Easter Sugar Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing

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I love making desserts/meals based around a holiday, and Easter is no exception. When it comes to Easter, I often relate it to spring: butterflies, flowers, baby chicks, etc. Not your average association, I know, but this is how we look at it. I knew when I was making these cookies that I wanted them to be bright, cheerful, and somewhat pastel to represent the fun in all the activities (aka, painting Easter eggs!) Making the cookies were a blast, even though it took a good 3 days to decorate them!

     While the decorating was fun, it was disaster after disaster putting together the cookies. I was cooking dinner alongside making the cookie dough and I broke a bowl while multitasking. Then, while mixing the cookie dough, I couldn’t figure out why the batter was so dry. Then it dawned on me, I used my 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure out the flour. That was fine and all, but I thought I was using my 1/4 cup (my handle is broken so I can just tell by the size.) Needless to say, instead of measuring out 4 cups total by using my 1/4 cup measuring device (16 scoops of 1/4 cup increments) I measured out 16 scoops of my 1/2 cup!! Now I had 8 cups of flour instead of 4 cups… and the original measurements already make a TON of sugar cookies!
     There was no way I was wasting all those ingredients, including 1.5 cups of butter, so I decided I needed to double up all the other ingredients. It was sooooo much fun working in batches with my Kitchen Aid mixer (not!) In the end, the dough came out perfect but I froze at least half of it because there was no way I was making a 100 cookies!
     What did I learn today? That I really need to invest in a new scale and weigh out my ingredients so something like this doesn’t happen!!
Easter Sugar Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert, Cookies
Serves: 24 cookies
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  1. Add sugar and butter to your stand mixer. Cream until light and fluffy (5+ minutes.)
  2. When the mixture seems paler in colour, add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  4. With your mixer on low, slowly add ¼ cups of dry mixture to your wet ingredients. Adjust speed accordingly and mix until combined.
  5. Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes (I usually wait an hour.)
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Dust your work surface with flour.
  8. Separate the dough into two balls, rolling out one at a time to desired thickness (I like thicker dough for softer cookies.)
  9. Use your cookie cutters to create various shapes.
  10. Continue rolling dough until all the cookies are cut out.
  11. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Cool on pan for 5 minutes and transfer to wire racks.
  13. When cool, decorate with your favourite icing!
(Double recipe batch found here)

For the above recipe, I cut it in half because the original recipe does make a lot of cookies. I mean seriously, imagine the above recipe made 4 times, because that is what I accidentally did! By all means, use the full batch recipe, but I am still giving away cookies from this batch!
Another thing to note, the cookies you make from the first time you roll out the dough will hold their shape better than the ones you cut from the dough that you have re-rolled 3 to 4 times. It isn’t horribly noticeable, but you will see more cracks in your later cookies. Also, while one batch is in the oven, I keep my next load of cookies in the fridge. This will also help your cookies keep their shape.

Now for the icing. You can use Wilton’s royal icing recipe, however, I am partial to Sweetopia’s recipe for decorating cookies. She has an awesome tutorial plus, her cookies are amazing! I have made her recipe multiple times now with no problems. Of course, with my day of bad luck, my icing was giving me trouble! It was not thickening up in volume and I thought I had used arrowroot flour instead of cream or tartar (long story.) But rest assure, it all turned out and I could not be happier with my cookies!

I had some air bubbles that I missed, but otherwise, it was a fun experience. Some cookie designs I tried did not come out like I expected. Others were better than I could imagine. I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest.
Thanks to:
Tulip Inspiration
Carrot Inspiration
Hiding Bunny Inspiration
Bunny Inspiration
Chicken Inspiration  and Chicken Eye Inspiration
The easiest to design were the butterflies because you could do whatever you liked, and somehow, they always turned out! I didn’t include all my cookies in the pictures, but I made sure to include at least one design for each type of cookie cutter.

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