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Simple Decorated Valentine’s Day Heart Cookies

You can’t go wrong with these simple decorated Valentine’s Day Heart cookies. Heart cookies are perfect for birthdays, Weddings, bridal showers, and Valentine’s Day.

Cookies decorated with pink red and white royal icing on a white background.

updated from 2014


To make decorated heart cookies, I used my popular sugar cookie recipe and royal icing to decorate. Do you prefer vegan or gluten-free recipes for cookie decorating? You are in luck. I have all the recipes here on my blog.

To decorate my heart cookies, I used my favorite we-on-wet decorating technique, using 15-second consistency royal icing. If you are new cookie decorating refer to my Beginner Guide to Cookie Decorating.

A head of a woman with dark hair, hands holding two heart cookies in front of her eyes.


  • Baked Cookies
  • Royal Icing, thinned with little bit of room temperature water to flood consistency (15-second consistency)
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Concentrated Gel Food Colors
  • Spatulas
  • Toothpicks or a Metal Scribe
  • Spray Bottle/Dropper/or Decorating Bottle – to thin icing
  • Piping Bags  – I used tipless piping bags
  • More about different Cookie Decorating Tools
Piping bags filled with red, pink, white, and black royal icing.


My affinity for polka dots doesn’t end with clothing. I adore polka dots on cakes and cookies, too. Royal icing polka dots are super easy to make. Do you like them, too?

Pipe a heart shape outline onto a cookie, leaving about ½ inch border. Fill the heart with icing and smooth it with a scribe. (steps 1-4). Immediately take white icing and pipe small dots onto the red icing. If possible, I like to start in the middle and pipe the first dots in a straight line, and then I stagger them (steps 2-8).

Small piping bag piping white polka dots onto a red icing.

Decorate the border with pink icing, outline and fill. Let icing dry.

Piping bag icing the cookie with pink royal icing.

Once the icing is dry, outline the inner heart and dust it with colorful nonpareil sprinkles. Shake off the excess. Aren’t they pretty?

Heart icing outline dipped in nonpareils sprinkles.


This popular wet-on-wet technique turns dots into hearts!

Heart Border

Outline and flood the heart cookie with white icing, and keep a ¼ inch undecorated border (steps 1-3). Immediately, take red icing and pipe large dots around the perimeter (steps 4-5). Then take the metal scribe or a toothpick and gently pull the tip of the tool thru the middle of each red dot. This movement shapes red dots into hearts (steps 6-8).

Large heart cookie decorated with white icing and red hearts.

Right after, without letting the icing crust, pipe a cluster of 3 pink dots into the white icing (steps 1-2). After this, let the icing dry overnight.

Close up if a hand holding a piping bag piping small dots onto the icing.

Pipe pink border and immediately dust icing with nonpareils (steps 1-5). If you notice icing covered in sprinkles flowing over the edge, use a spoon, butter knife, or 2-in-1 decorating tool (boo-boo stick/cookie scrapper) to push the icing back into place gently. Let the icing dry.

Edge of the cookie decorated with nonpareils sprinkles.

Heart Pattern

Start by outlining and flooding the heart cookie with pink icing. Don’t let the icing crust.

Close up of piping bag filled with dark pink icing, outlining and flooding cookie with icing.

Immediately continue decorating with red icing. Pipe large dots onto the pink base. Notice icing sinks into the pink base. This is what you want (steps 1-3). Take the scribe and run the tip of the scribe thru the middle of each dot. Wipe the tip of the scribe after each time you run it thru the red icing (steps 4-6).

Lastly, with white icing, pipe small accent dots between the hearts (steps 7-8).

Cookie iced with pink icing and large red polka dots, scribe running through dots making hearts.


Simple Thin Stripes

Outline and flood heart cookie with white icing, leaving a ¼ inch boarder undecorated (steps 1-4). Then pipe lines across with red and pink icing. Let the icing crust for 30 minutes.

Heart shaped cookie with a scalloped edge, iced with white icing.

and then pipe small dots around (steps 1-3).

Cookie with scalloped edge decorated with white icing and red and pink lines.

Wide Stripes

Pipe a wavy wide stripe outline and fill it with icing. Use a scribe to smooth the icing. Immediately pipe the thick stripe next to the first one (steps 1-5). Continue with the remaining stripes (steps 6-8). Let the icing dry.

Heart cookie decorated with red, light and dark pink icing.


Outline and flood the heart cookie with white icing. Immediately pipe a line with pink icing, following the heart outline. Take a scribe and run it back and forth thru the pink line (steps 6-8). And that’s it. So simple and pretty!

Heart cookie iced with white icing and pink marbled line.


Royal icing marbling is the most popular technique to decorate cookies. It works virtually on any shape, producing eye-catching results in seconds. I used it to make Marbled Christmas Ornament Cookies and my 50 shades of Purple Cookies.

Easy marbling works like a charm on Valentine’s Day heart cookies. Start by outlining and flooding the heart cookie with 15-second consistency pink icing. Use a scribe or a toothpick to smooth the icing (steps 1-2). Take light pink and red icing and pipe the straight lines across the wet base layer. Lines will sink into the base (steps 3-4).

Don’t wait for the icing to crust. Take the scribe and run the tip through the lines, less than 3/8 inches apart (step 5). Then repeat, in the opposite direction, run the scribe tool between the first marbled lines (steps 6-8). Let the icing dry.

Cookie decorated with marbled detail.

Here is another variation of this popular marbling technique.

Flood half of the heart with dark pink icing. Pipe lines across and then run the scribe thru back and forth. Outline and flood the other half of the cookie.

Scribe metal tool in the icing, creating a marbled design.


Sanding Sugar is made of large polished sugar crystals and it’s perfect for cookie decorating. It adds texture, sparkle and miraculously hides any mistakes. I love it.

Simple Sanding Sugar Cookie

In this next design, flood the cookie and let the icing dry overnight.

Scribe smoothing icing on a cookie.

Once the base layer is dry, pipe a heart outline and fill it with red icing (steps 1-4). Place the cookie onto a bead tray or a clean coffee filter to catch any sugar. Generously dust freshly piped heart shape with sanding sugar. Gently shake off any excess and let the icing dry (steps 5-6).

Heart cookie decorated with red sanding sugar.


Pipe the middle red section and immediately pipe lines across with pink and white icing. Let icing dry overnight (step 1-8).

Small heart cookie decorated with red icing.

With red icing outline and fill the areas around the middle section. Don’t overfill. Immediately dust icing with red sanding sugar (steps 1-6).

Small heart iced with red icing and red sanding sugar.


In this design I decorated part of the cookie with marbled technique and rest is dusted with sanding sugar.

Pipe the pink heart and then pipe red and dark pink lines across the pink heart (steps 1-4). Pull the tip of the scribe thru lines back and forth (steps 5-8). Let the icing dry.

Metal scribe tool in the icing, going back and forth, making marbled icing design.

Outline and flood the section around marbled heart with pink icing (step 1-5). Immediately dust icing with pink sanding sugar (steps 6-8).

Cookie decorated with pink sanding sugar.

Similarly, like in the previous design I decorated inner heart with icing and I let it dry (steps 1-3). Then you can ice the border with icing and dust with red sanding sugar (steps 4-8).

Heart cookie decorated with red icing and red sanding sugar.


Outline and flood cookie with pink icing (steps 1-6). Don’t let the icing crust.

Large heart cookie iced with pink icing.

In cookie decorating, I often use simple tools to achieve desired results. In this instance, I used a simple grid template underneath the cookie to help me keep the plaid design uniform. It’s simple and effective. And for easy cleanup, I keep the grid template in the protector sheet.

Place the cookie on top of the grid template. Follow the grid lines and pipe the grid lines. First, I piped dark pink and black lines (steps 1-4). Then, I let the icing crust well for 2 hours or so. Now you can pipe a red heart on top of the plaid design (steps 6-8).

Cookie decorated with plaid pattern.

Here is another example of plaid design o a heart cookie.

Heart cookie iced with red icing decorated with plaid pattern.


Sugar cookies decorated with red, pink, and white icing.


  • Use concentrated gel colors to color Royal Icing.
  • Prepare red icing the day before. Color deepens as colored icing rests
  • Sanding sugar is not same as granulated sugar. Sanding sugar has larger, polished crystals. If you can’t find colored sanding sugar, get white sanding sugar.
  • Add sprinkles and sanding sugar to wet icing. Once icing dries sprinkles don’t stick.
  • Sanding sugar application can get tricky. Don’t overfill cookies with icing. If there is too much icing on the cookie, weight of the added sanding sugar can cause icing to overflow the cookie.
  • Thin your icing to flood consistency (15-second). Learn more about royal icing consistencies (101 Guide).
  • When piping thin lines using wet-on-wet technique make the opening on the piping bag small. Icing line spreads as it sinks into the icing.
  • I often have 2 bags of same color when creating wet-on-wet design. One bag is filled with more icing and opening is bigger (to flood cookies) and another bag has smaller amount of icing with a small opening (small bag is easier to handle and you have more control when piping).
  • Use a handy grid to help with the plaid design.
  • Do you need help with the piping of the lines? Try practicing piping on a piece of wax paper first. To pipe clean lines lift the bag slightly above the surface you are piping on.
Array of decorated heart cookies.

This post was originally published on January 22nd, 2014. On January 30th, 2023 I updated this post with new step-by-step photos, and written instructions.

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