These pig cookies are whimsical and adorable, perfect for a kid’s farm themed birthday parties or the pig lovers in your life. The sugar cookie dough holds firm while still being soft, and the royal icing makes for easy and delicate decorating.
Pig cookies are some of the cutest animal cookies to make, with a cute little swirly tail and some awesome wet-on-wet royal icing technique to make for the shading in the back with a darker color of purple.
Whether you want to make some farm themed cookies or just love cute little piggies, these pig cookies are definitely not going to market, but straight into your mouth (and no pigs harmed in the making of these pig cookies!)
In this pig cookies, I’ll teach you how to decorate pig cookies, how to make pig cookies, and how to use royal icing on these pig cookies.
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Ingredients You’ll Want for Pig Cookies
The pig cookies are made from a cut-out sugar cookie dough and royal icing, so all of the ingredients you’ll need to gather up are for either the base or the icing.
Luckily, there aren’t any crazy ingredients in the sugar cookies, and the royal icing does require meringue powder, which not all bakers will have on hand, but it is easy to find online or you can buy royal icing mix in the grocery store if you don’t feel like making your own (though it’s really easy to make your own using meringue powder so don’t worry about it).
For the sugar cookie dough, follow the cut-out sugar cookie recipe and make sure you have: butter, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt.
To make the royal icing using meringue powder, all you need is the meringue powder, water, more powdered sugar, and vanilla extract or lemon juice for a bit of extra flavor.
If you want your royal icing to be even softer to the bite, you can add corn syrup.
Tools You’ll Need for Pig Cookies
Once you’ve got all of the edible ingredients you’ll need for the pig cookies, you’ll want to think about what tools you need to gather up.
Not all are necessary, for instance, if you don’t have a toothpick or scribe, it’s not the end of the world, but royal icing does require that you put it in some type of piping bag or ziploc bag with the end cut off, so you aren’t able to just scoop out the icing onto the cookie.
- a baking sheet
- baking paper or a reusable silicone baking mat – this is the best brand
- pink food coloring – always use gel food coloring with royal icing instead of liquid food coloring
- edible black sprinkle or pearl for the eye – these are the best
- piping bags for the icing (I don’t use tips, just disposable icing bags) – I prefer this brand
- a scribe or toothpick (this is for adjusting the icing or popping air bubbles) – use this scribe
- pig cookie cutter – this one is awesome
Why Do You Use Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough?
These pig cookies are made using a cut-out sugar cookie dough, which is different from a “regular” sugar cookie dough that you might expect to be fluffy or to spread out into a circle.
In fact, cut-out sugar cookie dough is because you want to retain the shape of the cut-out you have made with the cookie cutter, as well as keeping the depth the same throughout the cookie and not having craters.
Part of the instructions in the cut-out sugar cookie recipe involves chilling the dough, chilling it after it is rolled out, and chilling the shapes after you’ve cut them.
This might seem like a lot of extra work, but it will really help make sure that the pigs stay the shape you want them and don’t turn into blobs.
Other things to keep in mind when making the sugar cookies are to combine the ingredients in the right order, as baking is a science and requires certain ingredients to go together, like the butter and sugar, before you add in other ingredients like the flour.
If you find that your dough is too wet or too crumbly, you can alter it slightly by adding a bit of olive oil if it’s too crumbly, or adding a bit more flour if it’s too wet.
Whatever you do, though, make changes slowly and mix it all in before adding more of anything.
How to Use Royal Icing for Decorated Pig Cookies
A lot of people haven’t used royal icing before, instead sticking to cookies without icing or maybe cookies with buttercream that you can just slap on the cookie.
But don’t be intimidated – royal icing is easy to make and easy to use if you just have some patience and practice a bit on a piece of saran wrap or paper plate with it.
Use the royal icing recipe to make the royal icing for the pig cookies.
These cookies were decorated with the same consistency of royal icing, which means that I didn’t create a stiffer icing for the outline and a thinner icing for the main pig.
Instead, I created the royal icing to be the same consistency, about 12 seconds – this is measured by the amount of time it takes for the line to disappear if you drag a knife through it.
I find that this creates a nicer edge to the cookie, and it means you have fewer piping bags you need to use.
When you go to cut the tip off the piping bag, make sure to cut it small at first and then get bigger if you need to.
If you cut a big tip, you’ll find that you lose control.
For using food coloring, I prefer gel food coloring instead of liquid food coloring as it doesn’t add extra liquid to your icing and creates deeper colors.
The light pink color was created using just a drop or two of pink gel food coloring, while the darker pink was quite a few more drops until it gets to the darkness that you want.
Can You Freeze Pig Cookies?
People often want to know about storing these cookies, and you’ll be happy to know that you can freeze the bases for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
However, the cookies themselves, once decorated, can stay at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, so there’s no need to put them in the refrigerator or freezer.
It is possible to freeze decorated cookies if you heat seal them in a food safe bag, but I wouldn’t recommend this for the home baker and would instead say to freeze the bases if you want to decorate at a later date, then decorate using fresh royal icing.
How to Decorate Pig Cookies
When you’re ready to decorate pig cookies, start by drawing an outline around the pig and leaving just a bit at the front for the snout and half of each foot (so that you can basically make four feet).
Outline with pink icing, then immediately fill in with the same color pink icing.
While the flood of the base is still wet, go in with your darker pink icing and create the pattern at the back of the pig, which is some squiggly ovals.
Let that base dry for about an hour before you add the other two feet and using the dark pink to fill in the tip at the front of the snout.
Let that dry for 6-8 hours, and then use the light pink to create a swirl for a tail and add a dot of icing to fix on the black eye.
There you go, super cute pink pig cookies ready for your farm party!
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing, separated in the colors you want to decorate
- Bake the pig 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 pink and a darker pink and put in piping bags
- Outline the pig in light pink, except for the tip of the snout and one leg on each side.
- Flood the outline you've just created in the light pink.
- Immediately make a pattern of dark pink ovals on the pig's hind.
- Wait about 30 minutes and then add a dark pink snout, fill in the other two legs in light pink, and add a swirl for a tail.
- Add an eye.
- Let dry for 12 hours.
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