Apr 28


1st Birthday Owl Cookies

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It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost 2 years since I’ve made these little owl cookies for my niece’s 1st birthday party. I had been meaning to make a how-to video on them, but had experienced a little trouble with the files so kept putting it off. After fiddling with the files one last time, I realized that the video wasn’t happening, but luckily I had taken photos of all the steps, so I’ll share them with you below if you’d like to give them a go.

My lovely sister-in-law, Julie, planned an adorable Look Whoo’s Turning 1 party for my sweet niece, Ella, and I was thrilled to make little owl cookie favours. Straightforward to make with a few key tips, and in my drawing-challenged case, with a Kopykake projector. If you’ve got some talent in the drawing department, you may not need the projector as the shapes are fairly simple, but for those of you that may need a little help, or if you’d just like to be able to make your designs faster, I’ve found a site with the best Kopykake projector prices around, on Madison Art Shop!

The adorable owl character is based on this party line here. It would be fun to hear if you’ve seen or made these too – let me know in the comment section below!

If you’d like to make the decorated owl cookies, here’s how to make them:


Look Whoo’s Turning 1 – Owl Cookie Tutorial

Party Items & Image

Look Whoo’s Turning 1 Party Pack found here.


Sugar Cookie Dough

You can find the recipe for the dough here. Using this owl image, I made a paper template of the cookie size I wanted, and cut the dough shapes out with a paring knife.


Royal Icing Recipe

You can find my favorite royal icing recipe here. The consistency of icing is key for easy decorating. Click here to see a YouTube video on finding the right icing thickness.


Decorating Steps

What You’ll Need:



Step 1: Project your image in the Kopykake projector (tutorial here). Outline the owl shape with royal icing (#2 tip). For detailed decorating tips, this tutorial may be helpful for you.

Step Two: With the same icing, flood, or fill in the darker brown sections of your shape (Use a #3 tip to flood faster). Let that base dry for at least 6-12 hours.

Step Three: Using a #2 or #3 tip, fill in the eye sections with white royal icing. Let them dry for at least 6-12 hours.

Step Four: Using brown icing and a #2 tip, pipe the outlines of the owl beaks and eyes. Let them dry for a few hours.

Step Five: Flood the eyes first with blue, then immediately layer with black icing for the pupil, as well as a white dot of icing on top. Fill in yellow for the beak and pipe a small pink bow on the owl’s head.

Step Six: Between the owl’s wings, pipe a band of darker brown icing and lighter brown icing (#2 or #3 tip). Pipe them one after the other and then four horizontal lines of icing on top, and drag a toothpick through the lines, in the south to north direction. You’re essentially marbling the icing in one direction. Here are a few posts on marbling to help demonstrate:

Step Seven: Using a #1 tip and bright pink icing, pipe an outline on top of your bow base. Let your cookies dry and you’re done!

One thing to note, I ended up going a little bit too dark with the brown I think. I’d lighten the icing up a bit next time, either by adding more white icing to the brown icing, or by adding a dollop of brown icing to some white.

Another thing to mention, watch out for sweet-seeking, four-legged friends, if you happen to be photographing cookies sitting on a bench, and happen to leave for a few minutes to answer the phone.

Can you see which one my Lionel got a hold of?

Thank goodness I made extra.

I didn’t end up getting many pictures of the cookies at the party, but did snap a photo of Ella enjoying her smash cake. 🙂 (The actual cake was made by Bake Me a Cake).

Sweet thanks to Niner of Niner Bakes for editing and re-sizing my photos; she did an awesome job with them, as the lighting was pretty bad (an on-going struggle for me with food photography… still learning!).

If you’d like another owl cookie idea, I’ve got a tutorial for these guys, below, here:

For pics between posts, join me on Google+FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy decorating!



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  1. April 29, 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Happy Monday, sweet Marian,
    I absolutely LOVE these owl cookies!
    Your blogpost made me smile this morning before starting with work. Excellent start of the day!

    Ella is absolutely adorable and I am sure she just loved her cookies and cake to smash haha.. I would love to do that! lol

    Lionel has a sweet tooth, I wonder why 😉

    Wishing you a sweet start into the week, my dear.
    Much love!!
    xoxo, niner 🙂

    ps. always a pleasure to help out, your photos are so perfect though, you do not need any help 🙂

  2. April 29, 2013 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Happy Monday Marian love love these cookies. Always a great pleasure reading your blog, you inspire me always. Have a blessed and successful week.
    Best wishes xoxo

  3. Anneka Rubin
    April 29, 2013 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    Hehe I hope naughty Lionel didn’t get a sore tummy from eating the cookie, tell him to stick to apple next time he wants a sweet treat

  4. April 29, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    These turned out so cute! I especially love how you used the marbling technique for the feathers on the belly!

  5. April 29, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Awwwwe those are so adorable, love the pink bow. Have a great week!

  6. April 29, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    These owls are fantastic! Looks like Ella really enjoyed her party!

  7. marian
    April 29, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Hi @ niner bakes // ninerbakes.com: You’re being modest… the lighting wasn’t good – thanks again! (oh and yes, I wonder where Lionel gets his sweet tooth from!) 😉 Have a good Monday! xo

    You too, @ Rowaida Flayhan!

    Hee hee, @ Anneka Rubin, he loves apples too. 🙂

    Thanks, @ Janine – sugarkissed.net!

    Super, thanks so much, @ brantcookies!

    She definitely did, @ Mike @ Semi Sweet. 😉

  8. April 29, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I love reading your blog! This party theme must be popular, I just did some for the same owl party theme a couple weeks ago… Here is my version http://www.socutecookies.com/2013/04/21/look-whoos-turning-one/
    Thank you for always sharing all that you do with all of us!

  9. Maria Theresia
    April 29, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    love your owl cookies…. and Ella with Mom are very pretty.
    I’m sure your Lionel had a great time stealing a big bite….
    have a great week.

  10. April 29, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness! Love owls – these are just too, too cute! Amazing job, Marian!

  11. April 29, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Marian: Love how the whites in the owl’s eyes match the sparkle in Ella’s. It’s easy to see why you picked that graphic. The “after” photo of her with her sticky hands is ADORABLE! Thanks for sharing. Happy Caking!

  12. Afsheen
    April 29, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    i simply love your work!!!

    plz can u tel me how do u transfer the icing on to the cookie?

  13. April 29, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Aww, Ella is so cute! These cookies and the cake are super nice.

  14. marian
    April 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    They’re awesome, @ Kris from So Cute Cookies! Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks, @ Maria Theresia, have a good week too!

    @ Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective: Merci!

    @ Deborah Stauch: She REALLY had fun doing that. 🙂

    Hi @ Afsheen: I piped the icing right onto the cookie. Here’s a basic video on how to pipe icing onto the cookie if you like;

    Thanks, @ IFeelCook! Hope you’re doing well.

  15. April 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    You truly inspire me to make cookies. These are just too cute and adorable. I really hope one day I can at least come a little close to what you create.

  16. April 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    LOVE owls and those cookies are magnificent!

  17. April 29, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    My best friend is owl OBSESSED. I’m going to have to try and recreate these for her birthday next month… you might be getting a “send help!!!” email haha.

  18. April 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Love the owls and perfect for a birthday bash!

  19. April 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    oh jeez!!! soooooo cute!!

  20. April 29, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    OH my gosh!! These are the cutest ever. And I love the cute Ella with her cake . What a sweet auntie you are!

  21. April 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    would it be weird to have these at my 27th birthday – because I totally LOVE them!

  22. Martha Lander
    April 30, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Marian, do you let your icing sit overnight sometimes in the tubes? Do you find it keeps its consistency overnight? I’ve wondered if I kneaded it in the tube before use the following day if it would pipe well.

  23. April 30, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Your niece is precious as are these owl cookies!

  24. April 30, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    So cute and what amazing detail on them!

  25. April 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh Marian, these are the cutest cookies!

  26. April 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    These owls are so stinking cute!

  27. Julie Bell
    May 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Awwww, love it!!! Time goes way to fast, hard to believe we are now coming up to birthday #3, what to do for that??;)
    Thanks so much,
    Julie n Ella xo

  28. Sherrie
    May 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I bought myself a Kopykake 300XK for Christmas. However, when I opened it up and assembled it, I was disappointed that I could not really see my image in my kitchen. Do you use yours in a dark room? I haven’t tried that yet but will try this weekend in my dining room with the shades closed. I sure wish I would have purchased the model with 2 light bulbs. 🙁

  29. marian
    May 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    No problem, @ ashley – baker by nature! 🙂

    Not weird at all, @ Gaby! I’m still a kid at heart and am thinking that if I haven’t changed by now, I probably won’t!

    Hi @ Martha Lander: Here’s a post for you… https://sweetopia.net/2011/01/how-do-you-store-royal-icing-and-how-long-can-you-keep-it/

    Ha ha, I know, @ Julie Bell! Let me know what theme you’re doing – would love to make something!

    Hi @ Sherrie: I compare the two models at the bottom of this post here; https://sweetopia.net/2010/06/decorating-cookies-with-a-kopykake-projector/ Hope that helps!

  30. August 7, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    An owl theme is so gorgeous for a little one’s birthday. How talented you are with those cookies, they are absolutely amazing. It is almost like the napkin was cut out and pasted onto the top of the cookie! It is identical…so so so cute 🙂

  31. marian
    August 7, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the sweet comments!

  32. Nicole
    April 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m doing this theme for my daughter’s first birthday. Can you tell me where you found the cookie cutter?

    • marian
      April 4, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Hi Nicole, I hand cut them, sorry! You could use a large oval cutter if you’re pressed for time… a little less wing and ear detail, but it could work. xo

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