The Art of Royal Icing
Written by Administrator

A truly versatile and impressive decorating medium, Penningtons Royal Icing courses are available for all skill levels.
Students are able to learn basic piping skills moving on to the more advanced techniques of extension work and intricate lace piping. Penningtons is very keen to promote the beautiful art of royal icing passing on techniques and skills that will keep this truly British art form alive for future generations to admire and enjoy as part of the traditional British sugar craft scene

A great opportunity to have ago and see if cake decorating is something you may enjoy and want to learn try a taster session.

"No equipment is required for taster sessions".

Our next Saturday session is : See Booking Page 

• Times: Saturday 10.00-12.00pm
• Duration: 1 session
• Suitability: Beginners
• Cost: See booking page.

Fun & Hobby Courses

Come and learn the art of royal icing in a relaxed and friendly environment.
From learning the basics of making royal icing to developing previous skills and perfecting this art. Penningtons school of Cake Artistry have courses in piping to suit all skill levels from the beginner to the advanced student.

To view course prices, dates and book online click on the Book button below:

  • Times (choice of):
    Tuesday 2.00-4.30pm
    Wednesday 6.30-9.00pm
    Thursday 10.00-12.30pm
  • Duration: 6 or 7 week courses available
  • Suitability: Beginners / Intermediate and Advanced

Royal Icing Techniques

This course has been designed for the cake decorator who wishes to improve on their existing skills and gain the extra confidence needed to produce cakes commercially.
The course is designed to develop your Royal icing skills further, on this course you will have the chance to learn how versatile Royal icing really is, we will share with you some of the more effective techniques that will not only help you produce perfect cakes, but also improve on the time it takes you to get to these impressive results. Students will quickly progress each week building on their existing skills developing new creative ideas, key skills learned will include, but not limited to:

- Styles of writing
- Brush and Tubed Embroidery
- Pressure piping
- Run-outs
- Scroll work.

Times: Wednesday 10.00-1.00pm
Duration: 7 weeks
Suitability: Mixed ability


Starting a Cake Business from Home

This course will guide students through all aspects of cake decoration helping to support them in taking those first steps from being a novice to a professional.
As well as the hands on decorating experience in royal icing, sugar paste and pastillage techniques, the course also gives tutorials on cake making, and the stages you need to complete when correctly costing your cakes. Following the Penningtons method will ensure that all production costs are correctly identified allowing students to easily determine how much profit they are going to make.

Times: Monday 6:30 – 9:00pm
Duration: 6 or 7 weeks
Suitability: Mixed Ability (some previous piping experience necessary)

To view course prices, dates and book online click on the Book button below:


Note: this course requires both Royal Icing and Sugar paste modelling equipment


Beginners Cake Decorating Course

Times: Saturday or Wednesday 10:00-12:30pm
4 weeks

Please Note that no equipment is required for this course.
To view Course prices, dates and book online click the book button below:

This course is designed to allow you to learn the basic skills needed to cover cakes with a professional finish and an understanding of how to use simple sugar craft equipment, if you want to learn these skills this is an essential course for you.

During the classes you will be taught how to cover a cake with sugar paste and how to decorate it using various techniques. This course will give you the confidence to create stunning decorative celebration cakes and knowledge of the basic piping techniques that you will need to progress to the next level in sugar craft.




What is Royal Icing?

Royal Icing is a pure white icing that dries to a smooth, hard, matte finish.
Royal Icing is simply a mixture of powdered icing sugar, and egg whites either in a powdered or raw form. Besides its lovely finish it also colours beautifully which adds to its versatility of use. Royal Icing is not only for coating cakes, but also can be used for intricate piping and decorations such as flowers, borders, run-outs and lettering.

A small slice of History

Since, ancient times weddings have been celebrated with a special cake. The early Roman ceremonies would end with the breaking of a cake (made from wheat or barley) over the brides head; this was seen as a symbol of good fortune. Later this changed from breaking cakes over brides heads to crumbling sweet wheat cakes over her head as a form of confetti. This was eventually replaced with rice, flower petals, or coloured paper a tradition which still continues today.

In medieval England, small spiced buns were stacked in a towering pile (possibly the early years of the croquenbouche) bringing a European influence to the English wedding feast. The bride and groom would try and kiss over the top as a good luck charm and if successful it was thought that they would enjoy a lifetime of prosperity. The traditional “Brides pie” still produced at this time was a large round pie with a decorated pastry crust, filled with various meats, eggs and spices a small piece would be served to all guests and it was considered rude or impolite if you refused a piece.

In the seventeenth century Bride pie developed into Bride cake (pastry filled with currants and sprinkled with sugar), seen by many as the predecessor of the modern wedding cake. Gradually the fruited cakes became the main centre-piece of the wedding feast, as symbols of fertility and prosperity. Many other superstitions are connected to the wedding cake. The cake should always be shared with family and friends, increasing fertility and prosperity. Tasting the cake before the wedding means loss of the husband’s love (while a piece of cake kept after the wedding day ensures his fidelity). The newlyweds must always be the first to cut the first slice together and all the guests must sample the cake to ensure that the happy couple are blessed with offspring.

The first Bride cake to be covered with white icing (symbolising purity) appeared in the seventeenth century and was an early form of royal icing. This was applied to the hot cake and then returned to the oven to firm up; care had to be taken to avoid the icing colouring or scorching in the oven.

Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840, was the first reported wedding cake to be decorated using a white icing and its intricate decoration, this icing was subsequently named ‘royal icing’ in honour of this royal marriage. Their multi-tiered wedding cake (pictured opposite) measured nine feet in circumference and was now known as a wedding cake.

Additional Expenses

All cake decorating courses will have the option of decorating your own 8” fruit cake or a polystyrene dummy, shape to be agreed at the start of the course.
8” Polystyrene dummies are available to buy at the school. Your course fee covers ingredients, but not basic equipment.

You will need to provide the following:

Course Equipment

Royal Iced courses:
- 5 piping tubes – ‘PME Supatube’ (numbers 44, 3 , 2 , 1.5 & 1)
- Straight Edge, Royal Iced Ruler
- Plain Side Scraper
- Palette Knife 6” blade
- Pastry brush
- Small Paring knife
- Scissors
- Sable paint brush - size 2


All Equipment listed is available at the local sugar craft shops in the area with a 10% discount for all Penningtons students on production of your course pass:

Cake Links (Bargates, Christchurch)
Tel: 01202 496249
Contact: Donna

Magic Moments (Ashley Road, Parkstone)
Tel: 01202 716286
Contact: Karen

Speciality Cakes (Wimborne Road)
Tel: 01202 572021
Contact: Karen.