How To Make Marbled Butterfly Cookies

Learn how to decorate cookies with royal icing using a marbling technique! Create pretty butterfly cookies and get inspired for endless possibilities.

Difficulty Cost Time Age Person Event
$1 to $25
1-2 Hours
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Step by Step Instructions

  • Step 1

    The first step is to use black icing to outline and immediately fill in the body of the butterfly and the shapes on the outer edges of the wings. Then, use two other colors to add dots to the wings. This is a wet-on-wet technique, so do it quickly before the black icing starts to dry. Continue decorating cookies this way, letting at least 20 minutes pass before going on to the next step so that your black icing is dry.

  • Step 2

    The next step involves a technique called marbling. It’s a really easy way to create a beautiful design that will give your cookies that “wow” factor. Start by outlining and immediately filling in the bottom section of one of the wings using one of your background colors. Then, while the background icing is still wet, draw a few contrasting squiggly lines and drag a toothpick through the lines at multiple points, creating a marbling effect. After completing the bottom section of one wing, do the same on the bottom section of the other wing. Continue decorating each of the butterfly cookies this way, letting at least 20 minutes pass before going on to the next step so that your bottom sections are dry.

  • Step 3

    To decorate the top sections of the wings on your butterfly cookies, use the same technique you used to decorate the bottom sections. Outline and immediate fill the top section of one wing, draw squiggly lines in the wet icing using a contrasting color (change the arch of the lines to match the shape of the area), and drag a toothpick through the lines to create a marbling effect. You may also want to use the wet-on-wet technique from step #1 to add dots to fill in any blank areas on the wings.



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  1. Hi,

    I saw these posted on FB and I LOVED THEM – they are fabulous!. My 7 year old niece passed away about 6 months ago… and butterflies and the color purple were her favorite thing. I would really like to make these for her parents because they like/enjoy seeing reminders of their baby girl. I’m a basic beginner for sure, but had a few questions about how I make the icing:

    Is royal icing a brand or ‘type’ of icing?

    Also, “I made all the icing the same consistency, a 12 to 15-count icing” – what todes this mean?

    Thanks so much!!
    Heather 🙂

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