Watermelon Sugar Cookies

How to make adorable watermelon sugar cookies with easy royal icing decoration! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s definitely time for a summery sugar cookie. I’m so excited to show you how I made these watermelon sugar cookies, plus how EASY it is to work with royal icing.

The thought of decorating sugar cookies may have you running for the hills, but how can pretty pink watermelon cookies frighten you?!

And, by the way, mini chocolate chips make the cutest little seeds. 🙂

How to make adorable watermelon sugar cookies with easy royal icing decoration! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Slowly but surely I’ve been inching my way into the cool cookie decorator’s club. Some of you are already members because there is so much cookie decorating talent out there! Truth is, I used to be horrible at decorating sugar cookies. My hands are shaky and let’s just say the amount of patience I have is relative to the size of these chocolate chip watermelon seeds.

But you know what happened? I improved. I prefer to stick with the easy decorations, like these fun watermelon cookies. With only 1 piping tip and 3 colors– you can create these watermelon slice sugar cookies at home too. Even if you’re not in the cool cookie decorator’s club yet.

But after 1 batch, you will be!

How to make watermelon sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Watermelon Sugar Cookies: 2 Parts

  1. Start with a quality sugar cookie recipe, like my beloved sugar cookies. I use these soft cut-out sugar cookies for any and all shaped sugar cookies. But here’s the fun part: flavor it with watermelon flavor! Just a smidge since a little goes a long way.
  2. Sugar cookie icing. I have 2 favorite decorating icing recipes: an easy glaze icing that I pair with my Christmas sugar cookies and a traditional royal icing. Glaze icing is wonderful for flooding on top of cookies and if you’re only focusing on 1 color. But royal icing, which sets quickly, is perfect for multiple colors and a fancier design. Don’t worry, it’s super simple to make.

Whip up the sugar cookie dough and cut it into large circles, then cut the circles in half to make “slices.” What I love about this sugar cookie dough is that the cookies always hold onto their shape in the oven.

How to make royal icing on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now let’s get to the decorating. I want you to feel confident before you even begin.

Decorating Tools

Also recommended: silicone baking mats, rolling pin, and a circle cookie cutter. I love this circle cookie cutter set and used the 3-inch circle for these.

How to make watermelon sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s decorate! Begin with the watermelon rind. It’s green and white, right? So 1 line green then 1 line white. Make sure you chill the cookies between each piped line to help set the icing. Why? As you’re decorating, you don’t want the colors to bleed into each other. And brief 15 minutes in the fridge between each color helps prevent that.

Rind is complete and I promise it tastes better than actual watermelon rind. 🙂 Though I find this interesting!

How to make watermelon sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Then fill with pink.

How to make watermelon sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I was going to tint royal icing black for the seeds but really didn’t feel like waiting for the pink to set, nor did I have black coloring. Mini chocolate chips to the rescue. Watermelon and chocolate doesn’t sound all that appealing to me, but when the watermelon is in the form of sugar cookies– I’m pretty sure we’re gold.

How to make adorable watermelon sugar cookies with easy royal icing decoration! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now let’s watch to see how it’s all done. I promise it’s so much easier than you’d ever expect.

Print

Watermelon Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 50 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

It doesn’t get any cuter than these watermelon sugar cookies! Made with a delicious buttery sugar cookie dough and royal icing, everyone will flip for them.


Ingredients

  • 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 teaspoon watermelon flavor*

Royal Icing

  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 910 Tablespoons room temperature water
  • green/pink food coloring
  • 1/3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  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 watermelon 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 until it is 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 3-inch circle cookie cutter, cut into circles. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd dough piece. Cut each circle in half to form slices.
  7. Arrange cookies on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. 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 need to use 12-14 Tablespoons! If it’s too thin, add a little more sifted confectioners’ sugar. Separate icing into 3 bowls, making sure 1 bowl has about 2/3 of the icing. This is for the pink. The others will have 1/3 of the icing each. Stir pink coloring into the larger amount of icing and green into one of the other bowls. Keep the last bowl of icing white.
  9. Add green icing to a piping bag fitted with round icing tip #5. Line green icing around the round bottom of each cookie. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator to set the icing for 15 minutes. Add white icing to a piping bag fitted with the same round icing tip. Line white icing right above green icing. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator to set the icing for 15 minutes. Add pink icing to a piping bag fitted with the same round icing tip. Pipe pink icing onto the rest of the watermelon slice. Top with mini chocolate chips as “seeds.” Icing will completely set in 2-3 hours at room temperature.
  10. Decorated or plain cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  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 as directed in step 5– no need to chill for 1-2 hours, 45 minutes should be plenty.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Rolling Pin | Round Cookie CuttersSilpat Baking MatAmericolor Soft Gel Paste | Icing BagsRound Decorating Tip #5
  3. Watermelon Flavor: The watermelon flavoring is pretty similar to the flavor of a watermelon jolly rancher. It’s tasty, but if that’s not your thing– try using 1 teaspoon of either lemon or orange extract instead. You can find those in the baking aisle of any major grocery store.
How to make summertime watermelon sugar cookies with this SOFT sugar cookie and easy royal icing recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

63 Comments

  1. Omg! These watermelon sugar cookies are soo adorable. I can already see that these will be a huge hit at summer parties and picnics! Thank you so much for all the helpful step by step tips. It definitely helps! I had no idea that I could by watermelon flavor. Now, I’m so tempted to order a bottle.

  2. You definitely got me hooked! I didn’t ever associate sugar cookies with summer, but there you go. No wonder you have been looking forward to this for so long.
    Obviously mini chocolate chips are sooo much better and easier than black royal icing. Excited to try these, thanks!

  3. These are adorable, Sally! So so so cute 🙂 About the watermelon flavor, do you find that it is realistic or more like Jolly-Rancher watermelon?

    1. Ehh, it’s more jolly rancher-ish. That being said, I suggest a lemon or orange extract if the watermelon jolly rancher flavor isn’t your thing 🙂

  4. Cute, meticulous, and I am sure tasty. I am sure there are lots of great decorators out there, but this is just as beautiful as most cookies I have seen. And according to my doctor’s prognosis of my diet, I have eaten LOTS of cookies. 😉

  5. These are so adorable! I will absolutely be making these sometime this week. Maybe after that I will make some that look like orange or lemon slices and add a hint of the corresponding flavor to each of those. Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Wow, that’s a great idea! That would probably work by adding a bit of juice and zest to the cookie dough – or maybe a drop of orange or lemon oil. I must admit that I’m not a fan of artificial flavours and therefore wouldn’t add that watermelon flavour, so thank you, Kalli, for this idea! 🙂

  6. These almost look too cute to eat! Frosted sugar cookies are a favourite party dessert around here – I used your chocolate sugar cookie recipe this past Valentine’s Day to make heart shaped cookies – but they were not decorated nearly as fun as these. Can’t believe it’s the first week of summer. Can’t wait to make *all* the summer recipes, including these 😉

  7. I also have shaky hands and felt intimidated with piping on sugar cookies. Like so many other times, you made it seem like something I could do.
    One more thing on the list to make in France!

  8. These are soo cute and look yummy! My grandsons love watermelon and I”m sure they would love these watermelon cookies. Guess I need to make some. You come up with some really neat ideas.

  9. I am so excited to try these for a beach trip this weekend! Do you think watermelon juice or small chunks would work in the dough in place of the extract flavoring? I’m worried about my husband’s reaction if I bring any more baking supplies into our already packed kitchen!! Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Rebecca! Neither would be ideal options. WAY too juicy for a cookie dough. You can always leave out the extract or grab some orange/lemon extract at the store vs. ordering watermelon online.

  10. “Weird how practice chips away at our fears.”
    ^You are so right!!!

    In fact, I just made a smash cake for a friend’s son’s first birthday party, and I tried decorative piping for what was essentially the first time. And I literally told myself, “Sally was new to this once, too, and she figured it out and got over it. You can, too!”

    Thanks for your “bravery” (for lack of better words) and inspo!

  11. THESE ARE ADORABLE. Does the chocolate chips taste good with a watermelon flavor sugar cookie? I’m contemplating this or black sprinkles for the seeds 🙂

    1. You can always ditch the watermelon flavor OR use chocolate sprinkles– or pipe black seeds. 🙂 Whatever you think you’d like best!

  12. Hi Sally, any alternative recommendations for meringue. I would be try it out for first time and want to go with ingredients I have on hand. Pls let me know . also can we use basic home made frosting (like the one mentioned above) for cake pops? Will they turn out well?

  13. These are SOOO adorable!! I’m sure they taste as good as they look!!! We’ve tried several of your recipes and all of them have been so good! Your blog is so fun!

  14. I have a question about using bake even strips on a jelly roll pan. While shopping, I noticed strips for round cake or rectangular pans.

    What can I use for a jelly roll pan that has narrow edges? Is there a homemade hack for bake even strip? Thank you!

  15. Sally, this is unrelated to the darling watermelon cookies. Here’s my question – I am trying to make gluten-free recipes for my daughter. One of her all time favorites is your raspberry pastry braid. I am using the Namaste 1:1 gluten free flour from Costco. I have almost mastered a lemon bunds cake using some different techniques because no matter what anyone says, using gluten-feee flour in place of regular does not create the same texture, crumb, or flavor without some adjustments.  Any suggestions for gluten-free flour in your Danish pastry braids? Have you done it successfully?

  16. Sally, this is just a general question not at all related to your cookies. (You are so cute and I love seeing all your posts!) Will a cake that’s been frosted with sprinkles freeze safely, or should I wait to sprinkle after the cake is thawed? (I’m concerned about the sprinkles bleeding onto the frosting.)

    1. Thanks Paula! 🙂 Frosted cakes with regular rainbow (or whatever color) sprinkles/jimmies are just fine. But sparkling sugar sprinkles or nonpareils (the little balls) always bleed!

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