How to Decorate Cookies: A Step-by-Step Guide

Read these steps on how to decorate cookies, then watch the how-to video.

Use royal icing to create professional-looking, decorated cookies at home with just a few tools and a little imagination.

Tools to Use
These items make decorating easier: candy sprinkles, mini offset spatula, squirt bottle, piping bag and food coloring.

Royal Icing
First, let the cookies cool completely. Then make royal icing, a mixture of egg whites and confectioners' sugar (get the recipe: Royal Icing).

Start with Outlining Icing
For outlining icing, add a little extra confectioners' sugar — you want the consistency to be thick like paste.

Add Food Coloring
Remember, a drop of food coloring goes a long way.

Outlining
Use a piping bag with a small tip to outline the shape of the cookie. If the icing is too loose, add some more confectioners' sugar.

Steady-Hand Tip
Hold the bag in the hand you write with and the tip in the other hand as a guide. Gently squeeze the top of the bag. When you're done, set the cookie aside to dry.

Filling In Cookies
For a solid color, use the squeeze bottle or a spoon to fill in the outlines. This is called "flooding the cookie."

Adding Solid Colors
Use a thinner icing for this step, with a soft pudding or gravy consistency. If your icing is too thick, simply add water.

Cookies with a Solid Color
Let the base color dry a little before decorating.

Decorate
Use a piping bag to decorate the cookies.

Toppings
This is the time to add cute candies or sprinkles for decoration.

And You're Set
Have fun and use your imagination when decorating. Watch our how-to video for more.