Marbled Royal Icing Butterfly Cookie Tutorial


If you’ve ever wondered how to create a marbling effect with royal icing, today is the day to learn! It’s easy to do and is useful in a variety of designs, like these cute butterfly cookies.


Sugar cookies cut using a butterfly cookie cutter
Royal icing in black and 3-4 colors of your choice
Icing bags or bottles, couplers and #2 tip

Butterfly Cookies Step 1

Use black icing to outline and immediately fill in the body of the butterfly and the shapes on the outer edges of the wings. Then, use two other colors to add dots to the wings. This is a wet-on-wet technique, so do it quickly before the black icing starts to dry. Continue decorating cookies this way, and let at least 20 minutes pass before continuing on to the next step so that your black icing is dry.

Butterfly Cookies Step 2

The next step involves a technique called marbling. It’s a really easy way to create a beautiful design that will give your cookies that “wow” factor. Start by outlining and immediately filling in the bottom section of one of the wings using a background color. Then, while the background icing is still wet, draw a few contrasting squiggly lines and drag a toothpick through the lines at multiple points, creating a marbling effect. After completing the bottom section of one wing, do the same on the bottom section of the other wing. Continue decorating each of the butterfly cookies this way, and let at least 20 minutes pass before going on to the next step so that your bottom sections are dry.

Butterfly Cookies Step 3

To decorate the top sections of the wings on your butterfly cookies, use the same technique you used to decorate the bottom sections. Outline and immediately fill the top section of one wing, draw squiggly lines in the wet icing using a contrasting color and drag a toothpick through the lines to create a marbling effect. You may also want to add dots to fill in any blank areas on the wings using the wet-on-wet technique you used previously.

Butterfly Cookies Intro

Simply set the cookies aside to dry for 24 hours, and then they are ready for packing, shipping or just for you to enjoy!

Comments (11)


Both my go-to sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe are up on my blog. I'd love for you to give them a try to make your own butterfly cookies!


What's is a good TASTING recipe or these chocolate cookies. Most decorated cookies I have tasted are dry. What makes them taste better is all the sugar/icing. I have yet to find a good recipe that holds its shape AND tastes good evn without any decorations. Am I asking too much?