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Dec 04


Marbled Christmas Cookie Ornament How-To

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If you’ve tried cookies like these before you know how simple they are to make, and if you haven’t, you’re about to find out just how easy they are to create.

It’s a decorating technique called marbling, feathering or swirling, which is basically when one or more colors of icing are applied to a base coat of icing, and then a toothpick is dragged through the icing to create a marbled effect.

If you’d like to try them, I have a tutorial for you below, and you prefer video, you can find one on marbling here.

I was happy to make these for Go Bold With Butter, a must-see baking and savoury recipe resource for those interested in all-natural ingredients and delicious buttery taste.

Definitely check out all the delicious recipes there, and their gorgeous new e-book, Holiday Cookie Recipes: Starring Real Butter!


Marbled Christmas Cookie Ornament Tutorial

If you’d like to try making these, here’s what you’ll need…


*Once you’ve cut out your cookie shapes, make sure you cut a hole out as well.



Decorating the Cookies

If you’d like to try the marbled effect, the most important thing for your success is the consistency of the icing.  To help you with that, my cookie decorating tutorial goes over some tips and the 10-second rule here.


Once you have your cookies baked and icing made, it’s time to begin by piping your outline.  I like to use a piping bag fitted with a coupler and #2 tip.

Fill In

Let the outline dry for a few minutes to create a solid border. You’ll be able to see the border somewhat when the icing dries, so alternately you could fill or flood your cookie in right after piping the outline.


Once you’ve filled the whole cookie in, shake it gently left to right on your work surface, to help smooth the icing out.

Pipe Lines – Wet on Wet Piping

Add your second (or more), layers or colors of icing.  Work as quickly as you can before the icing sets.


Take a toothpick and drag it through the icing.  In this case I drew S-like shapes.  The image above shows which direction I dragged the toothpick in. Each combination of colors creates another look. Just by changing the way you set up your lines and drag the toothpick, completely different designs emerge.

Finishing Details

Once the marbled icing has had time to set (at least 15 minutes), pipe the grey icing at the top of the ornament, let that set and pipe a few line details.

Have fun playing around with different marbling patterns!

If you prefer video, I’ve got a video tutorial on marbling here for you to watch.

Dry your cookies out (check out tip #1 in this post on how to do that) and hang them in a Christmas tree…

or dangle them as a garland of sorts.

If you’d like a little info. on the cookies I’ve shown here which aren’t marbled, below are some tutorial links.

The gingerbread girl and boy, based on a set of stickers you can also find here (I made cookies from the designs a few weeks ago), are royal icing transfers. 

If you’d like to learn more about them, here are a few posts on making royal icing transfers:

Kind of hard to see in the photos, but I have a few line cookie ornaments hanging in there as well.

You can find a video on piping lines here.

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.

Happy decorating!




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  1. December 5, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    You are so talented! These are stunning. Well done, Sweetopia 🙂

  2. Maria Theresia
    December 5, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    oh my….very beautiful decorated ornaments. I love the look and creation, like every thing you share with us.
    Thank you. Have a great day!

  3. Megan
    December 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    So gorgeous! Also, where did you find the pink tree??

    • marian
      December 6, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Hi Megan,
      I found it a few years ago at a store in Toronto, Canada, called Teatro Verde. http://teatroverde.com/

  4. marian
    December 6, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the comments! xo

  5. Madame Baker
    December 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Wow, they’re so adorable! About how long does it take to make them?

    • marian
      December 7, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Hi Madame Baker,

      These are approximate times and I’m not including things like washing dishes hee hee:
      *to make the dough about 15 minutes
      *to cut out the shapes about 15 minutes
      *to make the icing and colour it, about an hour
      *prepare the icing bags, about 15 minutes
      *decorate the cookies – will vary according to complexity and how many you make, but about an hour

      Hope that helps!

  6. Marilyn
    December 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    All your instructions are so easy to follow and beautifully presented. Time to publish a book Marian!! Have you ever thought about that? Anyway I’m so behind in all my baking. Going to focus on decorating assorted cookie trees and snowflakes to serve following our Christmas tree cutting trek next weekend. I’ll refer back to all your posts from previous years for ideas. Just love the idea of gathering inspiration from stickers. I have recommended your website to so many people.

    • marian
      December 7, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much Marilyn! Funny you should mention the book thing… I was so excited about an offer from Random House Canada last year (so neat right!?) and I would like to create a book, buuuut, after some careful thought I realized I wouldn’t be able to create the calibre of book I would like to without it taking about 5 years to make. If I didn’t have a full time job, absolutely, I would do it. I figured maybe if I’m still into this when I retire? If people are still interested that is! 😉

      Have fun making your cookies and on your Christmas tree trek, and thanks so much for sharing my site with others! xo

  7. Marian N
    December 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of straining them on tinsel cord and using them as a swag hung from a fireplace mantel. What do you think? Too ute!

    • marian
      December 7, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      I love it too! Maybe only if it’s not on or too hot in that area though, lol. Hanging at the top of some windows would be cute too, don’t you think?

  8. Marian N
    December 6, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Now you know I meant “Too cute!”

  9. Marian N
    December 6, 2014 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I also meant to say stringing. How embarrassing.

    • marian
      December 7, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      It’s all good, I understood what you meant. 🙂 xo

  10. December 8, 2014 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Ohhhhh Marian these are FANTASTIC! Soooo cute, I wouldn’t eat them.
    Looks so compliated but who would have thought what you can do with a toothpick eh? 🙂



  11. December 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    So cute! I love marbling but sometimes bleeding is such a nightmare! 🙁 Your cookies are perfect 🙂

  12. Yvette Lawrence Bethea
    December 16, 2014 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Hello Marian,

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting/sharing your talent and passion, you do amazing work! I am going to practice your cookie decorating method with Royal icing.

    Thank you,

    • marian
      December 16, 2014 at 3:29 am | Permalink

      Awww, thanks Yvette!

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