These easy number cookies can help you celebrate birthdays from 1 to 100, as well as special dates and sports numbers. Made with royal icing and sugar cookie dough, they’re fun, colorful, and delicious.
When you’re making shaped cookies, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to outdo yourself and everyone else by making the biggest and the best shapes, the most intricate designs, and out-of-this-world icing techniques.
But sometimes, all you need is a few number cookie cutters and icing of any color.
Keep it simple, you know?
You can use number cookies for birthday parties, end-of-season sports events, even New Year’s Eve parties where you can bake number cookies to correlate to the year.
In this guide, I’ll show you how I decorate these number cookies, as well as what dough you should use and icing tips to remember.
Don’t forget to check out my guide to alphabet letter cookies as well to add to your cookie ensemble.
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 You’ll Need
In addition, you should have:
- number cookie cutters – I like this collection
- a baking tray
- silicone baking mat – this one is awesome
- piping bags for the icing – use this brand for easy use
- a scribe or toothpick – I use this one
- any sprinkles or other decorations you’ll want
- food coloring (I prefer the gel kind) – this brand is best for icing (try to avoid liquid food colorings)
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!
How to Make the Dough
Use this cut-out sugar cookie recipe to make the dough for these cookies.
The importance of using a cut-out sugar cookie dough is super important.
If you use a regular sugar cookie dough, the cookies will spread in the oven, as they’re meant to with that kind of recipe, and you won’t get the nice crisp edges like you do with a dough meant for cut-out cookies.
This dough also relies on being chilled frequently and for a decent amount of time, all described in the recipe, as this helps it hold its shape.
Use your number cookie cutters and cut out whichever numbers you want.
Bake according to the recipe, which is about 8 to 10 minutes.
Royal Icing 101
Use the royal icing recipe to make a batch of royal icing, and decide what kind of consistency you’re going to use.
These cookies were made using all one consistency – about 12 seconds.
To figure out what consistency your icing is at, drag a knife through it.
Then count the number of seconds it takes for the line to disappear.
This is your consistency.
Some people prefer to have a stiffer consisteny, a bit like toothpaste, to do the outline of the cookie, but I like to use all one consistency if I can get away with it as it prevents having to use more piping bags and bowls to mix colors.
When you go to pipe out the royal icing, don’t forget to hold the piping tip about an inch above the cookie and be sure to practice if you need to.
Step-by-Step Decoration Instructions
There are so many different ways you can decorate these number cookies.
A lot of it is up to your creativity, but the basics are that you’re going to use your icing to outline the cookie, or to outline the setions that you want that color in the case of making stripes.
Then, immediately flood in those outlines with the same color.
Let it dry for about 30 minutes if you’re just going to add another section next to it, or for a few hours if you want to add details on top like polka dots or swirls or writing.
You can decorate the top half of the number with one color and then the bottom half another, or you can add sprinkles, or you can decorate in all one color and then do some squiggly lines.
You can also use the “wet on wet” technique with stripes and dots, which means you flood the base with one color, then immediately come in with another color and either do dots or draw stripes.
The icing on top will sink into the flood icing and it will all become one “level” of icing and more seamlessly together than if you do detailed icing on top of a dry base.
Tips and FAQs
How do I store number cookies?
You can store these cookies at room temperature because they’re made with meringue powder for the royal icing and not egg whites.
I put mine in an airtight container on the kitchen counter – no fridge space needed!
Can I freeze these cookies?
Yes, you an freeze number cookies, but I always think it’s best to freeze the bases before decorating.
One you’ve decorated, you need to have a lot of space and be very careful to freeze them as they could get damaged in the freezer or the icing colors could “bleed” when you thaw it out.
Freeze the bases for up to 3 months, or freeze the dough for up to 6.
How long will they last?
These cookies tend to last about 3 to 4 weeks in an airtight container as long as it’s sealed.
Can I substitute ingredients?
Whether you’re on keto, Whole 30, or just want a lower sugar version of these cookies, I wouldn’t recommend making any substitutes in order for the recipe to work properly.
If you do desparately need cookies that fit into your specific diet, use a recipe specifically formulated for that diet and then follow my guide on decorating.
Related Recipes and Party Decoration Ideas
Why not pair these number cookies with an adorable number cake?
You can also try some number balloons, number-themed cupcakes, or number-themed shirts.
This entire number themed birthday party might give you an idea in case your kid is really, really obsessed with numbers.
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing
- Bake the number cookies using the sugar cut-out cookie recipe
- Make a batch of royal icing using the royal icing recipe
- Outline the number in whatever color you want.
- Then, immediately flood in those outlines with the same color.
- Let it dry for about 30 minutes if you're just going to add another section next to it, or for a few hours if you want to add details on top like polka dots or swirls or writing.
- You can decorate the top half of the number with one color and then the bottom half another, or you can add sprinkles, or you can decorate in all one color and then do some squiggly lines. You can also use the "wet on wet" technique with stripes and dots, which means you flood the base with one color, then immediately come in with another color and either do dots or draw stripes. The icing on top will sink into the flood icing and it will all become one "level" of icing and more seamlessly together than if you do detailed icing on top of a dry base.
- Let dry for 8 to 12 hours
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.