‘These hand-iced biscuits look so impressive, but they’re actually a doddle to make and it’s surprisingly easy to achieve great results when you decorate them. In this recipe, I’ve kept it simple and just drawn around the outside of the biscuit. However, once you’ve got the hang of this, you can take it further and add any design you wish.’ Edd Kimber


What is flood icing?

Flood, or run-out, icing is where a hard icing ‘barrier’ is created which can then be easily filled with a runnier icing. Get a more dramatic effect by using gel food colours for the intensity of shade that you need without making the icing too runny.

Step-by-step guide to flood icing:

Making the biscuits :

Make the biscuits according to steps one and two of the recipe, then use the following steps to ice them:

Step one:

Icing on spoon

For the icing, put the royal icing sugar into a bowl, add about 65ml lemon or lime juice and use a metal spoon or electric mixer to beat until it is fairly thick and glossy. If the icing is too thick though, it will be hard to pipe. Take a quarter of the icing, put into a piping bag fitted with a No 2 (very small round) piping nozzle and set aside.

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Step two:

Bowls of icing

For the flood icing, add another 10ml lemon or lime juice to the remaining icing, a few drops at a time until it is pourable. You can now divide this icing into as many bowls as you like and colour by mixing in a little gel food colouring.

Step three:

Icing in piping bag

Place the coloured icing into three piping bags, ready for decorating.

Step four:

Icing biscuits

To decorate the biscuits, use the thicker icing to draw your outline or design onto the biscuits. Let the icing set for a few minutes.

Step five:

Icing biscuits

Pipe enough runnier icing to cover the entire biscuit – don’t worry about it being neat at this point. Use a toothpick to spread the icing evenly inside the hard icing ‘wall’. If the surface of the icing isn’t flat, gently shake the biscuit back and forth until you have a smooth covering.

Step six:

Icing biscuits

To add a simple dot decoration, while the icing is still wet, use the runnier icing again to pipe dots again – this will sink on, leaving you with a smooth effect. Pop the biscuits onto a baking tray and place into an oven at its lowest setting for about 30 mins to allow the icing to set hard.


See the fancy iced biscuits recipe.

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