Adorable Whale Sugar Cookies: Tutorial + Icing Tips

These whale cookies are super easy to make and make for great baby shower gifts or kid’s birthday party cookies. You can choose any colors you want to customize, and the sugar cookie base is not crumbly and the perfect blend of soft, but firm.

Who doesn’t love whales?

They’re a huge hit from movies like Finding Dory to Free Willy and are a majestic part of the sea.

I put together these whale cookies for anyone wanting to make some underwater themed animal cookies without much hassle.

If you want to add to your theme, you could also do octopus cookies, clownfish cookies, or seahorse cookies.

You’ll really only need two colors of icing, and in this whale cookie tutorial, I’ll walk you step by step through how to make whale sugar cookies so you can follow along and do them at home.


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These whale cookies are:

Must-Have Baking Tools (seriously)

What You’ll Need to Make Decorated Whale Cookies

To make whale cookies, you’re going to want both the sugar cookie cut-out recipe and the royal icing recipe I use.

These will combine to make your cookies, and it’s important to follow the steps along the way so that your dough and your icing come out correctly.

For the dough, make sure to follow the recipe and ideally weigh your ingredients using grams.

Baking, and creating no spread cookies, is a science, not an art, and you want to be as accurate as possible.

You also want to make sure you refrigerate the dough when instructed, as this will help the cookies from spreading while baking.

You want clean and crisp edges for whale shaped cookies!

Royal icing is made with meringue powder, vanilla extract, icing sugar and some water, and you can find the full instructions in my royal icing recipe.

We’ll talk more about royal icing tips for these whale cookies soon.

As for the tools and colors you’ll need, I recommend:

Can You Freeze Whale Cookies?

People often ask about storage of these cookies after you make them, and you should know that you shouldn’t freeze cookies decorated with royal icing if you’re a home baker as the royal icing won’t hold up well, but you can freeze the whale sugar cookies before decorating.

I prefer to store these whale cookies at room temperature, as they are made with meringue powder so won’t spoil if kept in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

How to Make Whale Cookies

The first thing you need to do to make the cookies is of course create the base.

I create the base using this sugar cookie cut out dough recipe, making sure to pay special attention to the tips to get the perfect no-spread cookies, including refrigerating the dough overnight and putting the refrigerated cookie shapes directly in a preheated oven so the butter doesn’t have time to melt.

You’ll want to let the cookies cool for a few hours before decorating to ensure they are fully ready to be decorated and you won’t get “bleed” in your royal icing.

Whale cookie cutters are a pretty simple cookie cutter to find online, and it doesn’t matter if yours is slightly different in variation to mine as the same concepts will apply.

I like to flour my cookie cutter before cutting out the shapes just to give it that extra bit of non-stick to the dough.

The more you pull or tug on the dough, the more the final cookie could be misshapen, so the goal is to cut the shape and then not have to do much more to it in terms of pulling or pushing it out of the cutter.

How to Make Royal Icing for Whale Cookies

Some people are intimidated by using royal icing but really it’s super easy once you get the hang of it.

For these cookies, I created one consistency of royal icing to use for both the outline, the flood, and the details.

Follow the royal icing recipe to create the base of your royal icing (don’t forget the vanilla as that gives it a nicer flavor!) and then test out the consistency by dragging a knife through it.

You want a 10-12 second consistency for these, so it should take 10-12 seconds before the line you created with the knife disappears completely. Keep beating the royal icing to get it stiffer (or add more icing sugar), and if it’s too thick, gradually add water.

Using one consistency for royal icing will create a beautifully smooth look that works perfectly for these whales.

When you have the royal icing ready, separate it into different bowls to create your colors.

To create a grey, simple add a tiny bit of black food coloring.

To create turquoise, add blue and yellow, about double the amount of blue than yellow.

You can also leave some white, which is what I used for the tail and spout.

Put your icing into icing bags and cut off a tiny bit at the end.

I don’t use tips with my icing bags, which is one extra material to cross off your list.

Must-Have Decorating Tools

How to Decorate Whale Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

When you’ve got your piping bags and your cookies and are ready to decorate, you’ll first want to outline the entire whale with one color.

Immediately after, fill in the rest of the cookie with the same color.

Don’t go crazy, just add it steadily and watch it.

Adding too much may make it overflow.

Shake the cookie gently to get the icing to settle, and then let it dry for a couple of hours.

You really don’t want to do the details too early, because the icing will sink into the existing base a little, and it won’t look well-defined.

After the base is dry to the touch, use the same color as the whale to dry a “U” which becomes the fin on the side.

I added extra dots of the same color as well to create some texture on the underside of the whale.

You can also do some lines on the tail, as well as a heart shape at the top for the spout in white.

Add a black pearl or sprinkle for the eye, and there you have it!

Beautiful whale cookies that make for great whale baby shower cookies or treats for your friends and family.

Yield: 24 cookies

Decorated Whale Cookies

Decorated Whale Cookies

These decorated whale cookies are made with sugar cookie dough and royal icing.

Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour


  • 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
  • 1 batch of royal icing, separated in the colors you want to decorate


    1. Bake the whale cookies using the sugar cut-out cookie recipe
    2. Make a batch of royal icing using the royal icing recipe
    3. Separate out the royal icing into as many colors as you want to decorate with and put into piping bags
    4. Outline the whale in one color
    5. Immediately flood the cookie with the same color
    6. Wait 2 to 3 hours and then decorate the whale using stripes at its tail, a heart shape for its blowhole, a U shape for its fin and a few dots behind its fin to be like water bubbles.
    7. Add an eye and draw on a smiley face with an edible marker.
    8. Let dry for 12 hours

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