I love royal icing for making monster googly eyeballs for Halloween decorations ahead of time. It is so much fun to work with. And this technique is so easy, the kids can get in on the fun. I make dozens and dozens ahead of time all at once. They last forever! Then when I need a few, they’re all set to go. Just plop them on your wet cookie icing, cake or cupcake. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here for more details. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Also, by making the icing decorations ahead of time, if I mess up a few of the eyeballs, I haven’t ruined the entire cookie. I can toss out the rejects right away.
First, let me tell you that I actually used to buy my Royal Icing Eyes. Gasp! Never again! It is ridiculously easy to make them yourself, it is way more cost effective, and it is a fabulous way to use leftover royal icing. You’ll never purchase Royal Icing Eyes again! And I’ve yet to see the ones in stores that compare to the unique homemade ones.
There are lots of different recipes out there, but This recipe by Bridget from Bake at 350 is by far my favorite! It is simple and doesn’t have any strange ingredients. Read through her recipe, she explains everything much better than I could (plus she has great pictures)! Follow her instructions and recipe for the “stiff” royal icing. You will need to create “flooding” icing, by thinning it, for these fabulous googly eyes.
So let’s get started!
What You’ll Need
Once you have created the “stiff” royal icing, add water to it one teaspoon at a time. Mix on low, until it is the consistency of syrup. Dip a spoon into the icing, lift it and let ribbons of icing drop back into the bowl, and count how many seconds it takes to make that surface flat again. If the surface is smooth between 5-10 seconds, then your icing is ready to use. If it takes longer than about 10 seconds, the icing is too thick. Slowly add more water. By more water, I mean an itsy bitsy bit of water. A teaspoon at a time. Then mix it in. If it’s still too stiff, add another teaspoonful.
If the surface smooths over in LESS than 5-10 seconds, it is too runny. Mix your icing longer or slowly add more powdered sugar to thicken it.
When you have finished making the royal icing and thinned it, divide it into 2 sections. Divide 2/3 out for the white of the eyes, and place the other 1/3 into a bowl to color black. With a rubber spatula, stir in black food coloring paste until it is the desired color. You can click here to see my favorite icing brand.
Put the icing in piping bags or handy dandy squeeze bottles like these pictured here for the kids. I used a #3 tip for the white and a #2 tip for the black.
For this project, I wanted my monster googly eyes to be fairly uniform, so I created a template and used that as a guide. But most monsters don’t have uniform eyes, so just freehand it if you like!
You can grab the template from my FREE Resource Library by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on the back of a cookie sheet. Tape one end down with masking tape. Slide the template underneath to use as a visual guide.
Squeeze out dots of white to the desired size. Then immediately squeeze a black dot into the center of the white. Royal icing dries fast. Only do a few white dots at a time and then go back and add the black pupils. You don’t want your white dots to dry before you add the pupil.
You can do whatever size of pupil you want. I had some that were big and some that were tiny. I made some of the pupils looking to the side.
The eyes will take about 24 hours to dry. They need to air dry, so don’t refrigerate or freeze them. And don’t cover them. Just let them dry out in the open. This is the beauty of using the cookie sheet. After you’ve made all the googly eyeballs, just pick up the entire cookie sheet and move it somewhere to dry. This gets it out of your way (and out of your pet’s way) while they dry.
Make sure you give yourself time to make these before you need to use them. Once they are completely dry, pop them off the parchment paper and use or store!
I make different shapes and colors so I am ready for any project I am working on. Oh wait! I forgot to tell you the best part! You can make it with leftover icing so not only does it save you time decorating, it will also save you money.
You don’t need to save these just for monsters. They look great on other cookies, too!
So, are you ready to get googly? Fill out this form to have immediate access to my FREE Resource Library with the template as well as other printables, recipes, and crafts.