Sweet and cute, these EASY snowman cookies decorated with cookie icing are irresistible. Make them as gifts or add them to your holiday cookie tray!
Forget the melted snowman cookies, how cute are these snowman cookies with their sparkly scarves?
I kept them as simple as possible so even if you're not great at piping, these are going to be a breeze! I’m going to show you exactly how to make them in step by step instructions and a video. Let’s get started.
These snowman cookies are made with my favorite sugar cookie dough and decorated with an easy cookie icing. You can use my recipes for both the dough and the icing or use your own favorites. If you want to try a flavored dough, I also have a cookies and cream flavored cut out cookie!
The most important thing is for the cookies to hold their shape when baked. I have a ton of tips included with my sugar cookie recipe on how to do this but the one key tip is to make sure your dough is chilled before cutting and before baking.
Besides your baked cookies, you will need a batch of cookie icing, food dye gel color (for the scarf color), white sparkling sugar crystals, and orange sprinkles.
I have plenty more details and tips on making the dough and the icing in the respective post links given above so be sure to read through them first!
Preparing Your Icing
Prepare your colored icings according to your recipe and have them ready in piping bags. I used 12 inch piping bags fitted with a number 2 tip for details (black and scarf color icing) and a 16 inch piping bag with a number 4 tip for flooding (white icing).
If you don't have plastics bags and tips, you can also make your own piping bags with parchment paper!
How to Decorate Snowman Shaped Cookies
Clear your counter space and lay out your cookies on a large sheet pan or on a piece of parchment paper. Leave a small workspace in front of you to work on each cookie.
Outline and then fill in the snowman hat with your black icing. As you do each hat on each cookie, lay the cookie on a big sheet pan to dry while you work on the rest. Do ALL the hats on ALL the cookies at once.
Outline and fill in the body with plain or white icing. Lay each cookie back on the sheet pan to dry. Do all the bodies on all the cookies at once.
Go back to the first cookie from step 3. It should be dry enough to draw the scarf with your choice of colored icing. Draw a thick line across the neck by going over it twice with your icing.
Then draw a long line and short line for the hanging part of the scarf the same way. Immediately sprinkle with sparkling sugar and shake off the excess. Repeat for all the cookies.
Add a small dab of white icing with your piping bag to one orange sprinkle and stick it in the center of the face. Repeat for all cookies.
Using the black icing and small tip, add the eyes and buttons to all the cookies. (I find that if I repeat all the eyes first and then go back and do all the buttons, I pipe with more consistency.)
Helpful Tips for Decorating Sugar Cookies
- Work on each “section” of your cookie all at once. For example, do all the snowman hats on ALL the cookies before doing the white part of the main body. The repetition will actually help to improve your technique.
- I use two hands when piping. One hand to squeeze and the other to steady the other hand. (See video where I am piping the hat!)
- Have a few clean toothpicks nearby. You can sometimes use toothpicks to gently move icing around when there are gaps in the icing or when you make small mistakes.
- You do not have to wait too long for the body to dry in order to pipe the scarf. The surface should look matte not shiny. Usually by the time I am done filling all the bodies, the first cookie that I did is ready to be piped on.
- You can keep reusing the sugar crystals that you shake off each cookie.
- Keep any extra icing that is not in your piping bag covered with a wet paper towel to keep it from drying out.
- Arrange all of your cookies on a large piece of parchment or on a cookie sheet to dry.
- Arrange the snowman cookies with snowflake shaped cookies on a platter for a more festive look!
Natural Food Coloring Options for Sugar Cookies
All of the coloring I use on my snowman cookies is natural! You can use regular food dye gels but I do want to explain how I avoided chemical food dyes.
I used a green natural food dye made by Chefmaster to use for the scarf. The nose is made with naturally orange colored sprinkles made by Whole Food’s 365 brand.
The black icing used for the eyes and buttons was made by adding black cocoa powder to the cookie icing. “Black” cocoa powder is different from regular unsweetened cocoa powder and is super dark and super rich in flavor. (It is also what I use to make black colored buttercream.) It does give it a bit of a chocolate taste which is just fine with me!
Where to Find Materials and Ingredients
- Snowman Cookie Cutter Any cookie cutter with a similar shape will do but this is the one that I used.
- Black Cocoa Powder I use King Arthur Flour brand. I have not tried others but I would expect similar results as long as it is labeled "black" cocoa powder.
- Orange Sprinkles If you can't find a bottle of natural sprinkles that are just orange, just by the mixed colors and pick out the orange ones.
- Natural Food Dyes In addition to Chefmaster, many other brands such as India Tree, 365, and McKormick also make plant based dyes.
- White Sparkling Sugar I used Wilton Sparkling Sugar. You can find many of their products at craft stores.
- Baked snowman shaped cookies
- White cookie icing
- Black cookie icing
- Colored cookie icing
- Orange sprinkles
- White sugar crystals
- 1-2 Clean toothpicks
- Parchment paper or sheet pan
- Two 12 inch piping bags
- 16 inch piping bag
- #2 piping tip
- #4 piping tip
- Prepare the icing bags as follows: Fit the 16 inch bag with the #4 piping tip and fill it with white icing. Fit the two 12 inch bags with #2 tips (If you don't have 2, use a coupler so you can switch the tip between the two bags). Fill one bag with black icing and the other with your colored icing.
- Clear your counter space and lay out your cookies on a sheet pan or large parchment paper, leaving some work space in front of you.
- Place a cookie in front of you. Outline the hat using the black icing and then fill it in. Place the cookie back on the sheet pan to dry. Repeat with each cookie.
- Place the first cookie in front of you again. Outline the body with white icing and then fill in the center. Place it back on the sheet pan to dry and repeat with each cookie.
- Beginning with the first cookie, pipe the scarf shape by drawing a thick line across the neck and going over it twice with your icing. Then draw a long line and short line for the hanging part of the scarf the same way. Immediately sprinkle with sugar and shake off the excess. Add a small dab of white icing to an orange sprinkle and place it in the middle of the face to make a nose. Repeat for all the cookies.
- Using the black icing, add eyes to all the cookies and then go back and add three buttons to each cookie.
- Allow the cookies to air dry completely.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
YIELD and TIME: If using my rolled sugar cookie dough recipe, you should be able to make about 24 snowman cookies. The time listed in this recipe is an estimate and depends on how quickly you are able to pipe icing.
DRYING: Let them dry in the open overnight.
FREEZING: You can freeze completely dry iced cookies by laying them in single layers in airtight containers. (For up to 3 months) Thaw at room temperature.