by Ingredient

Cookie Decorating Tips

Decorating cookies is a fun activity for all ages that provides instant gratification! 


To get started on your cookie-decorating adventure, you need the right tools. 


  • Begin by baking a batch of your favorite cookies. Decorating isn’t just for sugar cookies. Icing makes every kind of cookie better!
  • With so many quick and easy frosting recipes available, skip the trans-fat-filled, prepared grocery store frosting and whip up a batch of your own.
  • You can save money and storage space by purchasing sprinkles, decorating sugar, food coloring, etc at bulk goods stores. This gives you the flexibility to buy only as much as you need.
  • Unless you plan on decorating cookies on a regular basis, buy the less expensive plastic decorating tips or borrow metal tips from a friend.
  • While using an offset spatula to spread frosting makes things easier, you can also use a table knife.
  • There is no need to buy expensive piping bags. Make your own out of parchment paper or a plastic food storage bag. 


Creating professional-looking cookies is easy and fun once you have mastered a few simple techniques.

  • Remember to always have one piping bag set aside for each color of icing. 
  • As you color your icing, start slowly and add more to intensify the shade. 
  • Pipe a line of thick of icing to outline the cookie. Use thin icing to fill in the area you just outlined. For a marbled look, pipe a contrasting color of thin icing onto the filled-in area. Use a toothpick to marble the icing colors together.
  • For an elegant look, dip half of a cookie in melted chocolate or almond bark. 
  • Kids love to decorate (and eat) cookies too, making this the perfect thing to do pass the time on a bad-weather day. Cookies are an awesome gift that kids can help make for a friend or loved one. Cookie decorating is also a great theme for a children’s party. Here are some tips for decorating cookies with kids:
  • Lay a large trash bag or plastic table cloth over the surface you will be decorating on. When you are done cooking, carefully fold up the covering so nothing spills out and then throw the mess away.
  • Have the kids wear smocks or oversize t-shirts to protect their clothes if they will be decorating with brightly colored frosting.
  • Keep it simple for smaller children. Have the cookies already baked and cooled. Give them a table knife or small rubber spatula to spread the frosting. They can finish decorating their cookies with sprinkles or their favorite candy.
  • Have damp paper towels or cloths ready and waiting to wipe off little hands between cookies.
  • Remember to set aside time for eating the cookies! Have the kids pick out one or two of the cookies they decorated to enjoy right now with a glass of milk or juice and save the rest for later.

Decorating cookies brings everyone together and creates memories that will last a lifetime!


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