Hey Besties! We’re all about helping decorators of all levels create amazing designs! I’ve said it a million times…you don’t need years of cookie decorating experience to create stunning baked art! And one of the techniques that is commonly used is royal icing transfers! Maybe you’re already familiar with the free royal icing transfer sheet collection I offer; and if you’re not, you should be! But today I’m tackling one of the most common questions. How to use royal icing transfers! Or more specifically, what is the best way to attach them or use them on your cookies?! And like always, I give you options! So let’s dive in and compare your options so you can decide what works best for you. Let’s go!
Royal Icing Transfers 101
If transfers are new to you, I have several tutorials which go in-depth on exactly how to make them and more. THIS is my original 101 post. And THIS is more specific to creating transfer fonts. And THIS post includes a ton of additional great transfer tips! These tutorials will get you going making transfers!
Royal icing transfers are made and used by decorators of all skill levels. Most decorators find them to be helpful in certain situations or for certain applications. It can really depend on the design you’re creating. But they can be particularly helpful for newer decorators who are learning their piping skills. They are a simple way to create design elements without any risk of messing up cookies! And they can be super helpful if you don’t have a projector but still want beautiful designs and fonts.
You can always access and download royal icing transfer sheets from our free collection HERE. New designs are added every week, and they are my gift to you, so enjoy!
But one question I receive regularly is what is the best way to attach your royal icing transfers to your cookies?! Let’s get into it.
How to Use Royal Icing Transfers
Using a Projector
Now here is an option we have not discussed thus far. Royal icing transfer designs CAN be used with a projector if you simply like the design! You don’t HAVE to make a transfer out of it. In this first example, I projected the royal icing transfer design into my cookie and piped it directly on. I use my same puffy icing consistency to create these numbers directly onto my cookie.
Adding to Dried Flood
In this next example, I created the transfer and added it to my cookie using a few tiny dabs of royal icing as glue, onto dried flood. This the most common way I adhere my transfers. I prefer the puffy 3D look. Note that your flood icing needs to be completely flat so the transfer can sit flush. If you icing is domed at all, you may want to add when still wet. It basically looks just like it was piped directly onto the cookie; you can’t tell they were created differently.
Adding to wet flood
Now in this third option, the transfer was added when the flood base was still wet. I let my flood set up for about a minute, so the transfer doesn’t sink too much. You can tell it’s a little sunken into the icing, which come cookiers prefer. It almost gives kind of a quilted appearance. A couple things to consider about this method; you really have one shot to perfectly place your transfer. You can’t really move it around once dropped on there. And while we’ve never had it happen, I’ve seen other cookiers say they’ve experienced color bleed when they placed a transfer into wet flood. If you’re making your royal icing with enough meringue powder and mixing it to stiff peaks, you shouldn’t have to worry about color bleed regardless.
Some cookiers prefer this look and application, especially since there is no trace of transfer edges. It’s really personal preference!
Dried versus wet comparison
Here is a comparison shot of the transfer applied over dried flood versus wet.
What Do You think?
Just like everything in cookie decorating, there are multiple ways to achieve the same result. And a lot of it comes down to personal preference! Someone who is not a cookie decorator is not going to even notice the difference between how the numbers were applied to these three cookies. But maybe one way is easier for you, or you prefer the look of one more than the others!
Personally, I either pipe the design directly onto my cookie using the sheet with my projector, or I make the transfer and add to dried flood. But I’m a sucker for the PUFF.
There is no right or wrong way; you decide what you like best! But I hope this post all about how to use royal icing transfers was helpful and offered additional perspective.
And hey, before you go! Make sure you’ve subscribed to receive our weekly newsletter! The newest transfer designs get released in the newsletter every week before they are available on the website. You’ll also never miss out on a new recipe, technique, product recommendation, tutorial and free printables! Happy Baking, Besties!
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