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Baking Sugar Cookies that Don't Spread
The first step in this project is to bake your sugar cookies. You can find the perfect sugar cookie recipe at Artisanal Touch Kitchen. I like to make mine a little thicker and take them out of the oven just a little early for a softer cookie.
After your dough is ready, roll it out and use a cookie cutter to cut your cookie shapes. This project can be done with any shape cookie. The possibility are endless!
Icing Your Cookies with Royal Icing
I used royal icing on top of my cookies for this project. Royal icing creates a smooth surface which is ideal for screen printing.
I start by piping an outline around the edge of the cookie. Then, I fill in the outline with icing and smooth it with a tooth pick until it is an even coverage.
Allow your royal icing to dry overnight and then you are ready to screen print on the cookies!
Screen Printing with Vinyl
Just like screen printing on t-shirts, I use vinyl cut on my Cricut instead of emulsion. This makes the process much quicker (and safe for printing on food!)
Cut the design on Oracal 651 vinyl. For this project, I cut conversation heart wording. I sized the wording to fit my cookies.
I always mirror my design so I can put the vinyl on the back of my screen. This creates a smooth surface for your squeegee to go over the stencil without knocking off any of the small detail pieces.
Supplies Needed for Screen Printing on Cookies
- Screen Printing Mesh (replacement fabric that is typically used to replace the screen on your frame)
- Oracal 651 Vinyl
- Vinyl Cutting Machine – I love my Cricut Maker
- Painters Tape
- Transfer Tape
- Hard Plastic Squeegee – I used the squeegee from this kit, but you do not need the kit to do this project. A clean scraper tool would work just as well.
- Wilton Decorating Icing
- Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Screen Printing on Cookies
For this project, I've traded out my typical screen printing ink for Wilton Decorating Icing. This makes the cookie completely edible!
First, I transfer my vinyl design to a piece of screen printing mesh. This may seem a little awkward, but I attached my vinyl to a loose piece of screen printing mesh – no frame needed.
You could use your frame (like I do when screen printing shirts) but this no-frame method allowed me to create a hinge type of setup using tape. This is helpful in case you miss a spot. I was able to put the mesh back down on the cookie and add more icing.
Once your design is on your screen printing mesh, you may need to tape around the edges of the vinyl – anywhere you don't want icing going through the mesh. For my designs, I added a little piece of tape above and below the vinyl.
I use another piece of painters tape to tape the top of the mesh design to my table. Then, I slide my cookie under the mesh.
Apply a generous amount of decorating icing along the top of your design. Squeegee the icing over your vinyl design.
TIP: don't press too hard on your squeegee. The royal icing my not hold up to a lot of pressure. I found that light-medium pressure was enough to get the ink to go through the mesh but not so much that it damaged the cookie. Be sure to bake a few extra cookies so you can practice this!
Lift the mesh and you have a screen printed cookie! You can immediate place another cookie under the design and print more. This method is perfect for making cookies in bulk.
Once you are all done printing your designs, remove the vinyl from your mesh and wash the mesh with water. Once the mesh is dry, you'll be able to save and reuse the mesh again.
Watch the Process
Printing Edible Designs on Cookies
The possabilities for this are endless! Any design you can cut on your Cricut or Silhouette, can be printed onto cookies.
You could print a patterned background or personalize cookies with names, logos or initials. I hope this inspires some creative ideas for the next time you decorate cookies!
Be sure to share your screen printed cookie projects with me on Instagram (tag @pigskinsandpigtails)
This is awesome! With using the icing were the cookies still dry enough to stack after they were done?
I waited a couple hours before putting them in clear bags – just so the red lettering had time to dry.
I had no idea! Thank you so much. I have a reason to know use my new cookware.
how do you prevent the vinyl from bubbling on the mesh when the transfer paper is taken off?
Nice! You could also use this as an airbrush stencil!
Yes, that would work too!