An essential technique for so many projects. Characters or designs are often outlined, as are facial features. If desired, the outline can be filled in. Color flow plaques and cookies iced with color flow or royal icing are outlined first, as well.
Most fill in designs are outlined first. To fill in, zigzag the icing lines close together. Leave the fill in with the zigzag look, or for a smooth look, pat it down with a fingertip dipped in cornstarch.
Patterns imprinted onto fondant or gum paste become even more three-dimensional when embellished with color. Using a small round tip, pipe buttercream or royal icing into the depression; smooth, if desired, with fingertip dipped in cornstarch.
Vines are made by simply flowing lines of icing. Some projects call for piping the line first, then adding flowers and leaves. Other projects place the flowers, then pipe the vine outline as needed, finishing up with adding icing leaves.
Pipe letters freehand, over a pattern traced with a toothpick, or pipe after imprinting letters with a press. Steadily squeeze, gliding along the surface in a smooth, continuous motion.