Friday Favorite: Marbling Royal Icing

Tomorrow I am attending an Easter Egg Hunt party, and I was asked to make some “egg” cookies for it. I turned to my handy-dandy fave sugar cookie recipe, but this time, I decided to do lemon flavoring instead of almond. Same goes for the royal icing flavoring.

When I made the cookies for Ella’s birthday party, a lot of people asked me how I got the icing to look marbled in the background. The cookies had this effect:


Since I was going to be making cookies again, I figured I would get Tom to take some pictures of me doing the marble effect to show you.

For these cookies, I stuck cookies sticks into them so that I could have cookie pops.

Yes, there was one ugly duckling cookie.

And then I made the royal icing. I use meringue powder instead of egg whites because it’s supposed to be safer for pregnant women and babies, but I don’t have a high end meringue powder as is suggested by the recipe I use.

I also use powdered sugar, clear corn syrup, flavoring (I used lemon this time), and a bit of glycerin, which is supposed to help with the icing colors.

After it’s made, I put some in different bowls so that I can color it.

And then, when it’s colored, I put some in a piping bag so I can do the stiffer piping, and then I use water to thin the icing in bowls to fill in the cookies. I use ice water because I read once that that’s helpful, but I don’t really know if that’s true.

After it’s thinned, you cover it with damp cloths (or paper towels) while you wait on it to have the air bubbles come to the top.

After several minutes, you take the cloths off and gently stir it to pop all the air bubbles. Then you transfer it to squeeze bottles. (I only have four.)

While you were waiting on the air bubbles to come up, you could go ahead and pipe the outline on your cookies.  (Please excuse the blue cast of the next four photos.)

Don’t worry if your first one or two cookies look awful. Once you get going, you’ll improve. The difference is obvious. I find I am better at piping at a table if I am sitting. Standing only works for me at a counter height.

After piping, you can “flood” the cookie with thinned icing. You can use a toothpick to spread the icing to the edges if you need to.

Then take one of the other colors and put some straight lines going across the cookie.

Take a different color, and make more straight lines, now making it alternating colors with stripes.

Because all the icing is thinned, the striped colors will have sunk into the background color a bit.

And now for the marbling:

Take a toothpick, and starting below the lines on the left side, pull the toothpick up through the lines of colored icing.

Then go over a bit to the right and take the toothpick back down.

Then go back up and down.

When you get done, it looks like this:

Pretty, right?

So that’s marbling. With Ella’s cookies, I piped a thicker border around the edges when I was done to cover up the rough outline I had done with the first bit of piping.

But I was told “as simple as possible” with these egg cookies, so I decided not to do extra piping on fifty cookies. It would have looked prettier, but it would have taken much longer.

If you DO want to get that look though, just put a star tip on your piping bag, and pipe around the edges of the cookie in little spurts. It will get that little beaded pattern you see above.

As it was, I just bagged all of these cookie pops up and tied them off with pastel ribbons this morning. (You have to let the icing dry overnight.)

Then I cut some styrofoam to fit inside a basket I had and covered it with the little “grass” pieces sold for Easter baskets. I stuck the pops into the styrofoam, and I was happy with how it turned out!

Word to the wise: be careful doing this. The cookie sticks broke a few of my cookies when I tried to put them in the styrofoam.

I ended up taking a fondue stick and poking it through the styrofoam and wiggling it around in order make a place for the cookie stick to fit. That saved my cookies. And my sanity.

And my ugly duckling cookie? I made it a little chick’s hatching egg.

It didn’t make it into the basket. It did make it into Tom’s belly.

If you end up making cookies of your own, link up in the comments! I would love to see them!

10 thoughts on “Friday Favorite: Marbling Royal Icing”

    1. Thank you! Actually, the amount of time it takes is my least favorite part of these cookies. But I love the end result. I just couldn’t do this on a regular basis!

  1. The cookies were great, Meghan! Henry and I loved the lemon flavor!! Thanks again for inviting us to the party, it was so fun and good to see everyone! 🙂

  2. So cute! I love cookies on a stick, but they ALWAYS give me so much trouble and cost so much time. I recently found a tutorial on doing them the easy way…putting the cookie in a bag then taping a stick to the back of the bag! It blew my mind how much easier it was and gave the same presentation value! I did this with tulip cookies and put them in a ceramic pot for each of the teachers at my sons preschool! They turned out GREAT!

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