These adorable Frosted Valentine Cookies are decorated with royal icing and lots of glitz. Underneath it all is the best sugar cookie dough you’ll ever taste.

Easy frosted valentine cookies on a cooling rack.

Homemade heart cookies, especially on Valentine’s Day, are a great way to make the people you love feel special. Even if you’re not big on baking, these are easy to make, icing and all.

Easy heart cookies are perfect for little ones, too. You can get the cookies and icing made in advance, roll up your sleeves, and have one big cookie decorating party.

And finally, make a few more than you think you’ll need. There’s always someone out there who could use a little love.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Frosted Valentine Cookies Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Eggs: You can use the 2 leftover egg whites for the royal icing instead of the pasteurized egg whites (you’ll need 3 egg whites in total). There is some risk of food-borne illness whenever you consume raw eggs.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the cookie dough, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside, then beat the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Butter beaten in a mixing bowl.
  1. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla, then turn the mixer speed down to low and add the flour mixture and milk until the dough is just incorporated.
Cookie dough in a sliver mixing bowl.
  1. Scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface, shape it into a ball or disc, and wrap it up with plastic wrap. In order to make the dough easy to work with, chill the cookie dough for at least 2 hours—or up to 2 days in advance.
A ball of sugar cookie dough.
  1. Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Place the cookie dough on the surface, but use a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper between the rolling pin and the dough. Roll the cookie dough out to about 1/8” thickness.
Rolled sugar cookie dough.
  1. Remove the waxed paper and press the cookie cutters into the dough to make as many cookies from the rolled out dough as possible. Next, gently separate the cookies from the rest of the rolled-out dough. Move the cookies onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or silicone baking mats Scrape the remaining dough back into a ball and repeat the process, by rolling it out, cookie cutting, etc. If the dough gets too sticky, pop it into the fridge to chill for 10 minutes before starting again.
Heart cookies being cut out of dough with a heart cookie cutter.
  1. Bake the sugar cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. If you’re making thicker rolled sugar cookies, they could take a little longer. Gently move the cookies to wire racks to cool. They must be absolutely, completely cool before you can decorate them.
Heart cookies on a cooling rack.
  1. To make the royal icing, beat the egg whites with the vanilla on high speed using a stand mixer or hand mixer and the whisk attachment.
Royal icing ingredients mixed together in a silver bowl.
  1. Then reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar until shiny and just incorporated.
Royal icing in a silver bowl.
  1. Turn the mixer back on high and beat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the icing is glossy and forms thick peaks.
Royal icing in a silver bowl.
  1. At this point, add food coloring if you have it, then transfer to piping bags or spread with a spatula.
Someone frosting heart sugar cookies with pink royal icing.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Royal icing with meringue powder (instead of egg whites): In a mixer on high speed, beat together 4 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons meringue powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 9 tablespoons water for 1 to 2 minutes. Lift the whisk attachment out of the icing. The icing should drizzle evenly off the attachment within a few seconds. If not, add another tablespoon water. Mix again and repeat the process. If the icing is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  • Toppings: If you’re planning on using sprinkles, dragees, or colored sugar on the icing, work quickly because the surface of royal icing dries pretty fast.
  • Spread it on: Instead of a piping bag, you can use a spatula or a pastry brush to apply the icing.
  • Stiff frosting: If the frosting begins to feel stiff, loosen it up with a few drops of hot water at a time. Stir until well-blended.
  • Taking a break: A damp paper towel on the surface of the icing helps keep the icing from hardening if you need to step away.
  • Make ahead: Both the cookie dough and the royal icing can be made up to 3 days in advance (store covered in the refrigerator).
  • Freezer: Cookie dough and royal icing can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Easy frosted valentine cookies on a cooling rack.
Easy frosted valentine cookies on a cooling rack.

Frosted Valentine Cookies

These adorable Frosted Valentine Cookies are decorated with royal icing and lots of glitz. Underneath it all is the best sugar cookie dough you’ll ever taste.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Servings 24 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 244

Ingredients 

For the Sugar Cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks (see note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the Royal Icing:

  • 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions 

To make the cookie dough:

  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, or with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture and milk until just incorporated. Scrape dough on to a floured work surface, shape into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 2 days in advance.

To bake the cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • On a floured surface, roll chilled dough between parchment paper or wax paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters. Transfer to prepared baking sheets with an offset spatula. 
  • Repeat with the remaining dough. Scrape all remnants together and re-roll. If the dough becomes too soft or sticky, refrigerate an additional 10 minutes.
  • Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes (if thicker than ⅛ inch, they may take 10 to 15 minutes). Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before decorating with frosting (recipe follows).

To make the royal icing:

  • In a standing mixer fit with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed, add the egg whites and vanilla and beat until foamy.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar until just incorporated and shiny. Beat on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy with stiff peaks.
  • Add food coloring if desired, then transfer to piping bags or spread with a spatula. If using sprinkles or sugar, add quickly before the frosting hardens.
  • To make in advance, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. Eggs: You can use the 2 leftover egg whites for the royal icing instead of the pasteurized egg whites (you’ll need 3 egg whites in total). There is some risk of food-borne illness whenever you consume raw eggs.
  2. Royal icing with meringue powder (instead of egg whites): In a mixer on high speed, beat together 4 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons meringue powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 9 tablespoons water for 1 to 2 minutes. Lift the whisk attachment out of the icing. The icing should drizzle evenly off the attachment within a few seconds. If not, add another tablespoon water. Mix again and repeat the process. If the icing is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  3. Toppings: If you’re planning on using sprinkles, dragees, or colored sugar on the icing, work quickly because the surface of royal icing dries pretty fast.
  4. Spread it on: Instead of a piping bag, you can use a spatula or a pastry brush to apply the icing.
  5. Stiff frosting: If the frosting begins to feel stiff, loosen it up with a few drops of hot water at a time. Stir until well-blended.
  6. Taking a break: A damp paper towel on the surface of the icing helps keep the icing from hardening if you need to step away.
  7. Make ahead: Both the cookie dough and the royal icing can be made up to 3 days in advance (store covered in the refrigerator).
  8. Freezer: Cookie dough and royal icing can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 142mgPotassium: 31mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 262IUCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. help! I am in the middle of making these valentine’s cookies but am confused by your recipe. is there equal amounts of powdered sugar in both the cookie batter and the icing recipes. It shows confectioners sugar in the cookie batter but doesn’t mention it in the recipe when putting the ingredients together. Seems strange that it doesn’t tell me when to add this sugar. it seems like it should be sifted with the flour and salt if it is really  part of the batter. I know I need it for the icing but something doesn’t seem right. Please  answer quickly if you can as I am ready to put the batter in the fridge. i have not added the confectioners sugar to the cookie batter. Should I?

    1. Hi Nancy, NO! TYPOS! I’m so sorry about that. Don’t add the powdered sugar!!! It’s only for the icing. It doesn’t go in the cookie batter. I’m so sorry about all the confusion. You are clearly smarter than I am and saw the mistake. At some point I split the recipe so the batter would be one section and the frosting another section, but I did it wrong. I’m so sorry about that!!! I hope I replied in time. -Meggan

    1. Hi Jennifer, I kind of just put together this Valentine’s Day cookie recipe in 2014 by testing out a bunch of recipes and pulling together what I liked the best. I frosted them with Royal Icing. For the Christmas Sugar cookies, it’s literally just a recipe from my Grandma’s cookbook. Looking at them side by side, they are quite similar in ingredients. I think the Valentine’s Day ones are a little sweeter overall but that is a guess based on my memories, not a formal side-by-side taste-testing. I should probably work on that though! Sorry I can’t give you a super helpful answer, but I’ll work on it when I can. :) Thank you!

  2. Just made the dough with my daughter this afternoon…going to attempt royal icing for the first time tomorrow and let her decorate with sprinkles…wish me luck….i am sure it will be messy as she is 2..well almost 3!5 stars

    1. I hope it went well! I think your daughter is the perfect age to help out. I am just speculating though, my son is not quite 2 yet. But I imagine he will be much more helpful in another year. :) Thank you for trying out the recipe, I appreciate it!

    1. Awwww you think my frosted sugar cookies look perfect? I did NOT think so. :) I asked my husband what he thought and he said… well… they look like sugar cookies made by someone who desperately wants to try to make frosted sugar cookies. :) Ha! The important thing is they tasted good. And since I decorated them all different, it hid the flaws of the individuals.

  3. The are adorable… very cute and girly… I am gonna give them a try for valentines day… thanks for posting these beauties… :)5 stars

    1. Thank you for trying out the recipe! I hope it elevates your V-Day experience. They were fun cookies to make. I am excited to make more on Friday for my husband (he is a huge sugar cookie fan). Thanks again!

    1. Thank you, they were fun to make! I ended up giving most of them away to my friends to prevent me from eating them all. :)

  4. These look so so so cute!!! And I own meringue powder and those decorating gadgets, so we need to bring our tools and techniques together for a sugar fest!!!5 stars