The Twenty Second Rule {Twenty-Second Icing}

Yeah, I know…completely different than anything you have heard or seen…

I guess I am a rebel. Or lazy. Maybe a little of both. Whatever the case, this works, and once you get the hang of it, it will save you time and frustration when decorating cookies.

This is a visual example of “Oh, @#*! Icing {view post here}
I most often use this when I have waited until last minute do work on a set of cookies, but it also works for achieving certain textures and effects.

This first video is what I call the 20-second rule.
According to our tests it’s really the 19.7, 19.4, and 19.9 rule, but for ease we’ll go with 20…

When you are watching this, pay attention not only to the rate at which the line dissapears, but also the icing as it drops back into the bowl. It’s thicker than normal flood icing.  The recipe I use can be found {HERE}

Now that we’ve covered thickness, I want to show you HOW I get the icing into the bottle. You know those measuring cups and mini-spatulas I’m always pushing on you? This is EXACTLY why I hoard them. They WORK!

Now to the decorating. When you use this type of icing, it’s all in the order that you work. It’s a little hard to explain, so just watch. This is step 1.

After this, wait a while. Twenty minutes, thirty…watch a show. You’ll save so much time not filling bags, you can find all kinds of things to do.
Finally, move on to step two. {Some cookies will require three}.

When the cookies are complete, give them the normal 6-8 hour drying time, and you’re done. You can use them to top cupcakes OR I LOVE putting mini cookies into jars and giving them as gifts! They are SOOOOO cute!

*Icing bottles can be found at Karen’s Cookies, Fancy Flours, Country Kitchen, Global Sugar Art, or even Wal-Mart.

*I use the Wilton recipe for my RI.

Join The Discussion



  1. 51
    Shannon says:

    I just used some 12 second icing for piping letters (I’m a newbie) and it was a bit gloppy, for lack of a more technical term. Yet I know anything less wouldn’t have held it’s shape. I said all that to say I can’t imagine making anything thicker look so smooth as yours! Any ideas on what I may be doing wrong? Thank you!

    • 51.1
      Yolanda Pierce says:

      I wouldn’t think that using 12 second icing would be ideal for writing. I always use a stiffer icing.

  2. 52
    Jennifer says:

    What size tip are you using?

    • 52.1
      Stephanie says:


      Where can I purchase the tiny pointed spatulas shown in the royal icing videos?

      Thank you

  3. 53
    Nancymacpearson says:

    Oh, how I long to have the perfect consistency of icing like what I just saw with the minis. Once I master that, the world is mine! ha ha ha ha

  4. 54
    Stephanie C says:

    Oops…..not sure my question got through.
    Does anyone know where I can purchase the colored tiny pointed spatulas?

    Please let me know.

  5. 55

    Love, Love your talents.

  6. 56
    Heather says:

    Love this icing recipe but do you recommend outlining sometimes and thinning using a flood icing or can I use this icing and technique for all the great cookies on your site? I always shy away from decorated royal icing cookies because of the two step process of outlining and then flooding. This 20 second icing recipe has me inspired!

  7. 57
    Vickie Koath says:

    I was also wondering what size tip you are using? Thanks for the great tutorial.

  8. 58
    Jennifer says:

    I usually pipe and flood, but today I made 20 sec icing for some cookies I decided to make spur of the moment for a party tomorrow. My icing flowed well and held up to making a border (didn’t flow off the cookie), but it has dried smooth on some cookies and kind of bumpy or cratery on others. Is it too thin? Does that mean I’m not using enough icing on the cookies? Please help. Thanks!

  9. 59
    gianna miliosi says:

    this recipe made hard icing?made ??a recipe I found and after 12 hours were soft

  10. 60
    christina says:

    I want to make my husband some cookies to send to him overseas. Would this icing hold up on a roughly 2 week trip?

  11. 60.1
    Carlie says:

    Unbebievalle how well-written and informative this was.

  12. 60.1
    Yuka says:

    The hotesny of your posting shines through

  13. 60.1
    Antonio says:

    First i need to shop…then i will wrap my little heart out! :)I am a bit of a sceaklr in the christmas shopping department….But it’s just cuz i am so darn picky about what i get for people.and then dont even get me started on the wrapping…it’s just as much fun as the gift itself!thank you for the Inspiration!


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