Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating

Christmas is a time for family, friends and baking cookies for everyone you know. We all have our favorite cookie recipes that have been passed down by our families and friends. I know you have found amazing recipes on Pinterest. Decorating sugar cookies is a little more complicated than baking up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Don’t get me wrong, chocolate chip cookies are delicious but, aren’t as pretty as decorated sugar cookies. When I began making cookies, I searched the web high and low looking for some kind of beginners guide to cookie decorating but I never found one.

Beginners-Guide-to-Cookie-DecoratingI wanted to make a guide for those looking for tips and trick that will help take some of the mystery out of making cookies. I have gathered several posts that I’ve made over the last two years and put them all in one place for you. This list will show you everything from how to roll out sugar cookie dough to how to fix mistakes when decorating cookies. I hope you find something that will help answer your questions.

Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating:

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe and How to Send a Box of Cheer with a Free Printable Tag via thebearfootbaker.comGingerbread Cookie Recipe and here.

beginners guide to cookie decorating from www.thebearfootbaker.comHow to roll out sugar cookie dough.

beginners guide to cookie decorating

How to cut out perfect cookies every time.

How to Flatten Sugar cookies for a Smooth Decorating Surface by thebearfootbaker.comFlatten Cookies for an Even decorating Surface

Why Do Sugar Cookies Spread When Baked via thebearfootbaker.comWhy do Sugar Cookies Spread when Baked?

How to Make Royal Icing Video by www.thebearfootbaker.comHow to make Royal Icing

Royal Icing Recipe

Half a Batch of Royal Icing

How to make Royal Icing with a Hand Mixer

Santa Cookies via www.thebearfootbaker.comHow to get the Pattern on a Cookie

How to Decorate with Royal Icing by The Bearfoot BakerHow to outline and flood a cookie video

 How to outline and flood a cookie with the bearfootbaker.comHow to Outline and Flood a Cookie with Royal Icing:

 Royal Icing Consistency by www.thebearfootbaker.comWhat is “Outline,” “Flood,” and “15 Second” icing

Fairy Tale of The Perfect Royal Icing www.thebearfootbaker.comHow to make Outline, Flood and 15 Second Icing

How-to-get-icing-into-those-litttle -decorating-bottles-www.thebearfootbaker.comHow to get Icing into those Little Bottles

Unclog Icing Tip via thebearfootbaker.comHow to Unclog Icing Tips

How to fix a mistake on a cookie via thebearfootbaker.comHow to Fix a Mistake on a Cookie

Royal Icing Transfer Eyes via thebearfootbaker.comHow to Make Royal Icing Eyes

How to Remove Royal Icing Templates from Wax Paper thebearfootbaker.comHow to Remove Royal Icing Transfers

How to tell if baking powder is good by thebearfootbaker.comHow to Tell if Baking Powder and Baking Soda are Fresh

Eggs How to test for freshness by thebearfootbaker.comEggs-How to test for Freshness

How to Dry Your Cookie Cutters via thebearfootbaker.comHow to Dry Cookie Cutters

I hope this beginner’s guide to cookie decorating helps you find the answers you are looking for. If there is something you have questions about please shoot me an email or leave a comment in this post and I will do my best to help you out.

A-Beginners-Guide-to-Cookie-Decorating-via-thebearfootbaker.com_Be sure to bookmark this page or pin it because I will continue to update as I make new posts and videos.

Bear hugs,



  1. Excellent post for anyone new to cookie decorating and even some great tips for those who have been doing it for awhile!

  2. This was awesome!!! THANK YOU!!! I’ve been doing this steady for about a year and there were a few “genious” tips in here!!! Like how to get the icing into the bottles! I was bent on just being able to pour it from my bowl – hahahahah what a MESS!!!! I even tried using a funnel…….it worked but was as slow as a snail!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

  3. This is fantastic and you are AMAZING! I know so many people (including me) that want a guide like this. Thank you so much! : )

    • You are welcome Heather! Let me know if you even need anything or have questions. If I don’t know the answers, I will find someone who does. 😉

  4. Lisa, this is such an invaluable resource for newbies and rusty oldies. Thank you soooooo much! This post will now have a prominent place on my iPad main screen as a go to resource!

  5. Wow, super helpful & useful!!! Thank you so, so, much!

  6. What a wonderful reference guide. Thanks a million!

  7. Lisa this is so great. I definitely need to work on my cookie decorating so I will be sure to go through your entire tutorial. Great post for the holiday season. I will work on these this weekend.

  8. Connie Beal says:

    I follow all of your tips! Love Love that you have condensed them into one blog. This will definitely be on my Favorites Bar forever!

  9. This is getting pinned, saved, etc. You have convinced me to give cookie decorating a ‘real’ try in the near future!

  10. HOLY SMOKES~!~ You are Amazing! Thank you so much for compiling this!! Fabulous!!

  11. Such a convenient round-up, Lisa! I’m definitely going to remember this to refer cookie newbies to when they have questions.

  12. The 2 tips of yours that I use EVERY time are drying my baking sheets & cutters and your icing recipe. I’ve tried so many icing recipes and yours is the only one that works for me. Any addition of corn syrup causes the icing to dry slower than glaciers melt on the north pole and it eventually falls off the cookie in one piece. So odd. Now I won’t even try another recipe, why mess with perfection?

    Thank you Lisa, you’ve definitely been a big influence on my cookie decorating.

    • P.S. Have you ever added HOT water to your meringue powder? Well I did and it instantly turned the icing to glue. We’re talking seconds after adding it to the sugar. I should have tested it but I was in a hurry. I love lessons like this because now I know I’ll never do that again. Ever.

  13. Sandy McFarling says:

    I stumbled upon your site a week ago and thought, “WOW!”. I LOVE your site. I recently purchased the book The complete Guide to cookie decorating which I thought was very helpful. However I love how you explain things. You make it easy to understand and I love your cookie decorations. I also love how you use the same cookie cutter for different things, ex: ladybug into the hippos face. Now I feel like I need to step into the kitchen and start baking!

  14. Christine says:

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. As a decorator I love how pretty and bright this decorated cookies looked but I dread doing them especially at work when i have to do 100 cookies of the same one. I do have a question, what type of food coloring do you use? Gel, or powdered. I have been doing the gel but for some reason the red color always turned brownish color after a day. Again thank you for the helpful tips and trick.

    • Thank you Christine. I use food gel colors only. I like AmeriColor and Wilton.

      I have two tips for you on the red. 1. Don’t use as much gel color and make the icing the night before you use it. The color will deepen as it ages. 2. Try Wilton No-Taste Red.

      Hope this helps.

  15. I really appreciate this page. I’ve been doing cakes and drop cookies for a while, but I’m a beginner with cut-out cookies. Your method of rolling and cutting is SOO much easier than the way I’ve been doing it.

  16. I adore your beginners guides. They are so inspiring. I wanna do the same right now!

  17. Do you only use Royal Icing? I just prefer the taste of butter cream of cream cheese frosting even though the cookies look a lot more polished using royal icing or color flow.

    • Hi Mary,

      I mostly use royal icing. I do love the taste of butter cream and cream cheese frosting but, for decorated sugar cookies, I use royal icing. 😉

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