Valentine’s Day Heart Sugar Cookies

conversation heart sugar cookies decorated with colorful royal icing

We can’t make Valentine’s Day heart sugar cookies without cute little sayings on top!

I’d actually like to take this moment to apologize for how horrendous my piped writing is. I have zero talent writing on cookies and cakes. Zero zip zilch. Pen and paper, great! But once icing is involved, my hands lose control, get all floppy, and chicken scratch ensues!

conversation heart candies

Speaking of writing, one of the best parts of Valentine’s Day is reading all the writing on conversation hearts. Right? I get a KICK reading these things. Wicked cool, txt me, QT pie, fax me… I even saw a “giggle” and “sugar pie” in a bag recently. And the mustache!! Thank you for all the entertainment, Brach’s!

Let’s jump right into the cookies.

Today’s conversation heart lookalike cookies are a sugar cookie, pastel royal icing on top, and writing. I stuck with the shortest possible sayings and words because, well… you know my struggle.

bottles of gel food coloring and piping tips

We’re using royal icing for the sugar cookie decoration.

Tools You Need:

  1. Americolor Soft Gel Paste Color Kit. In my experience, this is the BEST coloring for royal icing. The color is rich and vivid. You only need a teeny drip for the pastel colors in today’s cookies. And for darker colors, 1 small drop. So these colors will last you a very long time! I used the yellow, deep pink color, violet, green, and orange. Red for the writing.
  2. Round Icing Tip #5. I use this for piping the royal icing on top of each cookie.
  3. Round Icing Tip #1. I use this teeny tip for the writing.
  4. Disposable piping bags. For the piping, of course!
  5. You’ll also need silicone baking mats, rolling pin, and a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

sugar cookie dough rolled out on silpat baking mat with heart cookie cutter

We’re using my trusty sugar cookies as the starting point. The cookies are soft and buttery with crisp edges. The dough holds its shape wonderfully in the oven. Sharp and precise; no misshapen hearts!

The most important part, like usual, is to chill the cookie dough. This ensures the cookies hold their shape. The unique part about this sugar cookie recipe is that you chill the cookie dough *after* rolling it out. After the cookie dough is prepared, divide in two, and roll out each portion. My little trick? Roll out your sugar cookie dough onto lightly floured silicone baking mats. The mats won’t slide around. Then use the mats for baking the cookies.

conversation heart sugar cookies decorated with colorful royal icing on a white plate

Some *short* conversation heart saying inspiration:

  • BFF
  • Love
  • Kiss
  • Hugs
  • Xoxo
  • Best
  • Sweet
  • Cute or cutie

I’m sure you can come up with more and that your writing will be beautiful!

conversation heart sugar cookies with colorful royal icing

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conversation heart sugar cookies decorated with colorful royal icing

Valentine’s Day Heart Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 25 3-inch cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These decorated Valentine’s Day heart sugar cookies resemble conversation heart candies- so delicious and fun for the holiday!


  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • optional for added flavor: 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Royal Icing


  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. If the dough seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour so it’s a better consistency for rolling.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat (I prefer the nonstick silicone mat) to about 1/4″ thickness. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly ¼-inch thick.
  5. Stack the pieces, with parchment paper between the two, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours and up to 2 days. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper.
  6. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a heart cookie cutter, cut into heart shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd dough piece.
  7. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  8. Make the icing: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat all of the icing ingredients together on high speed for 5 minutes. When lifting the whisk up off the icing, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 10-12 seconds. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. (On particularly dry days, I use up to 12-14 Tablespoons water total.) If it’s too thin, add a little more sifted confectioners’ sugar. Separate icing into 6 different bowls. Stir in 1 tiny drop of the following colors into each bowl, 1 color per bowl: pink, violet, green, yellow, and orange. The 6th bowl is for the writing. Use 2-3 drops of red.
  9. Add icing to piping bag fitted with round icing tip #5. Decorate cookies with colored icing. Use round icing tip #1 for writing. Do not cover cookies as icing sets. Icing will set within 2-3 hours.
  10. Decorated or plain cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Plain or decorated sugar cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Wait for the icing to set completely before layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months before rolling it out. Prepare the dough through step 3, divide in half, flatten both halves into a disk as we do with pie crust, wrap each in plastic wrap, then freeze. To thaw, thaw the disks in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature for about 1 hour. Roll out the dough as directed in step 4, then chill rolled out dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes – 1 hour before cutting into shapes and baking.
  2. Easy Glaze: Instead of this royal icing, you can use my easy glaze icing if that’s easier for you. However, I find it nearly impossible to write with the glaze icing because it isn’t stable like royal icing.
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: sugar cookies, valentine's day cookies, heart sugar cookies

Decorated conversation heart sugar cookies for Valentine's Day! Recipe on


  1. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    Omg! These conversation sugar cookies are so cute, especially the cutie one! And your icing writing is not horrendous at all. Mine would soo shaky and you’d be able to see it. I can’t wait to try these. These cookies would be perfect for bringing to work and sharing with co-workers. Thanks for the inspiration, Sally!

  2. I’ve been holding my breath waiting for your Valentine inspires recipes! So happy to see these adorable cookies!

  3. Hi Sally

    I AGREE these look totally amazing and perfect for Valentines!
    I DISAGREE though about your writing on the cookies, it looks great, clear and neat.

    I love your blog and look forward to reading all your new recipes, coffee breaks, Saturday sevens and photography blog almost daily 🙂
    You are doing a great job!

    <3 ( I just had too )

    1. Thanks Reshana! I haven’t gotten out to take many photos lately, so my photography blog hasn’t been updated in over a month! Soon I hope 🙂

  4. Jillian @ says:

    No! Your writing is great! Mine on the other hand.. okay, nevermind let’s not talk about it! Anyway, love, love these! ❤️

  5. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    These are SO cute!  The writing reminds me of when I worked at Friendly’s Restaurant and occasionally had to write on cakes, I was so nervous to mess them up!  Def adding these to the Valentines Day Weekend baking list 😉

    1. Writing on professional cakes… for others… would make me so anxious!

  6. Sally, these are super cute! I love the colors and I think they look great!

  7. Beautiful! Maybe I should make these for my Valentine’s Day birthday! No need to apologize for your piped writing, Sally. I think it looks great! Should we mention that the sayings on the candy hearts are often stamped off-center or even off-heart! Oh dear… your cookies put those candies to shame. I think they’re perfect! Thanks for the cute cookie idea!

    1. Thanks so much Donna!

  8. Sara @ Last Night's Feast says:

    Maybe it’s the heart shape, but these cookies and your hand pies are the cutest things I’ve seen lately. They look so yummy =)

    1. Thanks Sara!!

  9. These cookies are so cute and festive. I love the pastel Valentine’s Day colours. I was thinking of making your chocolate sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day though, but I could still make them with the pastel icing and cute sayings on them. Also, that mustache sugar candy heart is hilarious! I’ll be looking for it in my bags now, next month. 🙂

  10. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl -these are so cute! yummy!

  11. Kevin @ Crinkly Cookie says:

    So cute! Heart-shaped sugar cookies were already on my V Day baking agenda, but upgrading with candy heart styling is a great idea. And yes, I certainly know your struggle with royal icing when it comes to detail work – I always have grand artistic visions that turn out more like blobs of toddler crayon drawings on my cookies. 🙂

    1. Lol I can totally relate to the blobs of toddler crayon drawings.

  12. So very cute! And the writing…..not bad at all! My hands are so shakey these days when trying to do things like that, that you probably wouldn’t be able to read mine at all! I’m still going to give it a try for Valentine’s, though!

  13. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    Such cute cookies! I am awful and writing stuff like that! Well, writing in general, my handwriting is not pretty! Your cookies look perfect though, you did a great job!

  14. I used to think I was really bad at writing on cookies & cakes, until I discovered a different brand of decorating tip. I don’t know why this works, but if you try using a PME brand decorating tip, you will get much better results than with Wilton. The words come out smoother and clearer for some reason, and you can get a lot more fine detail on your designs.

    1. Oh my gosh THANK YOU for the recommendation!

  15.  Am I crazy because we are all making Valentine cookies in January. Lol

    1. Haha! Well Vday is less than 3 weeks away. I start baking Christmas cookies in mid-November!

  16. We are going to try to make these cookies this week! Cannot wait to see the turnout. Thanks Sally for always having such great recipes!

  17. So Sally, what you are really saying is that it took several attempts to write on these cookies for worthy pictures!  Because that writing looks perfect to me!  Just love all of your recipes and your pictures are perfect!  I want to try everything!

  18. Melissa Howell says:

    I have always wondered how to use royal icing! Where do you get meringue powder? Also, love the idea of rolling the dough out first and then chilling it. Prevents cracks from rolling out a cold ball of dough, I would imagine!

    1. Hi Melissa! I always have trouble finding meringue powder in stores near me, so I always buy it off Amazon:

  19. You did a LOT better than I would have ever done with a piping bag! I tried to frost some cookies with a piping bag once and it looked terrible. I can’t frost cakes either. But these look great!

  20. Michelle @ Brown Butter and Biscuits says:

    These look amazing! So nicely decorated 🙂 And I love your sugar cookie recipe!

  21. These are adorable!! And your writing on them looks fantastic!

  22. What an adorable Valentine’s Day craft!

  23. Blogtastic Food says:

    Oooooo lovely, looks like we are getting a bit sweet on both the inside and the outside (;

  24. If I used your cream cheese sugar cookie  recipe  to make hearts. Would they hold their shape ? 

    Love all your baking! Thank you for sharing a little valentines sweet

    1. They sure would! Read the notes in the cream cheese sugar cookie recipe for how to make cookie cutter cookies with the dough.

  25. OK If you feel bad about your piping you should see my normal writing…. Anyways these were adorable!!

    1. Haha…thank Saadiya!

  26. Thanks for a wonderful Valentine recipe! Can I use a substitute for the meringue powder? My granddaughter is allergic to eggs. I use dairy free butter and egg replacer for the cookies, not sure if the egg replacer would work in the icing. 

    1. Hi Diana! Instead, I suggest using this easy glaze icing. Writing with it is a little tricky, but you can at least decorate the cookies with the colors.

  27. Sally, what is the trick to decorating cookies?? They make it look so easy in videos I see on instagram and stuff, but when I set out to decorate many beautifully shaped, hopeful cookies it ended in despair. It was so messy, the frosting didn’t come out the tip correctly, and I was just upset. Should I just try again?

    1. Please try again! Is your icing the right consistency? It should be very smooth and when you drizzle it into the bowl it should take a few seconds for the “drip marks” to disappear. I usually outline the shape of the cookie first and then fill it in. Hope this helps!

  28. I was thinking about making some cut out cookies to send out to a few people to brighten their days. Think I will stick with the easy glaze and just put lots of fun sprinkles on them. I am too impatient/uncoordinated to try to write on them. I think yours look awesome, btw. The writing is VERY good!

    1. You can definitely use the easy glaze on these and fun sprinkles would be adorable! That would certainly brighten my day 🙂

  29. Hadassah Danielle says:

    These are so cute! The sugar cookie recipe is my favorite; I made it three times last month. Keep posting your recipes – you’re my baking inspiration!

    1. Yay! So happy you have been enjoying this recipe! It’s my favorite cookie cutter recipe too 🙂

  30. Sally, these are adorable… now if I can just borrow your steady hand to write the words on them, then everything will be perfect;)  

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