Zoe Denenberg; Prop Styling: Rachel Mulcahy
Active Time
30 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 30 Mins

Approximately 7 years ago, holiday snowflake cookies were the first cookies I ever decorated. That first batch didn’t look quite as good as my most recent attempt. Nonetheless, these simple snowflake cookies are a great option for cookie decorating beginners—they only involve one color of icing (white), and you can make the design as simple or elaborate as you’d like. You can get intricate with the piping or keep it simple and dip them in sanding sugar—it’s entirely up to you.

I love this cookie design because it’s straightforward and can have big visual impact. Like real snowflakes, each cookie is unique and entirely customizable. With an all-white palette, snowflakes are a great neutral complement to other more intricately-designed and colorful cookies—I’d recommend pairing them with Candy Cane Cookies to create a cohesive platter. You can use a collection of snowflake cookie cutters in various shapes and sizes to curate a nice assortment. The smaller snowflakes are great accents for other decorated cookies (and the perfect amount of sugar for the kids), while the larger snowflakes are focal points on the platter. They’re festive and elegant without slipping into any holiday tackiness, and they don’t rely on a super-bright red-and-green color palette to deliver that Christmas spirit. These snowflake sugar cookies are also a great non-denominational option for mixed households or seasonal cookie swaps.

For more cookie decorating tips and some insight into the vocabulary and techniques mentioned in this recipe, check out this guide to cookie decorating. Conveniently, you can purchase tipless piping bags on Amazon (you’ll want the 12-inch size for cookie decorating).

How to Make It

Step 1

Bake Easy Sugar Cookies, cut with candy cane cutter. Make Royal Icing.

Step 2

Snip a very small opening (approx. 1/2 cm) in tip of 1 piping bag (for piping-consistency icing). Snip a slightly larger opening (approx. 1 cm) in tip of 1 piping bag (for flooding-consistency icing).

Step 3

Fill piping-consistency piping bag with 1/2 of the white Royal Icing. Mix an additional tablespoon of water (or amount needed to achieve flooding-consistency icing) into remaining Royal Icing. Fill flooding-consistency tipless piping bag with white flooding icing.

Step 4

Outline snowflake cookies with white piping-consistency icing. Let dry for 1-2 minutes. Flood with white flooding-consistency icing. Let dry for 1-2 hours.

Step 5

Using white piping-consistency icing, pipe desired pattern or design on snowflake cookies. If you’d like, dip the iced cookies in sanding sugar or brush with edible glitter for shine.