There are frosted sugar cookies, then there are these frosted sugar cookies. A few bakers across the continent have combined their artistic and confectionery skills by offering their services in beautifully decorated, decadently sweet sugar cookies. These cookies can celebrate a variety of events, from high school graduations to baby showers. Even those that don’t serve a particular purpose are simply beautiful to look at.

The trick is royal icing, a silky-smooth combination of egg whites, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar that dries to a hard matte finish. It can be dyed any color, and the possibilities are endless as shown by the masters below.

These bakers have taken their services to Instagram, where they sport creative handles and share colorful, charismatic shots of their artwork that’s almost too pretty to eat (keyword: almost). So next time you’re struggling finding the perfect gift for that baby shower, college graduation, or birthday party, be sure to check out these expert cookie designers to help bring your vision to life!

1. @sweetambs: New York, NY

Amber Spiegel offers online and in-person cookie decorating classes to share her secrets with anyone who wants to learn. Her classes range from beginning steps such as icing consistency to advanced decorating techniques. She acquired her skills at the Baking and Pastry Arts Program at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. She started her own cookie business, SweetAmbs, and has since been featured in magazines such as InStyle and Brides.

2. @_emmas_sweets: Ontario, Canada

Surprisingly, this baker’s name is Mary, and her passion for cookie decorating was inspired by her daughter, Emma, who always enjoys her sweet and beautiful creations. Baking has become a creative and therapeutic outlet for the often stressful life of being a mom, a wife and a banker. She offers advice, recipes and even online video tutorials for her advanced techniques.

3. @thepaintedpastry: Beverly, MA

Aime Pope describes herself as an “accidental cookie decorator, maker of things, and lover of coffee.” She got her first cookie order before she ever decorated a cookie. She began her business by simply giving her decorated cookies to friends, and eventually she had strangers requesting batches of custom cookies, so she decided to open a bake shop in Beverly, Massachusetts. Aime offers in-person baking classes as well.

4. @andrea_young187: Vancouver, Canada

Andrea’s Oven is a custom cookie company that ships all over Canada and the US. They even offers custom designs in both chocolate and vanilla flavors. Owner Andrea admits that she loves when people eat her work as opposed to thinking, “they’re too pretty to eat.” Strange as it sounds that a cookie would go uneaten, she works as hard as she does on her cookies so that people will enjoy what she creates.

5. @thehayleycakes: Austin, TX

Hayley Cakes and Cookies is a bakery run by Hayley, who designs and creates stunning cookies, cakes and cupcakes bursting with color.

6. @thebakedequation: Phoenix, AZ

First my Mother, forever my friend. #mothersday #customgifts #customcookies #mom

A photo posted by Melissa Barbakoff (@thebakedequation) on

Melissa Barbakoff discovered her passion for baking while seeking ways to give back to her community. She started the Baked Equation, which now has locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, as a company that delivers beautiful and delicious desserts while maintaining a strong connection and devotion to her community, local and global.

7. @bakedideas: New York, NY

Saturday morning. ☕️🏃🏼☕️🏃🏼

A photo posted by Patti Paige (@bakedideas) on

Patti Paige, the royal (icing) queen and author of You Can’t Judge a Cookie by its Cutter, began her career as an artist with a master’s degree in painting. She was featured in O Magazine for making her own cookie cutters, which explains how her unique creations come to life. She has the incredible ability to take one cookie cutter and turn in into a variety of wildly different designs, as illustrated by her book.

8. @natsweets: San Diego, CA

Happy Birthday #drseuss #happybirthdaydrseuss ❤️🎉

A photo posted by Natasha (@natsweets) on

Natasha of NatSweets began her baking career through a passion for art as well. After becoming a mother, her love for baking arose and she went on to start her company, which focuses on taste, design and attention to details.

9. @dolcecustomcookies: Toronto, Canada

Owner Christy began life working in the legal sector, but decided to switch things up and start a business on Etsy, creating stunning and unique custom cookies.

10. @sweetsugarbelle:  Lubbock, TX

Peeps…in disguise with some fun @wiltoncakes icing decorations! #decoratedcookies #cookiedecorating #pleasedonteatme

A photo posted by Callye Alvarado (@sweetsugarbelle) on

Callye Alvarado expresses her inner artist through the art of baking. She even has her own cookie decorating product line that features cookie cutters, templates, stickers, and more to help bakers at home decorate like the pros. She offers tutorials, tips, and recipes on her website to share her passion for baking with anyone who wants to learn.

11. @doughmestichousewife: Arkansas

Happy Mothers Day! I hope you are being pampered today! #thedoughmestichousewife #doughmestichousewife #decoratedcookies

A photo posted by Holly Thomas (@doughmestichousewife) on

Holly Thomas describes herself as a believer, wife, and stay at home mom who just began baking last year. Her abilities have taken her far with the help of her 4-year-old and 18-month-old children, who very often make appearances on her Instagram page.

12. @acookieaddict: Durham, NC

Off to Carolina next year!

A photo posted by Confections of a Cookie Addict (@acookieaddict) on

Tonya Petrucci creates flawless custom cookies for any occasion in the comfort of her own home. She fell in love with the intersection of baking and science, and calls her creations “works of eat.” She thrives off the joyful reaction she receives when she hands the cookies to their recipient.

13. @janaleesbakeshop: Columbus, OH

Jana Lee’s Bake Shop LLC focuses on making charming and delicious edible art. They are a completely online business that delivers custom cookies right to your door! Jana’s tackled everything from emojis to Lilly Pulitzer patterns in her unique and adorable cookies.


Photo by Tori Bilas

These cookie artists truly have a gift, and they are sharing it with the world by creating these masterpieces that taste as wonderful as they look. When my brother was accepted to Wake Forest University, I ordered him a custom set of cookies that featured the Wake Forest logo, the Demon Deacon, and basketballs, because he was headed off to play for the basketball team there. I was absolutely blown away by the cookies I received – my family was hesitant to eat them since they were so beautiful! They tasted even better than they looked. The cookie itself was rich and sweet, and the icing was crisp without being crunchy, but softened to the bite. Eating these cookies was probably the best part of my brother’s acceptance to college. Life’s short; eat the cookies.