I Took a Cookie Decorating Class!

cookie decorating class
Sugar Cookies

I took a cookie decorating class1 It was my first, and let me say right off the bat, the cookies above were the pattern cookies, they were not my finished product!

It was my first time to try my hand at cookie decorating with royal icing, so my results weren’t so great, but I learned a lot and had fun. That’s what it’s all about…..it’s just a cookie remember))) I’m not going into the cookie business)))


Now, I had really high expectations and the class was well done, it was the expectation of myself that was disappointing))) I honestly thought that after this one class, I would go home and decorate cute Halloween cookies.

I prepared in advance by checking the pantry for ingredients and ran to the store to get almond flavoring, more confectioners sugar, and meringue powder. Matt and I collected Halloween cookie cutters from Carrie and we were all set, or so I thought. My intent was to bake the cookies and come home and decorate them after the class. Well, I didn’t get the cookies baked, thank goodness.

Obviously, after this one attempt I was not ready to decorate cookies well enough to give to anyone)) But I haven’t given up!


If you’re thinking about learning how to decorate cookies, watch some videos! This will help you get familiar with the terminology your teacher will be using. Medium icing, thin icing, flooding, outlining, and so on.

It looks so easy in those videos! But let me tell you, piping a smooth line or a round dot isn’t nearly as easy as it looks.


Our instructor (Cassie Angle) brought sugar cookies she had baked for us to decorate. She had even drawn outlines on the cookies with an edible pen for us to follow. It sounded really simple! Just like coloring inside the lines of a coloring book right? Well…not exactly!

sugar cookies ready for royal icing
Cookies with Outlines

She even prepared the royal icing for us in small bags. All we had to do was snip off the tip and get started! The small bags seemed to be the perfect size for cookie decorating. I had checked the cake decorating section at Walmart and the only bags they had were large ones that used decorating tips. These were mostly for buttercream frostings I think. Her bags had come from Etsy. Here’s a link.

She had closed the bags with a small zip tie. I would have never thought about that. So the icing was ready to go. She explained to us to snip off the tip, just barely, since if you snip off too much the hole would be too big, etc. I’m sure this is a practice, practice, practice thing to get the right size opening))

The icing was sort of a balance between the “medium” that you outline with and the “thin” that you fill in with. There is a limit as to what you can do with a roomful of newbies)))

So we outlined step by step and did our best to allow for drying in between the next step, but it was hard! I imagine if you were decorating several cookies instead of just two, you would outline all of them, then go back and start filling in. By that time, the first outlined cookies would be dry. If you don’t wait until it dries a bit, it sort of runs together.

Anyway, here’s my first try at decorating cookies. Nothing to write home about, but they tasted good and that’s the most important thing! It doesn’t matter how pretty a cookie is if it tastes yucky.

decorated sugar cookies pumpkin shape and truck with pumpkins
Decorated Sugar Cookies

Practice Practice Practice

I haven’t baked any cookies for decorating yet, so I don’t have a tried and true recipe, but if I get one, I’ll come back and post. Same with the royal icing. My plan is to try to improve on the decorating first, then focus on baking the perfect cookie. Because, what’s the point of decorating a cookie if its shape is irregular, thin or thick, unevenly browned, too brown, or not done! Goodness, there is a lot to mastering that “just right” cookie not even considering the taste!

Our instructor had it down pat though. These cookies were just the right thickness and done without being brown and they tasted so good! And the icing, was dry and firm, but not so hard you were afraid to take a bite))

ready to eat sugar cookie decorated with royal icing
Sugar Cookies


Cookie Cutters: Now when I do try baking some sugar cookies for decorating, I hope that I can find the cookie cutters that I collected over the last 50 years. I think I gave them to Carrie to keep…. let’s see if she kept them))) If not, I’ll pick up some new ones or maybe use a “snuff glass” like my mother used to do. They make the perfect size for sugar cookies or tea cakes as we called them. Now I do have a great recipe for tea cakes. I’ll make some soon and share that with you.

Rolling Pin: I have an old wooden one that someone gave me when I married. You can’t wear those things out. And I have a marble one that I gifted my mom so many years ago. But it’s heavy, I don’t know if she ever used it or not. But it was pretty)))

I do have to share this rolling pin that I saw. It has assorted rings on the ends so that you can roll dough to the desired thickness.

I think one of the major problems in having uneven cookies is probably the thickness of the dough. Some parts are thin, others thick or have lumps and bumps.

Seems like this rolling pin would solve that. Plus, I saw them using it (or something similar) on the Food Network in the Halloween Cookie challenge! I found one on Amazon, and I’m ordering mine today))

I carried home the leftover icing from the class and practiced on some chocolate-covered Ritz crackers. Any sort of smooth cookie would work.

practice decorating cookies
Chocolate-Covered Ritz Crackers

I’m telling you, dots and lines are not that easy to make))) But I will keep practicing. These store-bought snickerdoodle cookies worked okay too.

using store bought snickerdoodles to decorate

Final Tips

  • Don’t give up.
  • Master or at least become proficient to your satisfaction with one thing, like decorating, before moving on to baking the perfect cookie. There is nothing wrong with decorating store-bought cookies)))
  • Watch videos.
  • Follow blogs that feature cookie decorating.
  • People that sell their cookies, probably have the best recipes))
  • Have a plan before you start decorating, like a specific pattern. Otherwise, you’ll be like me on the Ritz crackers and just do this and that. Check out designs for round cookies. You’ll be amazed.
  • Wait! Wait! Wait! Let the outline icing or sections dry. Like the painting by number kits. Work somewhere else on the cookie or better yet, work on another cookie.
  • I did discover if you just dampen the tip of your finger you can smooth out little bumps.
  • Have fun! After all, it is just a cookie)) Grandkids don’t care if the eyes don’t match or the squiggles are crooked as long as it’s sweet and tasty))

The Class

Our class was great. Cassie Angle did the teaching and the proceeds went to the building fund of our church. We had fun and fellowship with others, kids and adults. So if you get the opportunity to participate in something like this….go for it! You don’t have to have previous experience.

I’ve always wanted to take a cake decorating course too! And flower arranging. All those things that you never had time, or money, for during the younger years might be possible now.

Retirement is the time to enjoy learning new skills, even if we don’t plan to become experts at them. We can have fun trying!

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