Feb 10


{Video} How to Stencil on Cookies

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Did you know that over 50 million roses are given on Valentine’s Day worldwide every year?

Why not make the roses you give to your loved ones this year a little bit different (and sweet!), with stencilled decorated cookies?

They may look difficult to make, but with a few pointers, you’ll  easily be able to create these sweet Valentines! It’s not a technique I use often, but I think I’m hooked! Stencilling on cookies is such a quick and easy way of adding a pretty design, and if you’re worried about piping letters or monograms on cookies, this would be a perfect solution! And if you can do this on walls or on paper, you’ll be able to do it on cookies as well!


Video – Stencilling on Cookies with Royal Icing

If you can’t see the video, click here.


To make these, you’ll need:

  • Sugar Cookie Recipe here or Gingerbread Recipe here.
  • Royal Icing Recipe here.
  • Heart Cookie Cutters
  • Piping Tips (#1, #4)
  • Couplers
  • Piping Bags
  • Food Gel Colourings (pink, red, brown)
  • Rose Stencil (You can find many different kinds of rose stencils online besides this link, for example, Golda’s Kitchen, or visit your local hardware or art store for stencils as well).
  • Leaf Cutter Set
  • Offset Spatula
  • Toothpicks

If you need some more guidance, a good place to start is with this Cookie Decorating Tutorial, and two videos on Icing Consistency and How to Pipe Icing Lines. For a tutorial on how to make gumpaste or fondant leaves, click here. (These are just a little smaller and have a different line pattern in the leaf. Please see list above for leaf cutter set).

How to Stencil on Cookies with Royal Icing

1a) Flood your heart cookies with pink royal icing. Let them dry overnight. If you’d like some more information on how to flood cookies, click here; How to Flood Cookies with Royal Icing.

Make your red stencilling icing a little bit thicker than flood icing by adding some icing sugar. When you drag a knife through the surface of the icing, it will basically still hold it’s shape.

1c) Place your stencil on the base of dry royal icing. (See pictorial below).

2) Try to hold the stencil still and pipe your icing onto the rose using a #4 piping tip (other sizes are fine too). You could also just put a little bit of icing on the rose with a palette knife or spatula.

3) Cover only the rose with the red icing.

4) Using an offset palette knife, lightly scrape the icing off the stencil.

5) Lift the stencil away from the cookie. For best results, every 2-3 applications, clean the stencil with warm water and dry thoroughly.

6) Pipe alternating coloured dots around the perimeter of the heart with a #1 piping tip. If your dots have pointed tips on them, push them down with a toothpick or a damp paintbrush.

7) Once the rose is dry, place the stencil back on the cookie, and add the brown icing for the stem.

8) Using an offset spatula, lightly scrape the icing off the stencil.

9) Add two dots of brown icing for the leaves. For a tutorial on how to make gumpaste or fondant leaves, click here. (These are just a little smaller and have a different line pattern in the leaf. Please see list above for leaf cutter set).

10) Add the leaves and press in place with a toothpick.

11) If you’d like to add a little more detail, pipe lines on the edges of the rose shape. Let your cookies dry and enjoy!


A few things to mention about stencils…

  • You don’t need limit yourself to buying stencils from a cake decorating supply store. Although the small stencils specifically made for cookies are definitely easy to use, if you can’t find a design you’re looking for, check out your local hardware store (paint/wallpaper etc. section), or arts and crafts store to see what’s available.
  • Some sort of an off-set spatula is easier to use than a straight one for stencilling. The angle makes it easier to smooth the icing.
  • If you can stencil on walls or paper with paint, you can do this too. It’s essentially the same process, except it’s sweet and edible!
  • You could technically make your own stencils. I’ve tried in the past using inexpensive, thin, plastic cutting boards from the local Dollar Store. It’s a bit of an effort to cut them but for a simple shape, works. I’m sure you could use other materials as well. Let me know in the comment section what you use, or what you might try using, to make your own stencils.

Have fun decorating and Happy (early) Valentine’s Day to you!


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  1. February 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I always wanted to make stencils using my die cut machine but never found plastic thin enough that I could cut it. I have so many shapes that would be awesome.

  2. Lucy
    February 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I have used the clear plastic from containers of the baked goods at the grocery store to make stencils. It has worked well for me, just cut with a xacto .

  3. nikki
    February 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Marian these are simple..ish but very eye catching!I love the 3d element its stunning. On another note your cookies look very… how shall I say it “Blonde”. How do you stop them browning so much and as a result are they very soft or easily breakable? I know they are not but they almost look like raw dough!!

  4. Lara
    February 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I have tons of cappucino stencils which i intend to use trying to make these awesome cookies

  5. Gilda
    February 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Wow just another great technique for making cookies look beautiful; one question, where do you get stencils with the design small enuff to use on a cookie?

  6. Maria
    February 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous wow.. you make it look so easy to do.
    I love your video.

  7. February 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never done stencil work on royal icing and after seeing this video I’m anxious to try it. I always enjoy your videos, you are a natural in front of the camera and they are a pleasure to watch.

  8. Paige
    February 11, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink


  9. February 11, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    As always… uh-mazing! Thanks for all the tips.

  10. February 11, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Such a great tutorial! And these cookies are gorgeous, so cute 🙂 I’m super fan of your blog!!! xoxo

  11. Sonia Mehta
    February 11, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    @ nikki:
    hi marian, thank you for the awesome tutorials. your website/blog is great! have the same question as nikki. please advise. 🙂

  12. February 11, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    You’re amazing- this is such a perfect tutorial!

  13. marian
    February 11, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    @ sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more: What a brilliant idea!

    @ Lucy: Oh, cool idea! Thanks so much – I need to try that!

    @ nikki: Yes, sometimes I bake them longer so that the edges get brown, but generally I like to bake them juuuust before that happens. What you do it look at the center of the cookie while they’re baking (through glass in oven with the oven light on, try not to open the oven), and when it no longer looks wet, the cookies are just done. If you’re worried about breakage, I wouldn’t use my shortbread recipe… it’s delicious, but very delicate. The sugar cookies are more sturdy.

    @ Lara: I’ve never heard of that, how cool! Do you have any favorite links for those please?

    @ Gilda: If you click on the stencil in the list of ‘things you’ll need’, that will take you to some on Amazon, but really, any good baking supply store will have them. I’m not sure where you live, but Golda’s Kitchen in Ontario, Canada has a bunch of nice ones, on-line there’s Amazon, Ebay, Fancy Flours etc. Even if you google cookie stencils, you’ll see lots of options.

    @ Paula: You are so nice to me, thank youuu!

    @ Maria, @ Paige, @ John Snediker, @ IFeelCook: Thanks! <3

  14. ck
    February 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    love these but cannot run the tutorial 🙁

  15. marian
    February 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ ck: Do you mean on the YouTube channel? Are you in Germany? For some reason the German YouTube doesn’t accept my music, even though it’s royalty-free music I’ve purchased.

  16. Katie Smith
    February 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I recently tried my hand at stenciling on cookies for the first time. I used the plastic lid from a sour cream container and cut out my shape with an exacto knife. I stenciled the greek letter Psi on heart-shaped cookies for some students in a psychology honors club. I was really pleased with how well they turned out. I definitely had to clean the stencil fairly often, but it still went much faster than piping would have! Thanks for inspiring me to try other, smaller, more intricate designs!

  17. GLAIS
    February 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    That is a very nice tutoring. I love it .
    Thanks more one time.

  18. February 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. It’s indeed useful tutorial.

  19. February 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Just watched the video. You’re gorgeous, Marian <3

  20. Amy W.
    February 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Great video! Beautiful cookies!

  21. February 12, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Lone this! I can doing this for so many occasions!

  22. February 13, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    This is beautifully done! Thanks for sharing your ideas and techniques! So helpful!

    February 13, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    hi i would like to see you doing the royal icing thats the thing i have lots of trouble with!

  24. February 14, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Mariaaaan! THESE ARE SO CUTE!
    I have seen that technique before and I thought wow..this is awesome. So nice to see you doing this ! <3

    I wish you a happy Valentine's Day my girl 🙂

    LOVE your post..absolutely sweet, very good to understand, detailed… thats you! Awesome!

    Much love from Germany
    niner 🙂

  25. marian
    February 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant idea@ Katie Smith: I’ll be trying that next!

    @ Yuri – Chef Pandita: You’re inspiring me to work out, when I see you on instagram. =)

    Hi @ VANESSA: Do you mean this? https://sweetopia.net/2012/02/video-how-to-outline-and-flood-cookies-with-royal-icing/

    Hi @ niner // sweet treats: That is so weird! I’ll put them on vimeo too, always, from now on. It’s weird that YouTube Germany doesn’t accept it =( because I bought the music. Hope you are well btw! xo

  26. February 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    The best material for doing your own stencils is mylar found in sheets at any art store or I have also seen this material online and Cake Decorating Suppliers.

  27. Kim
    February 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Took a cookie class from Penny McConnell from Austin, TX. She taught me that you can go to a trophy store and they will cut a plastic stencil for you. She, and now I, both have trophy stores cut initials — perfect for wedding cookies.

  28. February 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Hi @ Joan Topp, @ Kim: Oh my goodness, both brilliant ideas! Thank you so much!

  29. Marisol RP
    February 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh they so great ! … how do you make Alice in wonderland cookies, i hope you have a tutorial

  30. Milagros Pinto
    February 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Hola, soy de Venezuela y me ha encantado su trabajo, solo que tengo que traducirlo al español por google, felicidades por tan hermoso trabajo que hace, las realizare en mi casa a ver que tal me quedan.

    Felicidades y muchos exitos…..

  31. :D
    February 23, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    How about having a video on baking your famous sugar cookies? I’m still waiting for a weight conversion.

  32. February 23, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, yes @ 😀!

  33. Diane
    February 24, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Love it, love it

  34. February 29, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Your work is exception – always. Absolutely stunning and your videos are outstanding. Your site is an incredible resource. BRAVO to your dedication to this body of work as it is so valuable to so many of us.

  35. marian
    February 29, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Hi Diane and Valerie, @ A Canadian Foodie: Thanks so much, that means a lot to me! xo

  36. Julie
    March 28, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your recipe

  37. Carolina
    October 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Marian! Just wanted you to know that you have a big fan in Brazil! Thanks for sharing your art 🙂

  38. January 19, 2013 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Love these, they are so beautiful. Is there another type of cookie that can be used for decorated cookies like these other than sugar cookies or gingerbread?

  39. Susie
    March 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I know this is an older post, but you can make your own stencils using mylar sheets and a soldering iron with a thin tip. Place your picture under a piece of glass, (like the glass from a picture frame). Then place the mylar over the class and trace your picture with a thin Sharpie. Use the soldering iron to go over your outline. Then go over any spots that still need it a second time. Punch out your stencil when it cools. You can use a tiny scissors to trim any rough spots. Cut around your stencil so it has a wide enough border to fit your cookie or cake.
    This works pretty well. Using a magnifier helps to get more precise lines.

  40. marian
    March 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    My pleasure, @ Julie.

    Aw, thanks, @ Carolina. 🙂

    There are chocolate sugar cookies or chocolate shortbread, and you could add chocolate chips or other ‘flavourings’ to these cookie bases and the ones you mention, @ Mignon, however, many other cookie recipes spread too much to be able to control the shapes.

    That’s awesome, @ Susie! Thanks so much for sharing!

  41. Beth
    April 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I bought the cookie sports stencils from Cooper Gifts a few years ago – even putting the red lines on a baseball is difficult for me. . . . anyway, I had such luck with them, I made my niece’s logo into a stencil when she graduated from graphic arts in college. It was just a simple CL that she looped together. I used the blank stencil plastic for painting and just cut it with scissors. Michaels has it.

  42. Mary
    November 14, 2013 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Love all the videos… totally inspired to make these cookies.
    you are a great teacher…
    i have one question though… can i use ready made royal icing and do the decoration..

    the one, its the Royal icing sugar and you just add water and you get the royal icing.

    Please advice

    thank u

    • marian
      November 14, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Hi Mary,
      I haven’t tried using those, but, I’m guessing the most important thing is that the consistency of the icing is right.
      Hope that helps!

  43. maha
    November 22, 2013 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian
    I love your website and am learning so much from you.
    Am wondering how do you get your cookie white same as the heart shape on top.

    • marian
      November 23, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Hi Maha,
      I use the sugar cookie recipe (in my recipe section), and let them bake just until they’re done – before the edges go brown. xo

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