Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies

I love beautifully decorated sugar cookies, but I’m always on the lookout for easy, short-cut options for making them because I feel like they’re So. Much. Work.  And they require more skill and patience than I feel I have the majority of the time.  That’s why I love our easy sugar cookie glaze, and that’s why I’m bringing you another fun option, today!  This is a SUPER easy way to get a custom sugar cookie design, and it’s fun, too!

Easy decorated sugar cookies

These cookies start with a plain layer of royal icing.  Now you can make your own royal icing, which is the kind of icing that goes on wet and then dries into a dry, smooth, matte finish.  We actually don’t have a recipe here for royal icing, but there are a million on-line.  I recommend our friend Bridget of Bake at 350– she’s the master of royal icing! However, if you want to take the REALLY easy route- do what I do.  Go to a local bakery and just order plain cookies with a single-color royal icing like these (from local One Haute Cookie, in the Boise, area).  Make sure the icing is completely dry; it’s best to draw on these a full day after they’ve been iced.

Royal icing Cookies

The second thing you’ll need for these is a set of food-safe markers.  I ordered a set from Americolor on Amazon, you can see them here.  These ones are a little pricy, but I love the vibrant colors and they work well.  They also have a semi-flexible brush tip, which comes in handy if you want to use them for hand-lettering. Wilton also makes some that you can order on Amazon, or they usually carry at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Food Safe Markers

These look and feel just like regular markers, only they’re made with food coloring so you can write on things like cookies!  The smooth, dry finish of royal icing is a perfect canvas.

modern valentine sugar cookies

I thought this would be the perfect tutorial for Valentine’s Day because you can letter someone’s name or write a sweet love note right on your cookie.

Custom Valentine Cookies

Think of baby showers, weddings, birthdays, and so much more.

the best valentine sugar cookies

Even just investing in a plain black food-safe marker is a great idea.  I LOVE the plain black and white, and look how simple the designs are.  It literally took less than 30 seconds to whip those ones out.

black and white sugar cookies

And of course I love a splash of rainbow thrown in.

Rainbow Painted Sugar Cookies

There are endless opportunities here, grab some cookies and some markers and have fun!

modern colorful sugar cookies

Also speaking of things I LOVE this month, there’s a sale in our Shop!  Save 15% on everything with code LOVE through the 14th!   Click here to shop.


Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture on tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Can you use edible markers to write on cookies decorated with your glace icing recipe? That is my favorite icing! It’s been a bit since I’ve made the icing, and can’t remember if it gets hard enough to try writing on. Thanks!

    1. I think that would work IF you let them dry completely, like at least 24 hours, and use a light hand! Let me know if you try it!

  2. I did these for my son’s Kindergarten Valentines Day Party. Kids loved it, and they were SO much cleaner than having the kids do frosting and sprinkles!

  3. I’m also not good at all in decorating sugar cookies, these markers looks so great! Gonna try it. Thank you for sharing!

  4. This is my plan for Valentine’s Day! I have the markers on hand and am ready for the weekend. I ordered mine from King Arthur Flour.