Decorated Christmas Tree Cookies: A Guide to Festive Baking and Decorating


Hello, fellow Christmas enthusiasts! As the holiday season approaches, there’s nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked cookies filling the home. I’m thrilled to share my passion for creating beautifully decorated Christmas tree cookies. Let’s dive into a world of sweet, festive delights and explore the art of cookie decoration together.

Choosing the Right Cookie Recipe

A good cookie begins with the perfect dough. I’ll guide you through a basic yet versatile cookie recipe, ideal for shaping and decorating. Remember, the key is in the texture – firm enough to hold its shape, yet tender when bitten into. I’ll share some personal tips to ensure your dough turns out just right every time.

Here’s a versatile and reliable cookie recipe that’s perfect for decorating, especially for your “Decorated Christmas Tree Cookies.” This recipe is ideal for creating cookies that hold their shape well and have a delicious flavor, making them the perfect canvas for your festive decorations.

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add Egg and Vanilla: Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the cookies tough.
  5. Chill the Dough: Divide the dough in half, flatten into disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This step is crucial as it makes the dough easier to roll and cut without spreading during baking.
  6. Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Sheets: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  7. Roll Out the Dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out Christmas tree shapes.
  8. Bake: Place the cutouts on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just slightly golden. The exact time will depend on the size and thickness of your cookies.
  9. Cool: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  10. Decorate: Once cooled, decorate your cookies with royal icing, sprinkles, or any other festive decorations you like.

Tips for Success:

  • Ensure your butter is at room temperature for easier creaming.
  • If your dough is too sticky to roll, add a bit more flour, but do so sparingly.
  • Keep unused dough refrigerated while working in batches.
  • For softer cookies, bake for a shorter time; for crisper cookies, bake a little longer.

This recipe creates a buttery, flavorful cookie that’s firm enough to decorate yet tender when bitten into. It’s the perfect foundation for your beautifully decorated Christmas tree cookies!

Shaping Your Cookies

Crafting well-shaped cookies is a crucial part of the process when it comes to decorated Christmas tree cookies. Utilizing the right cookie cutters and achieving an even thickness are vital for producing cookies that are not only uniform in shape but also visually enticing. This guide will assist you in shaping your decorated Christmas tree cookies to perfection.

1. Choosing the Right Cookie Cutters

  • Variety of Sizes: Christmas tree cutters come in various sizes. Having a range allows you to create a diverse cookie spread and is especially fun for kids.
  • Quality Matters: Choose sturdy cookie cutters that will give you clean cuts. Metal cutters are often more durable than plastic ones.

2. Rolling Out the Dough

  • Even Thickness: Consistent thickness is crucial for uniform baking. Uneven cookies will bake at different rates, with thinner parts possibly burning while thicker parts may be underbaked.
  • Using Guides: Here’s a simple trick to achieve even thickness:
    • Place your dough between two wooden dowels or rulers of the same thickness.
    • Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. The dowels or rulers will act as guides, preventing you from rolling the dough too thin.
    • Aim for about 1/4-inch thickness, which is ideal for most cut-out cookies.

3. Cutting Out Shapes

  • Flouring the Cutter: Lightly dust your Christmas tree cutter with flour to prevent sticking.
  • Press and Lift: Press the cutter firmly into the dough, then gently lift it. If the dough sticks to the cutter, gently push it out onto your baking sheet.
  • Maximizing Dough: Cut the cookies as close together as possible to maximize the use of dough. Gather and re-roll the scraps, but be mindful that overworked dough can become tough.

4. Transferring to Baking Sheet

  • Gentle Handling: Use a spatula to transfer the cutouts to your baking sheet. This helps maintain their shape.
  • Spacing: Place cookies at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet to allow for slight spreading and even baking.

5. Chilling Before Baking

  • Prevent Spreading: If your dough becomes warm and soft, chill the cutouts on the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking. This helps the cookies maintain their shape during baking.

6. Tips for Perfect Shapes

  • Cool Dough: Work with cool dough as it’s easier to handle and less likely to spread.
  • Minimal Handling: Handle the dough as little as possible to keep it from getting warm.
  • Baking in Batches: If you have limited space, bake in batches rather than crowding the baking sheet.

Baking to Perfection

The secret to perfectly baked cookies lies in the temperature and timing. Preheat your oven to the right temperature – usually around 350°F (175°C) – and keep an eye on your cookies. They should be just golden around the edges. Remember, they’ll continue to harden as they cool, so don’t overbake!

Preparing Royal Icing

Royal icing is the key to the stunning appearance of decorated Christmas tree cookies. Essential ingredients like powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water come together to create the perfect icing. The secret lies in its consistency, which should be smooth enough to spread easily yet firm enough to maintain its shape, simplifying the processes of outlining and flooding your cookies.

Here’s a simple yet effective recipe for royal icing that’s perfect for decorating cookies, especially for your “Decorated Christmas Tree Cookies” topic. This icing can be easily adjusted to achieve different consistencies for outlining, flooding, and adding intricate details to your cookies.

Royal Icing Recipe


  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 5-6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear vanilla extract is preferred for pure white icing)
  • Gel food coloring (optional, for coloring your icing)


  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Add Water and Vanilla: Add the warm water and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Begin with the lesser amount of water and add more as needed.
  3. Mix: Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium-high speed for about 5-7 minutes, or until the icing reaches a glossy and stiff consistency. If the icing is too thick, add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until you achieve the desired consistency.
  4. Adjust Consistency: For outlining cookies, you’ll want a thicker icing. For flooding, the icing should be thinner and flow easily. You can adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar to thicken it or more water to thin it out.
  5. Color Your Icing: If you’re using colors, divide the icing into separate bowls and add gel food coloring to each. Mix thoroughly until you achieve the desired color. Remember, the color will deepen slightly as the icing dries.
  6. Prepare for Use: Transfer your icing to piping bags fitted with small round tips for outlining and larger ones for flooding. If not using immediately, cover the surface of the icing with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
  7. Decorate Your Cookies: Outline your cookies with the thicker icing first, then flood the inside with thinner icing. Use a toothpick or scribe tool to spread the icing evenly.
  8. Let It Dry: Allow the icing to dry completely, which can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours depending on the thickness and humidity.

Tips for Success:

  • Ensure all equipment is grease-free, as even a small amount of grease can prevent the icing from setting properly.
  • Meringue powder is preferred over raw egg whites for safety and stability.
  • For very detailed work, you might need to adjust the icing consistency to be a bit thicker.
  • Store unused icing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Just be sure to bring it back to room temperature and re-mix before using.

This royal icing recipe is ideal for creating a smooth, professional-looking finish on your cookies. It’s easy to work with and can be customized to suit any decorating style or design you have in mind for your festive cookies.

Decorating with Royal Icing

Transforming simple baked goods into stunning, edible art, the decoration of decorated Christmas tree cookies with royal icing is an exquisite craft. Success in this endeavor hinges on perfecting two essential techniques: outlining and flooding. Let’s explore how to master these skills to adorn your Christmas tree-shaped cookies beautifully.


Outlining creates borders on your cookies, ensuring that the flood icing stays within the desired area. It’s the first step in the decorating process.

  • Consistency: Use a thicker consistency of royal icing for outlining. It should flow smoothly but still hold its shape.
  • Piping Bag and Tip: Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. A #2 or #3 tip usually works well.
  • Technique: Hold the piping bag at a 45-degree angle to the cookie. Gently squeeze to release the icing and move steadily along the edges of your cookie. Lift the tip slightly as you go to create an even line.
  • Drying Time: Allow the outline to dry slightly before proceeding to flood. This prevents the flood icing from spilling over.


Flooding fills the outlined area with a thinner consistency icing, creating a smooth, flat surface for further decoration.

  • Consistency: The flood icing should be thinner than the outline icing. It should smoothly flow off a spoon and settle back into a flat surface within a few seconds.
  • Filling In: Using a piping bag with a slightly larger tip, or even a squeeze bottle, fill in the outlined area. Start from the edges and work your way towards the center.
  • Spreading the Icing: Use a toothpick or scribe tool to guide the icing into small corners and pop any air bubbles.
  • Drying Time: Allow the flood icing to dry completely before adding more details. This could take several hours depending on the humidity and thickness of the icing.

Adding Details

Once your base layer of icing has dried, it’s time to add the creative details that bring your cookies to life.

  • Texture and Patterns: Use thicker icing to create textures and patterns. Techniques like piping lines, dots, or swirls add dimension to your cookies.
  • Decorative Elements:
    • Garlands: Pipe small dots or lines in a swirly pattern to mimic a garland.
    • Ornaments: Tiny dots of colored icing can represent ornaments. You can also use edible beads or pearls for added effect.
    • Star on Top: A small star-shaped decoration can be piped at the top, or use a tiny fondant star or an edible gold bead.
  • Layering: For more intricate designs, you can layer details by adding them gradually, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next.

Creative Tips

  • Color Palette: Choose a color palette before you start. Traditional colors like red, green, and gold are popular for Christmas cookies, but don’t be afraid to try something different.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: If you’re new to decorating with royal icing, practice your designs on parchment paper before moving to the cookies.
  • Personal Touch: Remember, each cookie is unique. Don’t worry about making them all look identical. Embrace the variations that come with hand decoration.

Mastering the Watercolor Technique

The watercolor technique in cookie decorating is a beautiful way to add soft, artistic designs to your cookies. It’s especially effective for creating subtle gradients and delicate hues. This method involves using a paint-like mixture applied to dried royal icing. Here’s a detailed guide to mastering this technique.

Preparing Your Watercolor Paints

The first step is to create your watercolor ‘paints’ using food coloring.

  • Materials Needed:
    • Gel food coloring
    • Vodka or lemon extract (as a thinning agent)
    • Small paintbrushes (food-grade)
    • Palette or small bowls for mixing colors
  • Mixing the Paint:
    • Place a small amount of gel food coloring in your palette or bowl.
    • Add a few drops of vodka or lemon extract. The alcohol or acid helps the color to dry quickly and prevents it from making the icing soggy.
    • Mix well until you achieve a paint-like consistency. It should be thin enough to spread easily but not so liquid that it runs off the icing.

Applying the Watercolor Technique

Once your ‘paint’ is ready and your cookies are iced and fully dried, you can begin the watercolor process.

  • Test First: Before applying the watercolor to your cookies, test your colors on a piece of parchment paper to ensure they’re the right consistency and shade.
  • Painting the Cookies:
    • Gently brush the colors onto your cookies. Start with a light touch, as you can always add more layers to deepen the color.
    • Blend different colors on the cookie to create a watercolor effect. You can blend while the paint is wet for a seamless look or wait until it dries for more distinct color boundaries.
    • Use the tip of the brush for fine details and the side for broader strokes.

Creating Designs and Patterns

  • Layering Colors: Build up layers of color for more depth. Allow each layer to dry slightly before adding another to prevent the colors from bleeding into each other.
  • Textures and Effects: Experiment with different brushstrokes to create textures. Dabbing, flicking, or swirling the brush can create various effects.
  • Adding Details: Once the base watercolor layer is dry, you can add details with royal icing, edible markers, or even gold leaf for an extra touch of elegance.

Finishing Touches

  • Sealing the Paint: Once your watercolor design is complete, let it dry thoroughly. The alcohol or lemon extract in the mixture will evaporate, leaving the color set on the icing.
  • Presentation: Watercolor cookies are stunning on their own and make a beautiful addition to any cookie platter or as a standalone display.

Tips for Success

  • Patience is Key: Allow plenty of drying time between layers to achieve the best results.
  • Experiment with Colors: Don’t be afraid to mix colors to get the perfect shade. Watercolor is all about playing with hues.
  • Use Quality Brushes: Good brushes can make a significant difference in the ease and quality of your painting.
  • Clean Brushes Between Colors: To keep your colors pure, rinse and dry your brushes when switching colors.

Mastering the watercolor technique on cookies might take a little practice, but it’s a delightful and rewarding way to decorate. With its soft, ethereal look, this method adds a touch of whimsy and sophistication to your decorated cookies.

Combining Techniques for Unique Designs

Combining the meticulousness of royal icing with the delicate touch of the watercolor technique can take your decorated Christmas tree cookies to new heights of creativity and elegance. This fusion allows you to craft cookies that are not only scrumptious but also visually captivating, each boasting its distinct design. Let’s delve into how to effectively meld these techniques for your decorated Christmas tree cookies.

1. Start with a Solid Foundation: Royal Icing

Before introducing the watercolor technique, you need a well-prepared base of royal icing on your cookies.

  • Outline and Flood: Begin by outlining and flooding your cookies with royal icing. This creates a smooth, even surface for painting.
  • Let it Set: Allow the royal icing to dry completely. This can take several hours or overnight. The icing must be hard to the touch to prevent damage when applying watercolor.

2. Prepare Your Watercolor Palette

While your icing is setting, prepare your watercolor ‘paints’ as described in the watercolor technique section.

  • Select Complementary Colors: Choose colors that will enhance the design of your royal icing base. Consider how they will interact and complement each other.
  • Test Your Colors: Always test your colors on a piece of parchment before applying them to the cookie to ensure they’re the right shade and consistency.

3. Apply the Watercolor

Once your royal icing base is set, you can start applying your watercolor.

  • Gentle Brush Strokes: Use a soft brush to apply the color. Work gently to avoid damaging the icing.
  • Layering and Blending: Experiment with layering different colors and blending them on the cookie for a multidimensional effect.
  • Focus on Details: Use the watercolor to highlight details or add artistic flourishes to your design.

4. Adding Final Details

After the watercolor layer has dried, you can add more details with royal icing or other decorative elements.

  • Piping Fine Details: Add fine lines, dots, or other intricate patterns with a small piping tip.
  • Edible Glitters or Pearls: For a touch of sparkle, consider adding edible glitter or pearls.

5. Let it Dry Completely

  • Drying Time: Allow your newly decorated cookies to dry thoroughly. This ensures that the watercolor and additional icing details set properly.

Tips for Successful Combination of Techniques

  • Plan Your Design: Before you start, have a clear idea of the final look you want to achieve.
  • Balance the Elements: Ensure that your use of royal icing and watercolor complements each other without one overpowering the other.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out as expected. Practice and experimentation are key to mastering these techniques.
  • Mind the Consistency: Pay attention to the consistency of both the royal icing and the watercolor ‘paint’ for the best results.

Adding the Final Touches

The finishing touches on your decorated Christmas tree cookies are what truly distinguish them, adding an extra dash of flair and elegance

The finishing touches on your decorated Christmas tree cookies are what truly distinguish them, adding an extra dash of flair and elegance. Once you’ve meticulously adorned your cookies with royal icing and watercolor techniques, embellishing them further with edible glitter, colorful sprinkles, and sugar pearls can enhance their charm. Let’s explore the best ways to add these final details to your decorated Christmas tree cookies effectively.

Choosing Your Embellishments

  • Edible Glitter: Adds a shimmery effect, perfect for creating a festive, sparkling look.
  • Colored Sprinkles: Available in various shapes and colors, they can complement your design theme.
  • Tiny Sugar Pearls: Ideal for adding delicate detail and a touch of elegance.

Applying Edible Glitter

  • Method: Use a small, dry brush to lightly dust the surface of your cookies with the glitter. If you want the glitter to stick to specific areas, apply a tiny dab of icing as ‘glue.’
  • Tip: A little glitter goes a long way. Use sparingly to create a subtle shimmer rather than overwhelming the cookie’s design.

Using Colored Sprinkles

  • Application While Wet: If you want the sprinkles to adhere to a larger area, apply them while the icing is still wet. This way, they will stick as the icing dries.
  • Application After Drying: For more precise placement or if adding to dry icing, use a small dot of icing where you want the sprinkle to adhere.

Adding Sugar Pearls

  • Precision Placement: Sugar pearls are perfect for detailed work. Use tweezers or a similar tool for precise placement.
  • Adhering Pearls: Apply a tiny dot of icing to the cookie or the bottom of the pearl, then place it gently onto the cookie.

Considerations for Final Touches

  • Design Balance: Consider the overall design of your cookie. Ensure that these final touches enhance rather than overpower your design.
  • Texture Contrast: These elements not only add visual appeal but also introduce different textures, making the cookies more interesting to both look at and eat.
  • Theme Consistency: Keep your decorations consistent with your theme. For Christmas tree cookies, choose colors and shapes that complement the festive theme.

Finalizing Your Masterpiece

  • Let It Set: After applying your final touches, let the cookies sit undisturbed for a while to ensure everything sets properly.
  • Storage: Once fully dry, store your cookies in an airtight container to keep them fresh and to protect your decorative work.

Storing and Sharing Your Cookies

Having invested time and effort in creating your decorated Christmas tree cookies, proper storage is essential to preserve their freshness and visual appeal.

Having invested time and effort in creating your decorated Christmas tree cookies, proper storage is essential to preserve their freshness and visual appeal. Furthermore, if you intend to share or gift these delightful treats, how you present them makes all the difference. Let’s delve into the optimal methods for storing and sharing your beautifully decorated Christmas tree cookies.

Proper Storage for Freshness

  • Airtight Containers: The best way to keep your cookies fresh is by storing them in an airtight container. This helps to prevent them from going stale and protects them from absorbing odors or moisture from the air.
  • Room Temperature: Store your containers at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Avoid places with direct sunlight or high humidity.
  • Layering Cookies: If you need to stack cookies, place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking to each other or ruining the decorations.
  • Avoid Refrigeration: Unless your cookies have perishable toppings, avoid storing them in the refrigerator as it can cause them to become soggy.

Preparing Cookies for Gifting

  • Decorative Boxes: Use decorative boxes for a charming and classic presentation. Line the boxes with tissue paper or parchment for added protection.
  • Clear Cellophane Bags: For a simple yet elegant touch, place cookies in clear cellophane bags. This showcases your cookie designs while keeping them protected.
  • Festive Ribbons and Tags: Tie the bags or boxes with colorful ribbons and add personalized tags for a festive touch. This is also a great way to include a message or list ingredients for recipients who may have dietary restrictions.

Sharing with Joy and Spirit

  • Personal Touch: Adding a hand-written note or customizing the packaging can make your gift even more special.
  • Cookie Parties: Host a cookie exchange party where everyone brings their own batch of cookies to share. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday season and share different cookie styles and flavors.
  • Donations: Consider donating some of your cookies to local shelters, community centers, or nursing homes to spread the festive spirit.
  • Shipping Cookies: If you’re sending cookies through the mail, pack them tightly in a sturdy box with bubble wrap or packing peanuts to prevent movement and breakage.

Tips for Long-Term Storage

  • Freezing Cookies: For longer storage, you can freeze decorated cookies. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze, then transfer them to airtight containers or freezer bags.
  • Thawing: Thaw frozen cookies at room temperature while still in their container to prevent condensation from forming on the icing.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Decorating decorated Christmas tree cookies is a blend of artistry and precision, and it's not uncommon to face some hurdles along the way.

Decorating decorated Christmas tree cookies is a blend of artistry and precision, and it’s not uncommon to face some hurdles along the way. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned baker, knowing how to tackle common challenges is crucial for perfecting your cookies. Here is a guide to addressing some of the usual issues encountered in the process.

1. Issues with Royal Icing Consistency

The consistency of royal icing is crucial for successful cookie decorating. It can vary depending on the purpose (outlining, flooding, or detailing).

  • Icing Too Runny: If your icing is too thin and runny, it won’t hold its shape.
    • Solution: Gradually add more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
    • Tip: Add the sugar a little at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition to avoid making it too thick.
  • Icing Too Stiff: Conversely, if your icing is too thick, it will be difficult to work with and could cause uneven lines.
    • Solution: Thin the icing by adding a few drops of water.
    • Tip: Stir gently to avoid creating air bubbles.

2. Preventing Cookies from Spreading

Cookies that spread too much during baking can lose their shape, which is especially problematic for intricately designed cookies.

  • Chill the Dough: Before baking, chill your cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Cold dough spreads less in the oven.
  • Ingredients at the Right Temperature: Ensure that your butter isn’t too warm. Room temperature butter is ideal.
  • Oven Temperature: Make sure your oven is properly preheated. An oven that’s not hot enough can cause cookies to spread.
  • Avoid Over-Greasing: Too much grease on your baking sheet can also lead to spreading. Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat instead.

3. Handling Dry or Crumbly Cookie Dough

Sometimes, cookie dough can turn out too dry or crumbly, making it hard to roll out or cut into shapes.

  • Dough Consistency: If your dough feels dry, it might need more moisture.
    • Solution: Add a small amount of milk or water, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
  • Handling the Dough: Overworking the dough can make it tough.
    • Tip: Handle the dough as little as possible and use a light touch when rolling it out.

4. Fixing Cracked or Broken Cookies

Occasionally, cookies may crack or break, either during the baking process or afterwards.

  • Preventative Measures: Ensure even rolling and consistent thickness to prevent cracking.
  • Repairing Cracks: For minor cracks, use royal icing as a “glue” to bond the pieces. For more significant breaks, consider turning the cookie into a “patchwork” design with icing.

5. Avoiding Air Bubbles in Icing

Air bubbles in your icing can ruin the smooth finish of your cookies.

  • Removing Air Bubbles: After flooding your cookie, use a toothpick or scribe tool to pop any visible air bubbles.
  • Gentle Stirring: When mixing your icing, stir gently to minimize the amount of air incorporated.

Practice and Patience

  • Remember that each baking and decorating session is a learning experience. Practice will improve your skills over time.
  • Don’t be discouraged by imperfections. Often, they add character and charm to homemade cookies.

Health and Dietary Considerations

In the art of making decorated Christmas tree cookies, it’s essential to consider various health and dietary requirements. From gluten sensitivities and vegan diets to reducing sugar content, adapting your cookie recipes to be inclusive is key. Let’s explore how you can modify your decorated Christmas tree cookie recipes to cater to these diverse needs.

Gluten-Free Cookies

Gluten-free baking has become more accessible thanks to a variety of alternative flours available on the market.

  • Gluten-Free Flours: Use a gluten-free flour blend designed for baking. These blends typically combine rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch for a texture similar to regular flour.
  • Xanthan Gum: Some gluten-free recipes may require xanthan gum to replicate the binding properties of gluten.
  • Experiment with Recipes: Gluten-free flours can behave differently, so it may take a few tries to get the recipe right.
  • Cross-Contamination: Be mindful of cross-contamination if you’re baking for someone with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance.

Vegan Cookies

Vegan baking avoids all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and certain types of sugar.

  • Egg Replacements: Substitute eggs with applesauce, mashed bananas, flaxseeds mixed with water, or commercial egg replacers.
  • Dairy-Free Alternatives: Use plant-based milks (like almond, soy, or oat milk) and dairy-free margarine or vegetable shortening.
  • Vegan Sugar: Some sugars are processed with bone char. Look for sugar labeled as vegan to ensure it’s animal-product free.

Reducing Sugar

Reducing sugar in cookies, especially decorated ones, can be challenging, but there are ways to do it without sacrificing taste.

  • Sugar Alternatives: Use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. Keep in mind these may alter the texture and flavor.
  • Sugar-Free Icings: Explore sugar-free icing options, like using sugar substitutes or making glazes with fruit purees.
  • Fruit Purees: Incorporate fruit purees for natural sweetness and added moisture.
  • Portion Control: Making smaller cookies can be an effective way to manage sugar intake.

Tips for Health-Conscious Baking

  • Trial and Error: Be prepared to experiment, as alternative ingredients can behave differently from their traditional counterparts.
  • Read Labels: When using packaged ingredients, read labels carefully to ensure they meet dietary requirements.
  • Flavor Emphasis: Focus on enhancing flavors with spices, extracts, and zest to compensate for any adjustments in sugar or fat content.

Engaging Kids in Cookie Decorating

Engaging Kids in Cookie Decorating

Getting kids involved in making decorated Christmas tree cookies can be both fun and educational, especially during the holiday season. It’s a fantastic opportunity to nurture creativity, enhance fine motor skills, and build lasting family memories. Below are some tips and ideas to make decorating these festive cookies enjoyable, safe, and captivating for children.

1. Safety First

  • Non-Toxic Ingredients: Ensure all decorating materials are non-toxic and safe for consumption.
  • Supervision: Always supervise young children, particularly when using small decorations that could be choking hazards.

2. Simple and Fun Decorating Techniques

  • Colored Sprinkles: Kids love using sprinkles. They are easy to handle and can add a pop of color.
  • Edible Markers: These are great for drawing on icing. They’re like using regular markers but edible!
  • Pre-Made Icing in Tubes: Easier for small hands to manage than piping bags.
  • Stencils: Use simple stencils for kids to fill in with colored sugars or edible markers.

3. Prepare the Workspace

  • Kid-Friendly Workspace: Set up a low table or a stable surface where kids can comfortably reach.
  • Cover Surfaces: Cover the table with a wipeable cloth or butcher paper for easy cleanup.
  • Individual Workstations: Give each child their own space with a set of decorating tools to prevent squabbles.

4. Choose the Right Cookies

  • Sturdy Cookies: Opt for cookie types that won’t break easily, like sugar cookies or gingerbread (Spritz).
  • Pre-Baked Cookies: Have the cookies baked in advance so the kids can focus solely on decorating.

5. Encourage Creativity

  • No Pressure: Let them know it’s okay if the cookies aren’t “perfect.” The goal is to have fun and be creative.
  • Theme Ideas: Give them themes to spark creativity, like snowflakes, stars, or Christmas trees.

6. Kid-Friendly Decorations

  • Food Coloring Gels: They are easier to control than liquid food coloring.
  • Candy Toppings: Use larger candies for easy handling.
  • Cookie Cutters in Fun Shapes: Allow kids to choose their favorite shapes.

7. Teach Basic Techniques

  • Demonstrate First: Show them simple techniques like how to hold a piping bag or use a spreader for icing.
  • Hands-On Help: Assist younger children with more complicated tasks like outlining.

8. Making it a Learning Experience

  • Color Mixing: Teach them about color mixing with icing colors.
  • Shapes and Patterns: Discuss different shapes and patterns they can create.

9. Cleanup Made Fun

  • Involvement in Cleanup: Encourage kids to help with cleanup, making it part of the activity.
  • Rewards: Enjoy the cookies together as a reward for their hard work.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Practices

In the festive spirit of crafting decorated Christmas tree cookies, let’s also remember to care for our planet. Choose organic ingredients when you can and aim to reduce waste. Even small changes, such as using reusable baking mats instead of parchment paper, can have a positive impact. Let’s commit to responsible and eco-friendly baking practices!


As this guide concludes, I trust you’re eager to embark on your journey with decorated Christmas tree cookies. It’s not merely about the delightful outcome; it’s about the pleasure of crafting, the delight of sharing, and the enchantment of the festive season. So, get your ovens ready, assemble your decorating gear, and dive into the world of festive cookie making!


  1. What’s the best way to achieve vibrant colors in royal icing?
    Use gel food coloring for more intense colors, as it’s highly concentrated and won’t affect the icing’s consistency.
  2. Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time?
    Absolutely! You can refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days or freeze it for longer storage.
  3. How long does royal icing take to dry?
    It usually takes 6-8 hours to dry completely, but it’s best to leave it overnight just to be sure.
  4. Are there alternatives to vodka for the watercolor technique?
    Yes, lemon extract is a great alternative as it also evaporates quickly and leaves no taste.
  5. How can I make my cookies look professional?
    Practice is key, but using the right tools like piping bags with fine tips and a steady hand for outlining will make a significant difference.




Hi, my name is Tamy White and I've been in love with decorated cookies since 2021. After taking many courses and working with decorated cookies for the last years, I decided to create this website to bring this enchanting world of decorated cookies to more people and thus bring information, techniques and tips about it. Here you'll find lots of content that I've lovingly created so that you can achieve incredible results with your cookies.

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