Our detailed cookie decorating guide covers cookie recipes, selected icings, and key techniques for creating your most creative, beautiful cookies ever.
The complete guide:

Decorating Cookies

From easy to elegant, decorated cookies let your inner artist shine.

Then, choose your cutters

The ideal cookie cutter is imaginatively designed; sharp (but not dangerously so); and rigid enough to hold its shape during use. Avoid cutters with small details (e.g., a reindeer ear, an angel wing tip) that will result in tiny pieces of dough protruding from the cookie's main body; these "outliers" will burn as your cookies bake. Finally, keep size in mind. If you're an expert decorator, small cutters (requiring delicate decorations) are fine. For kids, the larger the cutter, the easier the cookie is to decorate.

Even if you have your own treasure trove of cutters, there's always room for one more, right?

View our cookie cutter selection
Star Cookie Cutters

Finally, choose your decorating style

Are you a decorating minimalist? Don't have the patience for hours of painstaking piping? Imaginative use of a few basic cutters, icing, and colored toppings are all you really need to make good-looking cookies

Are you a cookie artist? LOVE playing with multiple bags of tinted icing to create simply gorgeous works of cookie art? We can help. See our complete cookie icing and decorating tips

Select your icing

  • Glaze
    Glaze

    Cookie glaze is thin, satiny, and dries hard. It's perfect for adding a written message, or coating with colored sugar (see below). Read more about cookie glaze consistency

  • Frosting
    Frosting

    This spreadable frosting is similar to buttercream, and stays soft on your cookies. Add sugar decorations for a fun or elegant touch.

  • Royal icing
    Royal icing

    This icing dries hard and opaque, and can be spread or piped atop cookies. Which type of royal icing should you make? Read more about royal icing consistency

Try this basic decorating technique

  1. Technique 1

    Start with a freshly iced cookie; you want to work while the icing is still wet.

  2. Technique 2

    Lay the cookie on a piece of parchment. Generously cover the cookie with sugar or sprinkles.

  3. Technique 3

    Gently tap off the excess sugar.

  4. Technique 4

    Use the parchment as a scoop to transfer the excess sugar back to a bowl, for further use. The cookie can take several hours to dry.

Build your own gingerbread house

Warning, construction ahead - gingerbread house construction, that is! Nothing says "family-favorite holiday project" like building your own gingerbread house. Whether you start with a "pre-fab" house or build your own, we have everything you need for your best gingerbread house ever.

Start with this recipe Step-by-step building instructions
Gingerbread house

Troubleshooting

Experiencing a baking "challenge"? Contact our Baker's Hotline: we can help.

While we're a wealth of holiday baking knowledge, we're here for you year-round. Our seasoned staff of bakers knows bread and pizza, cookies and cake, scones and biscuits and muffins. If you can't figure out why your cupcakes crumble or your sourdough isn't sour enough, we can help. We're available via phone, email, or live chat 7 days a week.