How to Make Winter Snow Globe Cookies

These elegant holiday cookies will take your breath away.

Snow globe cookies are among my favorites because they are so customizable! Once you have them iced and ready to “paint,” the real fun starts. Of course, you can fill them with simple holiday scenes, but you can also try anything from pets to buildings to cars or even just pretty designs! This makes for a super unique batch of cookies that will wow your family and impress your friends.

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The first thing you need to do is bake the snow globe cookies. Get the recipe.

Then prepare the royal icing. Get the recipe.

You want a very thick icing for these cookies, which allows you to add food coloring without thinning it out too much.

My royal icing recipe includes pasteurized egg whites. This can be found in most grocery stores.


Prepare two piping bags, one with white icing for the globe and one with the color of your choice for the base of the snow globe.  This icing should be approximately the consistency of toothpaste. If the icing is too thick, thin it out by slowly adding drops of water. If it's too runny, add more confectioners sugar or some thicker icing. Outline the globe and base.  Let the lines set for 2-3 minutes.

Plastic disposable piping bags are helpful for keeping the icing from drying out for use the next day. As an alternative, you can always use a Ziplock bag with a tiny hole cut in the tip. It is more difficult to control but works in a pinch.


Now it’s time to fill in the two sections of the cookie with icing. For this step the icing should be the consistency of maple syrup. Put some icing in a small bowl and, drop by drop, add water until it is thin enough to spread on the cookie with the paintbrush. Smooth out any bumps or lumps into a flat smooth surface. Be careful to apply only as much icing as you need to cover the surface of the cookie.  I usually paint to the level of the outline. Let the cookies dry 6 hours or overnight, depending on the conditions.

Putting the cookies near a fan will speed up the icing drying process.


Put little drops of gel food coloring on a flat plate and have a glass of water and paper towel available. With a small watercolor brush, dab a few drops of water near a dot of food gel and then add a tiny amount of gel to the water. The more color you add to the water, the darker your paint will be.  Remember to add gel to the water, not the other way around. Also, very important! Always dab your brush onto the paper towel before painting on the cookie to eliminate excess liquid.  Use one of your snow globes as a practice palette to test out your “paint.” This one just might end up being your favorite cookie!

Change the water in your glass often to keep your colors from getting muddy.


Now is the time to get creative and personalize your cookies! Paint whatever you like on the globe. Start off with something simple like a tree or snowman. Keep in mind is that there is no white watercolor, so if you want something to be white, like my snowman, just outline it on the white background and it will read as white. Fill in the background last for a picture-perfect cookie.

If you want to erase a line or color, just rinse your brush and gently stroke the lightly damp brush over the area you want to remove. Repeat a few times and let the area dry.


With light blue icing in a pastry tube, re-outline the globe for a clean finish. Also re-outline the base, including details, with your chosen color.

If you want to use the cookies as name cards for a party, use the white tip to pipe names on the bases.


Use white icing in a piping bag to add falling snow. To make nice dots, hold the tip at a slight angle, squeeze, and then release pressure before moving on to the next snowflake.

Put more snow at the bottom of the globe so it looks as though the snow is accumulating, like in a real snow globe!


For an extra glistening surface, you can add some edible sparkle dust. Either sprinkle it on with your fingers or use a soft brush to apply it. Blow off any excess.

About Baked Ideas

Patti Paige is an artist, baker, and owner of Baked Ideas in New York City. She and her small staff decorate cakes and cookies that reflect her affinity for clean simple design and vibrant color. Memories of the shaped cookies her grandmother used to make, a master's degree in painting, and a lifelong habit of making things in and out of the kitchen, have resulted in confections that are as fun to look at as they are to eat. She also makes all her own cookie cutters including a line of 10 yoga pose cutters and cookies that were featured in O Magazine. Martha Stewart Living and Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa are among her clients and even the White House Egg Roll included her Easter cookies one year. In her popular first book, You Can't Judge a Cookie By It's Cover, Patti reveals some of her greatest recipes and tricks for creating multiple cookie designs with just one cutter.