Butterfly cookies | Pastry Recipes

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  • These butterfly cookies offer a colorful twist on the classic sugar cookie, perfect for birthday parties and occasions when you need a little sparkle.

    Ready in just 35 minutes from the moment you combine your butter and sugar, these cookies are not only among the quickest to make, but also the easiest. They use six simple ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard and fridge. As for the frosting, that’s up to you. Opt for bright and bold primary colors or opt for a more neutral palette for a casual decor.


    • For the cookies:

    • 125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened

    • 150g (5oz) powdered sugar

    • Pinch of salt

    • A few drops of vanilla

    • extract

    • 1 medium egg

    • 250g (8oz) plain flour

    • Decorate:

    • 1 to 2 sachets of 500 g of royal icing sugar

    • Paste food coloring in different colors

    • Sparkling sugar, optional

    • Hundreds and thousands, optional

    • You will also need:

    • Butterfly cookie cutters

    • Baking sheets, lined with non-stick liners or parchment paper

    • Writing piping no. 2

    • Small disposable piping bags

    • Toothpick


    • Set the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas mark 3.

    • Mix the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the egg and then the flour until the mixture comes together to form a dough. If the dough is very soft, wrap it in a plastic bag and refrigerate until it is firm enough to roll out. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 3-4 mm (nearly 1⁄4 inch) thick and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, rolling the fillings again if necessary until all the paste is used.

    • Place cutout shapes on lined baking sheets. If there is time left, refrigerate the shapes for 10-15 minutes before baking. Bake the cookies in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. Remove the baking sheets from the oven.

    • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

    • To decorate cookies, prepare the royal icing according to the instructions on the packet, until it is smooth. Divide the icing into several bowls and color them according to the colors you want to decorate the butterflies. Place the tip in a piping bag and fill with dark colored icing. Add a little water to the other colors of the icing to soften it, so that when you shake the bowl, the surface levels out, and fill different piping bags with the other colors.

    • Gently pipe the outline of a butterfly in a darker colored icing.

    • Trim the end of the frosting pockets with the softest frosting to make a small hole and fill in the outline using small circular motions. Tap the cookie on the work surface to level the frosting.

    • Working quickly, trim the ends of the other piping bags as the colored frostings need to be used and the piping details on the cookies such as lines and dots. Use the tip of a toothpick to draw lines across the piped lines to give a feathery look before the icing sets.

    • For a simpler decoration, draw a dark outline and drizzle it with softer frosting. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar and hundreds and thousands, if desired.

    • Pipe the body and head of the butterfly using tip no. 2 and stiffer dark-coloured royal icing.

    Tips for making butterfly cookies:

    For a smooth surface, decorate one cookie at a time and work quickly so that the colored details sink into the main icing. If the frosting is too thick, add a little water, but be careful not to make it too runny or it will slide off the cookies

    You might also like:

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    Sugar cookies

    Peanut Butter Cookies

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