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{Tutorial} Royal Icing Flowers

Learn to make royal icing flowers with this simple, easy-to-follow tutorial!

Royal Icing Flowers

I am making vanilla cupcakes today for a friend and I wanted to do more than just a white cake with white frosting…so, I decided to try something new, like pretty little royal icing flowers!

Yup – you know those sugar flowers you can buy at the grocery store? Well – you can make them yourself at home…and believe it or not, it’s super easy.

The great thing about these flowers is that you can make a lot of them at once…store them…and then use them all year round. I think they’d make a fun and low-stress beginning-of-spring or Easter project!

And what can you do with these flowers when you’re done? You can top cupcakes with them or even decorate cakes with them! Super simple, super fun, and super cute!

Royal Icing Flowers – What You’ll Need

To make the royal icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6-9 Tablespoons room temperature water
  • Wilton gel coloring (yellow for center of flowers + any other colors you want)
  • A stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • Bowls
  • Toothpicks

To create the flowers:

  • Disposable piping bags
  • Wilton #1M tip
  • Wilton #4 tip
  • Wilton small star tip like #18
  • Wilton #104 tip
  • Flower Nail, optional
  • Royal icing (see recipe)
  • Wax paper
  • Flat surface

Ingredients for Royal Icing Flowers

Royal Icing Flowers – Instructions

Note: This will yield about 3-4 cups of royal icing.

Making the icing:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
  2. Add 6 Tablespoons of the water to the sugar and mix on low until it becomes clumpy and all the sugar is wet.
  3. Half a Tablespoon at a time, add water until the mixture becomes smooth. Go slow…be sure not to add too much water! You want a stuff frosting. (I added about 2 Tablespoons more water at this point, but depending on the temperature and humidity of where you’re located, you may need less or more water.)
  4. Beat the mixture on high for 7 minutes. 
  5. Lift the whisk out, scrape the sides of the bowl, and test the texture and consistency of the royal icing. You want a thick icing – but not so thick that you can’t push it through a piping bag & tip. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of water if necessary to loosen it up.
  6. Beat the mixture again on high for 2 more minutes.
  7. Get out as many bowls as you’ll have colors of icing. For example, if you’re making pink and purple flowers, you’ll need three bowls of icing: two for the flowers and one for the center dots in yellow.
  8. Separate icing into these bowls.
  9. Using a toothpick, add a very small dollop of gel coloring into each bowl and mix it in with a spoon until the icing is uniform in color.

Royal Icing on whisk

Prepping your work area:

  1. Cut off the tips of your disposable bags and place the piping tips inside. 
  2. Fill the Wilton #4 tip bag with the yellow icing.
  3. Fill the #1M tip bags with the other colors.
  4. Place a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface. (If you have something to hold the corners of the paper down, do so.)

Making Royal Icing Flowers

Creating the flowers:

(Read these instructions before trying them! It’s hard to make the flowers with one eye on your phone, laptop, or a piece of paper!) 

  1. Hold the #1M tip bag at a 90 degree angle to the wax paper, directly above but not touching the wax paper. 
  2. Apply firm pressure to the bag so that the icing flows out.
  3. Immediately begin to rotate the bag, keeping it straight and continually pressing icing out. 
  4. After the bag has been rotated about a quarter turn, release pressure and pull the bag straight up. 
  5. Repeat this process with each color of icing.
  6. Using the yellow icing bag with the #4 tip, pipe a small yellow dot in the center of each flower.
  7. Let flowers set out overnight to dry.
  8. After the flowers have set out to dry overnight, store them in an airtight container. If stored properly, they will keep for up to a year.

Any size tip can be used to create the royal icing flowers. The purple flowers were made with a small star tip like #18. The large purple flowers were made with a petal tip #104 and using a flower nail.

Royal Icing flowers in purple and orange

Royal Icing Flowers – FAQs

Though this is a pretty straightforward recipe and tutorial, there are a few things I’ve been asked about it, and that I’d like to clarify!

Are there any ingredient substitutions you can recommend for dietary purposes?

I haven’t tried anything else with this recipe besides what I listed – I’m sorry!

I’ve set the flowers out for over a day, but they are still wet. What do I do?

It’s probably the humidity in your area making things all messy! Let a fan blow on your flowers and they should harden right up, and use less liquid next time in the icing recipe.

Do these flowers soften when you put them on a cake or anything else?

Nope! They stay hard! 

Happy baking!

I hope this tutorial was fun and easy for you to follow! Please let me know in the comments what you’re going to use these flowers for, and if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Good luck!

Royal Icing Flowers

Royal Icing Flowers

Yield: 3-4 cups of Royal Icing

Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp meringue powder
  • 6-9 Tbsp room temperature water
  • Wilton gel coloring (yellow for center of flowers + any other colors you want)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
  2. Add 6 Tbsp of the water to the sugar and mix on low until it becomes clumpy and all the sugar is wet.
  3. 1/2 a Tbsp at a time, add water until the mixture becomes smooth. GO SLOW and be sure not to add too much water. You want a stuff frosting. I added about 2 Tbsp more water at this point, but depending on the temperature and humidity of where you're at, you may need less or more water.
  4. Beat on high for 7 minutes. Lift the whisk out, scrape the sides of the bowl and test the texture and consistency of the royal icing. You want a thick icing - but not so thick that you can't push it through a piping bag & tip. Add 1/2 Tbsp of water if necessary to loosen it up.
  5. Beat on high for 2 more minutes.
  6. Separate icing into the # of bowls you are coloring. For example if you are making pink and purple flowers, you'll need three bowls of icing. Two for the flowers and one for the center dots in yellow.
  7. Using a toothpic, add a very small dollop of gel coloring into each bowl and mix in with a spoon until uniform in color.

Notes

I watched these videos before I made this royal icing to help familiarize myself with the technique.

Royal Icing Basics: http://youtu.be/ux5hfEn2o7Q

How to make Royal Icing: http://youtu.be/RnxHBne-uVo

13 comments

  1. amber smith

    I’ve sat them out for over a day. And the underneath are still wet and stuck to the wax paper what am i doing wrong? And how to store them to keep them from breaking?

    Reply

    1. Betsy Eves

      How is the humidity in your area? That could be the culprit!

      Reply

      1. amber smith

        High humidity I’m in ga

        Reply

        1. Betsy Eves

          I’d suggest using less liquid in the mixture and possibly put a fan blowing gently on the flowers to help them dry. I’d give them a little more time with the batch you just made… I’m certain they’ll harden! 🙂

          Reply

    2. Betsy Eves

      PS… once they are completely hard, they will store easily in the same container. I had mine for several weeks/months in a tupperware container all stacked up and as long as I was gentle with them, they were fine. If you’re worried about breaking, I’d line a piece of wax paper between layers.

      Reply

  2. eliz bereg

    I need help tRYING TO MAKE “BLUEBONNET FLOWERS TO PUT ON MINI CUPCAKES??

    Reply

    1. Betsy Eves

      Hi Eliz… I’m not sure what you are asking for. Can you be more specific with the help you need? Thanks!

      Reply

  3. Aysha

    Pls can l substitude with egg white

    Reply

  4. Ray

    After being hard will they soften up when used on a cake?

    Reply

  5. Mary beth

    Do you have recipe using egg whites?

    Reply

  6. Dana T.

    Hi! Can I make this ahead of time and use to make the flowers later? If so, do you have any storage tips, or know how long it will keep?

    Thank you!

    Reply

  7. M. King

    This is a great recipe. I have started making it last night and was able to make intricate icing details. I am so impressed I found this recipe.

    Reply

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