The Bare Minimum Cookie Decorating Supplies to Get Started

Apr 7, 2023 | Cookie Decorating Resources | 0 comments

I hear and see everyone who has been asking for a “bare minimum” tools/equipment list for those who want to get into cookie decorating in this down economy… well, here it is… But keep the following in mind:
  • the cookie decorating community is tight-knit and consists of MANY small businesses – most of these small businesses are operated by a tiny team of 1-2 people and create wonderful products and services. I love support small business, but it’s generally a little pricier, and this post is focused on bare-minimums and budget friendly tools for cookie decorating, which usually means larger stores with lower prices
  • I linked you to what’s easiest, cheapest and most accessible for the average joe – so if you’re looking for quality, this list might not be it, check out our RESOURCES for the comprehensive list
  • disclaimer: some of these links are affiliate links and I make a small commission on your purchases at no cost to you – this is a great way to support us

Decorating cookies is a fun and creative hobby that anyone can enjoy. While many tools, supplies, and equipment are available on the market, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started. In this article, we’ll discuss the bare minimum cookie decorating supplies, tools, and equipment you’ll need to get started with cookie decorating. We’ll also provide some tips on how to choose the right tools for your needs.

tools for cookie decorating

Cookie Decorating Tools

  • Cookie cutters: To begin, you’ll need some cutters. Look for basic shapes like circles, squares, and hearts. These shapes can be used in creative ways over and over again for tons of versatile designs.
  • Piping bags: To apply the icing to your cookies, you’ll need piping bags… or go bare minimum and start with zip lock baggies with the hole trimmed off- they DO burst pretty easily if you’re using sandwich bags, so be aware. You can use disposable tipless piping bags or invest in reusable silicone piping bags that are environmentally friendly. Piping bags make it easy to apply icing to your cookies with precision and control.
  • Scribe: used to help maneuver your icing and break airbubbles.  You can use a toothpick to start, but metal or plastic is better, since icing doesn’t stick to metal the same way as it does to wood. Better to get something with a metal needle. I do think this is the case where grabbing one of our Stainless Steel scribes would make sense- for $10, it can last you a lifetime.

  Tipless piping bag for cookie decoration

Cookie Decorating Supplies

  • a great base dough and icing recipe – if you don’t have one you love, check out ours HERE
  • food coloring: start with a gel set – I like Chefmaster and Americolor, these are relatively affordable. You can also read reviews for food coloring on amazon to see what other people like – there are some brands that are CRAZY affordable, but I don’t have experience with them all. You can also go to Michaels or the grocery store to pick up a set of gel colors there (skip the liquid food color, not enough bang for your buck)

mixing cookie dough with a stand up mixer

Cookie Decorating Equipment

  • A Stand Mixer is key because making roll-out cookie dough by hand or with a hand mixer is tough. HERE are some affordable options, be sure to sort by price and don’t forget to read the reviews
  • Rolling pin: You’ll also need a rolling pin to roll out your cookie dough- use a guided one to help you roll out your dough to a consistent thickness.
  • Baking sheets: To bake your cookies, you’ll need baking sheets. Aluminum ones seem to work consistently and last a long time considering their price. Costco Business warehouses also have affordable aluminum sheets- if you have one close by, check it out.
  • Baking mats: while you can bake on parchment, I find mats the most long-lasting, easy to clean/maintain and provides a more even bake – it DOES behave differently from parchment and the bottoms of your bakes don’t brown as quickly.  Amazon’s pricing for baking mats are pretty rock bottom.
  • Oven Thermometer: a MUST for baking in general- most home ovens aren’t accurate and a thermometer is a great way to help you remove another sources of error in your bakes. You can find a pretty cheap one for under $10 on amazon.

With these basic cookie decorating supplies, tools, and equipment, you can start decorating cookies right away. Of course, as you become more experienced, you may want to invest in more tools and supplies to create more intricate designs. I have ALL my most affordable options on my Amazon Lists.

If you’re a cottage baker, check out our cottage food business app: mycustombakes.com

And that’s it! Did I miss anything that you think is a bare minimum must-have or are there any questions? Leave me a comment below- would LOVE to hear from you!
In the next blog post, I’ll share some “splurges” to help level up your cookie decorating, and in the meantime, please check out our Resources page and Tips for Beginner Cookiers .


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