8-bit Sugar Cookie Hearts with Royal Icing


Sugar cookies with royal icing with a blocky 8-bit design.


Sugar cookie dough
Black food coloring
Red food coloring
Edible food marker (any color)

For the royal icing:
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
~1/4 cup water


Large heart cookie cutter
Cookie sheet
Sealable plastic bags
Toothpick or a steel needle tool

Preheat oven to 350┬░F!

Dust down some flour and roll out the cookie dough so it’s a little less than 1/4″ thick.


Cut out the heart shape and place on a cookie sheet.


Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

These cookies puffed up a little bit too much, so as soon as they were pulled from the oven, I used the heart cookie cutter on them again to get them back down to the proper shape. Then I ate all the trimmings.


Once the cookies have cooled, take a cookie and measure the height at its highest point and the width at its largest point.

Using the edible marker, make dashes every centimeter on the cookie vertically and horizontally across the cookie. Then draw lines vertically and horizontally to create a grid.


Doodling on a cookie.

In the boxes where you will create the black outline, draw “X”s so you know where to put the icing.


Once your cookie grid is all set, it’s time to make the icing!

Mix together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and a couple of tablespoons of water.

Blend until the mixture is smooth. You want the mixture thick enough so a drop of icing will stay on the surface for a few moments before blending back in. If the mixture is too thick, add another teaspoon of water until you have the right consistency. For greater water-adding-control, you can also use a spray bottle of water and give the mixture a few spritzes.

Separate into three bowls. One bowl should have about four tablespoons of icing. Take one-fourth of the reminder of the icing and set aside. Cover the largest portion of royal icing with plastic wrap.

For the middle amount of icing, add a few drops of black food coloring and mix.


Pour the black icing into a plastic bag and seal. Snip off the tip of the bag and fill in the “X” boxes with the icing.


A glass is very helpful for getting the royal icing into the bag. I still manage to get it everywhere, but this helps.


To nudge into a grid box, use a toothpick or a steel needle tool. I just bought one of the steel needle tools, they’re pretty nice!


Allow the iced cookies to sit for 20 minutes.

Decide where the white blocks should go on your cookie. Scoop the smallest part of the icing into a bag, snip the tip of the bag, and fill in the blocks.


Allow the white icing to sit for another 20 minutes.

With the last of the icing, you’ll mostly need to add a few more drops of water as it’s probably hardened a bit by this time.

Add a few drops of red food coloring to the icing and mix.


Scoop into a plastic bag, seal, and snip off the corner.

Flood the heart with the red icing.


Allow to sit for 30 minutes.


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