Sweetie Darling

How To Pipe A Message With Royal Icing

Date - 6th March 2017 / Author - Billie / Category - Cake Decorating, Tutorial

pipe a message with royal icing

Here are my guidelines to pipe a message with royal icing including affiliate links for the bits and bobs if you need them.

First off, to pipe a message with royal icing, you need good royal icing.

Soz to state the obvs.

Here is my recipe for how to make royal icing in under 5 minutes.

Otherwise, you can buy a royal icing mix that you just add water to.

You can subscribe to my YouTube channel right here!

Getting Ready

Before piping, you need to paddle your icing. This means you work it hard with a palette knife to push out all the air bubbles.

If you don’t do this, your royal icing will break as you’re piping because of the little air bubbles squeezing through your piping nozzle.

You can also add colour whilst paddling and just mix it through until there are no streaky bits.

Once paddled, you can scoop up your icing and add it to a piping bag. It doesn’t matter whether you use plastic or paper… It’s a personal preference thing.

The nozzles I use most to pipe messages are the 1.5 and the 2.

The 1.5 is finer than the 2 so is a little bit more difficult, and when I think about it, I definitely use the no. 2 more frequently.

Piping Lines and Curves

To pipe a line, you should hold your nozzle at a 45 degree angle to the surface your piping on, start squeezing and lift your nozzle up and away from the surface.

By lifting your nozzle, you counteract any signs of shaky hands.

Squeeze for as long as you need your line to be, it’s important not to squeeze too much or too little.

The tension should be just right and, don’t worry, this will come with a small amount of practice.

When your line is as long as it needs to be, stop squeezing then set the nozzle down on the surface to break the icing away.

If you carry on squeezing as you put the nozzle down, you’ll get a blob of icing at the end.

For any peaks, use a damp paint brush and pat them away.

Practicing Letters

To pipe a message with royal icing requires practice. The best way to do this is with a template.

I made my own template by tracing letters and laminating the paper to make a wipe-clean template.

You can print off your favourite fonts and laminate those for your own preferred piping style.

I treat my template as lines and curves and when I was learning to pipe, I would pipe every letter and number on my template over and over.

It’s the best practice!

Making A Piping Template

To pipe onto a cake, or cake board, or plaque, it’s best to have a template to follow.

I make this by tracing my chosen message from my laminated practice sheet onto greaseproof or tracing paper.

I can then transfer this toΒ dry fondant by one of two methods.

One is to pierce through the template with a scribe to leave a dot-to-dot.

The other is to use the reverse tracing method to leave a pencil guide on your fondant.

It is so important your fondant is dry before you do either of these techniques, otherwise you are going to leave dents and marks in it.

Once you have your message marked onto your fondant, you can follow your guide to pipe the letters exactly as your would on your sheet.

Keep a damp paintbrush handy for any peaks or minor wobbles.

Keep a mini palette knife handy for an major wobbles that need lifting off completely.


It’s always best to use pale colours to pipe a message with royal icing onto a cake, especially when you’re learning.

Sometimes, though, we need to use darker colours.

When these times strike, over-piping is where it’s at!

Over-piping requires piping your message first in white (or the colour that matches your fondant) then piping straight on top of it with your coloured icing.

Royal icing loves to stick to royal icing.

It loves itself!

This is handy for us because it’s waaaaay easier and if you get a broken line or a slight wobble, you can scrape the icing away and there won’t be a mark because the icing in contact with the fondant is white!

So, now you can start piping, I want to see what you’re writing!

Use #yesdarling on Instagram so I can see your progress πŸ™‚

Billie xx


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Comments 2 comments to this post

6th March 2017 at 11:16 pm / Joanna / Write:

Hi Billie
I love your tutorial on, how to pipe a message, with royal icing. I can’t wait to start practising! Will you be doing any tutorial, on how to price a cake?
I’m a new home baker. Pricing is my weak area. Would really appreciate your help. X

7th March 2017 at 6:13 am / Billie / Write:

Hi Joanna, thank you! I’m glad it’s useful πŸ™‚
I am working on a course right now for pricing, it’s a big one so won’t be ready for a little while yet but it’s on the way. I’ll be emailing about it to all my subscribers so if you’re signed up, you’ll know as soon as it’s released πŸ™‚ Billie xx

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