Imaginative Icing

Royal Icing

How to pipe using Royal Icing.

Hello I'm Joanne, Jane has asked me to give you some information on piping.

Below are some easy to follow instructions and illustrations which I found useful when I was a beginner. I hope you find them of use also.

To start with in 'Beginners Piping 1' I'll show you how to make a grease-proof icing bag, pipe a straight line and also a scolloped line...then, in Beginners Piping 2 onwards, I will show you progressively more difficult piping techniques.

Click below to learn....


If you require any royal icing and piping equipment feel free to browse our online store...
Click here
online Sugarcraft and Cake Decorating Store


Beginners Piping 1

Equipment list....

  • Some grease-proof paper
  • A plain icing nozzle
  • A palette knife
  • Cling film
  • A sharp knife
  • A bowl of Royal Icing

Step one.....Using the grease-proof paper make an icing bag. Cut several triangles from a large sheet of grease-proof and follow the diagrams below to create your very own disposable icing bags. Alternatively you can purchase them ready-made if you find it gets a bit fiddly for you. Both our shops keep them in stock, our staff may even show you how to make a grease-proof bag if you ask them nicely.

Step two.....Cut off the tip of the paper bag in diagram 'e' and drop in a plain piping nozzle, any size will do for this exercise though I would recommend a number two nozzle.

Step three.....Using the palette knife paddle some royal icing in a small bowl to make sure there are no large air bubbles and the icing is smooth. Fresh icing is always better than old icing for piping as it holds its shape, is stiffer and therefore easier to control. How stiff you want it is up to you but as a rule, if it comes out of the tube by itself then it's too soft and if you can't pipe anything without giving yourself a hernia then it's too stiff. Place a small amount of icing into the grease-proof icing bag, checking first you have put a tube in, and fold over the bag as in the final picture above diagram 'f'. Cover the remaining icing over with the cling film to stop it drying out, and clean the palette knife.

Step four.....Now to try to pipe a straight line.....Hold the bag in your right hand (if you are right handed) between the thumb and first two fingers. The left hand assists in holding the bag steady. Do not start pressing the icing out of the bag until contact has been made with the surface. Touch the surface with the tip of the tube, at the same time lightly pressing the bag. As the icing starts to come out, lift the tube up from the surface. When the icing is of the length you need, stop pressing the bag and place the icing down onto the surface. To recap....Touch, Lift and place. Even pressure is very important. Too much pressure will give uneven thickness, whilst too little will cause the line to break. So take a look at the diagram below and try and pipe a straight line or two or three or four or five.........try piping them at equal distances apart, in parallel.

Step five.....Having mastered the art of the straight line we'll try the curved line, in this case a small scollop. Use the same technique as above but lift for less length dropping the curve then starting another in a row......view the diagram below and have a go.....

Please feel free to ask me any questions on this subject at the following email address....

Back to top

Back to main Royal Icing page

Back to Introduction .....WEDDING CAKES ......CELEBRATION CAKES ......GIFT ITEMS ....SUGARCRAFT .....RECIPES ......WINDOW DISPLAYS ......OFFICE ......LINKS .....Sign GuestBook