Valentines Day Sugar Cookies

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These adorable Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies are decorated with vanilla buttercream and also vanilla icing. The vanilla icing is a swirled marble sugar cookie also known as a galaxy theme. These sugar cookies are a classic roll out cookie, it’s soft baked and not overly sweet cookie.

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A gorgeous plate of mini sugar cookie decorated with marble icing for Valentine's day featuring red, pink, purple and white.

I love making homemade treats for Valentine’s day, and even though I am partial to chocolate covered strawberries, there’s still plenty of room for Valentine’s day sugar cookies.

For these Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies, I found the cutest mini cookie cutters in the Target dollar section. I pretty much love any mini desserts, but these cookies are just TOO cute, I had to share.

I spent this past weekend playing around with different way to decorate my favorite sugar cookie recipe. It’s a soft baked, not overly sweet, rolled sugar cookie recipe.

A red buttercream frosted heart shaped cookie with a mini heart sprinkle on it.

I’m not the best cookie decorator, but I try! This time around I made two types of sugar cookies, one decorated with my vanilla frosting and another decorated with marble icing, also known as galaxy icing.

If you’re not much for cookie decorating, you need to try the marble icing, it’s SUPER easy and I share all the details about how make marble icing for sugar cookies below. But first, let’s talk about the valentine’s sugar cookies with buttercream frosting.

Mini X and O decorated sugar cookies are Valentine's day themed. These are frosted with a bright purple buttercream and garnished with hot pink sprinkles

Tips for Making Sugar Cookies

My sugar cookie recipe is really basic and easy recipe to make, the dough just needs a little time in the refrigerator before you roll it out, we’re talking maybe 30 minutes! 

  • If you’re new to making sugar cookies, I’ve covered topics in detail how to make sugar cookies. In that post I share detailed instructions for the recipe.
  • And if that’s not enough, there’s also all my tips and tricks for sugar cookies. The thicker the better ya’ll. That post is packed with information, so it you’re looking to step up your sugar cookie game, give it a read through.
  • If decorating with sugar cookies with buttercream frosting is your jam, I covered that too. Personally, my favorite sugar cookies are covered with a thick layer of vanilla buttercream. 

A white plate full of mini decorated sugar cookies with a valentine's day theme including heart shaped cookies, XO cookies and diamond shaped cookies all decorated with colorful buttercream frosting

Conquer this buttercream recipe

My secret to making my buttercream recipe is to start with cold butter. It allows you to control the stability of your frosting. I whip the butter for several minutes at various stages in the process which makes a very light and airy frosting that is easy for decorating.

I have a lot of things to say about how to make buttercream, so definitely be sure to give that post a read through. It will change your buttercream game! 

I only used 3 different piping tips for the buttercream cookies. Using these tips with a variety of color, you can create these easy designs on your cookies.

When picking your color palette, 2-3 colors plus white is my favorite. If you have a set of couplers, you can easily change your tips between colors. If you’re not sure what I am talking about, you can read through all my tips for How to Use a Piping Bag.

Don’t forget to have some of your favorite sprinkles on hand to add the final touch.

Whether you decide to decorate these Valentines Day Sugar Cookies with vanilla buttercream or with marble icing, I know you will LOVE the final results.

A plate of heart shaped valentine's day sugar cookies. The hearts are decorated with different designs featuring red, pink and white.

How to decorate marble sugar cookies

As soon as I dipped my first cookies into the swirled icing, I fell in love with this EASY sugar cookie decorating technique. 

These marble sugar cookies are not just for Valentine’s Day either. This is a great technique that you can use for themed birthday parties, baby showers and just about any holidays. And let’s face it, it’s waaaaay faster than decorating with buttercream.

Even my sister in law on in on the action!

A hand is holding a mini heart shaped cookie with ruffled edges. The cookie is decorated with galaxy icing which is swirled with white, pink, red and purple icing.

The vanilla icing is a very simple recipe, it similar to a glaze you’d use for a bundt cake. I did some Goggling before I started, I saw a combination of recipes including ones that use meringue powder or corn syrup and some recipe that used neither.

I chose to use corn syrup thinking I’d get a little shine or glassy appearance on the icing and it also help to thicken the icing. It wasn’t quite as shiny as I’d like but it’s still so pretty!

  • Sift the powder sugar in order to avoid lumps in your icing as it dries
  • Simply combine the powdered sugar with the milk and whisk until it’s well combined.
  • If you think it’s too thick, slowly add additional milk.
  • You want it to be drippy but not runny. Then whisk in the corn syrup.
  • If you think you frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time.

A hand is dunking a cookie into white icing that is swirled with different gel colors

When it’s time to add color, you’ll want to be sure and use Gel colors such as Wilton or Amerigel. These are thicker and more concentrated than traditional food coloring.

Amerigel offers lots of individual colors, so you can get super specific whereas Wilton’s Color Right Color System is 8 basic colors that you can mix together to create over 50 different shades. You can purchase them at craft stores, cake supply stores or online.

The icinig does dry completely, meaning you’ll be able to stack these cookies once they are fully dry. It can take anywhere from a couple hours to overnight depending on how thick your icing is. Let these dry completely on a cookie sheet. 

You should know that the color of the frosting will be less saturated as it dries. It really is the prettiest when you first lift it out of the icing or even after it has slightly dried.

A hand is holding a diamond shaped sugar cookie that has been dipped in marbled icing. The icing is dripping off the cookie back into the bowl showing the beautiful design.

I also noticed I had some white areas that appeared to be powdered sugar. Therefore, I recommend sifting the powdered sugar. I did not and in hindsight I wish I had.

When I was baking these cookies, I did so with the intention of the marble sugar cookie icing, so I made them extra thick. I think it helps when dipping them in the icing. Plus the icing is on the thinner side, so it helped to have a nice thick cookie underneath.

A beautiful mini heart shaped sugar cookie with marble icing and gold pearl dust decorated in Valentine's day colors

Tips for dipping Marble Sugar Cookies

  • Wear some latex gloves if you have there. These can be a little messy and the gel colors will easily stain (fingers, clothes, counter tops) unless you wash it off right away. It’s best to place your bowl over some parchment paper or paper towels to catch the extra drip.
  • Be prepared with your cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to place your finished cookie on to dry.
  • Save some of the white icing to the side, allowing you the ability to add some white back in to your swirl. The best-looking cookie have some white in the icing. After you dip and dip and dip, your icing will start to lose some white on the surface.An overhead shot of galaxy swirled sugar cookies, also known as marble swirled icing. The cookies are laying on pink and white plates and decorated for valentines day. Some of the cookies have gold accents.
  • Use only very small amounts of the gel color and gently swirl with a toothpick.
  • Using a tall rimmed plate may give you more surface area to work with as opposed to a bowl
  • When dipping your cookies, allow some of the icing to drip back into your bowl before you flip it over, otherwise it just runs all over the sides of the cookie.
  • You can change the direction of marble by tilting your cookie and you pull it up from the icing
  • Remember this the frosting for your sugar cookies, so using a vanilla extract is fine but you might also prefer a flavored extract. OR you can flavor your sugar cookies instead.

Tips for adding simmer to your decorated sugar cookies

I tried a couple different ways of doing this. I tried the paint brush splatter, I tried sprinkling the dry simmer and I tried painting the simmer on the dry frosting. The method I like most is sprinkling the dry simmer on frosting. I think it looks the best.

These cookies are decorated with galaxy icing which is swirled with white, pink, red and purple icing. They are dusted with a gold pearl dust.

  • To sprinkle the dry simmer (pearl dust) powder, you can do this by sprinkling it directly over the cookies (while wearing gloves) or using a dry paint brush and shaking it over the cookies
  • If you prefer the look of the paint splatter, then I recommend waiting on the frosting has settled a bit, a little less wet on top but not fully dry. Wet on wet will cause the splatters to spread.
  • In order to do the splatter method, mix the simmer with clear vodka or a clear extract such as almond, vanilla or lemon. Combine them in a small bowl and then tap the wet paintbrush over the cookies.
  • The last option is to paint the pearl dust after the cookies have dried. Mix the pearl dust with a clear extract as discussed above and paint it over the dried icing. I didn’t love this effect because I feel like it really altered the marbled icing.

A white plate full of mini decorated sugar cookies with a valentine's day theme including heart shaped cookies, XO cookies and diamond shaped cookies all decorated with colorful buttercream frosting

If you’re looking to make these Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies, be sure to prepare them at least 24 hours in advance. You can break the process up by preparing and freezing your cookie dough or freezing your baked cookies. It’s definitely possible to bake and decorate in the same evening, just give yourself a few hours! Happy Valentine’s day friends!

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A gorgeous plate of mini sugar cookie decorated with marble icing for Valentine's day featuring red, pink, purple and white.

Valentines Day Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8-12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minute
  • Yield: 18-24 large cookies

Description

These adorable Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies are decorated with vanilla buttercream and also vanilla icing. The vanilla icing is a swirled marble sugar cookie also known as a galaxy theme. These sugar cookies are a classic roll out cookie, it’s soft baked and not overly sweet cookie.

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (95g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour (350 g)

For the buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold.
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (clear is best if you’re coloring the frosting)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

For the marble icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • Gel icing colors

Instructions

  1. For the cookies: Beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until the sugar is dissolved and creamy.
  2. In a small glass dish, dissolve the baking soda in the milk.
  3. Add baking soda/milk, vanilla and egg  to the butter. Beat until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Slowly add the salt and  the flour ½ cup at a time and mix until a stiff dough forms.
  5. Form 3 softball size balls of dough. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface about ¼” thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut the shapes and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Use parchment paper or a baking mat to help prefer browning on the bottom of the cookie.
  8. Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. For the buttercream: Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter look light in color.
  10. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter then add 2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
  11. Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.
  12. Add last 1 cup powdered sugar along with 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract . Beat on low until ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.
  13. Dye frosting with desired gel colors and divide into your piping bags.
  14. For the marble icing: Combine the sifted powdered sugar and milk in a bowl and whisk until well combined. If needed, add additional milk to thin out the frosting. If too thin, add an additional 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Then Whisk in the corn syrup.
  15. Set aside 1/4 cup of the white icing. Add a small drop of your gel colors to the icing and gently swirl with a toothpick.
  16. Gently dip each cookie into the icing and then tilt the cookie to the side to allow excess icing the drip off. Place on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and allow to dry completely.

Notes

  • These are mini cookies, this recipe made approximately 36 cookies. Otherwise it will make 18-24 regular sized cookie depending on your cookie cutter. The cookie recipe can easily be doubled for larger batches
  • You can decorate with the buttercream OR the icing. It’s one or the other, not both
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Sugar Cookies, Valentine's Day Cookies, Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies, Marbled Sugar Cookies, Buttercream Sugar Cookies

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10 Responses
  1. Elizabeth

    I happened to find this right when you posted it yesterday. I was looking for a cool decorating idea for cookies for my birthday (tomorrow). I am so excited to try it! I bought a few other decorating supplies to add in just to try them, like star-shaped sprinkles, sparkly sugar, and metallic spray color – we’ll see how it goes. I’ll take pictures to share!

    1. Staci

      Do you think these could be frozen after decorating? I want to use them for a birthday party as take-home treats for the kids but I am not sure if I will have time the day or two before the party?

      1. Beyond Frosting

        Hi Staci- the ones decorated with buttercream frosting can definitely be frozen once frosted- but don’t stack them! Freeze them in single layers, and let them thaw to room temperature, then you can pack them up as favors.

  2. Sharon Reid

    Will make & ice the cookies for granddaughters for our Valentine box craft day this weekend – looking forward to trying them, thank you.
    Find all the pop-up ads sooooo annoying – cover parts of the recipes – yuck. Must repeatedly X to close ads – annoying!
    Sometimes just leave your site without exploring all you have to offer – sad.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Sharon. I am sorry you’re experiencing this. It would be helpful to know what type of device you’re on? Other than 1 pop up for my email list, there shouldn’t be any other pop up ads, maybe one that is sticky along the bottom of the screen but that’s about it.

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