The Local Ladle

Watercolor Sugar Cookies


This recipe may not leave a clean kitchen… but it definitely creates a batch of cookies to talk about! These sugar cookies are a fun way to let your artsy side out. The saying “food is art” takes almost a literal meaning with this watercolor technique!

I also recently discovered Marshmallow Fondant! Instead of the several steps of normal fondant, the marshmallow fondant takes 3 steps and takes no more than 5 minutes to make! I was honestly amazed by the power of a microwave, marshmallows, and powered sugar!

Watercolor Sugar Cookies


Sugar Cookies: 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Marshmallow Fondant: 

  • 8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Food coloring or flavored extracts, optional


  • Pink, Purple, Blue, Green food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon of water per for each color



Sugar Cookies: 

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet or parchment and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.

    Marshmallow Fondant:

 1. Dust your counter or a large cutting board with powdered sugar. Place the marshmallows and the water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.

 2. Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth.

3. Add the powdered sugar and begin to stir with the spatula until it almost becomes impossible.  Scrape the marshmallow mixture out onto the prepared work surface.Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the fondant working the sugar into the marshmallow with your hands until it smooths out and loses its stickiness.

4.You can now roll it out, shape it to the same shape as the sugar cookies. When the sugar cookies are cooled, brush with a little corn starch and water (so the fondant and cookie still together), and place the fondant over the cookie.


  1. Transfer the cookies to sheets of waxed paper or parchment, since this part can get a bit messy! Using 4 small bowls, each bowl will be a separate color, put one drop in each bowl.  Add about a tablespoon of water into each bowl, and mix them up so you have diluted colors.
  2. Use food-safe paintbrushes to decorate the fondant hearts. Try brushing them all over with a layer of different colors. You can also paint just parts of the cookies with streaks of light color, or dip the paintbrush in straight food coloring and touch that to the fondant to get bright patches of color. I also used a paper towel to dab on portions of the fondant to remove the color, letting some of the white underneath show through. Finally, you can flick some color onto the cookies to give it a speckled, painterly appearance!





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