These animal cookies are colorful, fun to make, and are perfect for birthday parties or animal themed events. All made with wonderful sugar cookie dough that is both firm and chewy, these animal cookies are as tasty as they are beautiful.
Check out this collection of whimsical animal cookies, including owl cookies, lizard cookies, octopus cookies, flamingo cookies, and more.
Animal cookies can be made true-to-life in terms of the colors you use, or you can make it fun and make them as colorful as possible.
Some are easier than others, like the octopus which is easy for beginners, and some, like the owls, require a bit more attention.
Pair them with animal shaped food and you’ve got yourself a fun meal!
In this animal cookie tutorial, I’ll show you how to make animal sugar cookies, how to decorate animal sugar cookies, and tips for using royal icing on animal cookies.
GET A FREE COOKIE RECIPE BOOK & SECRET BAKING HACKS!
With 9 guaranteed-delicious cookie recipes and plenty of secret baking hacks, this is your ad-free key to cookie success!
What Do You Need to Make Animal Cookies?
All of these animal cookies are made using this sugar cookie cut-out dough, which is created to not spread in the oven.
You’ll need all of the ingredients for this, which includes butter, eggs, flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, eggs, and salt.
Must-Have Baking Tools (seriously)
- Silicone baking mats – I use this brand and my cookies slide right off without burning!
- a cookie scoop – get this one. It makes the perfect rounded cookies every time!
- silicone spatula – try this set. It’s the best way to get the most out of your dough and batters
- rolling pin guides – I use this one. Genius way to roll your dough out evenly!
I use meringue powder in my royal icing as it’s super easy to store, can be bought in bulk, and is safe for pregnant women to eat.
Other tools you’ll want to make animal cookies include:
- food coloring – gel food coloring is always better than liquid food coloring
- edible sprinkles or dots for eyes – I like these
- baking tray
- silicone baking mat (helps prevent spread) – this is a great one
- piping bags for royal icing – these are a great brand
- scribe or toothpick for popping air bubbles – use these
Royal Icing Tips for Animal Cookies
When you make animal cookies, royal icing is the way to make them look as great as they taste.
Royal icing gives you a lot of control when it comes to decorations, and your options are more limitless than it would be with something like buttercream.
If you haven’t used royal icing before, each individual animal cookie recipe will walk you through the royal icing tips for that particular animal, but basic things to remember have to do with consistency and with the method of putting the icing on the cookie.
For the consistency, you can choose to make two different consistencies or one consistency – I opt to make one that I use for both outlining and flooding, and the way I know when my royal icing recipe is done is it takes about 12 seconds for a line to disappear after I draw into the icing with a knife.
The other thing has to do with how you get the icing on the cookie, as there are specific ways you use royal icing instead of just putting it in a piping bag and hoping for the best.
The main tip is to ensure that you don’t keep the tip of the bag so close to the cookie – keep it about an inch away and drop the icing down onto the cookie.
It seems counterintuitive, but this method gives you a smoother line than if you keep the tip right next to the cookie.
These owl cookies are some of the cutest animal cookies around with their wide eyes and the gorgeous marbling on their wings.
These require a bit of patience as you need to let the base completely dry before attempting the wings, but with the step-by-step tutorial, these are really fun to make.
When piping on the extra details like the nose and the beak, it can help to make your royal icing a bit stiffer with some extra icing sugar.
Read more about how to make owl cookies here.
These lizard cookies are the most adorable animal cookies and super easy to make.
All they require is one color of royal icing and some edible pearls for the eyes.
When you go to cut out the dough for baking, be careful as it can be easy to let the dough rip.
Make sure to follow the sugar cookie dough recipe which tells you when to chill the dough, as this will make it easier to work with and cut out.
Check out the full guide on making lizard cookies.
Octopus cookies are another option for an easy to make animal cookie.
You just need one color per octopus, in addition to some white icing to make the tentacles and the pattern on the head.
I like to use an edible marker to draw the mouth, but you could also use more royal icing in whatever color you liked.
Read the full guide on making octopus cookies here.
Ready for pink on pink on pink?
Flamingo cookies are a big hit at summer parties, and you just need a flamingo cookie cutter, pink royal icing, and orange royal icing.
The ruffles of the feathers are an important part of these cookies, so make sure you make jagged edges at the back.
The beak is made using orange royal icing and black drawn on with an edible marker.
Read more about flamingo cookies here.
Frog cookies are a bit more advanced as they require a bit more effort than some of the other animal cookies listed so far, but they’re really cute and worth the time.
One royal icing technique to remember when making frog cookies is that you should let each portion of the cookie dry for about 30 minutes before carrying on if you want definition between the sections.
For instance, to make the legs stand out, you have to outline and flood them separately, not just outline and flood the entire frog at once
Check out more information on making frog cookies here.
Whether you’re hosting a Finding Nemo party or an under the sea adventure, these clownfish cookies look great and are fun to make with only two colors required.
You will want too different consistencies of icing for these cookies, as the lines for the fins need to be stiffer so they don’t all blend in together.
Check out the clownfish cookie tutorial.
More under the sea adventures to be had with seahorse cookies!
I love these because they’re so fun and whimsical, with any colors allowed to make them look cute.
This is another cookie that requires you to wait 30 minutes or so betwen sections so it doesn’t all blend together.
Add some detailing on top of the seahorse fin.
Check out the seahorse cookie tutorial here.
If you’ve got a baby shower coming up or an elephant themed birthday party, these elephant cookies are absolutely adorable.
They’re kept nice and simple, with a stiching pattern to make them cozy and comforting.
When mixing the colors for the royal icing, add about 1 part yellow to 3 parts blue for the turquoise color.
It comes out really great with gel food coloring, as opposed to liquid food coloring which can give more muted colors.
Enjoy the elephant cookie tutorial here.
Another super cute animal cookie is the whale cookie.
These are another easy option if you are a beginner to royal icing, as you just outline and flood the entire whale and then add a few dots of extra icing, along with an eye.
These are another great option for baby showers or baby-themed events, particularly if you use the comforting grey and turquoise colors as shown in these pictures.
Find the whale cookie tutorial here.
Who doesn’t love a cute pig cookie?
These little piggies have a gorgeous pattern on their backside in a darker pig, as well as a cute little swirl for a tail.
When mixing the royal icing for these pig cookies, do just a drop or two for the lighter pink for the pig body, and then a few more pink drops to make a darker pink.
Finish with an edible eye and oink oink!
Check out the pig cookie tutorial for more information.
These duck cookies are great baby shower cookies and another option for beginners to royal icing.
You don’t need to get too intricate, just outline the duck shape and flood it in with yellow.
Add an orange beak at the front, some detail on top for the feathers, and an eye and you’re good to go.
Check out these duck cookie tutorials for more information.