These palm tree cookies are great for a summer birthday party or just convincing yourself that you’re on a tropical island. With a firm, but soft base and delicious royal icing with a hint of vanilla, these should be your go-to decorated palm tree cookies every time.
Palm trees are such a univeral symbol of the tropics and sunshine, and I love how cute these palm tree cookies come out without too much decorating effort.
It doesn’t take hours and hours to get these iced up and ready to go, and you only need two different colors.
If you want to get super creative, you can add a bit of crushed up graham cracker at the bottom to resemble sand and some brown M&Ms for coconuts too.
In this palm tree cookie tutorial, I’ll show you how to make palm tree cookies with royal icing, as well as how to decorate palm tree cookies with royal icing.
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These palm tree cookies are…
- perfect for a tropical or luau themed party
- easy to decorate with just 2 icing colors
- fun for beginners with royal icing to try
- delicious and tasty
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!
Ingredients and Tools You’ll Need to Make Palm Tree Cookies
To make palm tree cookies, you’ll need to make sure you have all of the ingredients for the royal icing as well as the no-spread cookie dough.
You can find more information about the exact measurements in my posts on the cut-out sugar cookie dough and my best ever royal icing recipe, but the basics are that you’ll need meringue powder, water, vanilla extract and powdered sugar for the royal icing and for the dough, you’ll need flour, powdered sugar, butter, salt, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and baking powder.
Other tools you’ll need include:
- scribe or toothpick for moving around the icing if you make a mistake – this is a great one
- piping bags (or you can use sandwich bags if you don’t have piping bags) – I prefer these piping bags
- green food coloring – use gel food coloring instead of liquid food coloring for best results
- brown food coloring
- palm tree cookie cutter – this is the best one
Tips for Making Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough and Royal Icing
I’ve included links to both the cut-out sugar cookie dough recipe and the royal icing recipe in the recipe card below, and you can check out those specific posts for even more instructions, but I wanted to make sure to point out a few things.
Firstly, for the dough, follow the recipe exactly throughout, including the chilling times, as this is what is going to help keep your dough together and not create globs of messy cookies.
You want clean and crisp edges, and making sure you’re chilling your dough at various points will make sure that it turns out nicely.
Another thing to note is that you should only bake them until the edges go slightly golden.
You don’t want to see completely brown edges before taking them out, as the cookies will continue to harden when taken out of the oven and yours will be too hard if they are overbaked before they’re even taken out.
For making the royal icing, I use meringue powder instead of egg whites as I find it easier to work with and its safe for pregnant women.
You’ll want to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the powdered sugar is being incorporated.
Basic Royal Icing Tips
Royal icing can be new to the home baker, as many people prefer to stick with basics like buttercream, but royal icing is actually easy to use and dries smooth and shiny, which makes for great looking cookies.
When you’re using royal icing, you’ll want to use piping bags or sandwich bags with the corner cut off, as this is how you get the icing on the cookie – it’s far too runny to do any other way.
Start by outlining the cookie, and then fill it in.
You can layer on top of royal icing to add detailing, you just need to make sure it hardens enough first – I like to leave an hour in between adding more detail on top.
When you’re doing the piping, remember to hold the piping bag about an inch away from the cookie and let the icing drop onto the cookie (guided, of course) rather than keeping the tip right next to the cookie.
Believe it or not, this gives you more control and makes for a smoother outline.
Can You Freeze Palm Tree Cookies?
Storage is on the mind for many people when making cookies.
Maybe you’re making them far in advance and you want to make sure you can store them up until your event.
Maybe you just don’t want to eat them all at once (though you have my permission).
You shouldn’t freeze the completed cookies with royal icing as the royal icing can go a bit weird, but you can freeze the actual cookies themselves once they’re baked and then royal ice at a later date.
The best part, though, is that you don’t even have to worry about storing the cookies because using meringue powder for the royal icing means you can simply store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of weeks in advance.
If you need to refresh them closer to the event date, put a piece of bread in the container – weird, but it works!
How to Decorate Palm Tree Cookies with Royal Icing
Once you have your royal icing and your cookies made, it’s time to get decorating!
First, outline the trunk of the tree in brown icing and then flood it in the same brown icing.
Give it about 30 minutes to dry, and then outline the palm tree leaves in green.
Give that an hour or so to dry, and then create either a criss cross pattern or 3 whimsical vertical lines on the trunk.
For the leaves, which you can do at the same time, outline the leaves in green and create some more lines in green to give more texture to the leaves.
Overall, these palm trees are meant to be fun and whimsical, instead of exacty true to life.
If you want to get more detailed, you could use a leaf tip to add even more texture to the leaves.
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing, separated in the colors you want to decorate
- Bake the palm tree cookies using the sugar cut-out cookie recipe
- Make a batch of royal icing using the royal icing recipe
- Separate out the royal icing into green and brown icing and put into piping bags
- Outline the trunk of the tree in brown
- Immediately flood the trunk with brown icing
- Wait 15 minutes and then flood and outline the leaves of the palm tree in green.
- Wait 2 to 3 hours and then add some detail outlining and vertical lines on the trunk and horizontal lines on the tree.
- Let dry for 12 hours
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