Football Cookie Tutorial



It’s football time in East Tennessee. Fall is in the air, football is on the mind, and you’re looking for a unique and delicious treat for your tail gate par-tay! Look no further my fellow friend — you are in for a special treat: a football sugar cookie tutorial just for Y-O-U!

I’m going to assume that you all have a favorite sugar cookie recipe that you love. If you don’t have Grandma’s secret recipe stashed away in your recipe box, here are two links to some of my favorite basic sugar cookie recipes:

Sweet Sugar Belle’s Sugar Cookie Recipe or Haniela’s Sugar Cookie Recipe

Make your dough as directed on your recipe, wrap the dough in saran wrap and then chill it overnight in your fridge. Did you read that? CHILL.IT. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT skip this step.

After you have let your dough chill (preferably overnight, but if you’re in a rush six hours will do), it’s time to bust out the rolling pin and get rolling.

You will need:

  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 Set of Rolling Guides (See below for explanation)
  • 1 Football Cookie Cutter
  • Chilled Cookie Dough
  • Parchment Paper

I have two FAVORITE tricks of all time when it comes to rolling:

  1. Always, always, always roll your dough between to pieces of parchment paper. This eliminates the messiness of having to use flour to keep the dough from sticking to you, the counter, the rolling pin and everything else in between. Also added flour just makes your cookies taste bland.
  2. Use rolling guides to help keep your dough level. It also insures that all of your cookies are the same height so that they cook evenly. (A rolling guide can be as simple as a 1/4 inch piece of molding or if you want to be cheap budget friendly, you can use two paint sticks glued or taped together.)



Roll out as many cookies as you can. As you cut the cookies out with your cutter, take them and put them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Next, put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This chilling process makes the dough firm, which helps your cookies hold their true shape when you go to bake them. I know what you’re thinking: “YAY no more distorted looking snowmen or fat looking candy canes this Christmas!”

Once your dough has chilled, bake the cut out dough at 350 degrees for about 9-10 minutes. You will take them out before they have any tint of brown on them. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.

After your cookies have cooled, it’s time to start the super fun part! Flooding them! (Flooding is the technical term for icing the cookie with a runny icing, that has a smooth shiny finish. I use the words “ice” and “flood” interchangeably.) I generally bake my cookies one day, store them in an airtight container and then flood them the next day. I do this for two reasons: 1. I have two little boys and ain’t nobody got time for all that in one sitting and 2. Day old cookies are less likely to leach oil back into your icing, which would be a no no and cause the structure of the icing to break down.

Items needed before you start flooding your cookies:

  • Pastry bags (or if you don’t want to invest in pastry bags, gallon size Ziploc bags will do)
  • Couplers (these connect your bag to the decorating tip)
  • Wilton size 2 and size 4 decorating tips
  • Saran wrap
  • Food coloring (Americolor is my favorite. It creates bold colors and is oil free)
  • Baked sugar cookies

Now let’s talk royal icing…my favorite recipe is located HERE. Sugarbelle does an amazing job of explaining royal icing so I will let the pro teach you! She has an awesome tutorial HERE that discusses how to outline a cookie. (Royal icing calls for meringue powder which is not typically sold at your local grocery store. It can be found at places like Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann and Amazon. Right here in Knoxville there is an awesome shop called Sugarbakers.)

Once your icing is made, we are ready to get to work! Here is a short video to show you how I put my icing into my bag so that I can get to work…this saves time, hassle and clean up!

[xyz-ihs snippet=”Jenna-icing-video”]


The easiest way to do this is do outline the area that you want to flood, let it sit for a minute and then go back and flood in the rest of outlined area. I use a Wilton #4 tip to do my outline and to flood the cookie. Let this area dry for about 15 minutes before you move on to the next step.


Outline the underside of the football and then fill in with brown icing. Let the football dry for at least a couple hours before you move on to step three.


Time to add the white detail work. Using the Wilton #2 tip, I added the side details first and then went back and did the top lace. Your masterpiece is now complete!

Now it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, because you are D-U-N (well, except for the dreaded kitchen clean up that has to now take place.) You now know why your local bakery charges an arm and a leg for hand decorated cookies. It is a labor of love and a time commitment like no other!

Do you have any questions about working with royal icing? What are your sugar cookie baking trips and tricks?


  1. Ladies, these are the tips that Jenna gave me (an inexperienced cookie baker/decorator) a few years back to make some cookies for my hubbies 30th. With all these tips, I was able to make some amazing cookies!!! Please please please take these tips and use them, and you will have perfect cookies every. single. time!!!!!!


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