Holiday Cookie Decorating Tips

You don’t have to be a skilled baker to decorate some cute cookies for the holidays! And you don’t necessarily need any fancy decorating tips, bags or cutters to do it either. 


Chocolate is an easy, accessible way to decorate shortbread cookies or even sugar cookies too! You can choose semi-sweet, dark, or white chocolate, and then get creative with designs!

Here's how to decorate with chocolate:

  1. Melt it! To melt chocolate you can do this the old fashioned way over a double boiler, or you can simply use a microwave. To melt chocolate in the microwave, add about ½ a cup of chocolate chips into a glass measuring cup or a small bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir well. Microwave for another 20 seconds and stir, repeating this process until it’s completely smooth and melted. Doing it this way prevents burning the chocolate.
  2. Get creative! Use a spoon, a bag with a tip, or just spread the melted chocolate onto your cookies. Now don’t go buying a bag and tip if you don’t really want to! You can just use a small freezer bag and cut a small opening in the corner! Twist the other end of the bag to seal it. Another method we love is simply dipping half the cookie into the bowl of melted chocolate. If you try this one, hold it up for 10 seconds after dipping to allow any excess chocolate to drip off before setting it back down. 

Where to find vegan chocolate?

Just about everywhere now!

  1. Semi-sweet chocolate/chocolate chips: Lots of brands are accidentally vegan! For example, the PC brand and the Kirkland brand are both great vegan options.
  2. Dark chocolate: Because dark chocolate doesn’t always have milk in it, a lot of brands can be vegan by default so it can be found at a lot of grocery stores and health food stores. Just be sure to read the ingredients and double check.
  3. White chocolate: Vegan white chocolate is still a bit tricky to find but thankfully it is becoming more common.Mel’s new favourite is Moo Free white chocolate and can be found at Bulk Barn. Additionally you’ll find some other vegan brands at your local health food store. 


When decorating cookies you can either use Royal Icing or Buttercream icing. Traditionally Royal Icing is made with egg whites, but there are now many recipes online to ‘veganize’ it using Aquafava (chickpea brine - which is also a great egg white substitute in baking by the way)!

Buttercream icing is much easier to make vegan. We even have a mix for that if you want to make it quicker and easier on yourself! 

The easiest icing you can make to decorate is simply mixing icing sugar and plant based milk. Here’s the method:

  • Sift 1 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl, and whisk in 2-3 tsp of plant milk until smooth. 
  • Add food colouring if you wish, or keep it white and use our vegan sprinkles to top it! 
  • Spread it on your cookies, use the freezer bag method or purchase a tip and bag to make decorating designs easiest! 

Whichever method you choose, be sure to let the chocolate or icing set completely before stacking or freezing your cookies. Just pop them in the fridge for 20 minutes to do this. And for easy cleanup, place all cookies on parchment paper to decorate!


Happy decorating and happy eating!

We’d love to see your decorated cookies, tag us at @growyourrootsfoods on Instagram and Facebook! 

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