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Cookie Decorating with Kids

By Sarah Caron
Don’t be intimidated. Decorating cookies with kids can be so much fun – and it’s not nearly as messy as you think. Here’s how to do it.

Confession: I used to be totally overwhelmed by the idea of decorating cookies with or without my kids. But guess what? I’m not anymore (I’ve even done with bigger groups of kids too). Here’s how to make decorating cookies with kids a stress-free (and FUN!) activity.

Making the Cookies
Sugar cookie dough is simple to make. But if you want to cut down on time, use Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough. Let it soften at room temperature. Then roll it out on a floured board. Stick the board in the fridge for 10 minutes – this will make the dough cut and transfer easier. (Also, make sure your oven is ready to go)

Cutting the Cookies
Cutting the cookies is so much fun, and you can get your kids in on it too. I love the cookie cutters in the Kuhn Rikon Holiday Cookie Cutter & Decorating Set because they cut cookies cleanly, don’t get bent out of shape and are open on top – so the dough doesn’t get stuck. Use thin spatula to transfer cookies to the baking sheet to cook (I use an offset spatula).


Royal icing is perfect for decorating cookies, but if you don’t have meringue powder, you can make a simple and easy icing (this is very similar to the one on the Kuhn Rikon package!) by combining 1 pound of powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of lime juice and about 1/3 cup water. Then, separate it into bowls and tint the bowls different colors. Gel food coloring is my favorite since it produces vibrant colors. Transfer the icing to containers to pipe into cookies. The Holiday Cookie Cutter & Decorating Set comes with these super handy squeeze bottles that are easy for little hands to use. Love them – it made the whole process so much easier.


Have a big selection of sprinkles and edible do-dads at the ready for your little decorators. When working with larger groups, it helps to hand out small plates so that kids can get a couple kinds of sprinkles in front of them to work with. Let them go to town with the icing and sprinkles, creating their own special cookie masterpieces.


My best tip? Have fun! Decorating cookies is a great memory maker for kids and families. Enjoy it!