Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (2024)

Home | Seasonal | Valentine's Day | Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Jump to Recipe

By: Shinee

Published: Jan 31, 2024

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.

Adorable heart-shaped Valentine’s Day sugar cookies are decorated with bright red royal icing. Try out this easy decorating idea for beginners, and learn tips and tricks for making deep red royal icing that doesn’t bleed.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (2)

Table of Contents

  • Why you’ll love this recipe:
  • Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
  • How to make these heart sugar cookies:
    • 1. Prepare the cookie dough
    • 2. Shape and bake the cookies
  • How to make red royal icing:
  • Tips to Achieve Deep Red Royal Icing:
  • How to decorate heart shaped sugar cookies:
    • royal icing consistency
  • How to prevent color bleed:
  • Tips for Success:
  • Make-Ahead Tips:
    • Cookie Dough
    • Icing
  • Storing Tips:
  • Sugar Cookie FAQs:
  • More Valentine’s Day Recipes:
  • Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies Recipe

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It

Why you’ll love this recipe:

Prepare to fall in love with this Valentine’s Day version of my go-to sugar cookie recipe.

My cut-out cookies are always rich and buttery, with perfectly crisp, golden-brown edges. Plus, they don’t puff up during baking, which makes them seriously easy to decorate with bright red royal icing.

  • Beginner-friendly – My simple recipe method doesn’t require any chilling, and the red royal icing can be prepared in advance. Plus, flooding heart-shaped cookies couldn’t be easier!
  • Looks – These heart-shaped cookies are love at first sight! The stunning red icing makes them impossible to resist.
  • Flavor – They’re the ideal combination of sweet and buttery, with a hint of vanilla!

And before you put your heart-shaped cookie cutters away, I suggest making a batch of these raspberry sugar cookies as well!

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (3)

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

These festive sugar cookies are made of 2 components:

  • My go-to sugar cookies – This is my all time favorite no chill, no spread sugar cookies.
  • Royal icing – My comprehensive tutorial is perfect for beginners!

I have a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial for both of these recipes, so I won’t go into details in this post.

How to make these heart sugar cookies:

1. Prepare the cookie dough

  • Mix the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment.
  • Add the butter, and mix on low speed until the mixture is evenly moistened and resembles wet sand, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, and knead each part into a smooth ball.

2. Shape and bake the cookies

  • Roll each dough ball out into a ¼-inch thick disc.
  • Cut out the cookies using heart-shaped cookie cutters. Then, arrange them on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Gather the scraps of dough, roll them out, and cut out more cookies. Repeat this process until all the dough is used up.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes or until the edges start to turn light golden.
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (4)

create even cookies

This adjustable rolling pin is my go-to! It’s non-stick and ensures perfectly even dough.

How to make red royal icing:

  • Prepare a half batch of this royal icing.
  • Divide the prepared icing between 2 bowls.
  • Cover 1 bowl of white icing tightly with plastic wrap, and set it aside.
  • Mix red food coloring into the second bowl of icing, and add a couple of small drops of brown food coloring to deepen the red.

Don’t add too much red coloring

Remember the color will develop over time. It’s best to make the royal icing the day before to allow the color to develop overnight. It usually darkens a shade deeper overnight.

If you add too much icing, you’ll run into bleeding issue.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (5)

Tips to Achieve Deep Red Royal Icing:

  • Use Americolor Super Red gel food coloring. I recommend using gel food dye over liquid for Valentine’s Day sugar cookies because gel coloring is more concentrated, which produces a bolder color without changing the consistency of the icing.
  • Add a touch of brown food coloring to the red. This deepens the red color, making it more vibrant and less pink. My red velvet cupcake recipe uses cocoa powder to achieve the same look!
  • Let the frosting rest overnight for an even
    • Cover the prepared icing tightly in plastic wrap, or place it in a piping bag.
    • Let it sit out on the counter at room temperature.
    • Stir the icing well before using it for decorating.

How to decorate heart shaped sugar cookies:

  • Transfer white and red royal icing into tipless piping bags.
  • And decorate your cookies however you want. Let your creativity lead you!

royal icing consistency

I don’t make separate icing for outlining and flooding. I make a hybrid consistency, meaning it’s thick enough to outline yet fluid enough to spread into a smooth frosting with a little jiggle.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (7)
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (8)

How to prevent color bleed:

  • Don’t oversaturate the icing with too much food coloring. Start with a small amount of color, and gradually add more. The icing color will deepen overnight as it sits.
  • Let the first layer of icing dry for about 15 minutes before adding the second layer. The first layer of icing doesn’t need to fully harden, it just needs to crust over.
  • Let the decorated cookies air dry until the icing is fully set before transferring them to storage containers.
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (9)

Tips for Success:

  • Test your cookie dough before kneading it into smooth balls. The dough should be crumbly, but stick together when you squeeze it in your hands.
  • Weigh the flour and sugars using a kitchen scale. A weight measurement will yield the most accurate results.
  • Outline the cookies with royal icing before flooding the rest of the cookies with more icing. Use the same consistency of icing for flooding as you use for outlining.
  • Never refrigerate plain or decorated Valentine’s Day sugar cookies. Refrigeration can cause the cookies to dry out, and condensation may lead to color bleed on decorated cookies.

Make-Ahead Tips:

If you’re planning on baking sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to get started on your red royal icing at least a day in advance. This will guarantee your icing has time to turn a deep shade of red.

Cookie Dough

Prepare the Valentine’s Day sugar cookie dough up to 3 days in advance. Or, freeze it for up to 3 months.

  • Flatten the prepared dough into discs, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before placing it in the freezer.
  • Thaw frozen dough overnight in the fridge.
  • Let thawed dough sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before rolling it out.


Mix the royal icing up to 2 weeks in advance or freeze it for up to 2 months.

  • Prepared icing can be stored on the counter at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • Thaw frozen icing overnight in the fridge.
  • Let thawed icing sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before transferring it into piping bags.

Storing Tips:

  • These Valentine’s Day sugar cookies should always be stored at room temperature and never placed in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t transfer decorated cookies into storage containers until the icing has fully set. This may take up to 24 hours.
  • Decorated cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 1 week or can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Thaw frozen cookies on the counter at room temperature for 8-12 hours without opening the lid. If you open the lid, condensation may build up which can cause your red icing to bleed.

Sugar Cookie FAQs:

How do you make red icing a deeper shade of red?

The secret to achieving super red royal icing involves a few key steps. First, use gel food coloring. Gel food coloring is highly concentrated and produces more vibrant colored icing. Second, add a bit of brown food dye to darken the red tone further. Lastly, let the icing sit overnight. The color gets better with time.

What is color bleed, and why does it happen?

Color bleed in icing occurs when one color bleeds (or blends) into another color. This results in blurred edges and an overall lackluster appearance. You risk color bleed if you add too much dye to your icing and don’t let your first color crust over before adding your second color.

What is the difference between liquid food coloring and gel food coloring?

Liquid food coloring has a water base, is sold in small squeeze bottles, and is easily found at most grocery stores. Meanwhile, gel food coloring has a water, glycerine, or corn syrup base and is sold in dropper bottles. Gel coloring is more of a specialty baking product and will probably need to be purchased online!

More Valentine’s Day Recipes:

  • Raspberry Sugar Cookies
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Red Velvet Macarons
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (10)

No ratings yet

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

By Shinee

Make a batch of these stunning Valentine’s Day sugar cookies with bright red royal icing and crisp lines that don't bleed!

Prep: 20 minutes mins

Cook: 13 minutes mins

Total: 33 minutes mins

Servings: 36 medium cookies

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Save RecipePin RecipeCommentPrint Recipe


For sugar cookies:

  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar, Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 ½ (170 g) sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract optional

For decorating:



  • In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, mix flour, sugars, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.

    3 cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup packed light brown sugar, Note 1, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Add butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is evenly moistened, 1-2 minutes. The mixture should resemble wet sand.

    1 ½ sticks

  • Add egg, vanilla, and almond extracts and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. The dough will be crumbly, but it should stick together when you squeeze it in your hand.

    1 large egg, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon almond extract

  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Knead it into smooth balls.

  • At this point, you can move on to shaping and baking the cookies right away. Or you can put the dough into plastic bags and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment papers, or silicone mats.

  • Place each dough ball on a silicone mat and roll it out into ¼-inch-thick disc. (TIP: This adjustable rolling pin helps you roll out an even dough.)

  • Using heart-shaped cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets.

  • Gather the scraps of dough, roll the dough, and cut out more cookies. Repeat until all the dough is used.

  • Bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes, or until the edges start to turn light golden color.

  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


  • Make the royal icing and divide it into 2 bowls. Cover white icing tightly with a plastic wrap. Add red food coloring into the other icing and mix until well combined. Add a couple small drops of brown food coloring to deepen the red.

    ½ batch of royal icing, Americolor Super Red gel food coloring, Brown gel food coloring

  • Place each colored royal icing into tipless piping bags and decorate the cookies.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: I love how brown sugar adds subtle flavor and softness to the cookies. I’ve made this recipe with both light and dark brown sugars. Dark brown sugar yields darker cookies, so I prefer light brown sugar.

Make Ahead Tips:
– Prepare the royal icing up to 2 weeks in advance, or freeze it for up to 2 months.
– Prepare the cookie dough up to 3 days in advance, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
– Store prepared cookie dough in the fridge, wrapped tightly in plastic. Thaw frozen cookie dough overnight in the refrigerator.
– To bake, let the chilled cookie dough come to room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling, shaping, and baking as the recipe instructions state.
– To decorate, let the icing come to room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring it to a piping bag.

Storing Tips:
– Once cooled, leftover decorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
– To prevent them from sticking together, place a piece of parchment paper between each layer.
– Freeze decorated cookies for up to 1 month.
– Thaw frozen cookies on the counter at room temperature for 8-12 hours without opening the lid. Keeping the lid closed will prevent condensation from forming.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 110kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 48mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 7IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (11)

Did you make this?Share a comment or a review below!

Cookies Desserts RECIPE Seasonal Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (12)

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

New? Start here

More about me

Classic Tiramisu

Raspberry Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Macarons Recipe

Eggs Benedict with Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

I'm an experienced baking enthusiast with a deep understanding of sugar cookies, royal icing, and cookie decorating. I've spent years honing my skills through hands-on experience and have successfully created numerous batches of beautifully decorated sugar cookies for various occasions. I've experimented with different recipes, techniques, and tools to achieve the perfect balance of flavor, texture, and visual appeal in my cookies.

Concepts Related to the Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies Article

Sugar Cookies Sugar cookies are a classic, versatile cookie that can be shaped, decorated, and flavored in various ways. The recipe typically includes flour, sugar, butter, and flavorings such as vanilla extract. The dough is rolled out and cut into shapes before baking.

Royal Icing Royal icing is a smooth, hard-drying icing that is commonly used to decorate sugar cookies. It's made from powdered sugar, egg whites or meringue powder, and water. It can be colored, piped, and flooded onto cookies to create intricate designs.

Cookie Decorating Cookie decorating involves using royal icing, food coloring, and various piping techniques to create visually appealing designs on cookies. This can include outlining, flooding, and adding intricate details to the cookies.

Baking Techniques The article describes the process of preparing the cookie dough, shaping and baking the cookies, as well as tips for achieving the perfect texture and appearance. It emphasizes the importance of precise measurements, proper mixing, and careful handling of the dough.

Coloring Techniques The article provides tips for achieving deep red royal icing, including the use of gel food coloring and the addition of a small amount of brown food coloring to enhance the red color. It also discusses the importance of letting the icing sit overnight to allow the color to develop.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips The article includes information on preparing the cookie dough and royal icing in advance, as well as tips for storing decorated cookies. It emphasizes the importance of proper storage to maintain the freshness and appearance of the cookies.

By combining these concepts, one can create beautifully decorated Valentine's Day sugar cookies that are visually stunning, delicious, and long-lasting. Whether you're a beginner or experienced baker, mastering these concepts will allow you to create impressive sugar cookies for any occasion.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (2024)


How far in advance can you make decorated sugar cookies? ›

On the counter in an airtight container, I'd say up to 3-4 weeks. Personally, I prefer to eat them within 1 week or freeze them. Frozen properly, they can easily lats 3-6 months (or more!). You can even freeze dough before it's baked (just makes sure it is VERY securely airtight!).

How to jazz up sugar cookies? ›

Take plain sugar cookies up a notch with exciting mix-ins like chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, toasted chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit or M&M's. Add these after blending your butter and egg into the sugar cookie mix.

What is a Nazareth sugar cookie? ›

The sugar cookie is believed to have originated in the mid-1700s in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. German Protestant settlers created a round, crumbly and buttery cookie that came to be known as the Nazareth cookie. Jumbles are the earliest form of sugar cookies.

What is the best sugar for cookies? ›

In that role, white sugar aerates the dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy cookies. Brown sugar, meanwhile, is dense and compacts easily, creating fewer air pockets during creaming—that means that there's less opportunity to entrap gas, creating cookies that rise less and spread more.

Should you refrigerate sugar cookies before decorating? ›

*Use my royal icing recipe. Icing will completely set in about 2 hours at room temperature. If you're layering royal icing onto cookies for specific designs and need it to set quickly, place cookies in the refrigerator to speed it up. It's important to have the correct cookie decorating supplies on hand, too.

What is the easiest way to decorate sugar cookies? ›

My favorite way to decorate sugar cookies—especially for holidays and special occasions—is by using royal icing. The secret to getting precise lines, dots, and other details with royal icing is using a squeeze bottle.

How do you decorate sugar cookies like a pro? ›

Start by outlining the cookie with piping-consistency icing in any color you choose. Then, use flooding-consistency icing to fill the outlined area, starting by flooding around the edges and working your way towards the center. If the flooding is inconsistent in thickness, redistribute the wet icing with a toothpick.

When should I add sprinkles to sugar cookies? ›

Dip cookie dough rounds in sprinkles or sugar before baking. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cookie dough rounds about 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

What is Snoop Dogg cookies? ›

Snoop Dogg's peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe - His original cookie features creamy peanut butter and semisweet chocolate morsels, making it the perfect indulgence this holiday season. #

What is a Navy Seal sugar cookie? ›

McRaven describes the experience of Navy SEAL trainees who are subject — often randomly — to a punishment where they are directed to get wet and sandy on the beaches. By the time they are finished the trainees, covered in sand, look like “sugar cookies.”

Why are they called cowboy cookies? ›

Some claim cowboy cookies hail from Texas, a state many cowboys call home. Others say the treats were named for their ability to withstand long days in saddlebag.

What happens if I use powdered sugar instead of regular sugar in cookies? ›

You'll end up with a grainy, unappealing texture. Lastly, store-bought powdered sugar generally includes corn starch, which prevents it from caking together. This can lead to unpredictable outcomes when you interchange the two.

How many days in advance can you make decorated cookies? ›

Although I've tested them for longer and the batches I've tried seem fine for up to 4 weeks, my general rule of thumb is up to 2 weeks.

How do you keep sugar cookies fresh before decorating? ›

Baked, undecorated cookies can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. When you're ready to decorate, remove the cookies from the freezer and allow them to thaw until they are room temperature.

How many days will sugar cookies stay fresh? ›

“Homemade sugar cookies should ideally be consumed within two to three days, but can last up to one week at room temperature if stored properly in an air-tight container in a dry, cool place,” Mok says.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Last Updated:

Views: 6003

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Birthday: 1997-10-17

Address: Suite 835 34136 Adrian Mountains, Floydton, UT 81036

Phone: +3571527672278

Job: Manufacturing Agent

Hobby: Skimboarding, Photography, Roller skating, Knife making, Paintball, Embroidery, Gunsmithing

Introduction: My name is Lakeisha Bayer VM, I am a brainy, kind, enchanting, healthy, lovely, clean, witty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.