DIY Panda Cookies with Royal Icing and Fondant Panda Cupcakes
It’s Panda Party time! Are you looking for a simple way to make adorable panda themed cookies? How about some delicious and fun Panda fondant cupcake toppers? I’m sharing both ideas today along with all the tips you need to throw a Panda Party!
Pandas are such fun cuddly looking bears. I mean, let’s be real… They are bears so I don’t recommend ACTUALLY cuddling with them, but they LOOK super cuddly! Recently I styled a Zoo themed birthday party for my daughter.
We focused on so fun little animals in that party, including PANDAS! Today, I’m going to show you how to make the easy Fondant Panda Cupcakes and Royal Iced Panda Cookies.
How to use Panda Sugar Cookies in your party set-up
Whether you are choosing a general zoo animal theme or focusing just on adorable panda bears for your party theme. You can use so fun pandas in your desserts as well as your decorations. One of my favorite party tricks is to pick a simple theme I love and build that theme into every aspect of the party.
This is a great way to ditch the typical character birthdays and just celebrate something your child loves. My daughter loves the zoo…so we grabbed inspiration from some of her favorite animals and built that animal party!
If you love this party theme…you can purchase the coordinating printables at the bottom of this page!
Ideas for a Panda Party
Planning a party themed around Pandas? Whether it’s cultural, you have a little one who is panda obsessed or pandas are just your spirit animal…you can’t wrong with these playful creatures as your party focus.
Before you start baking, take a few minutes and make yourself a party plan. Decide what colors you want to use to accompany your pandas.
Are you going for soft pinks? Do you want bright. Bold colors?
There are many different styles of panda decorations available…but hands down, these are the cutest I’ve seen.
How to Make Decorated Panda Cookies: STEP by STEP
Ok…for the party animal birthday party, we focused on 5 different animals. Since the theme was built around black and white…I chose 5 traditionally black/white animals. Through this tutorial, I am going to show you step by step how you can make decorated panda sugar cookies.
I also have similar step by step guides for raccoon sugar cookies, white tiger sugar cookies, and sloth sugar cookies. Some of the directions between different animals are the same, however to keep it simple for you, I’ve split the tutorials based on the animal shape!
Materials and Ingredients:
- Cookie Cutters (For these cookies, I used the bear head shape from this cookie cutter package. These cutters are INSANELY versatile. I highly recommend them. I have used them to make countless designs and they never let me down!!!)
- Sugar Cookie Recipe and Royal Icing. I used my basic sugar cookie recipe and some royal icing. You can buy that mix or here is a great royal icing recipe to use!! If you are new to cookie decorating, you also need a piping bag, icing tip 1/2, coupler, and clip. I recommend this piping tip set. It’s reasonably priced and includes everything you need.
- Black Gel Food Coloring
Using your sugar cookie recipe, prep the dough. I like to add a little extra flour to my dough right before I start cutting the cookies to help them not stick to the cutting surface. Usually, I just rub a little on my hands and then rub it into the dough.
Once your dough is ready, roll it out to about ¼ inch thick. Don’t be afraid of making thick cookies. I feel like my thicker cookies always bake better and I’m happier with them once they are decorated.
Preheat oven according to preferred recipe. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough using the bear shaped cookie cutter. Bake the cookies according to the desired recipe.
Typically I pull the cookies out of the oven a little shy of what the recipe calls for. You do not want the edges browning. Browning means you have already baked them too long! Allow to cool.
Once the cookies are completely cool (I recommend waiting a full day to top with icing),
Prepare both white and black royal icing. Once you have prepared your royal icing based on your recipe or from a royal icing mix, Separate it into two halves. One half will stay white the other half will be colored black.
As a warning…you will need a good amount of black food coloring to get a true black from white icing. Once the two containers of icing are colored correctly, you will want to pull out a third of each to set aside for piping icing and mix ⅔ of the icing for fill icing.
Add small amounts of water to each container and mix until you get the frosting to the desired consistency. Piping icing should be toothpaste-like and fill icing should be honey-like.
Put the four icings into 4 separate piping bags. I like to use number 1 or 2 tips for piping icing and number 3 tips for fill.
Using the edible marker, draw the black eye shapes onto your cookies as shown in the photo below
Start with black piping icing and trace over the lines. Using the black fill icing, fill in the black eyes. Before the black icing drys, put a small circle of white fill into the black eyes to make the white part of the eyes. You want to let this settle into the black icing so they are the same level.
Let the icing dry.
Trace the outside of the face (not ears) with the white piping icing. Fill in the face with white fill icing. Let dry.
Trace the ears with black piping icing and fill with black fill icing. Make a small oval for the nose with black piping icing. Allow the icing to dry.
Once the icing is fully dry, add eye pupils and mouth with black edible marker.
Cookies are done and ready to party!!!
How to Make Fondant Panda Cupcakes: STEP by STEP
Like the cookies above..we also focused on 5 different animals for the cupcakes.. Through this tutorial, I am going to show you step by step how you can make decorated panda cupcakes.
I also have similar step by step guides for raccoon cupcakes, white tiger cupcakes, and sloth cupcakes. Some of the directions between different animals are the same, however to keep it simple for you, I’ve split the tutorials based on the animal!
- Cupcakes and frosting in desired flavor. You can bake these yourself or save time and get them from a local grocery store or bakery. You can even order a lot of bakery items for instore pickup from Target (#momwin) I’m all for time savers!!!
- Gel Food Coloring
- Small shapes cookie cutters
- Circle Cookie Cutter set
- Edible markers
- Powdered sugar
Bake cupcakes (or buy them…your call!) Prep frosting according to recipe. Prepare fondant. You will want at least one color and black and white fondant ready to use. For the party animal party, I used several different colors, but you can always simplify to just one or two colors.
Roll out colored fondant to about ¼ inch thick. Use powdered sugar to powder the surface and rolling pin to prevent sticking. Cut 2 inch circles from colored fondant (1 per cupcake). Set aside to dry completely.
You want these to dry until they are hard. I typically flip them over after about an hour to make sure that both sides dry and will move them slightly while drying so make sure they aren’t sticking to the drying surface.
Roll out white and black fondant to about ¼ inch thick. Cut with smaller circle (1 ½-1 ¾ inch). Cut two very small circles (about the size of a pencil eraser for the eyeballs. Set aside to dry.
Cut two ovals using small cookie cutters that fit onto the white circle easily for the black markings around the panda eyes.
Cut two small black circles for ears. Use the circle cutter you used for the white circle to cut the ears in half so they line up with the outside of the white face.
Repeat this process with smaller white circles for the inner ear. Finally, make a small white circle and cut a very small oval from black for the nose. Allow all to dry.
Once the fondant is firm enough to move without changing shape, use water as glue (I use a small paintbrush for this) and attach pieces together to form the face.
First, the large white circle gets put onto the color circle. Then the black ears and white inner ears above the face.
Next, the black eye markings, with the white eyes on top. Lastly, the muzzle and nose.
Allow all fondant to dry. Once dry, use the edible marker to add the mouth and the eye pupils.
Looking for more ideas for Panda Desserts?
If you are looking for more options for baking (or buying) animal cookies…prepare to be amazed at the cuteness coming your way!!
More Panda Cookies, Cakes and desserts to Bake or Buy:
Slice and Bake Panda Cookies from Food Network
Panda Macarons from B Events Miami
Easy Panda Cupcakes from Bakerella
Panda Cookies from Marta’s Cakes and Cookies
Panda Cake Topper from I Love Honey Bees
Coordinating Animal Party Supplies
So you’ve seen the options for panda cookies and cupcakes…and you know the other adorable animal goodness. If you want to throw a party animal party too…here are some fun and easy to use Party Animal Printables for you…
We also have step by step printables directions available to help you every step of the way!!
Conclusion for Simple Panda Cookies & Panda Cupcakes Recipes:
Woo…that was a LOT of Panda! Throwing a Panda party can be a super memorable experience all around without being expensive or stressful. These easy DIY tutorials make partying with a panda a breeze!!
Here are some helpful links for throwing a Panda Party:
Related posts for DIY Panda Party Desserts:
- Party Animal Party Ideas
- DIY Sloth Cookies and Cupcakes
- DIY Penguin Cookies and Cupcakes
- DIY Tiger Cookies and Cupcakes
- DIY Raccoon Cookies and Cupcakes
- Penguin Party Ideas
- Woodlands Animals Party Ideas
- Monkey Party Ideas
- DIY Monkey Headbands
- Circus Party Ideas
If you like these panda desserts, please pin this image to your birthday Pinterest board:
Thank you for reading about my decorated panda desserts!