Tutorial: Valentine’s Day Lovebug Cookies

CATEGORIES: Cookies, Kate, Valentine's Day

So I’ve been planning on posting some scrumptious little grown-up cupcakes for a long time now, but they keep getting the boot because, well, holidays keep happening and when you stumble across something completely adorable and Valentine’s Day-related, you’ve gotta post it. Because the cupcakes can wait, but people would think I was weird if I posted lovebug cookies in March. Okay, people might do think I’m weird, anyway, but that’s beside the point.

I found this idea on the adorable 30 Handmade Days and Sugar Sweet Belle earlier this week and knew I needed to hurry and make them before Valentine’s Day. I made a few adjustments (I used our Glacé Icing, sugar cookies, gave them some eyes because I can’t resist little googly eyes on cookies and cupcakes, and other minor little changes) and my kids seriously about died of excitement when they saw these little guys.

Here’s what you’ll need:

*Sugar cookies, cut into heart shapes (I used a cookie cutter that’s about 1 1/2″).
*Glacé Icing.
*Food coloring gel (I use the pots of Wilton food coloring available at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, etc.) in red or hot pink and black.
*To read over the tutorial from the icing link.
*3 icing bags, 3 regular-sized couplers, and 3 tips (I used Wilton 3 and 4)
*Cookie or lollipop sticks (optional–I needed to make LOTS of these, so I didn’t do the sticks, but they would be adorable in a cookie bouquet)

After you’ve mixed your icing, place about 2 Tbsp.-1/4 c. of white icing for the eyes into an icing bag fitted with a coupler and a tip no larger than a 3.

Mix 2/3 c. of the icing with hot pink or red. Then remove 1/4 c. of icing and mix it with 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar so it’s slightly stiffer. Place that icing in a bag fitted with a coupler and a 3- or 4-sized tip. The other bowl of pink icing can remain in the bowl.

Mix 1/3-1/2 c. icing with the black coloring. Reserve about 1 Tbsp. for the irises of the eyes. Place the remaining black icing in a bag fitted with a coupler and a size 3 tip.

Using the pink icing bag, trace the outline of the heart of each cookie.

Then trace a line across the heart about 1/3 of the way from the tip of the heart.

Allow this icing to firm up for about 15-20 minutes (you can actually use this time to mix up the other colors). When it’s ready (it doesn’t have to be solid, just not totally liquid), use a small spoon to carefully fill the curvy part of the heart with pink or red icing.

Then use the bag of black icing to carefully dot some black icing into the point of the heart. Use a toothpick to gently spread the black into all the corners.

See how I have black dots on these cookies? Yeah, don’t do that. 🙂 I tried a couple of methods and decided I liked my cookies much better when I let the pink/red icing dry before I added my ladybug dots.

Now’s a good time to take a little break. Give your cookies 45-60 minutes to dry. This is the perfect time to wash some dishes. Or work out. Or take a nap. Naps win (or would like to win) about 85% of the time in my world.

When the cookies have had a chance to harden a little, use the bag of black icing to dot your little lovebugs however you’d like. Then use the bag of white to carefully make two little white eyes on the black icing. Using a toothpick dipped in the reserved black icing, dot little irises on each ladybug.

So cute, right?! And these were surprisingly easy (despite what the mess in my kitchen might tell you. The mess in my kitchen tells a lot of lies). Give these a good 12-24 hours before stacking them, although you can (and should) eat them right away.


  1. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this new type of icing. I have major problems with Royal Icing too, it never turns out! I wanted to make cutout Valentine cookies this weekend, but had decided against it because of my royal icing problems – now they're back on, can't wait to try this!!

  2. could do this without doing ladybugs too and just flood with the icing and make swirl with a different color, right?

    I think my little guy would have issues with LADYBUGS since they are for girls

  3. Those are the cutest things I've ever seen! How does the icing taste? It's all about the taste, even though they are darling! 🙂

  4. So cute, but how do you get away making them without lots of "help" from the kiddos? Do you wait until they are asleep? I want to make them but not sure if I have the coordination after bedtime. 🙂

  5. Nice Kate! I didn't read your signature at the bottom of the post, I thought it was Sara until I saw her comment. You both are SO talented!

  6. Sorry removed my comment after finding the frosting recipe. The link in the "recipe" section goes to a 404 link unfound page, but it works if you use the link above.

    Thanks for the recipe, comes at a good time, since I have to make a bunch of these cookies this weekend for a bake sale and was worried about making royal icing.

  7. I can't find the link for the frosting … ???

    and tried another reader's suggestion but still can't find it – but I am pretty low on brain-fuel these days!

  8. Just bagging mine up. They turned out soooo cute! I filled a bag with the red to fill in the ladies bugs and just cut the corner off to speed the process up. Worked like a charm.

    If you click the link to the sugar cookie recipe, there is a link from there to the icing that works. Hope that helps! =o)

  9. Just cute.. Love these and they look so yummy too. Gotta try this icing. What a fun Valentine's Party.. Thanks for sharing as always your amazing recipes.. Love it!

  10. I have been a loyal follower for a few months now. Ever since my sister kept bragging about your recipes. I would love to win your new book 🙂 Thanks! Trisha

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  15. Just wanted to let you know that my kids begged me to make the deep fried french toast for them (made it Christmas morning), so we had it today! I also may make the cookie pie, looks soooo good. Thanks so much for all the yumminess that you girls have brought to our household.

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    Keep up the good work and I look forward to your next email.

  19. I think you are a riot. We made the chocolate chip cookie pie over the weekend and I was helping my grandaughter so she can learn how to cook and we are on the floor laughting about the comments inbetween the pictures.
    Keep up the happy attitude and the great recipes.

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  26. Love your site and tasty recipes. One of my favorites is the black bean soup. It was out of site.
    I am not into baking but it sure looked fun in making.

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  28. I made the glass block jello with my granddaughter today for our Valentines dinner we prepared for friends and family. We cut them out with heart shaped cookie cutter and they were a huge hit. I love your recipes and make many of them. Keep up the great work.

  29. These are adorable! I didn't make all the things I wanted to for Valentine's day, including these. But, with my kids I could make these any day of the year and they'd be thrilled!

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