Sugar cookies are the perfect blank canvases to express your creativity. There are so many different techniques to learn. It always amazes me what you can do with some royal icing and gel food colouring. Just scrolling through #sugarcookies on Instagram you will see beautiful works of art by sugar cookie artists. The Painted Box, Shop the Whisk, and Hello Baked are just a few masters of the craft. Their cookies are always intricate and completely stunning. They give me something to work towards. One of my new favourite techniques that I have been playing around with is painting with gel colours on flooded sugar cookies. Much like a watercolour painting.
When painting sugar cookies I use Wilton brand gel colours, a variety of small clean food only paint brushes that I purchased from my local craft store and either water or some form of clear alcohol (such as white rum or vodka). While painting on sugar cookies is similar in technique to water colour painting there are definite differences. Royal icing can only take so much moisture before it starts to crumble and create holes or bubbles within the frosting. This makes it difficult to layer your colour or build up a design on the cookie. I find that using a clear alcohol typically produces better results then using water as it evaporates faster from the cookie.
If you cookie is still slightly sticky from the gel colours after it has dried lightly dust cookies with corn starch or powdered sugar. While this will dull the colour slightly it will prevent the colours from being spread on your cookie ruining all of your hard work.
Floral Watercolour Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookies flooded with Royal Icing and allowed to dry for 12-24 hours
Various Gel Colours - I use Wilton
Paint pallet or plate
Clean, food only paint brushes
Water, Clear Alcohol or Extract
Cornstarch/Powdered Sugar, Opitional
- Using a clean toothpick, place a small amount of each gel colour onto your pallet or plate
- Add a couple of drops of water/extract/clear alcohol to each colour until desired paint thinness is reached
- Paint desired designs onto flooded sugar cookies, allow cookies to dry for 4-6 hours
- If needed, dust cornstarch/powdered sugar onto dried cookie design to absorb any wet gel colour