A Checklist for Cookie Decorating Supplies
Thinking about making and decorating some sugar cookies? I have you covered. Below is a checklist of the necessary and my preferred (although technically non-essential) supplies for Cookie Baking and Cookie Decorating.
Now, it’s likely you already have many of these supplies in your home, but if not, take the time to buy the missing supplies. Baking becomes 100x easier when the necessary tools are present.
Where can you buy supplies?
Many of the supplies below can be purchased online (e.g., on Amazon) or at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Target. Frequently, you can find less expensive options at discount stores (e.g., Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Salvation Army, Good Will) or some craft stores (e.g., Michaels, Joann Fabrics, AC Moore, and Hobby Lobby). Remember to use coupons (especially if shopping at the craft stores or Bed Bath & Beyond) to get the best price.
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Cookie Baking and Royal Icing Supplies
- Whisk (1A) or Hand mixer (1B)
- Use this to mix together the ingredients for cookie dough and royal icing. A whisk is the more low-tech and less expensive option, but you will need some arm muscles when whisking some stiff or when whisking something for a long time.
- Silicone Spatulas (2)
- Use these for scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl and for mixing ingredients together. These are more ideal than just using spoons although spoons can work if you don’t have a spatula.
- Rolling Pin (3)
- Use it to roll out cookies. It can be really helpful to buy a rolling pin that has guides which allow you to evenly roll out the dough to the same thickness. I like this Wilton rolling pin.
- Measuring Cup (liquid) (4)
- Use this to measure wet ingredients. Do not use this to measure dry ingredients.
- Measuring Spoons (5)
- These are used to measure small amounts of ingredients.
- Measuring Cups (dry ingredients) (6)
- Use this to measure dry ingredients. Do not use these to measure wet ingredients.
- Parchment Paper (7)
- Creates a non-stick surface for baking cookies. These sheets will make your life easier, especially with the cleanup. They even sell parchment paper in pre-measured sizes (how awesome is that?!?!)
- Baking Sheets (8)
- Use light colored baking sheets so the bottoms of your cookies don’t get too brown. Dark colored sheet pans tend to overcook the bottom of the cookie before cooking the top of the cookie thoroughly.
- Cooling rack (9)
- This allows air to flow under the pan and cookies, which allows them to quickly cool. You can use the top of the stovetop in a pinch, but this is less ideal because the hot air leaving the oven can affect the cooling.
- Bowls (10)
- Having bowls of varied sizes always comes in handy when making recipes.
- Cookie Cutters (11)
- Use these to cut out different cookie shapes. You can find starter sets with lots of different themed cookie cutters (e.g., holidays, animals, letters, numbers, and shapes). If you don’t want to purchase cookie cutters, you can always freehand a design or use a template that you cut out of paper or cardboard.
- Meringue Powder (12)
- This is a specialty ingredient that can be purchased in craft stores, cake decorating shop, or online. This helps to stabilize the royal icing and harden the icing.
- Oven Mitts (13)
- Keep your hands from burning when removing cookies from the oven.
- Large Flat Spatula (14)
- This is used for moving cookies from the baking sheet to the cooling rack. I prefer silicone to metal so my baking sheets don’t get scratched.
- Stand mixer (1)
- A stand mixer is much stronger than a hand mixer (and is about a million times easier to use than a whisk). It is more expensive, but if you plan on baking a lot, this is money well-spent.
- Offset Spatula (2)
- Use it to move the rolled-out and cut cookies to the baking sheet.
- Digital Scale (3)
- Silpat (4)
- Use this in place of parchment paper as a reusable parchment paper option.
- Disposable Piping Bags/Ziploc Bags (1)
- Disposable piping bags make clean up a breeze and if you would like to re-use them, you can simply wash them and leave them to dry. Ziploc bags are a little harder to use because the bag is very flimsy, but they are an easily accessible alternative to piping bags.
- Gel Food Coloring (2)
- Gel food coloring allows for a darker icing colors without thinning the icing too much (i.e., a frequent problem when using liquid food coloring).
- Scissors (3)
- Use to cut the tip off piping bags.
- Bowls (small) (4)
- I use a different bowl for every color needed for the design. Having a bunch of smaller bowls/containers is very helpful when decorating cookies. Some people use plastic measuring cups with pouring spout (although I’ve never used these myself).
- Toothpicks (5)
- Use these for popping air bubbles, pushing icing into corners or tight spots, and to add food coloring to royal icing.
- Silicone Spatulas (6)
- Use to mix ingredients together, transfer royal icing to piping bags, and color icing. I generally use larger ones when making the royal icing and smaller one to mix each color.
- Couplers (7)
- Use these to hold tips in place and to easily change out the tips.
- Icing Tips (8)
- There are definitely some cookie decorators that are able to make incredible designs without tips, but these are helpful for decorating cookie designs.
- Squeeze Bottles (1)
- Some people prefer to use squeeze bottles instead of piping bags. I have tried these in the past and it’s not my favorite method, but this might be easier for you.
- Spray bottle (2)
- You can use this or the squeeze bottles to achieve correct royal icing consistency. The spray bottle lets you spray small amount of water without thinning the icing too much.
- Icing Bag Ties (3)
- While not necessary, this will allow you to set your piping bag down without all of the icing pouring out the back. They also keep the icing from drying as quickly when it is in the piping bag.
- Funnel (4)
- This will help with putting the royal icing into the squeeze bottle. Trust me, this makes it sooooo much easier and less messy. If you aren’t using squeeze bottles for icing, this is not a necessary tool.
- Paintbrushes (5)
- These can be used to paint a thin layer of icing onto cookies, create brush embroidery designs, apply luster dust, or paint designs directly onto cookies. Make sure to use paintbrushes that have been isolated for food use.
- Scribe Tool (6)
- You can use this as a toothpick or to etch designs into dried royal icing.
- Tweezers (7)
- Use these to precisely place decorations (e.g., sprinkles).
- Edible Markers (8)
- These are markers with edible dye. You can buy them at craft stores (e.g., Michaels, Jo Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby) or online. These are great for drawing designs directly on the cookie/icing and making outlines to cover with icing. Fine tipped markers are great for small details.
- Luster Dust (9)
- This is a type of decorating powder that adds color and sparkle to the finish. For a delicate color, use the powder dry. If you want a darker color or a more opaque finish, add a small amount of vodka or extract and paint it on the cookie. Make sure that the luster dust is labeled “edible” when using it on baked goods that will be eaten.
- Boo Boo Stick (10)
- This is great if you want to use a reusable product instead of toothpicks. The pointed end works the same as a toothpick and the flat end lets you scrape off royal icing mistakes.
- Airbrush Colors (11)
- When using an airbrush, use food coloring that is specifically designed for the airbrush. The food coloring is much thinner than gel food coloring so it can be sprayed from the airbrush. If you use gel food coloring, it will get stuck in the airbrush gun.
- Airbrush (compressor not pictured) (12)
- This is a small air-operated decorating tool that is used to spray food coloring onto a dessert.
- Kopykake Projector
- This is a device that projects an image onto the surface of cookies, and it allows you to easily decorate detailed cookies or pipe fancy lettering. The downside to this device is that it is large and fairly expensive.
- Tracing Projector App
- This is an app that can be used on the phone or tablet. It does not project the picture onto the cookie, but it superimposes the picture onto the drawing surface. To be able to see the image, you have to look through the screen of the phone and then trace the image onto the cookie. You can see my post on using this app if you are interested in using this option.
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Use this list of supplies as a starting point for making incredible cookie recipes (like my No Spread Sugar Cookie recipe) and designs (like my Harry Potter Bachelorette Themed Cookies)!
Please leave me a comment below if you have a favorite item that you couldn’t live without or if you use any other supplies when decorating cookies. I have changed my process multiple times based on suggestions I have seen online and I’m always looking for new/easier ways to decorate sugar cookies. Have fun creating!
Thank you so much!