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Fireworks Celebration Cookies - Sally's Baking Addiction

Let me show you an easy way to make and decorate fireworks celebration cookies. These fun and festive treats start with my tried-and-true recipe for soft sugar cookies. Some colored icing and sparkly sprinkles are all you need to top these dazzling firework cookies, which are easy enough for cookie-decorating rookies. Whichever holiday or occasion you love to celebrate with fireworks, these cookies are the perfect way to light up your tastebuds.

sugar cookies decorated like fireworks and stars with blue, red, pink, and purple icing on top arranged on gray plate.

Today I’m sharing with you my simple method for making and decorating cookies like colorful fireworks. You can use a flower and star cookie cutter, and choose from my 2 favorite cookie icings below. (I include my royal icing recipe in the printable recipe card.) Finish them off with some shimmery sprinkles and get ready for everyone to ooh and ahh when you serve these fireworks celebration cookies—they’re sure to spark excitement!

For today’s firework cookies, I use my classic sugar cookies recipe. No surprise there, because it’s one of the most popular recipes on my website! I added a little lemon extract and zest for flavor, but that’s completely optional. If you want to give your fireworks a dark-sky background, you can take this decorating inspiration and use it on my chocolate sugar cookies.

decorated fireworks celebration and star-shaped sugar cookies with various colors of icing and gold sprinkles on top of wire cooling rack.

All the Details!

  • Texture: Rolling the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness makes for extra soft and thick sugar cookie centers. The edges are nice and crisp, and the royal icing on top adds a textural contrast as well.
  • Flavor: Sweet, vanilla- and lemon-hinted, and irresistibly buttery, who knew simple sugar cookies could explode with so much flavor!?
  • Ease: The dough comes together easily, but if you want the cookies to look like the photos here, you’ll need a few decorating tools. See the full list of Recommended Tools below.
  • Time: I recommend setting aside an afternoon for making and decorating these fireworks celebration cookies. It’s typically 4 hours from start to finish, depending on the level of decorating detail you want. The cookies stay fresh and soft for days, so this is a great make-ahead dessert!

Overview: How to Make Party-Perfect Fireworks Celebration Cookies

  1. Make cookie dough. You need 8 ingredients for the dough. With so few ingredients, it’s important to follow the recipe. Creamed butter and sugar provide the base of the cookie dough. Egg is the cookie’s structure and vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon zest add flavor. Flour is an obvious ingredient, baking powder adds a little lift, and salt balances the sweet.
  2. Divide in 2 pieces. Smaller sections of dough are easier to roll out.
  3. Roll out cookie dough. Roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness. If you have difficulty evenly rolling out dough, try this adjustable rolling pin.
  4. Chill rolled-out cookie dough. Without chilling, these cookie cutter cookies won’t hold their shape. Chill the rolled-out cookie dough for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. (I’ve actually gotten away with up to 4 days before!)
  5. Cut into shapes. I use this flower cookie cutter for the fireworks cookies pictured here. (You could also decorate it as a sun!) You can also use this stamped fireworks cookie cutter, or try a shooting star shape. For the pictured little stars (that just have flooded icing on them), I used a small star from this set.
  6. Bake & cool. Depending on size, the cookies need about 12 minutes in the oven.
  7. Decorate. More on the icing below.
sugar cookie dough in bowl and divided in half
rolled out sugar cookie dough on brown parchment paper.

The Trick Is the Order of Steps

I roll out the dough BEFORE chilling it in the refrigerator. It’s the best trick.

Let me explain why I do this. Just like when you’re making, say, chocolate chip cookies, to prevent them from over-spreading, the cookie dough must chill in the refrigerator. For today’s fireworks celebration cookies, roll out the dough right after you mix it up, then chill the rolled-out dough. (Because at this point the dough is too soft to cut into shapes.) Don’t chill the cookie dough and then try to roll it out because it will be too stiff. I divide the dough in half before rolling it out, because smaller sections of dough are simply more manageable.

Here’s another trick! Roll out the cookie dough directly on silicone baking mats or parchment paper sheets so you can easily transfer it to the refrigerator. Pick the whole thing up, set it on a baking sheet, and place it in the refrigerator. If you don’t have enough room for 2 baking sheets in your refrigerator, you can stack the pieces of rolled-out dough on top of each other (with parchment or baking mat in between).

flower-shaped cookies on cooling rack and pictured again in a stack.

Choose Your Icing

You’ll find my royal icing recipe in the printable card below. You can use that for today’s firework cookies, or try my easier cookie icing. Let me explain the differences, and you can choose which to use.

  1. Choose royal icing if you want precise decorative detail on your cookies. It’s my preferred sugar cookie icing because it’s easy to use, dries in a couple of hours, and doesn’t have a texture comparable to hardened cement. It’s actually on the softer side, with a little crisp to it! It calls for meringue powder. You can find meringue powder in some grocery store baking aisles, most craft stores that have a baking section, or you can shop for meringue powder online.
  2. Choose easy cookie icing if you’re decorating with young bakers, would prefer to use a squeeze bottle instead of piping bags and tips, or don’t feel like using your electric mixer. It has a glaze consistency, and takes longer to dry than the royal icing: about 24 hours.

Again, you can use EITHER for today’s fireworks design. The pictured cookies use royal icing.

Divide the batch of icing up into a few bowls, and use gel food coloring to tint the icing different colors such as red, dark blue, light blue, purple, pink, etc.

bowls of colored icing including pink, light blue, dark blue, purple, red, and white with bowls of sprinkles arranged around them.

I use Wilton icing tip #2 to pipe the fireworks’ lines on the cooled cookies. If you want to add sprinkles like the pictured cookies, I piped every other line, dipped the cookie (with wet icing) into sparkling sugar sprinkles, and then piped the rest of the lines. That probably made no sense, so look at this picture to get a better idea:

piping tip piping red icing on flower-shaped cookie.
decorated fireworks celebration and star-shaped sugar cookies with various colors of icing and gold sprinkles.

You can also add little star sprinkles to the fireworks cookies, and I used the stars from this sprinkle mix. Pipe a little dot of icing, then adhere the star sprinkle to it. For the pictured plain star-shaped cookies, you can just pipe a border around them and flood the center with icing. Then feel free to dip into sprinkles.

Stack, wrap, gift, and/or store: Once the icing has set, you can stack, wrap, gift, and/or store these festive cookies. If you need more cookie inspiration, today’s cookies join 25+ others on my Summer Cookie Recipes collection page. 🙂

Recommended Tools for Your Fireworks Cookies

  1. Handheld or Stand Mixer
  2. Rolling Pin or this Adjustable Rolling Pin
  3. Baking Sheets
  4. Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Sheets
  5. Cookie Cutters: I used this flower cookie cutter in the photos. And a little star cookie cutter for the star cookies you see.
  6. Americolor Soft Gel Paste Color Kit: In my experience, this is the BEST coloring for royal icing and simple glaze cookie icing. The colors are always so rich and vivid. I used the royal blue, super red, violet, and deep pink. I added just a dot of super black to deepen the royal blue.
  7. Piping Tips/Squeeze Bottle: If you’re using piping bags and icing tips, I recommend Wilton icing tip #2 for piping the fireworks. A squeeze bottle works instead of piping bags and icing tips, but the lines won’t be as sharp. (It would be great for the pictured star cookies though!) I really recommend piping bags/tips for the fireworks’ lines.
  8. Disposable or reusable piping bags: You can use these for either icing, along with your icing tips.
  9. Coupler(s): If you only have 1 piping tip and want to decorate with multiple colors of icing, keep the tip on the outside of the bag by using a coupler so you can easily transfer the piping tip to other bags of colored icing.
  10. Sprinkles: These are sold in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. You can also order them online. I like Wilton or CK Products brands. I use gold shimmer, blue, and purple on the pictured firework cookies. I also used the star sprinkles from this starfetti mix on the fireworks.
sugar cookies decorated like fireworks and stars with blue, red, pink, and purple icing with shimmery sprinkles on top.