Butterfly Cookies Step by Step Tutorial

These cookies are iced using the ‘Outlining and Flooding’ technique which is simple to learn. The outline works as a dam or wall to hold the runny icing which you use to fill in the main parts of the cookie.

Buttery Sugar Cookies Recipe click here
Cookie Leveller click here

Royal Icing Recipe click here
Traditionally a thicker consistancy icing is used to outline the cookie shape and then a thinner one to fill in. I have come to prefer using the same icing to outline and flood my cookies because it saves time preparing and filling icing bags twice for each colour.
Outline your cookies first and leave at least 15 minutes before you flood the inside of the ‘dam’ (outline). If the outline is a dark colour as here, it is best to wait 24 hours so that the colours don’t bleed into each other.


To outline the cookie hold the bag at 45 degrees and position the tip on your cookie. Put enough pressure on the bag so that the icing comes out and you can start moving in the direction that you want your icing to go. Start lifting the pipping bag till it is a few centimetres above your cookie and the icing just falls in a continuous line onto the cookie below. Come back closer to the cookie at corners and when finishing also reduce or stop pressure on the bag to go more slowly or to stop.

Use a number 3,4 or 5 sized piping tip depending on the size of your cookie. Fill in one area at a time quickly zig zagging back and forth. Don’t worry if you haven’t filled in every spot: speed is more important at this point. To fill in these little missed bits just use your piping tip, toothpick or small paintbrush (used only for food), to push the icing into your missed bits.

To colour the wings by ‘melding’ several colours into each other then you must do it straight away. The base layer starts to dry quickly so you need to add your next colours as fast as possible.


Add two black lines of icing with a contracting colour in-between then drag through the lines with a cocktail stick or a pin. Have a look at some pictures of real butterflies to get an idea of what it is that you want to achieve.

The ‘eye’ of the butterfly is then made by layering a few coloured dots on top of each other, with the black as the final coloured dot.

Let the cookies dry for 24 hours before you package them.
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place out of the sun (sunlight can fade the colours). The cookies can keep for up to 3 months but I prefer to use them up within a month.

I would like to thank Sweetopia for the original idea and for 3 images.

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