Sep 28


Lettered Cookies & Royal Icing Transfers

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Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend enjoying the fall (spring for some of you) sunshine!  I definitely made sure to get out even for a short while each day to enjoy the fall colors in the forest nearby – so magical! That combined with cookie decorating and some other commitments this weekend means the laundry didn’t get finished, but I’ll take that in order to get some cookie decorating in any weekend. I’m especially looking forward to this week because I’ll be secretly delivering these cookies to different people… leaving them in their mailboxes at work and popping a few in the neighbours mailboxes. None of these people follow me here (as far as I know), although a few will be able to put two and two together I think, but it’ll be random Monday surprises for them. As much enjoyment as I get from decorating the cookies it’s even more fun to give them away!

If you’d like to make these too, the techniques aren’t difficult, and I’ll share the how-to steps below.

It was these cookies by Icing Land (Instagram), which inspired me to attempt my own version. They ended up being almost copied, including a similar color scheme – I just loved their design so much! Please check them out on Facebook as well; their cookies are so creative and gorgeous!


How to Make Lettered Cookies 

Sugar Cookie Dough

You can find the recipe for the dough here.  If you’d like to try chocolate sugar cookies or another recipe, all my cookie recipes can be found here. The plaque cookie cutters are from

Royal Icing

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. Here are more videos on outlining and flooding etc., if you need some tips on those basics.

What you’ll need:



Step One:

Using a #3 piping tip , outline the cookies shape with royal icing. For detailed decorating tips, this tutorial may be helpful for you.

Step Two:

With the same icing, flood, or fill in your shape. I generally outline and flood right away, but these were larger cookies so needed a dry outline to hold all the icing in.

Step Three:

Let the base dry for at least 6-12 hours. While you’re letting the bases dry, make your royal icing letter transfers. You could also use a Kopykake Projector to project your letters and simply trace them onto your cookie. If you’re new to decorating cookies and don’t recognize some terms, like transfers or transparencies, I have a glossary for you here.

Step Four:

Make the royal icing transfers. To make these letters, simply pipe royal icing onto a transparency sheet (or parchment paper), lightly greased with shortening, and let the icing dry for 6-24 hours. Peel away carefully and you have a royal icing decoration.

Here are a few videos & tutorials where I’ve shown how to make royal icing transfers:

{Video} How to Make Daisy Cookies

Valentine Love Cupcakes

How to Do Royal Icing Floodwork or Runouts

I’ve showed the beginning steps of the letters on Instagram below. I layered the icing to make thicker letters. A thin line of icing will break too easily once dry, so make your letters about as wide as you see pictured. After a few layered letters I changed the piping tip to a #3 to speed up the process. You might want to use a tip #2 if your cookies are smaller.

A few notes for you… I used double-sided tape to tape my paper down onto my gum paste board. Use a hard book if you don’t have this board. Because the letters are delicate make extras in case they break! Also, chose an icing color as your base which is similar to the luster dust color you’ll be using.

Step Five:

Let the letters dry for a minimum of 6-12 hours and then brush lightly with a mixture of gold luster dust and water. Try not to use too much water or tiny pits in the royal icing will form. I’m a little short on my gold luster dust so tried to stretch it a bit with more water so these letters aren’t a thick coat of gold.

Step Six:

Thicken your royal icing colors with more powdered sugar, so that if you dip a spoon into the icing, it will stand straight up. Pipe royal icing flowers, vines and leaves onto your dried base. Adhere letter transfer to cookie with tiny dabs of icing (photo above). 

Have fun playing around with different flower patterns and lines!

Let the flowers dry for a few hours and you’re done!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line below in the comment section or on social media. You can find me on FacebookGoogle+InstagramPinterestTwitter and YouTube.

Thank you for your feedback on the woodland cookies from last week! I’ll be doing a tutorial on those soon.

Happy decorating!



p.s. I love playing around with photo filters… This one seems to suit this cookie theme… couldn’t resist adding it.

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  1. September 29, 2014 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Wow, such beautiful cookies, Marian!! Love them all! I’m sure you are going to make happy a lot of people ^_^

    • marian
      October 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much! You comment here on my blog often, and I appreciate your visits! xoxo

  2. September 29, 2014 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Happy Monday, Marian!

    Absolutely love that cookie theme, oh wow, this is totally my style, shapes, colors, etc.. PERFECT!

    Like I already mentioned on Instagram, I love the name Icing Land, this is so cute and their work is amazing! I can definitely tell why these cookies caught your eye.

    Awesome tutorial, sweetie!!

    Thanks so much for this sweet, new blogpost. Can’t wait for more! <3


    • marian
      October 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi Niner,
      I know, such a cute name (Icingland)! Thanks for commenting sweet girl. xo

  3. Elizabeth
    September 29, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    As usual…beautiful! And I love that font…do you happen to have the name?

    • marian
      October 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Elizabeth! I used the font Lavandaria, and have now added a link to it in the “Things you’ll need” section.

  4. Linda L.
    September 29, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    These are beautiful! I hope to try these for a dear friend’s 100th birthday in November.

  5. September 29, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Your friends are going to be delighted when they visit their mailboxes today! These are just beautiful.

  6. limor
    September 29, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    hello, and thank you for all the amazing and beautiful tutorial you share with us, just one question please, which cookie cutter you use for this one?

  7. Cheryl S.
    September 29, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    What is a gumpaste board exactly??? Can you get them in the U.S.? Are they the same as the green gumpaste boards that are only sold in the U.K.? What is the difference between a gum paste board and a regular cutting board?
    Thank you for your always wonderful tutorials and your generosity in sharing your wealth of knowledge with all of us. We so appreciate it.

  8. September 29, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Oh Marian, these are simply gorgeous! I love the colors, the letters, the flowers – just everything about them. Thank you for sharing your beautiful creations. You’re always such an inspiration!

  9. Maria Theresia
    September 29, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    wow…wonderful creative work. You have put so much time into it! They are gorgeous. Thank you for all your efforts, and sharing all your talents with us. Have a great Monday and a super week. Your friends are lucky to know you!

  10. Marian N
    September 29, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Oh Marian, you are such an artist. You have elevated the simple to the sublime. Have I told you lately how much you make me smile?

  11. Marguerite
    September 29, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Love, love, love! Will try to make these for my mother’s upcoming birthday. Thanks and have a great Monday!

  12. September 29, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Wow, these are spectacular! You make it sound so easy, but I know mine could never be so beautiful! 🙂 I love the filter, too.

  13. Melinda Cassidy
    September 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your work! These are just beautiful! I also appreciate how you share your work and your willingness to teach so many of us! Thank you!

    I also love how hearing how you enjoy giving away your cookies! I feel the same way! What a sweet joy!

    Thank you!

  14. jeannine
    September 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink


    Do you happen to have tutorial on those adorable lil flowers?

    You’re a never ending source of inspiration.

    Can’t wait to try these.

  15. Michelle
    September 29, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    Nice work, missed you this year at the Baking and Sweets Show:)

  16. September 30, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Your cookies are so dainty and pretty. Would make a lovely gift. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent.

  17. Carmen Quinquilla
    September 30, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing…these cookies are so beautiful and delicate.

  18. Ann H. McCracken
    October 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I am very happy that I stumbled onto your site. I adore baking…it brings out my inner child. Food happens to be my language of love and I enjoy sharing treats with anyone who crosses my path. I plan on trying these cookies this weekend. I am not much of a decorator but I believe your shared knowledge will be extremely helpful…FINGERS CROSSED! Thank you for sharing your special talent!

    Blessings to you! Ann

  19. November 14, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Marianna, I love all Your cookies. You are fantastic and I absolutely have to do these wonderful cookies. Thanks so much for Your tutorial

  20. November 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Marian, Not Marianna, sorry

  21. Louise
    December 30, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    I love the elegance of these cookies and have to make them, they are beautiful! I have a quesion about the letters, how many layers of icing did you use and rather than layer the icing can you just use a larger tip to pipe them? Also, which tip did you use for the flowers and leaves? Wishing you a happy 2015! Louise

    • marian
      January 4, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Hi Louise,
      Thanks for your comments! I forgot to mention that I changed my tip to a #3 after a while because the process was too slow (at first I thought a larger tip might not look neat but it turned out okay), but have added that into the tutorial now. For the flowers and leaves I believe I used tip #2 for the petals and 1.5 for the leaves, lines and flower centers.
      Happy 2015 as well!

  22. Michele
    January 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian!

    question: I am getting ready to get that royal icing out of the fridge and it just occurred to me! looking at your (WONDERFUL I might add!!!!!) photos above I see your bags appear to have about 1-1 1/2? cups in each?
    I’m (going to try haha) trying to make these colors, oh it could just MARRY your cookies they are so adorable, but I digress. 😉
    I just wondered how much I start with to outline and flood? I have about 15 cookies different sizes and they’re 1/4 inch thick. oh! and btw- I just LOVE how you just add a bit more powdered sugar to the first batch of icing to get that stiffer icing for the flowers and leaves!! so clever, only making “one bag of color” instead of two separate bags of stiff & flood! because I was getting SCARED thinking about how many bags I was gonna have in front of me until I reread through your post again and caught your trick! love it!
    ok!!! how much you got in your bags to start?
    thanks so much!!!! (hey- I didn’t proofread- don’t judge)

    • marian
      January 6, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi Michele,
      I normally put 3 heaping spoonfuls in each piping bag. If I’m using a color which I know I’ll hardly need, I’ll put one spoonful in. I hope that helps and I hope you have lots of fun decorating!

  23. Debbie
    January 28, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian. Sooo pretty! Question: doesn’t the water (mixed with luster dust) dissolve the RI letters?

    • marian
      February 5, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, it does if there is too much liquid. I try to make it quite a thick mixture so that the water doesn’t create water craters on the royal icing transfer.

  24. Christine
    February 6, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian:

    These are beautiful. Any chance you if you are making them again to do a video. I would love to see how you form the flower petals etc. They must take a long time to decorate!

    • marian
      February 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Christine,
      Thanks so much! I do have these on my video “to do” list. It’s a matter of time (I’m sorry it might take a while).

  25. Victoria
    February 22, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Your cookies are just beautiful. Can you explain how you made the flowers and leaves? Or do you have a tutorial? Also, your icing colors are perfect – I seem to have trouble making these shades. Mine become too dark too fast. Even with one drop from the Americolor bottles.
    Thanks for sharing your talent!!

  26. Alicia
    February 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    These cookies are so beautiful as all you do. What is the fonts name you use, Ty

  27. natalie
    March 19, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Lovely work…will become frequent here 🙂

  28. Val
    April 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi! Everytime i make these letters – they break coming off the wax paper. Out of a dozen i only one or two that stays intact. How do you get the letters to ‘hold’?

    • April 13, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Hi Val,
      Definitely, they are delicate. One thing which could help is making them thicker (maybe a #3 tip if you haven’t already). It could also be the way you’re removing them from the paper. Try bringing the parchment paper (or wax paper or acetate paper), to the edge of your table, and peel the paper away from the transfer instead of the transfer away from the paper, if that makes sense. I hope that helps!

  29. Constanza.
    April 13, 2015 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Ohhhhh Its so.beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I love all you do. Lot of hugs…

  30. Val
    April 13, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Marian – Thank you for replying! Yes, i used a #3 tip, in fact some of my letters where a very ‘thick’ font, just so that the letters would be easier to take off the wax paper. Yes i used the ‘edge’ of the table trick. I think i shall try to let them dry longer. Last time i waited at least 24 hours and they still cracked. 🙁

  31. Valerie
    June 3, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian! I love all your work especially these lettered cookies. I want to make them exactly how you did… u love them exactly how they are!! Can you tell me which style plaque and size for each cookie cutters from copper gifts? And how do I use the LOST TYPE FONT Web sit, do I pay ??? Thank you!

  32. Ann
    April 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Hello, might you please tell me what tips you used to make the tiny flowers on the monogram cookies? Thank you.

  33. September 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Que galletas más bonitas!!! Me han encantado.
    Una duda, las flores las haces con glasa??
    Es que quería hacerles unas galletas así para las bodas de oro de mis padres.
    Muchas gracias y felicidades!!!

  34. Lisa
    February 3, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    When I try to pipe small things with a size 1 or even 2, the icing does this “squiggly” move coming out of the tip and I can’t control it. Any tips?
    Your work is beautiful!!

  35. Marlene
    December 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful work ! I will try it ! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  36. Ritta Zumba
    May 20, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for sharing! God bless you!

  37. Pam
    March 28, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    In your video comments you said this is the first layer. How do you build it up from the thin layer in the video to what you show as your final letters?

    • March 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Pam,

      Sorry which video do you mean? I haven’t done a video on lettered cookies. Thanks!

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