How To: Royal Icing Beads and Dots

Thursday 5th June 2014

Royal icing and the art of piping is a tough one to master, but worth it for the awe-inspiring effect it can inspire if done well. From simple dots to filigree designs and the intricate detail of brush embroidery, a royal icing decorated cake is always a thing of beauty and worth persevering over, especially if you are keen on tapping into the sugar craft skills that are coming back in a big way in 2014.

 

If you’re just getting started with royal icing, simple dots and beads are a great place to start. Perfect for piping around the base of your cake, or creating simple patterns for decoration, these easy to master techniques can make a big difference to a simple cake.

 

Our cake decorating expert Claire Bailey has shared all the hints and tips you need to get going with royal icing. All you need is soft consistency royal icing, a piping bag, a selection of nozzles and a cake to decorate. Go on, get fancy!

 

Beads

 

1. Fit a piping bag with a number 1 piping tube with a round nozzle and fill the bag a quarter full with soft consistency royal icing.

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2. Hold the decorating bag at a 45° angle with the tip positioned slightly above surface.

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3. Squeeze the piping bag as you lift your hand, raising the nozzle slightly so that icing fans out.

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4. Relax pressure as you draw the nozzle down and bring the bead to a point. Stop squeezing and pull away.

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5. To make a bead border, start the next bead a little behind the end of the previous bead so that the fanned out end covers the tail to form an even chain.

 

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Dots

 

1. Fit a piping bag with a number 1 piping tube with a round nozzle and fill the bag a quarter full with soft consistency royal icing.

 

2. Hold the bag at 90° straight up, with tip positioned slightly above surface.

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3. Apply gentle pressure to the piping bag, keeping the point of nozzle buried in the icing until the dot is the size you want.

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When creating bigger dots, lift the tip as you squeeze to allow icing to fill out completely.

 

4. Stop applying pressure to the piping bag and simultaneously pull the tip up and to the side to help prevent leaving points in the dot you are creating.

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5. Repeat over to create the pattern you want on your iced cake or bake.

 

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Shells

 

1. Fit a piping bag with a number 1 piping tube with a star nozzle and fill the bag a quarter full with soft consistency royal icing.

 

2. Squeeze the piping bag hard, letting the icing fan out generously as it forces the nozzle up.

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3. Gradually relax the pressure as you lower the nozzle.Pull the bag toward you until the nozzle reaches the surface. Relax the pressure and pull tip along the surface to form a point.

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4. To make a shell border, start your next shell so that the fanned end just covers the tail of the preceding shell to form a chain.

 

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Why not give it a go? Our vintage lace cake is the perfect place to start in piping brush dots and beads.