Decorated Cardinal Cookies

I’ve always wanted to make cardinal cookies, but I’ve never been able to find quite the right cutter.  This year, I decided to make it happen.

Cardinal Cookie SweetsugarbelleIt took a little thought, but when it finally hit me I was super excited…and a little sad I hadn’t thought of it earlier.  I made this cookie using  a simple egg trimmed with a heart.  If you want a curvier bird, a flip-flop works well too.

Cardinal Cookie CutterLike many of my cookies {on a good week} my cardinals started out as a sketch.  If you’re not a sketcher, try it sometime.  It often saves time and frustration during the decorating process.

Simple Cardinal SketchOnce the cookies are baked, use a food color marker a smaller egg cutter to draw wings on each cookie.  This is a great way to create uniform cookie designs without a projector.

Decorated Cardinal Cookie 1To decorate these cookies you will need:

  • Black 20-second icing
  • Light red outline and flood icing
  • Dark red piping 20-second icing {just a small amount}
  • Yellow piping icing
  • White piping icing

Begin by using black icing to create a face.

Decorated Cardinal Cookie 2Once the face has had time to dry, outline and flood the body {excluding the wing} with light red.

Decorated Cardinal Cookie 3When the lighter red icing has set, use the darker red shade to fill the wing.

Decorated Cardinal Cookie 4Finish up with a few small details:

  1. Pipe a beak using a #3-4 tip
  2. Add a small white dot to form an eye
  3. Add a fun little swirl of icing to the wing {optional}

Decorated Cardinal Cookie 5Mix with other fun designs to create a pretty platter.  I was inspired by Lizy B Bakes and Flour de Lis to add snow cookies and sweet dotty trees.

Cardinal Cookie Platter Sweetsugarbelle.comIf you’re interested in the front facing birdies, I used this Wilton Christmas cutter that I picked up at Walmart.  For more inspirational cookies, check out these posts:

Join The Discussion


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  1. 1
    Anne Schroeder says:

    Did you use the same christmas ornament to make the cardinal facing the front? If so, where did you get it. I have looked for it since you posted the grinch cookies and can not find it! Thanks for sharing all your beautiful cookies! I look forward to your posts!

  2. 2

    Wow, I love the cardinals, the snow cookies, and the dotty trees! The simplicity of each makes them really pretty! It’s funny how the more I cookie, the better my piping skills, the more I appreciate simple cookies. Yours are great!

  3. 3
    Jenny says:

    Hi, I just wanted to take a moment to say that I’m not a cookie decorator, but am definitely an admirer of your cookies! I found your blog during the Christmas season when was searching for a sugar cookie recipe, and I’ve been following you since then. I really enjoy when a new post comes into my reader from you – I am so awed by what you and other bloggers like you can do with just a a little sugar and some food coloring. Wow, is all I can say! Thanks for posting your beautiful creations. I’ll keep watching and being inspired!

  4. 4
    Dina says:

    LOVE These!!! Cardinals are on of my favorite birds!! Thanks for the tutorial, I am going to try these :)

  5. 5

    These are adorable, Callye!! Love the cute cardinals :)

  6. 6
    Georganne says:

    Oh my goodness… can we just talk about that dreamy tree in your pictures for a minute?! I LOVE the shape and the dots and the snow!!!!! Genius idea to trim the egg cutter with the heart!

  7. 7

    These are awesome! Love that cutter trick.

  8. 8
    Lizy b says:

    I saw the title of your post and thought ‘my goodness! I needed a cardinal cutter this year!’ I never did figure out how to make it work….so I just drew that cardinal on some rounds and called it a day…..and sent them off as a thank you to another blogger. Christmas got so crazy that I never even knew Amy put them on her site. :). Whoops!
    Love the cookies miss Callye!

  9. 9
    Samantha says:

    Your snowy trees are so dreamy! You’ll get a good laugh when I tell you that the ones I made were actually inspired by a set of yours (the ones with the easy polar bear tutorial, I spent a lot of time looking at those this year and was really hoping I would get a chance to make them!)

    The cardinals are so cute and the colors together are just magical! I love the whole platter!

  10. 10
    Miss Cuit says:

    Brilliant design and your platter is perfect!!