Royal Icing Transfers-Royal Icing Recipe Included!!

Royal Icing Transfers-Royal Icing Recipe Included!!

Royal icing transfers are something I use frequently in my day to day cookie decorating.  They can be prepared ahead of time so there is less fuss on decorating day. I don't know that I would go so far as saying they are a time saver, unless of course you are making something generic that could saved and incorporated into future sets. But they do help me stay organized and reduce the amount of small details required when I am decorating.  The photo above is an example of how I used a couple of royal icing transfers to create a more three dimensional look with the banana leaves on my cookie.  Florals are another one I always have on hand in the form of transfers, whenever I am piping florals, I make tons! Then I just store the extras in an airtight container for future use.  If you are ever in the need for just one or two flowers, you can just pull from your stock pile rather than taking  the time to mix up the right consistency and make more flowers. In this post I will go over how I make a simple flooded royal icing transfer with the use of my Ipad and an acetate sheet. 

At the end of this post, I have included a link in this blog that will take you to a folder with some fun transfer templates for you to play with!  I will continue to add to this folder with fun seasonal templates!

What you need to begin

What you will need:

  1. Prepared Royal icing in colour of choice in two consistencies, pipe and flood (reviewed in the recipe section of post)
  2.  Printed or on screen version Royal Icing Transfer Template (Tablet works best for on screen)
  3. Acetate projector sheet or wax paper
  4. Clip board or clip for top of tablet
  5. Tipless Piping Bags
  6. A scribe or toothpick
  7. A fan

Lets do it, step by step...

I am demonstrating how to do this using an Ipad and an acetate sheet, but you can simply print the template off and use the paper version under wax paper or an acetate projector sheet.

The first step will be to bring up your photo of the transfer template on your screen. You will then place your shape over the screen and adjust the image to the size that fits your shape. This is when you will want to lock your screen to avoid the template from minimizing, or resizing when you touch the screen. I do go over how to lock your screen at the end of the blog, you can access it directly from the table of contents or simply scroll down. 

Place an acetate projector sheet of a piece of wax paper over your Ipad screen, and secure at the top with a clip as seen below.  

  You will then outline your transfers with pipe consistency icing, and immediately flood them with flood consistency icing.  Before you flood them, you could add a squiggle of pipe consistency inside to prevent cratering, but I didn't do that with these because I was going to use my dehydrator to dry them.  If I was just going to use a fan I probably would have added the squiggle as some extra support for my flood.

Use your scribe to pull the icing out to the edge or poke out any inperfections if necessary. 


You will then carefully remove the sheet and place in front of a fan or in a dehydrator to dry.  This will probably take several hours, once completely dry, gently remove from the sheet and store in an airtight container for up to one year.  


  To apply the transfers, use a small amount of pipe consistency icing.  Be careful not to use too much as it the excess icing push out the sides when you apply pressure to the transfer to fix it to the cookie. When applying the transfers, if there are going to be any areas of the transfer that will not be laying flat on the cookie and there is a space between the transfer and the cookie, stick the tip of your icing bag in there and pipe a support for the transfer, just enough that the gap between the cookie and the transfer is filled.  If you don't do this, they will be incredibly fragile and could easily break.  Even with the support, I do baby these cookies, no stacking when boxing these ones up and just take extra care in general if you're layering transfers.

Click the video below to see a sped up video of the decorating process!

Recipe for Royal Icing

Royal Icing Recipe:

4 Cups Icing Sugar-Sifted after you measure
1/3 Cup room temp water
3 Tbsp Meringue Powder
Flavouring- a Teaspoon or so in your flavour of choice, just ensure that your flavouring is oil free.

Whisk together water and meringue powder until powder is dissolved and mixture is frothy.  Add flavouring, and icing sugar.  Mix on low setting for about 5 minutes.  Low on my mixer is number 2.  If you find your icing isn't getting fluffy, flip to medium, setting 3-4, for about 3--40 seconds.  When icing is done, it should be matte, thick and fluffy.  Alot of recipes will state to mix on high, but I don't like to mix on high due to the risk of over mixing.  If icing is over mixed, it wil not set.

****This is not the recipe I currently use for my cookies, but it is the recipe I used when I first began decorating cookies.  This recipe will work just fine and is quite good, if you are interested in trying the recipe I use, it is included in all of my classes and with my colour guide.

Colouring your icing:

If you are a beginner, of course use whatever food colouring that is readily available to you, but if you would like to invest in good quality products, I do recommend Americolor Gels.  Lower quality gels tend to bleed so this is one of the things you will need to keep in mind when purchasing your food colouring.  Another thing to keep in mind is a little goes a long way.  Start small, and your colours will deepen with time and also they will dry darker.  Give your colours at least an hour or two to develop, even overnight for deeper shades.  Last tip, for white icing, I always add white colour to get a true white.  This helps with battling colour bleed as well.

Colour your icing straight out of the mixer before making different consistencies.  To mute bold colours, I use browns, ivory, and sometimes a bit of black.  Use these sparingly.  

If you would like to take the guess work out of colour mixing, I have created a guide that is jam packed full of colour mixing formulas using americolor gels for the most part.  If you are interested in this guide, please click here: The Millers Wife Royal Icing Colour Guide

Consistencies Required:

Pipe Consistency:  You are looking for a soft peak.  So when you pull your spoon out of the icing, it comes to a peak then curls over.  This is similar to the consistency of toothpaste.  I use this consistency for all outlining, details and text.  To achieve this consistency you will add VERY small amounts of water to your coloured icing.  Once you have reached a soft peak consistency, pull out a small amount, a couple tablespoons, and bag it in a tipless piping bag. 

Flood Consistency: This is used for filling in the cookie and is similar to shampoo or honey in its consistency.  You will add small amounts of water to achieve this consistency, once your icing runs off your spoon like shampoo, bag it in a tipless piping bag.   Some people use a second method, so when you run a butter knife through your icing, it should take about 8-10 seconds to level out completely.  This is a good place to start for a beginner.  My icing is probably closer to 5 second icing, but using a thinner consistency, you run the risk of icing overflows so I recommend starting at about 10.

If you are a beginner, I would recommend using a spray bottle to add water.  It is very easy to go too far with how much water you add.  If you do go too far, you can add small amounts of icing sugar back into your icing to achieve desired consistency.

How to enable Guided Access on your Ipad

1. Go to Settings
2. Go to Accessibility
3. Go to Guided Access
4. Toggle on the Guided Access option
    -Under the Guided Access Toggle there will be some text, this will tell you how to turn on your guided access.  Mine says to triple click the home button, but yours may say to triple click the power button, so take note of what button you are to it to turn on Guided Access.
5. Go to your photos, open your transfer template, and place your cutter over top of the template.  Using the touch screen size the photo accordingly to your shape.
6. Triple click your home button (or the button you were prompted to click to activate the Guided Access feature)
7. If this is the first time you have entered Guided Access it will prompt you to add a passcode.  This will then be something you must enter every time you enter this feature.  Once you have entered the guided access, you will triple click the home button again and an options button will come up in the lower left corning.  You will click options, then , and toggle off the "touch" feature and hit resume.  You are then left with your sized image and you won't have to worry about touching the screen and having it enlarge or shrink, or minimize on you.  

Links to transfer templates

I have created a folder that I will continue to add fun transfer templates to!  Check back periodically for season additions.  

Link to folder: Transfer Folder

Link to Transfer Templates: Banana Leaf Transfer Template

Please note these transfer sheets are for personal use only, this sheet is not so be distributed or sold. 

If you would like to purchase the physical cookie cutter it will be listed soon at The, I will be listing the STL Files soon on my site as well!

Comments 2

Angela on

This is awesome! Thank you, I love your designs, colors, styles!

Buffy Montgomery on

Thank you so much for this tutorial and the transfer sheet. I can’t wait to get this surprise box!

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