Tennis Ball Cookies

Are you headed to a tennis party? Bring these decorated Tennis ball cookies with you, and you’ll be an instant match-winner. Follow my step-by-step tutorial on how to make tennis ball cookies.

Decorated round cookies that look like tennis balls.


Tennis Ball Fuzz

First, let’s talk tennis ball fuzz, shall we? What is it? Tennis ball fuzz is made out of wool, nylon, and cotton. It’s not there just for the looks. Felt is a functional part of the ball. It keeps the ball from going super fast and slows it down. It allows for a better racket grip and uniform bounce on different surfaces, and most of all felt surface provides for a better spin, a key part of any tennis match.

A detail of texture on cookies.

Tennis Ball Color

Before the fluorescent yellow color, tennis balls used to be white. But because the white ball was hard to follow on the television, they changed the color to yellow-green, making it easier to spot.

How to Make Tennis Ball Fuzz for Cookie Decorating

  • There are a couple of ways to create fuzz on tennis ball cookies:
  • Sanding Sugar
  • Texture Royal Icing
  • Fine Colored Sugar – this is the option I used, as it imitated the felt texture really well.

To prepare fine-colored sugar I used white granulated sugar, corn starch, and electric yellow and green concentrated food gel colors.

I used 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons of corn starch.

Blue bowl with granulated sugar and starch, two small bottle with gel food coloring.

Pour about 1 cup of granulated sugar into a food blender, a small chopper, or a coffee grinder; add about five drops of yellow gel color and one drop of green gel color (steps 1-2). Pulse the blender until sugar is pulverized and homogeneous in color. If you’d like to intensify the color of the sugar, add a little more gel color.

Pour colored, pulverized sugar onto a baking sheet/tray lined with parchment. Dry the sugar in the oven at 86F-100F (30C-40C) for about 20 minutes (step 5). Then, let it cool,  sift it and store it in an airtight container (steps 6-8).

Blender with a green sugar inside.

Decorate Tennis Ball Cookies with Royal Icing

  • I used two icing colors to decorate tennis ball cookies:
  • White
  • Yellow with a green hue – color icing with yellow and add a minuscule amount of green gel color (for the best results, use electric gel food colors, or lemon yellow and leaf green)
Two piping bags filled with icing, a small bowl with colored sugar and a round cookie on a counter.

I used a handy template to trace the seam outlines onto the cookie. Instead of using an edible marker, I scratched the cookie’s surface with a scribe (step 1). Then I spread a thin layer of white icing over the seam sections (steps 2-4). Place the template over the cookie and double-check if the seam sections are fully iced with white icing (step5). Before the next step, let the white icing dry for an hour or 2 (steps 5-6).

Spreading a thin layer of white royal icing onto round cookie.

With a scribe, I traced the outline of the tennis ball seams onto the icing by gently scratching the surface of the white icing layer (step 1). Using a yellow/green 15-second consistency icing, follow the guides, outline, and flood the side section, leaving the white seam section white (steps 2-4). Smooth and shape the icing with a scribe while wet (steps 5-6).

Outlining and flooding a section of the cookie with lime green royal icing.

Outline and flood the remaining sections, skipping over the white sections (steps 1-8). Let the icing dry overnight.

A round cookie decorated with lime green royal icing.

How to apply fuzz on tennis ball cookies

Brush a thin layer of flood icing (same icing as for the base) onto the dry base layer (steps 1-5). Immediately dust the surface with fine-colored sugar ( step 6). Gently shake off excess onto a tray. Let dry for a couple of hours (steps 7-8).

Spreading icing onto a dry icing with a paintbrush.
Round decorated tennis ball cookies on a counter.

To Make Decorated Tennis Ball Cookies You Need

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  1. Excited to try these for a tennis banquet! How did you make the template for the white lines?

  2. I tried the sugar on my cookies, but found it was either too finely ground, or too humid here, or both. I just couldn’t get an even covering.
    Beautiful job though+

    1. Hi Emily,
      I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe next time, you can try using colored granulated sugar, hopefully it will give you better results.
      Thank you for stopping by.

    1. I’ve done some piping on bears (made with the same technique) but I did it before I added the top sugar, color was the same as base so not idea for the name.
      I think you can use a small brush and
      dust off some of it to make room for the name.

  3. Would this work to apply the sugar to the freshly flooded green areas? Or is it a must to let it dry and then paint to apply the sugar?

    1. Hi Annette,
      with sanding sugar it will work, however with this fine powder-sugar it is a bit trickier, as it partly sinks in and some gets
      dissolved in the royal icing due the moisture. There is still some texture. I recommend testing it on a wax paper and letting it dry to
      see if it will suffice your desired look.

  4. This is a great tutorial! Thank you! I noticed that you mentioned corn starch and have an associated picture but then it wasn’t included in the ingredients list. Is there an amount that you use that you could share that it looks like you add in prior to mixing the color?

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