How To Make Popcorn Sugar Cookies

Sometimes I have a brilliant reason to create something sweet. Other times I’m just rolling with whatever random things that POP in my head. These popcorn sugar cookies for instance. I could have made these for an awesome carnival party, movie night, game day bash, sleep over…or literally an endless amount of events at which popcorn is known to hang out. But why did I make these? Because I saw a flower cutter set and said, hey those look like popcorn. And that was that, Popcorn Sugar Cookies were popping out of the oven.

I made these a few months ago, but they got lost in the chaos of the holidays so I’m just now getting around to sharing them. Which I think is pretty cool because wouldn’t they make the perfect treat to say “Valentine you make my heart POP!” You know I just can’t resist a pun.

sugar cookies decorated like pieces of popcorn with a popcorn box

The stacking cutters guilty of forcing me to make these cookies this time were of course Sweet Sugarbelle’s nesting flower cutters. I mean if you really look at them they are totally popcorn cutters all the way.

Since I was making cookies at random (read unprepared) I had to get crafty with this design. So I finally got out my new air brush because  I knew a little yellow air brush would make the perfect butter effect. Except I had zero air brush colors. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp.  Surely I can make my own airbrush color right? Would it dry right? Would it clog the gun? You guys! It was SO easy. All I did was use a little clear vanilla extract (vodka would work as well, the alcohol evaporates just the same) and a little yellow gel coloring. Mix the two together and easy peasy air brush coloring! It brushed on like a dream and dried so nicely. As a matter of fact…I think I liked it even better then the regular air brush coloring. Anybody else do this? Please tell me I’m not the last cookier on earth to figure this trick out…

Let’s take a closer look at how to make these fun cookies.

step by step photo of how to make pop corn sugar cookies

DECORATOR’S NOTE! As always you can add or adjust tools and supplies to fit your ideal end result or tools you already have. But here’s what I used. Also, all of these royal icings could easily be switched to 20 second icing. I am just so darn old school I love to pipe and flood.


  • light yellow outline + flood royal icing
  • white with a slight touch of yellow outline + flood royal icing
  • corn kernel yellow 20 second royal icing
  • clear sprinkle sugars “salt”
  • yellow air brush color OR a little clear extract plus yellow gel color to mix your own


  • popcorn cutters
  • your favorite rolled sugar cookies
  • piping bags
  • small round piping tip
  • air brush


Step 1: Bake your popcorn sugar cookies.  I used this recipe and these stacking flower cutters.

Step 2: Make + prepare your royal icings.

Decorator’s Note: To make the white color I added just a touch of the pale yellow icing to it and it gave it just a slight buttery tint without making the color actually yellow.


Step 3: Begin by frosting two tear drop or heart shapes on each cookie across from one another. I used the colors at random to give it the right look. Some I outlined the shape with the white and then filled with yellow, some were all white spaces, and some were all yellow. Every once in a while I sprinkled on a few sprinkle “salts” while the icing was still wet. I also added a few kernels to the center at this step.

Step 4: Once the first layer has crusted over (about 20 minutes) air brush a little yellow “butter” here and there.

Step 5: Now you can then fill in the opposite spaces and then give a final airbrush at random. Don’t over butter your cookies! You want a little white and light yellow to show through.

These cookie were really, poppin. In retrospect if you are looking for a more realistic look it would probably be better to stick with just one size cookie. But I couldn’t resist creating a mix!

Heads up! To keep those legal gurus of the world happy, I need to inform you that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. In short – I may earn a small commission from the use of said link with no cost to you! But don’t worry I only link to stuff I use, love, and know you will too!

Image of Toni Miller in front of a sprinkle shelf.


 I’m Toni, the baker, the blogger,  and cookie cutter maker  behind The Sprinkle Factory and I hope you find a sprinkle of inspiration here at The Factory.

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