How to Learn Royal Icing Wet-on-Wet Techniques Without Cookies

I am a relatively new Royal Icing cookie decoration hobbyist who has struggled to figure out how to learn techniques on a limited number of cookies.

Yes, I know that many cookie decoration teachers recommend practicing piping on paper before attempting it on cookies, but it never occurred to me that wet-on-wet techniques, where you create patterns by dragging colors over each other, could also be learned that way.

The picture below shows my “instruction” area after finishing an hour or so of experimentation.  It includes a long sheet of parchment paper (I actually went through several) and three colors of Royal Icing in flow consistency.  It also shows my main tools: tongue depressors purchased at Michael’s, plastic sandwich bags, a scissors, and unseen, wooden toothpicks with sharp points.

Testing Royal Icing Frosting on Parchment Paper

I used the corn syrup-based Royal Icing recipe (see HERE on Julia Usher’s site), but you can use any with the knowledge that the corn syrup recipe requires you to work faster.

I prepared all three colors using the same flow consistency, allowing the Royal Icing to flood areas. White for the pretend “cookie,” and two other colors which I used to experiment with pattern.

To get started, I created ultra-small piping bags out of disposable, plastic lunch bags. I did this by cutting off the top of a bag, then cutting the remainder in half, leaving a corner on each remaining piece. I could have used standard piping bags with tips or hand-made parchment bags, but my objective was for a quick and easy experiment and these little baggie parts worked.

Mini frosting piping tube made from a sandwich bag


Using a Mini frosting piping tube made from a sandwich bag

I filled each little bag with about a tablespoon of frosting, squeeze off the top (I twisted the bag, then clamped it with a small office clip) and when everything was ready, cut a small hole at the point.

To practice, I smeared white Royal Icing cookie frosting on the paper, then proceeded to test wet-on-wet techniques by piping colored frosting on the white and dragging a toothpick through the mixture.

The following are pictures of “the mix” and resulting “drag.” Keep in mind that I am just learning how to do this, so these pictures look honest, but not polished.

Example of Royal Icing wet-on-wet pattern


Example of Royal Icing wet-on-wet pattern


Example of Royal Icing wet-on-wet pattern


Circular wet-on-wet design with Royal Icing

My next articles on this subject will demonstrate how to create wet-on-wet designs based on pulling frosting into and out of circles and pulling frosting in opposite directions on lines.

Don’t wait for my upcoming articles if you need to experiment, however. Frosting parchment paper not only provides an excellent canvas for experimentation, after 24 hours, the dried frosting can be peeled off as candy and the process also teaches you how to make transfers, as discussed on my article, Create Royal Icing Designs Without Cookies.

More information on this subject is posted in Royal Icing Paisley, Mandela, and Wet-on-Wet Design Links, found under my Crafts tab.

Questions? Comments? Please write me at Karen Little at


Written for by Karen Little, publisher. All rights reserved, but feel free to re-publish this article after contacting Karen so she knows where to find it.