Donut Sugar Cookie Decorating Tutorial

Donut Sugar Cookie Decorating Tutorial Feature

How much do you love perfectly decorated cookies?

Cookie decorating is so much fun especially when you start with an easy tutorial like this. There’s no need to overcomplicate it when you can make something that’s so cute, fun and colorful! This Decorated Donut Cookie is beginner friendly and perfect for anyone regardless of your amount of experience.

So let’s make it!

ingredients to make donut shaped and decorated cookies

Ingredients & Supplies to Make Decorated Donut Sugar Cookies

Of course with any decorated cookie – expect a lot of supplies. You will always need shaped cookie cutters and you will always need to make royal icing in several colors.

For supplies you will need your donut shaped cookie cutter (like this one), 1-2 icing bottles or piping bags, a round cookie decorating tip, and your normal cookie making basics like a rolling pin, measuring cups and bowls.

To make your cookies you will need butter, white sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, flour, baking soda, and salt. And to make your royal icing you will need powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, pink food coloring, and long pastel jimmies like these.

baking the donut shaped sugar cookies

How to Make Cut Out Sugar Cookies

If you want to skip ahead and just get to decorating, you can use a refrigerated pre-made sugar cookie dough. Just roll it out, punch in with the cookie cutters, and bake it as the directions say. They are still delicious and can make the whole experience more fun.

But for those of you that want the perfect cookie that is also perfectly decorated, this recipe is one of my favorites.

I’ll give you a similar recipe down in the recipe card. But if you want more detail, the recipe linked here is a good one.

add the icing to the donut cookie to decorate

The trick that helps rolled cookies to keep their shape is to chill the dough before you roll it, cut out the shape and then bake it. Ideally, you want to work through these steps quickly, so the dough is still cool when it’s placed in the oven.

Cold dough doesn’t rise as much, so it’s a great way for your cookies to keep their shape and not become warbly weird versions of their original shape. But this also means you need to make your dough early to give it enough time to chill.

cookie decorating ideas - donut sugar cookies

Why Do We Use Royal Icing for Cookie Decorating?

Royal icing is just like regular icing with meringue powder or egg whites added. It helps the icing to stay stiff and hold its shape. It can help you sculpt and build layers of icing.

Meringue powder is more ideal than using egg whites for a few different reasons. First of all, it’s more shelf stable and can help prolong the life of the cookie. It’s considered safer to eat. And meringue powder mimics meringue not just egg whites.

Lucky for us, we’re only making 1 color of icing – pink! Every brand of food dye can be slightly different so don’t be surprised if you need to add more or less color than what the recipe calls for. If you want to make a second color, you could make chocolate frosted donut cookies and use a deep brown food color in the icing.

finished cookie decorating idea with donut cookies

First Flood the Cookie

The first step with any cookie decorating is to flood the cookie. That’s when you create an outline around the outer edge of the cookie. And in this case, make a 2nd flood along the inside hole of the donut shape.

We get to make a wavy line that doesn’t need to be perfect! There’s a lot of opportunity to learn. Once you flood the cookie, let the frosting dry for just a minute or so.

how to make donut decorated cookies tutorial

Then Fill the Cookie

Then fill the cookie by spreading icing in between the lines you created. Work quickly so you can add the sprinkles!

finished decorated sugar cookies on a plate

Add the Sprinkles While the Icing is Still Soft

You always want to add sprinkles while the icing is still soft. Otherwise, if you are using chunky sprinkles, you could add a tiny dab of frosting to the individual sprinkles to attach them. But even these sprinkles aren’t big enough for that!

Shake and spread an even amount across the entire cookie. The let the icing finish setting.

how to decorate donut shaped cookies

How to Serve Decorated Sugar Cookies

Decorated cookies have to be shown off! They are just so cute. These would be a great addition to a birthday party or a shower. You could add them to a tiered platter or just a cutting board.

You could package them individually and use these stickers to add a fun donut theme to the packaging.

decorated sugar cookies with royal icing

Decorated cookies are always delicious with coffee – because they are so perfect for dipping. For kids, hot chocolate would be perfect!

finished cookie decorating ideas donut cookies

How to Store Decorated Sugar Cookies

Decorated Sugar Cookies store so well! Leave them at room temperature in an air tight container. You can layer them with wax paper if necessary. The fridge is okay too but don’t be surprised if they dry out a little faster that way.

close up of donut decorated cookie tutorial

how to make donut sugar cookies

Donut Sugar Cookie Decorating Tutorial

Brittany Bly
Make sugar cookies that are perfect for rolling and then decorate them into cute donuts! This is a beginner friendly cookie decorating tutorial.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 cookies


  • 1 Donut Cookie Cutter
  • 1 Icing Bottle or Piping Bag
  • 1 Round Icing Tip, any size
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • Parchment Paper


For the Sugar Cookies:

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour you will need extra to flour your surfaces
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt don't skimp on this!

For the Royal Icing:

  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Meringue Powder
  • Room Temperature Water as needed
  • 5 drops Baby Pink Gel Food Coloring Chocolate Brown Gel Coloring Optional
  • Long Pastel Jimmy Sprinkles


To Make the Sugar Cookies:

  • In a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar until mixed and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and eggs and continue to beat until all the ingredients are blended.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix but only until the ingredients are combined.
  • Wrap the dough in cellophane and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Overnight is even better.
  • Flour a large flat cutting board and roll the cookie dough to 1/2 - 1/4 inch thick. Thicker dough will make softer cookies.
  • Flour your donut cookie cutter and punch the shapes. Place the donut shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  • Continue to roll up any unused dough and roll again to punch as many donut shapes as you can.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To Frost the Donut Sugar Cookies:

  • In a stand mixer, combine the sugar and meringue powder.  
  • Add 8 tablespoons of room temperature water, using the whisk attachment, beat for 1 minute on low.
  • Continue to add water one tablespoon at a time until the icing slowly drizzles from the whisk when lifted.
  • Once prepared, if the icing is too hard, add more water.  If it's too runny, add more icing sugar.
  • Separate the icing into small mixing bowls and add desired food coloring. Start with about 5 drops and blend it thoroughly.
  • Use a spoon to scoop the icing into piping bags or icing bottles with a round tip already attached.
  • Line around the edge "flooding" the edge of the design with icing. Your lines can be wavvy unique and uneven. Make a line around the outer edge and inner edge.
  • Let the flood set for a minute.
  • Then fill in the rest of the icing. Use a toothpick to poke bubbles or direct icing into spaces as needed.
  • While the icing is still liquid, add the sprinkles evenly across the entire cookie.
  • Allow the icing to finish setting.
Keyword cookie decorating, decorated cookies, donut cookies, Party-worthy Sugar Cookies, royal icing decorations, sugar cookie recipe

sugar cookie decorating ideas donut cookies

Feeling inspired to make your own Decorated Donut Sugar Cookies? Tell us how they turn out in the comments. And check out these other tutorials below if you are looking for some easy, dreamy desserts.

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