How to Decorate Cookies

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

This is the recipe I use for decorating cookies. You can use Royal Icing but I prefer a simple, quick, no egg recipe for our purposes. Decorating cookies has been a long standing and trusted boredom buster for my kids. Even if I don’t have the time or am too lazy to bake a batch of cookies, we’ll still whip up this icing and get any old plain biscuits we might have at hand, like rich tea biscuits or cheese biscuits! Because you don’t need anything fancy, just icing sugar, some liquid, flavouring if you fancy, food colouring, a bowl and a fork!

sugar cookies
sugar cookies as gifts

The trick with fancy iced cookies is to do a border or outline with icing that is marginally thicker, then fill that border in with a slightly runnier icing, just like colouring in!

Shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor.

Lin xx

How to Decorate Cookies

Easy step by step instructions and recipe on how to decorate cookies with icing.
5 from 54 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: International
Keyword: cookies, cookingwithkids
Calories: 502kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 120 g icing powdered sugar
  • Tbsp water or milk
  • Food colouring as needed
  • Flavouring of your choice like vanilla, rose, lemon optional


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with a fork, until you get a smooth paste.
  • The icing should be fairly thick but should still flow easily.
  • Fill a piping bag with this border icing.
  • First draw an outline on your cookies, like a border. I would do the outline on all your cookies first.
  • When all the borders are done, it’s time to “colour it in”. Start with the cookies you outlined first in roughly the same order, this will ensure that the outlines have dried and hardened slightly.
  • Lighten the icing with half a teaspoon liquid (water or milk), mix well, then just fill another piping bag with this icing.
  • Basically, fill all your outlines with this "flood icing", using the tip of the piping bag to push the icing to the edges and corners.
  • While this flood icing is still wet, you can create swirls and patterns by using a toothpick and pulling and swirling the the icing. See the cookies here.


Calories: 502kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 41mg | Sugar: 76g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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