How to

Decorating Cookies

Ways to decorate cookies

Decorating cookies is a fun way to celebrate special occasions and holidays. We have put together some helpful tips on different decorating techniques from colouring dough and piping frosting to dipping and painting cookies so that you can create the perfect cookie for your occasion. 


Fun ways to make cookies

  • Skip the frosting and get creative. Decorating cookies is more than just about the sweet stuff you put on top. Here are some quick tricks to make fun and festive cookies in half the time.


    Spotted cookies

    Using a rolled cookie recipe, separate out about 1/4 cup of dough and colour as desired. Start rolling out the uncoloured dough until it is almost at the correct thickness. Dot the top of rolled dough with coloured dough and roll the rest of the way. Cut out cookies as desired. The first rollout will give you distinct colour differences; the following rollouts will become marbled. Bake as directed in the recipe. 


    Cookie Pops

    This variation works best with firm cookies. With rolled cookies, you will need the dough to be a minimum of 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies into shapes and carefully insert popsicle sticks. Bake as directed. 

    If desired, form the dough into 1 1/2-inch to 2 inch balls and roll in decorating sugar before inserting popsicle sticks. Gently flatten down with the bottom of a cup and baking as directed

  • Cookie Pops
  • Pipped

    Pipping tips

    • Practice. The perfect cookies you see pictures of and see in stores take a lot of practice to get consistently right. Before piping onto your cookies, practice on a piece of parchment paper or on a plate. This lets you see if your icing is too stiff or too loose for what you want to do.  
    • Don’t over fill the piping bag. If your bag is too full, it will be harder to keep your squeezing pressure consistent. Also, if you are working with butter frosting, the heat from your hands can cause the frosting to separate and will ruin the frosting consistency. Keep the remaining frosting in the fridge or fill several piping bags bags and store them in the fridge until needed. 
    • Take your time: those elegant cookies you admire take time.  
    Try these recipes when you go to pipe frosting!
    • Easy
      Decorator Frosting

      Similar to Royal Frosting, this frosting is less sweet and does not harden as much but mixes up more quickly. 

    • Easy
      Creamy White Frosting

      A great all-purpose frosting that can be used for spreading or piping. This recipe is large enough to divide into 2 or 3 portions and colour as desired. This frosting will also form a crust, meaning that the top layer will get firm to the touch and will no longer be sticky - ideal if you need to take or send cookies. 

    • Medium
      Royal Frosting

      This frosting is used most of the time in bakeries and cafes. Once hardened, the frosting will be firm enough to keep its shape or act as glue in building gingerbread houses.. It is best suited to firmer cookies as they help absorb the moisture from the frosting so it hardens faster. Wait until frosting is fully firm before storing cookies in a container or the frosting may bleed and smudge. 

  • Dipping
  • Painting

Tips for decorating cookies with kids

Many kids love frosting and if you don’t watch they may just eat it right out of the bowl. Here are some tips to help manage the amount of frosting you go through. 

  • If you put out a full container of sprinkles, your children will likely go through them all. Divide small amounts of sprinkles into separate containers for each child. If needed, you can give them more. 
  • If you want to use piping bags, only fill them 1/3 of the way full. Small hands have a hard time squeezing and holding a full piping bag. Also, use twist ties or bag clips to help hold the ends of the piping bags shut. This stops the icing from coming out of the end of the bag and all over the floor. Put the clip right above where the icing ends so the frosting only has one way to go. Check on the bag occasionally to push down the clip and frosting.  
  • Plastic placemats are a great surface to work on as they are easy to clean.  
  • If you are dipping or glazing cookies, be ready to go after cookies that have been lost in the dip or glaze. Have a pair of tongs ready. 
  • When dipping cookies in a glaze or in chocolate, work with only half your glaze or chocolate at a time.