How to Make Watercolor Sugar Cookies

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

I used a lot of watercolor touches in the A is for Addalyn first birthday brunch.  Even one edible version, watercolor painted sugar cookies.

I didn't use actual watercolor paints on them, naturally.  I just mimicked the look and the technique with food coloring.  

It's really very simple to do (very like doing a watercolor wash on paper).  All you need is:

  • Sugar cookies, iced with royal icing or fondant and dried.
  • vodka, or other clear alcohol
  • food coloring
  • clean, food-safe paint brush

It is absolutely critical that you let the royal icing dry completely.  Many hours.  Overnight is better.  Because the painting process will dissolve the top layer of the icing a bit, and if it's not dry all the way through, you'll get a big, crackling, dented mess.

So if your cookies are really really dry, all you need to do is thin down some gel food coloring with vodka, load up your brush, and start spreading it on the plain white icing surface.  Work quickly, because the vodka will evaporate rapidly, and you want the colors to wash together and blend, just like when using watercolors.

The surface of the cookie changes a bit with this technique.  It's no longer a perfectly smooth, glossy surface, but it still looks very nice, and even more like an actual watercolor painting.

I made the monogram As for these cookies simply by printing out a sheet with As to act as my tracing guide, putting waxed paper on top of the printout, and piping with royal icing on top of the letters.  Let the letters dry completely (and makes some extras--anything with thin lines like this is prone to breakage) and adhere to the top of the cookie using a small bit of royal icing.

I love how each one is a little bit different.  I added the piped borders to these cookies mostly because I had chosen an oval shape for the actual cookies, and they ended up looking rather like Easter eggs.  Not what I was going for.

No talent for drawing necessary.  It's an easy way to decorate a cookie in a highly personal, beautiful way.  I think these would be absolutely gorgeous at a wedding or shower.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

Links on this page may be affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for something you buy through those links, at no additional cost to you.