Royal Icing Transfers – Endless Possibilities

Jul 15, 2019 | Cookie Decorating Resources, Decorating Ideas | 20 comments

Royal icing transfers are icing motifs that you can make weeks (sometimes months if stored correctly) ahead of time to use on future projects! When you go to craft stores and see icing embellishments for purchase, those are essentially icing transfers or sometimes candies. There is no shame in buying premade decos! Amazon and Michaels always has a huge seasonal selection! Free templates that I provide are at the bottom of the post 🙂


Making your own can be fun, but depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, it does take some time. If you have a large batch of cookies you need to do, and you want to try your hand at icing transfers, scheduling time weeks or months in advance to work on the details can save you time in the long run.

Here are some cookies I made recently which feature transfers:

Royal Icing Transfer Cookie Sticks

Transfer templates can be easily made in any software you’d like with the desired shape (i.e. photos in MS word and print them out), and you are  more than free to google for free and paid ones, OR I offer select templates you can purchase HERE

The steps for making transfer is simple:

  1. Print out your template.
  2. Attach tracing layer to template (I like to use Washi tape on the edges) for piping your icing directly onto–you can use any of the following methods:
    • Parchment Paper Sheets – precut, easy, the most accessible — here are the top ones from Amazon. (this is where I buy mine)
      • If you are piping onto parchment paper, do NOT put these in a dehydrator to quick dry as the parchment curls and your transfer will come out uneven on the bottom and your transfer may not dry flat, causing breakage with adhering transfer to cookie
    • Clear Transparency Paper HERE (which I often also use in my Silhouette machine to cut my own stencils): this is my favorite way to pipe transfers. The material is super clear, I can cut the transparency paper to size, and they are sturdy enough so I can stick these into the dehydrator to speed up the drying process, and the do not curl as the icing dries.  For recommendations on dehydrators, please see my RESOURCE blog post.
    • Acetate is easy to use, cut to your desired sizze and food safe
    • You can also use Cello Bags
    • Clear Sheet Protectors such as THESERoyal Icing Printable Icing Transfer PDF
  3. Pipe your pattern on the transfer medium/tracing layer.Icing Transfers Dehydrator
  4. Let fully dry (I like to wait at least 24 hrs, leaving it uncovered), peel/pop off GENTLY; store in an airtight container until ready to use. Fully dried icing decorations can be stored for months. Not need to fridge or freeze these.Dried Royal Icing Transfers

When ready to you, you may adhere these directly onto freshly piped icing flood layer (for the smoothest look) or you can also dab a little glue on the back to adhere to a dried surface– up to you, and also depends on the shape, size, etc. Play with it.

I did make a detailed video showing you my method and process:

(Don’t forget to like and subscribe to our YouTube!)

There are endless ways to use icing transfers, get creative and don’t limit yourself.

Use larger sized transfers to create designs on cookies, like how I created these Shiba Inu icing transfers:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lisa He ? (@borderlandsbakery) on

And even beyond that, make icing transfers and use them any time as practice “cookies” without having to actually bake cookies. This is a great way to use up leftover icing and reduce waste. All you have to do is trace your cookie cutter on your parchment, pipe and let dry fully. Peel off and store until you need to use them!

White Royal Icing Cookie Transfers

Consistencies for your transfers are very similar to what you’d normally use for any other cookie decorations. My preference is to use as thick of an icing consistency as possible. This usually means a 20-25 second icing for anything that needs to settle smoothly (with the help of a scribe), and toothpaste or even thicker consistency for 3-D shapes and flowers/leaves.

PDF Royal Icing Transfer Sheet

Lastly, you can use transfers as “just for fun” candies! Flavor your royal icing transfer unique flavors and give them away as fun treats.

Summer Themed Royal Icing Transfers

To make your own Paint-Your-Own cookie dots, we have a free template HERE.

To make your own Christmas Light Bulk templates, we have a free template HERE.

To make your own templates from scratch, find line art or clip art online (and sometimes you do need to pay for them), size in MS work or procreate/some other image or word processing tool and print.

Hope you had fun reading this post! If you have any additional questions, drop me a line via my contact form 🙂


PS- If you’ve made it this far.. a quick note that this is our FIRST published blog post on our new website platform! And I know when I sneakily launched last week, many of you missed the sale… so I’m reinstating the 20% off for all NEW orders placed from now and onward until Wednesday evening midnight PST on July 17th 2019. Does not apply to orders already placed. Use coupon code 20NEW during checkout! I’ve added a few new items to the shop, so do check it out! Lots of love.



Latest Posts

Support Borderlands Bakery!

Did you notice a lack of ads on our site? That’s because we don’t have them! We believe in a less intrusive way to build a business, especially one we love. Your support, in any form, goes a long way to help our small, passionate team to continue bringing you the highest quality content we can.

❤️  – The Borderlands Team


Latest Posts


  1. Monica Camarillo

    Loving the new website Lisa! Thank you for the tips, recipes, and sugar support you provide and the discount ??!

  2. Sara Z

    Thanks for the great info!

  3. Anne Ambrose

    Thank you for the tutorial! I enjoyed watching you make the transfers and I am off to do some of my own!! ?

  4. Me

    Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!
    You are a little star!!! ????????????

  5. Grace

    Thank you Lisa !!

  6. Annie

    I used 2 egg whites, 200grm icing sugar ,1 tablespoon lime juice for Royal icing . Is my recipe is okay???

    Actually my Royal icing not appropriate for making rose flowers, while I making it automatically melt …. Please help me ????

  7. Shawn Jones

    Love your new Bloggg Lisa!!!!

  8. Astrid

    what is your recipe for a perfect frosting

    • jasmin garraway

      I echo the comments from Deborah. I am sooo excited to have discovered you and your creativity
      I am already a fan and will be visiting often.

      • Lisa He

        Thank you, Jasmin! We appreciate your support and love having you here.

  9. Deborah

    I just discovered your site and am enjoying learning from your blog and videos – and even looked up your old episode on Food Network! You have an awesome gift for creating. I am disappointed, though, that some of the links are down, for example, the two in this post for “free” templates. Since I am pretty new at this, I wanted to see what it was like to create transfers and decide if my skills are up to purchasing some of your more detailed files. I would suggest that if you are no longer wishing to offer free files, maybe pull the wording from the blog and the disabled links?

    • Lisa He

      Hi Deborah,
      We just went through a huge website migration on Jan 1, 2022.
      Some of the links are broken due to our efforts to improve the overall experience, and we’re sorry that we missed these broken links. You’ll probably see more broken links on our blog, and it’ll take time for us to manually find them and replace them. We’ll get them fixed over the course of the next week, please check back later. Thanks.

    • Lisa He

      Hi Deborah, our team has updated the links in this post- they should all be good to go.

  10. Pam Landrum

    Where can I buy the little spatula you’re using to take off the transfers.

  11. Sharlene Rose Mason

    Wow, for a 76 yr young newbee and hobby baker, you gave me so much good info. That was so nice of you. God bless you and your business. Charlie

    • Lisa He

      Thank you, Charlie! Hope you’ve had a chance to look around at all the information and products we offer.

  12. Charlie

    Thank you that was really fun to watch. I need to make more transfers.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *