Chili Pepper Cookies – An Airbrush Tutorial

How to Shade Cookies with an Airbrush Gun via

I planned on making Cinco de Mayo cookies but, time slipped away. I can’t believe April has come and gone and Mother’s Day is almost here. I guess time flies when you’re having fun and we all know decorating chili pepper cookies is definitely fun.

How to Decorate Chili Pepper Cookies with Royal Icing via


Even though my Cinco de Mayo cookies are late I thought better late than never. Then I decided since I am already late, why not turn this into a tutorial on how to shade Cinco de Mayo cookies? I will show more later but for now lets focus on airbrushing a few chili pepper cookies. It is very simple and it only takes a few seconds to achieve a shaded affect.

Supplies for Chili Pepper Cookies:

15 Second Icing in the following colors in a piping bag with a #2 tip:

  • Red Icing
  • White Icing
  • Yellow Icing
  • Green Icing

Airbrush gun with the following Airbrush Colors:

  • Gold
  • Brown
  • Green

Chili Pepper Cookie Cuttters or Gum Leaf Cutter  I used a gum leaf cookie cutter that was a given to me from the sweet  Mandy and Rebecca from Kool Cookie Cutters. They gave it to me at the first Cookie Con and I use it a lot

How to Decorate Chili Pepper Cookies with Royal Icing


  •  Outline and flood the cookie with the red icing like in the picture above.
  • Then with the white icing, make a highlight on the top the chili pepper. You can add it to either side you want.
  • The last chili pepper has been airbrushed and I made a little video below to show you how easy it is to do. More on that after all the cookies are flooded and dry.
  • Make the yellow and green peppers the same way and let the cookies dry overnight.
  • Add a green stem to each of the chili pepper cookies and let them dry for a few hours. (Sorry but, I didn’t get a picture of this step.)


How to Decorate Chili Pepper Cookies with Royal Icing

I have received a lot of emails from you guys asking about how to use and airbrush gun. I have done a few posts on the basics, how to use and airbrush gun, and how to clean an airbrush gun and how to clean it with vodka, it is time I show you how to shade with it.

How to Decorate Chili Pepper Cookies with Royal Icing with

Shading a cookie with an airbrush gun is fast, simple and it gives adds a lot of detail in just a few seconds. The first thing you need to do is think about the area that needs to be shaded. A simple way to do that is think about which direction the sun is shining. You can cut a little sun out of a piece of paper and place it at the top of the corner so you can visualize where the light will hit the cookies and reveal where the shadows fall.

Do you see the shadows on the background board? That is the side you need to airbrush with a color that is a little darker than the icing color.

Do you notice the yellow pepper cookie that the arrows are pointing at? The highlight and shadows are on the same side. That is not the correct way to shade. Now look at the green pepper to the right. See how the highlight is on top and the shading is on the bottom? That is the correct way to add shading to your cookie.


How to Decorate Chili Pepper Cookies with Royal Icing by

Now that you know where the shadow needs to fall on the cookies, let’s talk about what color you need to shade with. These yellow peppers are shaded with yellow and it is hard to see. It is great if you want just a hint of color or to add shine to a cookie that is dull or flat looking.


How to Decorate Chili Pepper Cookies with Royal Icing by

These are the same cookies shaded with gold. I like this one better for this set of cookies. It is a little more dramatic but not over powering. See the cookie on the top left? It needs to be turned around to be shaded correctly. You could place a little paper sun on the top right and use that as your shading guide.

Here is a little video about airbrushing and how it should not be a scary thing. Be sure to watch until the very end.

How to Decorate Chili Pepper Cookies with Royal Icing via

Now it is time for a little test. Some of these cookies are shaded wrong or facing the wrong direction for the picture. Can you see the difference? I hope this tutorial will help take the scary out of airbrushing. Stick around for more airbrushing tips and tutorial because I will be adding more very soon.

Bear hugs,