Royal Icing Transfers

Need designs to be consistent and uniform?  Royal icing transfers are an easy way to do it!

Recently, I was asked to bake 50 cupcakes for a scout event.  The fleur de lis scout logo isn’t terribly difficult to pipe, but 50 freehand copies might look a bit messy.  With just a few everyday materials I was able to make 50 (mostly) identical fleur de lis by making royal icing transfers.


To start, I went online and printed as many copies of the design as I could fit on one page.  I was careful to make sure that they were a good size for a cupcake topper before moving on.  Once printed, I slid the page into a clean sheet protector, and piped my royal icing right onto it. It took me about an hour to complete this.

royal icing transfers fleur de lis
Pipe royal icing directly onto a clean sheet protector.

Because the royal icing needs to be completely dry before transferring, this is a great task to be done in well in advance. I did mine about a week before I “cookied” them, but at the very least, you’ll need to make them at least a day in advance to make sure they are good and dry.

Once that was done, I baked my cookies. I forgot to photo this process, but it was pretty simple. No cookie cutters necessary! All I used was a ruler, a pizza cutter, and about half a batch of cookie dough. Because I was using these cookies as cupcake toppers, I went thinner than usual with my cookie thickness (in this case, the size of a wooden BBQ skewer).

Once baked, the cookies can be flooded, and transfers can be carefully dropped onto the cookie. Before you start with all this, make sure your transfers come off easily from the plastic sheet. If they cannot be moved by the slight push of a fingernail, or slight bend of the plastic, your transfers aren’t ready and need more time to dry!

royal icing cookies transfers fleur de lis
Drop dry royal icing transfers onto a wet cookie and allow to dry.

For these scout cookies, I wanted to give them a gold look. I sprayed them with a gold shimmer before dropping the transfer on. It’s one of those details that you may not notice directly, but it really makes a difference when compared side-by-side with just a plain yellow cookie.

royal icing transfers blue gold fleur de lis
Gold shimmer spray makes it pop!

A blue border seals the deal and gives them a finished look! They’re not perfect, but uniform enough to give a professional and clean appearance.

Allow 6-8 hours to dry, and you’re ready pop them on a cupcake! I needed these cupcakes on a Sunday, so I completed the cookie toppers the weekend before and then stored them in the freezer for a week. (Keep in mind that if you freeze royal icing cookies, they will need to come to room temperature in their freezer packaging. Pulling them out while frozen will cause condensation to form, and the moisture will destroy your royal icing work!)

scouts cupcakes blue gold

I tasked my scout with the baking of the cupcakes, which also went into the freezer. 🙂 So all that was left to do the night before the event was to make a big batch of buttercream, and assembly!

scouts cupcakes blue gold
The finished product!

I used the same gold shimmer on the gold cupcakes before topping with the cookies. It’s worth mentioning that royal icing transfers can be placed directly on the top of a cupcake, without a cookie base. But the moisture from the buttercream will sometimes melt the icing, so you would only want to do this if they are going to be consumed right away.

scouts cupcakes blue gold

Overall, I think they turned out alright. Happy baking everyone!

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6 thoughts on “Royal Icing Transfers”

  1. […] in advance with some leftover icing. For a quick tutorial on how to make royal icing transfers, go here. The front third of the cake was chopped off and placed on the back to create a […]

  2. […] early days, I didn’t trust my freehand.  So I made the black palm trees in advance as royal icing transfers and dropped them onto the wet sunset background.  Because of this, I kept the flood icing […]

  3. […] Royal icing transfers  […]

  4. […] about 4 days before filming. If you’re not sure how to make them, see my previous post on Royal Icing Transfers. Both the fragility of the royal icing transfers and the amount of time going into handling them […]

  5. […] days in advance to ensure that they are completely dry before attempting to transfer them (see Royal Icing Transfers). Make sure the tiles are dry enough that they have loosened from your parchment or sheet cover. […]

  6. […] Snivy, and Caterpie. I made these back in 2014 when I was just a budding cookie artist using Royal Icing Transfers, and this was one of my first attempts at it. It’s a great technique for a cookie artist to […]

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