull shaping tool to be sure.

6 – Cookie! This one made it onto My Food Looks Funny on the cheezburger network a while back 🙂



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