Sunday, 20 December 2009

piping or pouring/dipping icing for cookies, cupcakes and gingerbread decorations

Here are just a quick few lines to give you a recipe for pipe-able icing for last week's gingerbread tree decorations.
I couldn't find my icing nozzles anywhere in the house so have decorated some of my biscuits simply using a thick plastic freezer bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner instead of a piping bag & nozzles.
As with all icing recipes, the exact amounts vary depending on your environment.  Little things like the moisture in the atmosphere (is it raining or very humid?) and the temperature affect the exact amount amount of icing sugar you will need to get the perfect piping consistency.
You can get a really good piping mixture by following the technique below, and don't hestitate to repeat the process of adding a little more liquid or icing sugar to get the balance just right, it is far easier to get it right now rather than discovering the mix is too thick once it is in the piping bag.

  • 260g sieved icing sugar
  • 1 medium egg white or 1 tbsp powered meringue mix with 2 tsp water
  • Food colourings of your choice
  • Simply add both ingredients to the mixer and beat until smooth.  
  • Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl before re-starting and beating on high until you get stiff peaks like meringues.
  • You are looking for the icing to be dry when you are mixing with peaks formed by the beater, but it will look glossy immediately you stop and themix will slump very slightly into the bowl.  If you get this effect then the icing will flow when you pipe it but will set quickly so it won't run.  If you have dry icing with matt peaks and no movement then start beating and add cold water 1 tsp at a time, turning the mixer off to check consistency after each addition.
  • You can add food colouring once the icing is well-mixed.
  • Add a little at a time, you may find you need to balance the extra moisture by adding a little more icing sugar but it shouldn't effect the colour of the icing.
  • Transfer the icing into piping bag and use immediately.

To make a smooth dipping or pouring icing
  • Dilute the icing made above with 2 tbsp water
  • Beat thoroughly to to make a smooth loose paste
  • Transfer the paste into a small shallow bowl wide enough to fit your biscuits in
  • Dip each biscuit face down into the icing and shake to allow the excess to drip off
  • Put each dipped biscuits face up on a cooling tray over a lined baking tray to dry
  • If your biscuits have hanging holes in, re-pierce these with a skewer before the icing is fully dry.


  1. They look even prettier now. Thanks for the tips - might try making some as presents next year.

    Happy Christmas