How To Make Decorated Cactus Cookies with Royal Icing

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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!

A board filled with green-iced cactus-shaped cookies. Text overlay says"Cactus Cookies for Cinco de Mayo". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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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!

Cactus Sugar Cookies

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.

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.,).

Recipe for Cactus Sugar Cookies
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More Decorated Cookies

Want more decorated cookies to make? Check these recipes out next:

Cactus Sugar Cookies Recipe

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.

How to Make Cute Cactus Cookies

Cactus Cookies

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes

These Cactus Cookies are yummy, fun to make, and will definitely be a hit at any party!


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Using an electric handheld or stand mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and egg until combined and creamy.
  3. Sift or whisk the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a large bowl.
  4. At low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Then use your hands to mix to a dough.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Dust your surface with flour and knead the cookie dough a couple of times before rolling to about ½"/1cm thick.
  8. Cut out 12 cactus with a cactus-shaped cookie cutter and place them onto a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

    Baked Cactus Sugar Cookie
  10. Leave cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Place the neon green icing into a piping bag fitted with a round no.2 piping tip.
  14. 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.
  15. Scoop about ¼ cup of the leaf green icing into a piping bag fitted with a round no.2 piping tip.
  16. 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.
  17. Using the leaf green piping bag, outline each of the cookies.

    Outlined Cactus Cookie
  18. Using the thinned icing, fill in the cactus outline.

  19. Leave the cookies in a cool, dry place to dry for 24 hours.
  20. Using the neon green piping bag, pipe a line around the main section of the cactus, and then around the arms.

  21. Pipe broken lines down the centers of the cactus body and arms.

    Lines Added to Cactus Cookie
  22. Pipe little hearts on some of the broken lines.

    How to Make Cute Cactus Cookies
  23. Allow the icing to dry for 2 hours before enjoying!
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.

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Make It A Meal!

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