Marbling with Royal Icing

It occurred to me recently that one of the easiest ways to turn simply decorated cookies into something much more spectacular is by marbling with royal icing.

I’m enamored with marbled cookies and just amazed at the creative ways that the marbling technique is used.

I’ve seen marbling used on everything from spider webs and 4th of July firework cookies, to Christmas ornaments and ladies’ dresses.

Marbling with royal icing

Yet I’ve been so intimidated to try it. I mean, it has always seemed just way too complicated to even attempt.

When I made flight attendant cookies last week I decided on a whim that I would take the plunge and try marbling.

Just one cookie.

Using a very simple marbling technique with flat dots, I actually marbled one heart-shaped cookie.

Many hearts for a flight attendant

I was pretty darn pleased with myself. Although maybe not “spectacular”, it was indeed easier than I thought to marble the icing. The intimidation is gone and I realize what a coward I’ve been!

A big old fraidy-cat for no reason!

So I decided to just have some fun marbling with royal icing and create a few simple designs.

Marbling is accomplished using wet-on-wet royal icing. After piping lines or dots onto a base of wet royal icing, you swirl them by dragging a toothpick or other thin object through the wet icing to create all types of striking and intricate effects.

And guess what?

There are NO rules. None. Zilch.

Simple marbling technique with royal icing on cookies

How cool is that. There is no right or wrong way to marble. Just do whatever lifts your skirt and create any old pattern you feel like. Some will come out better than others but really, who cares? It’s a cookie and regardless of how it looks, the ugliest cookie in the bunch will taste exactly like the best looking cookie.

I’m in love with marbling now, can you tell?

I wouldn’t say my cookies here are over-the-top as far as designs go. They’re very simple, with a few colors, a few lines and a few dots.

Marbled cookies - marbling royal icing

I admit that on the first two, I learned quickly that to do any type of marbling with royal icing it’s easier to work on only one cookie at a time. No, it’s not a rule because remember, there are no rules, but it does make things more manageable.

I had outlined and flooded two cookies and the icing began to set on the first one before I could marble it so I won’t be doing that again.

Flooding cookies

It was another lesson learned.

On the first cookie I added some white lines to the wet pink icing and gently dragged the toothpick through the lines. I stopped at the end of the cookie but realized I also could have continued dragging in an “S” shape up and down the cookie to create a different look altogether.

Marbling lines on wet icing

Not so shabby if I do say so myself.

Simple marbling technique on cookies

On my second cookie I added pink dots on top of the white icing, in a circular pattern. I was getting a little brave here.

adding flat dots to cookies for the marbling technique

My goal was to connect all the dots, creating little continuous hearts.

Drag a toothpick through the wet icing to marble the dots

They didn’t come out quite as well as the lines, but I will admit that marbling is not quite as daunting as I had thought.

marbled flat dots on cookies

After that I just had fun with it, adding an additional color to the dots and the lines.

Flat dots on royal icing

The green heart was one of my favorites.

marbling royal icing

I added three different colored lines on top of wet icing on this one. Some of the lines were thicker than others.

make flat lines on royal icing to marble it

And this time decided to continue dragging the toothpick to create S shapes throughout the cookie. Pretty damn cute if I do say so myself.

marbling lines on royal icing

And then did another one with a light blue and white on top of a darker blue base.

Cookies marbled with royal icing

Marbling opens all kinds of new cookie decorating doors.

Now that I have the basics down I can see lots of marbling with royal icing in my future.

marbled heart cookies using royal icing

I think I’ll try some spider webs and see what they look like.

What other designs can be made using the marbling technique? Have you ever used the marbling technique on cookies?

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6 thoughts on “Marbling with Royal Icing

    • Oh wow!! I love that idea. I wonder if I can find somewhere to hang something like that. What a perfect storage idea – you can see all the cookie cutters!! Thanks for finding and sending that.

  1. Nice cookies!
    I’m a huge fan of marbling with royal icing myself! I use it a lot to create flower-like patterns and it’s just amazing what you can create with a few different colors and a toothpick. A great technique if you’re not very good at drawing, like me 😉

    • I never thought of flowers!! OK, it’s on the list now. 🙂

      My drawing skills are horrendous at best so I agree, marbling does wonders for the cookies.

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