These Decorated Cactus Cookies are yummy, fun to make, and will definitely be a hit at any party. If you are looking for awesome sugar cookies for Cinco de Mayo, this is the recipe to save!
I have included affiliate links to useful products and services related to the topic of this post.
If you purchase via the links I may earn a commission.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Read Full Disclosure Policy
Decorated Cactus Cookies
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.
If you’re throwing a llama, southwestern, or cowboy party these cactus cookies would make a yummy sweet treat on the dessert table, or even as an edible party favor for guests to take home – just place in a cellophane bag and tie off with ribbon.
These decorated cookies are easier to make than you might think and the end result is a plate of cute cactus cookies for your party or gathering!
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.
- Powdered Sugar – also known as Icing Sugar or Confectioners Sugar.
- Vanilla Extract
- All-Purpose Flour – also known as Plain Flour.
- Baking Soda – also known as Bicarbonate of Soda.
- Cream of Tartar – a stabilizing ingredient often used in baking. In cookies, it will give them a soft chewy texture, and in icing it helps to harden it, which is what you want for this type of decorated cookie.
- Cactus Cookie Cutter – the one used in the pictures is by Sugarbelles. If you can’t find this one, you can use any other cactus cookie cutter you like.
- Leaf Green Food Coloring Gel
- Neon Green Food Coloring Gel – may be called bright green or electric green. You essentially want two shades of green to decorate these cookies.
- Piping Bags
- Round No.2 Piping Tip
- Squeeze Bottle
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
More Decorated Cookies
Want more decorated cookies to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Decorated Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
- Snowman Mickey Mouse Gingerbread Cookies
- Halloween Spider Web Cookies
How Do I Make Decorated Cactus Cookies?
Just check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
For the Royal Icing
- 4 egg whites
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4½ cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- Neon/Bright Green Food Coloring Gel
- Leaf Green Food Coloring Gel
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Using an electric handheld or stand mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and egg until combined and creamy.
- Sift or whisk the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a large bowl.
- At low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Then use your hands to mix to a dough.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Dust your surface with flour and knead the cookie dough a couple of times before rolling to about ½"/1cm thick.
- Cut out 12 cactus with a cactus-shaped cookie cutter and place them onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Leave cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- To make the royal icing, use an electric handheld or stand mixer to combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Scoop out 1 cup of icing into a bowl and add a few drops of neon green gel coloring. Mix to the desired shade of green. This will be used to pipe the lines on the cactus.
- Place the neon green icing into a piping bag fitted with a round no.2 piping tip.
- Add a few drops of leaf green to the remaining icing and mix to the desired shade of green. This will be used to cover the base of the cactus cookies.
- Scoop about ¼ cup of the leaf green icing into a piping bag fitted with a round no.2 piping tip.
- Add 2-4 teaspoons of water into the remaining leaf green icing bowl and mix to thin the icing and make it slightly runnier. Pour the icing into a squeeze bottle.
- Using the leaf green piping bag, outline each of the cookies.
- Using the thinned icing, fill in the cactus outline.
- Leave the cookies in a cool, dry place to dry for 24 hours.
- Using the neon green piping bag, pipe a line around the main section of the cactus, and then around the arms.
- Pipe broken lines down the centers of the cactus body and arms.
- Pipe little hearts on some of the broken lines.
- Allow the icing to dry for 2 hours before enjoying!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 0gSugar: 54gProtein: 2g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Appetizer: Cheese-Stuffed Taco Meatballs
- Main Dish: Slow Cooker Beef Fajitas
- Side Dish: Quick & Easy Spicy Salsa
- Beverage: Cinco de Mayo Hot Cocoa Bombs with RumChata
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!