In today’s post, you’ll learn how to hand paint cookies using food coloring.
Painting cookies is such a fun project. I’ll show you just how easy it really is! And just like normal painting, it’s very relaxing and fulfilling. It’ll also keep the kids busy for hours…just give them some blank cookies and paintbrushes and they’ll have a blast!
I began this set of cookies for a friend who is having a family reunion with a tiki bar theme. I promised the cookies, but then it took the longest time to figure out how to combine “family reunion” and “tiki bar” in a cookie set. But eventually, I figured it out and I think they’re pleased with the results. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here for more details. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Here is the step by step tutorial for this easy and fun project.
Here’s What You’ll Need
Begin with a prepared cookie.
You’ll need a cookie that has been flooded with royal icing and allowed to dry overnight, or at least 8 hours. An excellent recipe for the cookies and for the royal icing is available in my FREE Resource Library. You can get the password for the library by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.
RELATED POST: Learn to roll out cookie dough in this article
RELATED POST: Never-Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe and Tutorial
Assemble your supplies.
You’ll need food safe paint brushes. Please, please, please do not reuse the same ones you’ve used for normal paint. You can grab some inexpensive ones by clicking here and then keep them with your baking supplies.
Paint palettes are handy for holding the very small amount of food coloring that you’ll use. These are the ones I use. Along with the paintbrushes, they are reusable forever!
I used Americolor airbrush colors for my painting. You can also use the gel food colors, but the airbrush colors dry much quicker. You can easily thin the colors by adding just a drop or two or clear extract or vodka to one drop of food color in a paint palette or small bowl and mixing well. Don’t worry…the alcohol evaporates and you’re left with an alcohol-free, kid safe cookie. I prefer using the vodka over just plain water because it dries faster and is less likely to mar the flooded cookie surface.
You really want to use these professional grade food colors, as the ones at the grocers are simply too diluted to give the vibrant colors you want.
You might also want to keep a small cup of water handy to clean your brushes with between colors.
Your cookie is your canvas.
Add just a drop of food coloring to your palette and simply paint as you normally would.
It’s like watercolor painting, actually. You can mix the colors to create whatever shade you want. Wilton has a great online chart here showing how to mix colors to achieve any hue.
Use the gel colors for details.
You can also use the food colors to add details to an already decorated cookie like the brown details on these coconuts.
Here’s the final project.
For a little more inspiration, here’s another set that was hand painted on cookies…
So are you ready to do this? I’d love to see what you create — send me a photo at [email protected] or post it on
Get the password for the library with the free recipes here by filling out this form: