These lizard cookies are perfect for a kid’s birthday party or other whimsical event, and the sugar cookie bases are soft and delicious with vanilla flavored royal icing. A treat for the whole family!
We often think of lizards as scaly, but these cookies are anything but.
With easily customizable colors and adorable bug eyes also made with royal icing, these are great animal cookies for a garden party or when you want to try something a little different in your baking.
I also love these because of how simple they are to do – you don’t need any extra detail, just one color of royal icing and some enthusiasm!
In this tutorial for lizard shaped cookies, I’m going to walk you step by step through what you will need, how to make them, and how to decorate these lizard sugar cookies.
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These lizard cookies are:
- cute and fun
- visually appealing
- a great addition to an outdoor party
- easy for beginners to royal icing
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!
What You’ll Need to Make Decorated Lizard Cookies
Making these lizard cookies requires both the cut-out sugar cookie base, as well as royal icing.
To make the sugar cookie base, you’ll want to follow the instructions and get the ingredients off of the cut-out sugar cookie recipe, which include granulated sugar, flour, butter, eggs, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder.
For royal icing, make sure to follow my royal icing recipe.
Note that I use meringue powder in my royal icing, not egg whites, as this allows them to be safe for everyone to eat including pregnant women and I find it easier to work with.
As for the tools and colors you’ll need, I recommend:
- any color food coloring you want – use gel food coloring instead of liquid food coloring for best results
- black pearl or sprinkle for the eyes – I love these
- edible black food marker – this is the best one
- piping bags – I love this brand
- a scribe or toothpick – here’s the scribe I used
- lizard cookie cutter – find a cute one here
Can I Make Substitutions?
Baking is a science, not an art, which means that making substitutions in the recipes are always advised against.
It is possible, but you should be knowledgeable about baking before doing so, or look for a specific sugar cookie recipe that fits your dietary needs.
You don’t necessarily have to use sugar cookies, but you need a no-spread cookie that will have a mostly flat top, so something like chocolate chip cookies wouldn’t work to decorate on top of with precision.
If you want to add in extra flavors to the royal icing like lemon juice, you can definitely do that.
How to Make Lizard Shaped Cookies
Before you can decorate the lizard cookies, you’re going to want to follow the sugar cookie cut-out recipe to make the bases.
The dough is best chilled overnight, and make sure to follow the instructions throughout on refrigerating it, as this helps it avoid spreading.
You want nice and crisp edges on your cookies.
Remember that baking is a science, not an art, so you’re going to want to do things in the right order as well.
You can’t just throw in the flour and sugar and butter all in one go and hope for the best.
I bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, taking them out before they are too golden on the edges as they will continue to harden after you take them out.
How to Make Royal Icing for Lizard Cookies
The second and most important step is to get the royal icing ready for the cookies.
Royal icing is easy to work with once you practice, and if you do it right, it will create a really smooth finish that bakers love.
Use the royal icing recipe to make the royal icing.
Instead of doing two different consistencies, I prefer to use one for these cookies since they don’t have any detailing on top that you need stiffer icing for.
The consistency I use is 10-12 seconds, which means that if you run a knife through the icing, it will take 10-12 seconds for the line to disappear (seriously, count it out!).
This gives a royal icing that is easy enough to work with and doesn’t run too much risk of completely flowing everywhere if you’re careful.
Make one batch of royal icing and separate it into separate bowls for food coloring.
I use gel food coloring, which gives a more vibrant color to the icing than normal liquid food coloring.
Fill the piping bags with icing (I don’t use tips, just tipless piping bags), and you’re good to go.
How to Decorate Lizard Cookies with Royal Icing
Time to decorate!
It couldn’t be easier to decorate these lizard cookies.
First, outline the body of the lizard (not the legs) in one color of royal icing.
Then, immediately fill in the body area with the same color icing.
Let the icing settle for a moment, and give it a shake if you need to get any bubbles out.
Then, using your piping bag, pipe the feet by doing 3 little webbed toes and connect it to the body.
Do this on all four legs.
Wait for the icing to dry for a couple of hours at least before finishing it off by attaching the two eyes with a dot of icing and drawing a simple smiley face with your black food marker.
You could also use royal icing to do the mouth if you wanted to.
And there you have it, a tutorial on making lizard cookies for your next event!
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing, separated in the colors you want to decorate
- Bake the lizard 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 as many colors as you want to decorate with and put into piping bags
- Outline the lizard in one color
- Immediately flood the cookie with the same color on the body
- Pipe small legs by adding a line and three small lines coming off of it
- Wait 2 to 3 hours and then add two eyes and a smiley face drawn on with an edible marker.
- Let dry for 12 hours
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