How to Decorate Valentine’s Day Cookies Like a Pro Even if You Aren’t One

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Last Updated on November 17, 2021

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Decorating Gorgeous Valentine’s Day Cookies

You don’t need a holiday or special occasion to pull out the baking supplies and decorate cookies, but Valentine’s Day is the perfect reason to get baking!  I always see these gorgeous, decorated cookies on Instagram and Pinterest and think, “I could never make cookies that look that pretty!”

Well let me tell you girl, I was WRONG!  I may not be able to make perfectly pretty cookies like the professionals, but there are so many designs that are easy to create for anyone – even beginners like me! 

I’m sharing my favorite supplies and tips for baking and decorating Valentine’s Day cookies like a pro even if you aren’t one.  So, what are you waiting for?! 

Baking the Perfect Cookies

There are a million great cookie recipes out there, but getting the perfect cut out cookie can be a little tricky! You want those crisp edges with a soft center and a dough that doesn’t expand too much so you’re cute cookie cutter shapes don’t get all wonky.

You can use any flavor for cut out cookies, but I prefer a classic sugar cookie recipe. I wanted to bake my Valentine’s Day cookies from scratch, but let’s be real – I wasn’t trying to use a recipe with a zillion ingredients and steps.

After doing a bit of searching I found a recipe from Katrina’s Kitchen and y’all it was so simple, quick, & easy plus the cookies came out perfect and so delicious!

You can use any cookie cutters you’d like, but I found these cute heart and love letters sets from target and they were only $3 per pack!

Here are a few of my favorite tips & tricks to get the perfect cut out cookies:

  1. Spread a little bit of flour on your cutting board and rolling pin to help keep the dough from sticking
  2. Try to place your cookie cutters so that you get the most cuts out of one piece of rolled dough
  3. Don’t forget to spray your cookie sheets with non-stick spray so they come off the pan easily after baking
  4. Before removing baked cookies from the pan, let them cool for 5-10 minutes

Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Supplies

One of my favorite things about decorating cookies is that most of the tools and supplies only have to be purchased once! While you may have to spend a little more initially, once you have some of the essential supplies, you won’t have to purchase them each time you want to decorate.

Here are my favorite cookie decorating essentials:

  • Easy Squeeze Bottles: These are so easy to use for creating designs or writing text. I found them easier to use then piping bags
  • Icing Needles: I used these to pop any icing bubbles and help clean up my outlines for a more professional look
  • Food Coloring: You can use any food coloring you want, but I loved this gel set from Amazon! It will last me a really long time and the colors are bright and show up really well on cookies

The Best Cookie Decorating Icing

I’ll be honest, I didn’t go the traditional route with icing for my Valentine’s Day cookies. Typically bakers use royal icing to decorate cookies, but it can be finicky and difficult to use if you’re a beginner.

I knew there had to be an alternative so I did some digging and found an amazing recipe that doesn’t require meringue powder or eggs! This icing recipe from Tips from a Typical Mom was so easy to make and it worked perfectly for creating all different kinds of designs. Not only was the recipe easy to follow, but it was delicious!

Here are my favorite icing tips and tricks:

  1. Double the recipe to make sure you have enough icing for all your Valentine’s Day cookies
  2. If you need the consistency to be thicker, add a little powdered sugar. Keep adding little by little until you get the thickness you want
  3. If you need the consistency to be thinner, add a little milk and continue to add and stir until you get the consistency you need
  4. Start with a tiny amount of food coloring – remember you can always add more to get a richer, darker color

Cookie Decorating Ideas & Tips

It’s finally time to decorate your Valentine’s Day cookies! There are so many different ways to jazz up your cookies, but I’m sharing a few of my favorites perfect for bakers at any level. I’m also including a few tips/tricks to help make your cookies look like they were decorated by a pro (or at least close to it!).

Don’t sweat it! Cookie decorating should be fun – and guess what?! There really is no wrong way to decorate your cookies and you can always wipe away any mistakes! So let’s get the cookie decorating started!

Valentine's Day cookies on wooden bread board

Icing the Background of Your Cookie

I like to have a colored background on my cookies before adding more intricate designs. For this batch I stuck with a red, pink, and white color scheme for Valentine’s Day but you can use any colors you like! Filling in the background of your cookies might seem a bit daunting, but I was surprised how easily I was able to create gorgeous backdrops for my designs.

Here are the steps I took to outline and fill in all of my cookies:

  1. Once you have your colored icing mixed in bowls, put a different color into each of your Easy Squeeze Bottles
  2. Decide which color you want to use as your background and make an outline of icing on your cookie using the Easy Squeeze Bottle
    • I like to put my outline a little bit away from the edge of my cookie to leave a small border of plain cookie showing
    • Use your Icing Needles to clean up your outline if needed
  3. Let your outline dry for a few minutes or until the icing is dry and slightly hardened
  4. Next, squeeze some icing into the middle of your outline
  5. Take your Icing Needle and slowly start to spread the icing from the middle until it connects to the outline you created
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until your entire outline is filled in
    • Use your Icing Needle to pop any air bubbles
  7. Let icing dry until hardened.
  8. YAY, you did it! Now it’s time to add your favorite designs!

Dots & Stripes

I love cookies decorated with simple designs like dots and stripes, and they are perfect for beginner decorators! They have such a classic look and are pretty easy to create. Plus, there are so many different ways to use them you can make each cookie look unique.

Here are a few tips for creating dot and stripe designs:

  • Dots:
    1. Use your Easy Squeeze Bottle to create the perfect dots by simply squeezing a tiny bit and lifting the bottle once a little icing comes out
      • If you’re dot comes out too big you can always wipe it off and start over
    2. Use your Icing Needle to help re-shape any dots that don’t have the look you want
  • Stripes:
    1. Using the Easy Squeeze Bottle draw a stripe on your cookie
      • Make sure to use a little extra icing so the stripe is thick enough
    2. Use your Icing Needle to make sure the stripe lays flat and clean up the edges so it looks straight
    3. When using a light color on top of a darker background, I recommend letting the first layer of stripes dry and then going back over them with additional icing so they stand out more

Large & Mini Hearts

Mini hearts are perfect for Valentine’s Day cookies and they are actually so easy to create! Whether you are going one or two large hearts or tiny hearts to make a pattern, you can’t go wrong with this design!

Here are my tips for creating adorable heart designs:

  • Large Hearts:
    1. Use your Easy Squeeze Bottle to create a “V” shape in icing
    2. Shape the icing with your Icing Needle into more of a heart shape and pop any air bubbles
  • Mini Hearts:
    1. Squirt a small bit of icing on a plate and grab your Icing Needle
    2. Use your Icing Needle to pick up a small bit of icing and create one side of a small “V” shape
    3. Repeat step 2 to create the other side of your “V” shape
    4. Fill in the middle of your small “V” with icing if needed
    5. Use your Icing Needle to help shape the icing into the perfect heart shape
    6. Repeat steps 1-5 in random spots on your cookie to create a fun pattern!

Subtle Marbling

The marble look can be a great way to incorporate all your theme colors into one cookie while creating a totally unique pattern. There are so many different ways to do a marble design, but most of the ones I’ve seen are pretty dramatic and I wanted something more subtle.

This is how I created a subtle marble design for my Valentine’s Day cookies:

  1. Pick a small section of your cookie to work with
  2. Take 2-3 colors of your choice and squeeze a small amount of each overlapping one another in the section of the cookie you just chose
  3. Use your Icing Needle to lightly swirl the colors around and start to spread the marbled icing out to the edges leaving a small border of un-iced cookie
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until your entire cookie is iced
  5. Use the Icing Needle to fix any blemishes or unmixed areas

Combining Simpler Designs

The best thing about decorating cookies is that there really is no wrong way to do it! The sky’s the limit with this activity and I love that it sparks creativity. One thing I like to do with my cookies is combine different designs like hearts, dots, stripes, etc. to get a lot of totally unique cookies.

Here are a few examples of how I’ve combined a few simpler designs to get something fresh and fun for my Valentine’s Day cookies!

L and heart shaped cookies decorated with red, pink, and white stripes

Don’t Be Afraid to Try a New DIY

Trying a totally new DIY can be daunting and exciting all at once, but trust me when I say if I can do it, anyone can! Decorating Valentine’s Day cookies is the perfect activity for families or friends and you can even turn it into your own little party.

I’d love to hear your tips, tricks, and favorite designs for cookie decorating so drop a comment below to share your faves! If you decorate your own Valentine’s Day cookies I’d love to see them in the comments or tag me on Instagram (@soulofasouthernhome) so I can check them out!

XOXO Y’all!

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14 Comments

  1. I see all these super fancy cookies and I try to create them myself and it always fall short! Love your ideas… simple but still really adorable. 🙂

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