Swimmingly Fun Turtle Cookies

Swimmingly Fun Turtle Cookies

No turtle week celebration would be complete without turtle cookies, right? Right.

Turtles don’t get nearly enough love. We associate them with slowness instead of longevity, hiding in their shells instead of gliding through the currents. No one who has ever encountered a magnificent sea turtle out in the ocean has ever come back unmoved. They deserve an honorary cookie.

Here at the Boop, we absolutely love turtles. In honor of National Turtle Day this May 23, we’re devoting a whole week to our green oceanic friends. In this post, we’re making sugar cookie turtles with royal icing decorations as individual as the real thing- but don’t miss our posts on turtle facts, fun turtle stuff for the house, and turtle conservation tips!

Fancy Turtle Sugar Cookies

These sweet turtle sugar cookies are a fun homage to the real thing. Let kids customize their own turtle “shell” with sprinkles and colored frostings, or do what we did and use the opportunity to practice your royal icing skills! The hardest part is the time it takes to prepare the royal icing, so if you’re impatient, just go with regular buttercream!


  • 1 recipe basic rolled sugar cookie dough
  • 1 recipe royal icing, tinted in various shades of white, green, and blue


  • Prepare your sugar cookie dough according to instructions. (I use Haniela’s). You can use a turtle cookie cutter or freehand the shapes. Bake as directed and allow to cool.
  • Prepare royal icing and tint in desired shades of white, green, blue, or whatever strikes your fancy!
  • Dilute royal icing with a few dribbles of water at a time until the icing runs off spoon in continuous ribbon (flood consistency.) If you’re new to royal icing, you may want to outline your turtle in thicker icing, then fill with the diluted version.
  • Using a #3 or #4 tip, draw the outline of the turtle and the shell using light green royal icing, then fill so the outside part is filled in and the circle of the shell is empty. Allow to dry at least 6 hours or overnight before continuing.
  • Wet on wet technique: fill inside of shell with flood consistency icing, then create your patterns while icing is still wet so colors blend together. In the video I used marbling technique, concentric circles, and a scribe tool (though a toothpick works too). It’s easy! If you can make circles and lines and you have a toothpick, you can do this.


If you don’t have a favorite sugar cookie recipe already, Haniela’s is a good place to start. I like to roll the dough as soon as it’s made, placing the dough between two pieces of parchment paper so it doesn’t stick. Then chill the dough BEFORE cutting! It makes a huge difference.
My favorite royal icing recipe can be found over at Sugarbelle. This site has great tips on how to prepare royal icing and make sure it’s at the right consistency for the work you’re doing!

My favorite tools for cookie decorating:

Silpat: If you’re not baking with a silicon sheet, you’re missing out! It makes life so much easier if you bake more than once a year.

Joseph Joseph rolling pin: Sick of cookies that are super thick on one side and paper thin on the other? This pin ensures even thickness all the way around. Total game changer.

Sugarbelle icing bottles: These make decorating with royal icing a breeze. Seriously, it’s so much easier than dribbling a bunch of colors into messy piping bags, and the bottle opening is super wide. Ever try to use royal icing in a funnel? Don’t.

Ann Clark Sea Turtle Cookie Cutter: This is the cutter used in the video.

Turtle waving arms

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