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Best Online Cookie Decorating Classes

Arty McGoo is our top pick

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Close-up of homemade decorated biscuits in the shapes of flamingos, palm trees, crocodiles and leaves for a child's birthday party with a tropical jungle theme

Jenny Dettrick / Getty Images

Cookie decorating always seems like a fun weekend project to take up—until you realize how much there is to it. The ongoing list of things to learn, from making the cookie to making the colored royal icings to learning how to decorate each cookie, seems daunting.

Even more overwhelming is the sheer number of tutorials, classes, and websites that give instructions on how to decorate cookies. We sifted through the options to find the best online cookie decorating classes for you.

Best Online Cookie Decorating Classes of 2021

Best Overall: Arty McGoo

Arty McGoo

Arty McGoo

Why We Chose It: This comprehensive program that has new videos added every month, as well as a robust community of other cookie decorators.

Pros
6 new videos added monthly
Guest instructors give a different perspective
Community of other cookie decorators
Reasonable monthly fee

Cons
Teaching style is very personality-driven
Some videos are entertainment, not educational

With over 300 videos on how to make various different cookie decorations, Arty McGoo is our pick for the best overall online cookie decorating classes. Arty McGoo is the alter ego of Liz Adams, the creator of McGoo U, an online school for learning cookie decorating since 2014. Available for free on her website are basic tutorials on topics such as making a no-fail sugar cookie, making royal icing, the standard equipment and tools needed, and basic techniques on how to decorate cookies.

However, if you sign up for the monthly subscription, you get access to 300-plus videos, which include in-depth instructions on making different decorative cookies such as poinsettias and butterflies to magical fairies and even more fantastical creations. Videos and tutorials instructions range from Arty McGoo herself to a mix of expert cookie decorators from all over, many of whom have written books, won awards, or taught at cookie conventions like Cookie Con. You’ll learn advanced techniques like stamping, piping, wafer paper, airbrushing, and more. Each cookie tutorial has a list of the various techniques they employ, so you know exactly what you’ll learn from watching the video.

Also included in the membership is access to a private Facebook group where you can meet other cookie decorating students of McGoo U and support each other. You can even create private “study groups” for local membership, which give you more discounts and added bonuses. Membership is $9.99 a month or $105 a year.

Best for Beginners: Paper Street Parlour

Paper Street Parlour

Paper Street Parlour

Why We Chose It: Foundational tutorials to show you how to get started on the path to cookie decorating.

Pros
3 courses to teach you the foundations
Access to a teacher to ask questions
Straightforward, sequential courses

Cons
More expensive than other courses
Limited specific cookie instructions

Paper Street Parlour is run by Tyler April Townley, a professional pastry chef who teaches cookie decorating classes in her home studio in Irvine, California. She also has a series of three foundational courses on how to decorate cookies. Each module focuses on a different aspect of the cookie decorating process, from making the cookie to making the royal icing and the various foundation techniques you need to decorate each cookie.

Though she also offers two other courses, a gingerbread house decorating class and a Christmas cookie decorating class, the three foundational courses are her masterclasses and include an extensive list of FAQs, recipes, and supply list so you can get started on your cookie decorating adventure. Even better, once you’ve purchased a video (which is yours to watch forever), you can email Townley directly to get any answers about cookie decorating that aren’t addressed in the video or FAQs.

Individual modules are priced at $49 each for the foundational courses; you can buy all three masterclasses for a discounted $99. The Gingerbread house and Christmas cookie videos are $35 each.

Best Free Class: The Bearfoot Baker

The Bearfoot Baker

The Bearfoot Baker

Why We Chose It: This collection of tutorials covers how to make cookies, royal icing, and cookie decorating techniques.

Pros
Experienced teacher
Video and written instructions with process photos

Cons
Navigating website can be a bit difficult
Older posts are hard to find
Blog isn’t strictly about cookies

If you’re completely new to cookie decorating and don’t want to invest a huge amount of money upfront in courses, Lisa at Bearfoot Baker is the one to show you the way. As an experienced cookie decorator, she’s taught a class about cookie fundamentals at Cookie Con. The Bearfoot Baker is her blog, which has hundreds of posts with cookie recipes and techniques. Even better, her posts are free to read and peruse.

As with all blogs, navigating to find the appropriate posts can sometimes be challenging, but the tab at the top of the site with “Bearfoot Basics” will lead you in the right direction. Learn about the basics of sugar cookie making (broken into three parts) as well as how to make the proper royal icing consistency. From there, you can learn how to make specific decorated cookies like Santa Claus, furry bears, or ice cream cones. Most tutorials are geared toward beginner to intermediate decorators and most include a video as well as written instructions with process photos.

Since The Barefoot Baker is a blog, all posts are free to view and supported by ads. Each post also includes a list of equipment necessary to make the cookie, with outbound links to purchase items you might need.

Best for Those With Basic Skills: SweetAmbs Cookies

Sweet Ambs Cookies YouTube

Sweet Ambs Cookies YouTube

Why We Chose It: This comprehensive collection of videos shows you how to decorate an amazing array of cookies.

Pros:
Wide range of videos
Great for folks who know the basics
Free

Cons:
Navigating and finding videos can be challenging
All YouTube videos have ads

If you are looking for a set of cookie decorating tutorials that skips the basics, the SweetAmbs YouTube channel is a great resource. Amber Spiegel's channel has nearly 800,000 subscribers, with some videos garnering more than 15 million views. Though there are a few basic technique videos, including how to flood a cookie with royal icing, most of the videos do assume that you have a basic understanding of standard techniques like piping, flooding, and wet-on-wet royal icing.

Videos are no-frills, with Spiegel showing you how she makes gorgeous cookies with stock music playing; there is often no voice-over. But for folks who are familiar with decorating, watching her create the cookies is enough to be able to replicate the technique and cookie itself.

All videos on the channel are free and supported by ads. You can subscribe to Spiegel's Patreon to get access to ad-free tutorials, recipes, more detailed instructions, as well as subscriber-only content. But there is plenty to explore on her YouTube channel, and her website has a blog that also supports her YouTube channel videos, including short written instructions on how to make each cookie.

Best Virtual Events: Edible Impressions

Edible Impressions

Edible Impressions

Why We Chose It: Edible Impressions hosts virtual events designed for all skill sets, from family fun to corporate teambuilding exercises.

Pros
Customizable virtual event experience
Accessible for all skill sets
Events come with kits
No baking or icing making, strictly decorating

Cons
Events require cookie kit purchase

Edible Impressions' virtual events require you to purchase a cookie decorating kit that is completely customizable. You can pick from ready-made theme sets like “Happy Hour” or “Coffee Break” or make your own custom kit.

Kits include four cookie shapes and three frosting colors. All kits come with “blank” pre-baked cookies and frostings so you are ready to decorate right out of the box. During the virtual event, instructor Annette Conrad will teach you a variety of decorating techniques, a tabletop view demonstration, and a live question-and-answer session. Because there’s no baking or icing making, you can concentrate strictly on decorating, making this an accessible course or event for everyone—regardless of their cookie decorating skills.

Events vary on how many participants and kits are purchased, with a starting price of $220 per hour if you buy zero to four kits. Discounts are available if you buy five to 19 kits and 20 or more kits. Kits start at $26 each.

Best Live Class: Arlos Cookies

Arlos Cookies

Arlos Cookies

Why We Chose It: A mix of pre-recorded and live instruction means you get to learn at your own pace and then ask questions during a live Q&A.

Pros
Sophisticated designs and techniques
Detailed cookies are unique and beautiful

Cons
All classes are intermediate to advanced
Designs and colors might not suit all tastes

With a large following on Instagram, Luna Ellis’ sophisticated and detailed cookie designs stand out from a crowded field of cookie decorators. Now, you can learn how she decorates her cookies by purchasing her classes. A mix of pre-recorded instructions and a live Q&A (which is broadcast on her private Facebook group) means you get the best of both worlds, with the ability to re-watch and learn the techniques at your own pace and ask her questions directly. All live videos are also archived so if you can’t join the live broadcast, you can still watch it.

Arlos Cookies is known for Ellis' signature color palette of muted colors and intricate, detailed designs. All classes come with instructions on how to do her signature detailed work, as well as how to mix the colors she creates. Classes are seasonal or holiday-focused, with previous classes on summer, Valentine’s Day, and holidays.

Classes start at $30, which includes the pre-recorded instruction and access to live video content. Specially designed cookie cutters can be purchased separately from the class.

Best Class With a Kit: The Flour Box

The Flour Box

The Flour Box

Why We Chose It: Simple tutorial videos on how to make themed decorative cookies come with a kit that includes all the cookie cutters.

Pros
Theme kits come with all the equipment
Tutorial video is comprehensive with voice-over
Customizable kits available

Cons
Requires you to bake cookies
You need to make royal icing
You must purchase colorings
Assumes basic decorating skills

If cookie decorating kits are your thing, The Flour Box is a great option. It sells all the equipment for cooking decorating, including tips, tubes, and cookie cutters. The site also sells theme box kits that include most of the equipment you need to decorate the cookies and a comprehensive tutorial on how to do that.

You do need to bake your own cookies as well as make your own royal icing. This also means you have to buy the food coloring gels for each of the projects. But each kit comes with explicit instructions and directions, including the colors needed for each project. It even gives an estimated timeline, broken down into individual days.

Kits average around $27. However, all video tutorials are free to watch on the kit purchasing page. You can even pick and choose specific cookie cutters and equipment to buy if you don’t wish to buy the whole kit or if you already own some of the items.

Final Verdict

We picked Arty McGoo as the best online course because of the broad range of instructors that bring different perspectives to cookie decorating, its large library of video tutorials, and its community of cookie decorators.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Online Cookie Decorating Classes Cost?

Online cookie decorating classes range in price from free to $49 per class, though most courses average somewhere between $25 and $30. Some sites offer a monthly or annual subscription as well.

Is It Worth Paying for an Online Cookie Decorating Class?

There are a number of free options online that are great resources on how to decorate cookies. But if you are serious about learning how to decorate cookies, want to take your cookie decorating skills to the next level, or want to connect with other passionate cookie decorators, paying for an online class might be worth it.

What Do You Learn in an Online Cookie Decorating Class?

You can learn everything from basic foundational skills like baking no-spread sugar cookies, making and coloring royal icing, and basic decorating techniques to more advanced techniques and how to decorate themed cookies.

Methodology

We researched numerous articles, reviews, and select companies across the internet, as well as consulted with professional cookie decorators in the industry to find the best online cookie decorating classes. A number of criteria came into play when creating our list, including the broad range of techniques and tutorials available, the depth of knowledge of the instructors, and the comments and community support around the program.

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