Watercolor Cookies

Posted in Food
on February 8, 2017

As a parent, love is a whole different beast. There is nothing like the love we have for our children. It’s beautiful and fierce. I’m a huge fan of going overboard when showing my kids just how much I love them and these Valentine Watercolor Cookies are a beautiful and sweet way to show adoration for your Valentine.

Start with your favorite sugar cookie. I used a package mix, rolled mine out and cut them into hearts for Valentine’s Day. No judgement here if you find store-bought sugar cookies. The fun part of these cookies is the pretty watercolor painted icing. I mean, just look at that gorgeous ombre design! Ok, that’s let started on how to make them.

The hardening cookie icing creates a smooth, hard base for you to watercolor on. I used to think this was a hard trick to master but after trying my had at this simple frosting, I realized how easy it is!

Hardening Cookie Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn starch

Mix together the 3 ingredients until smooth. I make 2 batches of this icing for my cookies. The first batch has a little bit less milk, more like the consistency of toothpaste. I use that batch to create my outline of my cookie.

For the second batch I make it just a bit more fluid, so that it “floods” the outline of the cookie and creates a nice smooth frosting. Each batch goes in a sandwich bag with the tip cut off. Once you flood the cookie, use the toothpick to pop any bubbles and help spread the icing the cover the cookie. I let mine sit for a few hours to harden before I painted them.

Now for the fun part! Let’s “watercolor” paint our cookies. Once your icing is hard, create your watercolors using food coloring and clear vanilla extract. I used both liquid and gel food coloring and both worked fine.

Watercolor Cookies

  • Food coloring
  • Clear vanilla extract
  • food safe paintbrush

In a small dish or new paint palette mix together a few drops of food coloring with your clear vanilla extract. I created a variety of shades using red and pink with different ratios of vanilla extract. Then paint your cookies with a clean, new paintbrush.

Have fun playing around with different designs. I found I liked giving my cookie a wash of clear vanilla extract before adding my colors. This allowed the colors to bleed together differently.  I created unique ombre designs with my cookies but you can do whatever looks pleasing to you.

Play around with different amounts of food coloring and vanilla extract to create pretty patterns. I even added some gold sprinkles to a few cookies for some texture and glam.

Let them dry and enjoy! My family loved these and we are thinking of making another batch to give away. Placed in a clear cellophane bag and tied with a pretty ribbon and these would make a nice little goodie to give to friends and family! Show a little love this Valentine’s Day!

Sidenote: These cookies are divine with a glass of our cold brew coffee!


  • Stacey

    These are so pretty and will help me get over my fear of perfection for frosting sugar cookies. Thank you!

    February 8, 2017 at 11:10 pm Reply
  • Janel Berchielli

    What a creative idea that I didn’t know was possible. I wonder if the icing can be made without cornstarch and still turn out the same?

    February 9, 2017 at 5:28 pm Reply
  • Jessi

    Those came out so pretty! They seem really fun to make as well. I will have to see about trying these with my daughter

    February 9, 2017 at 7:35 pm Reply
  • Debra

    This would be so fun, one of my favorite things to do it Valentine sugar cookies. This would be so fun for a preschool party!

    February 9, 2017 at 7:46 pm Reply
  • Kindness in Demand

    These are so beautiful. This is the perfect recipe to try with my kids. They are going to have so much fun doing this. Thanks for sharing.

    February 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm Reply
  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    Wow those are beautiful! I’m not sure I’d want to eat them…nah! Cookies are never too pretty to eat! 😉

    February 10, 2017 at 2:09 am Reply
  • Nicole Feliciano

    I love it. A craft and a recipe all in one. And definitely captures all the sweetness of the season.

    February 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm Reply
  • Terri Steffes

    These are beautiful, works of art! Love the gold confetti on them, too. Too pretty to eat!

    February 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    How cute! I have never seen watercolor cookies, these are definitely so original. I bet the recipients would be surprised, too!

    February 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm Reply
  • Tereza

    Oh I love these! I saw a similar recipe the other on Pinterest but couldn’t click through and I was so disappointed that I couldn’t figure out how to make them! How lucky is that you just shared it!! x

    February 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    I think Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate the love you have for everyone in your life and that includes your kids! And this is such a lovely way to enjoy a baking project with them and create a special love treat too! Thanks for sharing!

    February 10, 2017 at 5:23 pm Reply
  • Rachel @ Kitchen Cents

    Okay, these are some of the coolest colored sugar cookies I’ve seen. What a neat idea. My kids would LOVE making these.

    February 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm Reply
  • Jocelyn @Hip Mama's Place

    Not only do they look fun to make and cute, they look pretty tasty, too! Cannot wait to try some of these.

    February 10, 2017 at 8:38 pm Reply
  • Shelby

    Those cookies are beautiful. I love the texture that the watercolor adds, yet they probably taste so soft and smooth. Such a neat idea!

    February 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm Reply
  • Amber Nelson

    Those are really pretty! My daughter likes to mix colors using toothpicks on cookies too!

    February 11, 2017 at 12:54 am Reply
  • Orana Velarde

    I am loving these watercolor cookies! Such a gorgeous effect. I never make these kinds of cookies but I would take the plunge just to make watercolor cookies!

    February 11, 2017 at 3:31 am Reply
  • Kiwi

    I have yet to master royal icing but I would love to! This is adorable I love watercolors and in a cookie form its looks adorable!

    February 11, 2017 at 3:43 am Reply
  • Angela Ricardo

    As a military wife who could barely handle her busy schedule I am truly glad I came across your post. Those cookies are auper cute. I totally love the color and don’t worry. I don’t judge if it’s freshly bake from scratch or not. It’s the thought and effort that counts!

    February 11, 2017 at 4:14 am Reply
  • Jessica Lawson

    Those cookies are so adorable I don’t know if I could even eat them they are too cute. Thanks so much for sharing my husband would love these

    February 11, 2017 at 2:42 pm Reply
  • Jessica Lawson

    Those cookies are so adorable I don’t know if I could even eat them they are too cute. Thanks so much for sharing my husband would love these

    February 11, 2017 at 2:42 pm Reply
  • Robin Rue

    These cookies would make the perfect gift in a basket. They are so adorable!

    February 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm Reply
  • Krystle Cook

    I have no idea if I could pull something off like this but I would love to try. These are impressive!

    February 11, 2017 at 3:46 pm Reply
  • Jeanine

    What a fun idea! These are really great. They’d be a huge hit in our house my kids would love them and love even more making them! So fun

    February 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm Reply
  • Toughcookiemommy

    These cookies are so sweet. My boys would love them since they really have a sweet tooth. I would make a package for them to give them on Valentine’s Day.

    February 11, 2017 at 8:54 pm Reply
  • CourtneyLynne

    Omg how cute are these cookies?!?! I might just have to make these with my daughter before Valentine’s Day!

    February 12, 2017 at 3:22 am Reply
  • CoCo

    These are so pretty! love the watercolor effect! I have been looking for a frosting recipe like this so I am glad I came across this!

    February 13, 2017 at 6:59 pm Reply
  • March Smart Phone Wallpaper Downloads

    […] Kid + Kin FREE iPhone background downloads, we’re sticking with the watercolor theme. First watercolor cookies, then kindness cards and now phone wallpapers. Watercolor, we just can’t quit you. And why […]

    February 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm Reply
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