Give Cookies an Artful Look with This Marbled Icing Technique

Learn how to make a dazzling marbled icing for your favorite cookie recipes with these recipes and how-to tips.

marbled icing cutout cookies
Photo: Carson Downing

No matter how old you are, decorated sugar cookies (or any cookies, really) are almost guaranteed to bring a spark of tasty joy to your day. If you usually make cutout cookies around the holidays, we've got an easy topper idea for you: marbled icing. Not only do they look elegant, but it's really a simple process to accomplish. Before we get the cookie decorating started, go ahead and bake your favorite cookie recipe that requires a pretty finish. Regular sugar cookie cutouts (or go gluten-free) will work great here, or you can try a new flavor such as cocoa mascarpone. After your cookies cool, make a batch of powdered sugar icing, then use the following steps to give your cookies a marbled icing effect.

01 of 05

Make Icing and Divide

powdered sugar icing in measuring cup
Carson Downing

Add enough milk (about 5 Tbsp.) to powdered sugar icing to make it dipping consistency. Divide the icing among bowls (our example here uses three bowls) and tint in different shades of the same color with food coloring. Leave one bowl plain. Note: You may want to make more than one batch of cookie icing.

02 of 05

Drizzle Colored Icing

powdered sugar icing with green drizzle in cup
Carson Downing

Place your colored icings in separate decorating bags fitted with small round tips, or place in resealable plastic bags and snip a small hole in one corner of each bag. Heavily drizzle one colored icing over plain icing; keep lines going the same direction.

03 of 05

Double Drizzle the Colored Icing

powdered sugar icing with green drizzle lines
Carson Downing

Lightly drizzle an icing of a different shade of the same color over top of first drizzle, making the lines perpendicular to the first ones.

Related: Our Favorite Christmas Cookies to Make Every Year

04 of 05

Dip and Twist Cookies

marbled cookie icing dip
Carson Downing

Now for the fun part! Dip a cookie into mixture. As you pull the cookie up, twist it to swirl and marble the icing. Allow excess icing to run off into the bowl. Place finished marble icing cookies on wire racks, set over waxed paper, to dry.

05 of 05

Repeat Marbled Icing Process

marbled icing cutout cookies
Carson Downing

Repeat with remaining cookies, redrizzling colored cookie icing and cleaning your fingers as needed. Let stand until set.

See how simple that was? Now that you have a new cookie icing technique under your belt, grab the kids and let the cookie decorating party begin. If you're planning your entertaining treats ahead, be sure to check out our list of freezer-friendly holiday cookies.

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