This is a guest blog post brought to you by Summer Deepe of Summer’s Sweet Shoppe.
As a cookie decorator, I work with royal icing every day! I tried out LorAnn’s NEW Liquid Gel Food Colors when I made this set of adorable Birthday Cookies and I want to tell you all about it. From the way I used the gel food colors, to how I decorated the sugar cookies, and my personal review of these important cookie decorating supplies; you’re going to get a nice peek behind the curtain today.
First, What Is Royal Icing?
Royal Icing is a sweet, hard icing that’s made from meringue powder, confectioners’ sugar and food coloring. It’s perfect to use for decorating cakes, cookies, gingerbread houses and more since it is so easy to pipe and create intricate designs. You can also flavor royal icing with 1 teaspoon LorAnn Bakery Emulsion of choice.
Recipe Tip: For decorating sugar cookies, use 1-2 teaspoons LorAnn Vegetable Glycerin to add shine to your frosting and help retain moisture.
The Magic Behind Liquid Gel Food Colors
Royal Icing’s naturally bright white coloring makes it easy to color any shade you like. I recommend gel food coloring since it won’t dilute the mixture. Liquid coloring can dilute the frosting and make it very grainy. One of the best parts of using LorAnn’s Liquid Gel Food Colors are that a little bit goes a long way, so you can get rich colors without using a ton of dye. Sometimes with lower quality food coloring you have to use a lot to achieve the color you need AND you will taste the food coloring. Let me tell you, it is not pleasant! You don’t want to taste the food color that you used to tint the royal icing, and with sub-par food coloring that happens a lot.
Any of LorAnn’s professional food colors will never have any impact on the flavor, whatever you are creating. This is especially important when it comes to my vanilla royal icing. I’ve worked long and hard to perfect my icing recipe and I didn’t want the flavor changed at all if I used something to tint it. Another important factor is to use a food coloring that doesn’t require a lot of the product. This can provide cost savings!
I don’t do a lot of candy making, but I do royal icing transfers where I create the shape needed and let it dry and harden completely before adding it to the top of a finished decorated sugar cookie. The transfers are very similar to candy making, and these liquid gel food colors are great for that purpose. In a Valentine’s Day cookie project, I used LorAnn’s Red Liquid Gel Food Coloring. Red can be a difficult color to achieve, so I wanted to show you how easy it is with LorAnn’s liquid gels with some examples.
This was after approximately 3 drops of red liquid gel food color.
This result was after a few more drops of red liquid gel food color.
This was the result of the perfect red for my royal icing. This was adding approximately nine drops of LorAnn’s Red Liquid Gel Food Color to my royal icing.
Scroll to learn how to make the fun, pastel and festive Birthday Cookie Set!
Birthday Cookie Set Tutorial
Cut-out sugar cookie dough
LorAnn’s Food Gel Colors
Tools & Equipment:
Toothpick or scribe
I used the Birthday Set from Simply Renee Sweets.
Now onto the colors I used!
I used pink, purple, green, and yellow for this set. The colors were great and perfect for this birthday set of cookies. I always use two consistencies when I decorate cookies: piping/outline and flood. The piping icing is what you will use to outline the cookie and do most of your details and the flood consistency is what you will use to fill in your outlined cookie.
Create The Set!
Outline and Flooding:
Step 1: Outline the top of the cupcake in white piping icing and the “plate” on the bottom in pink piping icing.
Step 2: Fill in the white outline with white flood icing and the pink outline with pink flood icing. Stop and allow your cookie to dry in front of a fan for 1-2 hours before moving on to the next section.
Step 3: With green piping icing, outline the edges of the cupcake wrapper. Fill in this section with green flood icing then add white lines with your white flood icing.
Step 4: Using all piping icing add colored dots to the top of the cupcake
Step 5: Outline the “icing” of the cupcake with white piping icing.
Step 6: Add a “candle” by using pink outline icing and filling in with pink flood icing. Stop and allow your cookie to dry in front of a fan for 20-30 minutes before moving on to the next section.
Step 7: Outline the flame with yellow piping icing then fill in with yellow flood icing. And last, add a small bead border to the bottom of the cupcake using white piping icing.
Outline and Flooding:
Step 1: Outline the entire cookie in white piping icing.
Step 2: Fill in the outline sections with white flood icing. Stop and allow your cookie to dry in front of a fan for 1-2 hours before moving on to the next section.
Step 3: Outline the balloon in purple piping icing. Outline two tails of the bow with yellow piping icing. Add the string with pink piping icing
Step 4: Fill in the outlined balloon section with purple flood icing. With white flood icing, add a small white highlight on the side of the balloon. This gives it dimension and texture. Flood the tails of the bow with yellow flood icing. Stop and allow your cookie to dry in front of a fan for 1-2 hours before moving on to the next section.
Step 5: Outline the top of the bow with yellow piping icing.
Step 6: Fill in the bow with yellow flood icing. Last, using yellow piping icing, add a dot in the middle of the bow.
Outline and Flooding:
Step 1: Outline the top “present” in green piping icing. Outline the bottom “present” in purple piping icing.
Step 2: Fill in the top outlined section with green flood icing. Adding polka dots with white flood icing. Fill the bottom outlined section with purple flood icing adding polka dots with white flood icing. Stop and allow your cookie to dry in front of a fan for 1-2 hours before moving on to the next section.
Step 3: Outline the middle “present” with yellow piping icing. Outline the bow on the top in pink piping icing including the tails.
Step 4: Fill in the middle section with yellow flood icing. Adding stripes with white flood icing. Fill in the bow and tails with pink flood icing. Stop and allow your cookie to dry in front of a fan for 20-30 minutes before moving on to the next section.
Step 5: Last, using pink piping icing, add a dot to the middle of the bow.
You just learned how to tint your royal icing using liquid gel food coloring (just remember to add a tiny amount at a time until the color is just right), and how to decorate three different sugar cookies that could be used for any birthday party.
If you’re going to be doing a birthday party with a color theme then you can change up the colors to match and your cookies will be the talk of the party. With LorAnn’s gel food coloring products even black balloons for a 40th birthday party are easy to obtain, the colors are always rich and highly pigmented. There’s no limit to what you can create with high-quality food coloring like LorAnn products.
Getting just the right color for your royal icing on sugar cookies can make or break an order, and you won’t have to worry when you use LorAnn’s food colors. Your customers will love the vibrant colors and delicious flavors of your cookies, so make sure you give them a try and come back and let me know what you think in the comments!
About The Guest Blogger:
Summer is a self-taught cookie decorator, instructor, and owner of Summer’s Sweet Shoppe! She’s been decorating cookies for over a decade. On her website you’ll find cookie decorating tutorials and the occasional mix of other yummy treats. She loves teaching and helping other cookie decorators by sharing her tips and tricks she has learned over the years. Her main goal is to help you fast track your cookie decorating skills so you can impress your customers, family and friends!