Marbled Sugar Cookies

Marbled Sugar Cookies

Marbled sugar cookies are one of the easiest and most fun decorating methods out there. An entire batch of cookies can be frosted in minutes and each cookie looks unique!

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Marbled Sugar Cookies

How to make marbled sugar cookies:

Step 1: Obviously you already need baked and cooled sugar cookies. You can find my favorite sugar cookie below but this technique would also work well with soft sour cream sugar cookies.

Step 2: Whip up a batch of royal icing (recipe below). Place icing in a small, shallow dish. Thin icing to flood consistency. The icing should flow smoothly off a spoon but take a 8-10 seconds to smooth out. It should be the consistency of honey.

Step 3: Drop a few drops of gel food coloring into the icing. For these shamrocks, I used 2 shades of green, 3 drops of each.

Marbling Royal Icing

Step 4: Taking your spoon or a toothpick, gently swirl the food coloring into the icing, taking care not to completely combine the colors.

Stirring the royal icing

Step 5: Take the sugar cookie and dunk it into the icing. Try and lay it as flat as possible into the icing.

Dipping marbled sugar cookies

Step 6: Pull the cookie out of the frosting. Using a small offset spatula or knife, spread the icing over any uncovered areas and use it to scrape the sides clean.

Marbled sugar cookie

Step 7: Allow to dry and enjoy! Optionally, you can outline your cookies with a stiffer piping consistency royal icing. I outlined these with a Wilton #3 tip.

Finished marbled cookies

Tips for success:

  • If your cookie has a top and bottom like these shamrocks, try and think about which direction you want your “lines” to go and dip accordingly.
  • Make a thicker cookie than you might usually, it’s easier to dip if you have some edges to hold onto.
  • Allow cookies to dry completely from dipping before you outline, otherwise your outline will melt right into your glaze.
  • Try multiple colors for a tie dye look!
marbled sugar cookies

Sugar Cookies

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword sugar cookie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 23 minutes
Author Heather


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • If using a stand mixer, fit with paddle attachment.  Cream together shortening and butter until completely mixed.
  • Add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.  Add in vanilla and beat until combined.
  • With the mixer on slow speed, add in the baking powder and flour.  Mix until just combined.  
  • Cover and chill dough for at least an hour.  
  • Turn out dough on a floured surface and roll dough 1/8″ thick.  Cut cookies with desired cookie cutters.  Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes or until bottom is brown and the brown is creeping up the edges.  The tops of the cookies should not be shiny at all.  
  • Allow to cool completely.  Frost and decorate as desired.


  • These cookies don’t spread too much, but if you don’t want any spreading, chill cut out cookies for 5-10 minutes before baking.  This is more necessary for cut-outs with finer details.
  • The number of cookies this recipe makes obviously depends on the size of your cookie cutters.
  • This dough can chill in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be frozen for a couple of months.  To freeze the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe ziplock bag.

Royal Icing

Quick drying royal icing recipe perfect for sugar cookies and icing decorations.
Course Dessert
Keyword royal icing
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Heather


  • 10-12 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 8 cups powdered sugar 2 pound bag


  • If using a stand mixer, fit with paddle attachment.  
  • Put powdered sugar and meringue powder in bowl.  Add 7 tablespoons water.  Start mixing on LOW speed until all ingredients are combined and moistened.  Scrape down the sides.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons water and mix to combine.   Scrape down the sides. Turn speed of mixer up to medium high.  Beat for 7 minutes.  
  • Turn speed of mixer up to medium high. Beat for 7 minutes.   Scrape down the sides.  If the icing is too thick, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time and beat to combine.  You can’t take the water out so don’t put too much in at a time.


Make sure your bowl and beater are really clean.  This frosting does not like even a bit of grease to be near it.

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Happy Baking!

Happy Baking!


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