Please use the “search” or “find” function on your device to look for keywords in this post; it’s a long one!
I’ll update this from time-time as I try out new suppliers– I hope you find it helpful.
Please visit my Amazon Shop for an ever growing list of my favorite things that I buy on the regular! Purchasing from my shop does not cost you any extra and gives me a small commission, and this is an amazing way to support me, while buying things you normally would.
These are geared toward a United States audience. I have not really explored international suppliers for practical reasons. I like to keep my list as small as possible because a big supplier list = more complication and stuff to think about. So just because someone isn’t on here doesn’t mean they are good/bad.
Please use common sense. I can’t stress this enough. Take the extra time to think over YOUR SITUATION before you blindly following any of my recommendations. I hold a full time career and also try to live my best life, so sometimes won’t be able to help each of you individually. I provide consulting services for other cookie businesses for those who are serious about business growth. I try to share as much of the journey (plus a ton of tips and tricks.. I am crazy open) as possible but do have to set some boundaries ;). I most definitely am incredibly grateful, but I have 24 hrs in a day and trying to juggle all aspects of life. Thank you for understanding!
- I prefer silicon mats – they *seem* to keep the bottom of my cookies more moist, since I leave them on their to cool and decorate/dry after decorating. They also seem to slip around less on the actual baking tray. Any brand works so long as the reviews are good. I use Amazon Basics. I also really like MiuMiu brand from Costco when they have it for sale. I have also used THESE and they work great, bonus is the built-in macaron template. Honestly, you don’t need to buy brand name for this item.
Unless if I’m piping flowers or macarons, I only ever use tipless piping bags for flooding and details 90% of my decorated icing cookies. I have a whole post on them HERE.
- Grunderfully Delicious – best service ever, such fast shipping! https://grunderfully-delicious.myshopify.com/
- Truly Mad Plastics (search for tipless piping bags) www.trulymadplastics.com
- I also get some from Amazon when I’m in a pinch
Scribe Tools — even a toothpick is fine
- Super cheap 12 pack from Amazon – great for classes
- There are also options from Sweet Sugar Belle that are light blue with a flat end– use that flat end to scrape off mistakes 😉 Love those as well!
- https://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetScribes USA per your suggestions, I’ve never ordered from them
- https://www.instagram.com/siliscribes USA — but their shop doesn’t look open.. I believe they are the original silicon scribe creator as well!
- https://lillyscribes.com/ Canada – thicker needles, love the quality of their scribes as well as their adorable designs!
- You can also buy a branded Borderlands Bakery one from me HERE 🙂 — I only offer A SINGLE design and it’s not a source of income for me (and no plans for it to ever become a bigger thing), just covers some costs for running my business… if you want a custom scribe, see one of those other companies I mention above.
- If you want to make your own scribes, check out my entire curated scribe materials section in my Amazon Shop.
I really don’t even know how this is possible to list them all, but let me summarize and tell you about some of my FAVORITE shops. Most are mom and pop! I do think you get what you pay for when it comes to cookie cutters; and not everyone will need a $6 cutter but be aware of your options and make choices based on your needs. Some small shops are definitely more a brand/packaging experience oriented than others, so you are of course bearing costs for that as well (which is 100% cool, just not cool to complain about it).
- The Sweet Designs Shoppe
- Brighton Cutters
- Bobbis Cookies Cutters
- Truly Mad Plastics
- JH Cookie Co.
- Cut It Out Cutters
- Periwinkles Bakery FL
- Killer Zebras
- Ann Clark has a great selection on their website and on Amazon
Budget friendly cutters:
Vanilla Bean Paste, Food Coloring, Vegetable Glycerin, Cocoa Powder, etc.
- My absolute holy grail vanilla bean paste is Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste from Amazon
- Vegetable glycerin: the brand doesn’t matter so long as the reviews are good, and it’s food grade. Some Michael’s stores also carries this in their baking section! I buy mine from Amazon.
- Food Coloring: I predominantly use Americolor brand gel coloring for my icing… you can get it from Amazon or from Grunderfully Delicious. The Cookie Countess’ in house brand has proven to be really amazing!!
- Cocoa Powder: I am a hands down 100% Valrhona girl. It’s a high end product and definitely pricier, but I love both the flavor and color. Not too deeply “fake” dark but also not light cocoa like some Hershey’s brands (if you use Hershey’s, use their Dark blend). That being said, it’s not for everyone. Some of my favorite budget friendly option is Ghirardelli.
- Meringue Powder:
- Wilton: easily accessible and can be purchased at pretty much any Michaels. Meringue powder is pricey — I use the 40-50% off 1 full priced item coupons and buy the 1 lb bucket.
- Creative Cookier Genie’s Dream meringue powder is awesome and what I currently use. It produces a smoother shinier finish for me and is nicer to work with than any other I’ve tried, and the taste is fabulous.
- CK’s brand Meringue Powder on Amazon
Packaging & Shipping Material
I do not recommend sizes. Sizes depend on YOUR use (how thick your cookies are, size, shape, etc.). I recommend you get a few samples from each shop to decide what works for you. A worthy and small investment in the larger scope of things. I don’t help people decide what boxes you should get for what cutter– you should do the leg work in package design… Package design is very near/dear to my heart– we can make our brands look so different with packaging and the specific dimensions, etc. of what I use is not something I generally share in an effort to keep some things unique to me. Thank you for understanding! That being said, I link you to tons of options in my Amazon shop under Packaging Materials.
- Cookie boxes
- Shred, cello bags, boxes, shipping supplies, etc.: www.papermart.com & www.clearbags.com (any of the food safe bags work. Again, you will need to ask for samples or something to find the size that works for you. I am not going to tell you what sizes I buy because it differs based on cutter size and cookie thickness–seems obvious but I get this question so much).
- I do like these 4×9 bags for having a bit more room at the top of longer cookies or tying off with ribbon. They are pretty good quality.
- I prefer Clearbags cello bags over papermart– I think they are higher quality and the seals are always robust. Sometimes, the Papermart bags have holes in the seams… which misses the whole point of having an airtight seal to have the freshest cookies possible. This has happened so much with flat Papermart bags that I just no longer buy them– it is also a very sneaky, slow air leak– so be aware. The only portion you have control of is HOW to use your heat sealer– if the setting is too high, it’ll burn through the plastic, damaging the seal and creating holes (and this is useless if the bottom pre-sealed seam already has a leak).
- Ribbons and bows: while I love that we are able to make our own beautiful bows, sometimes they are not practical economically– these are pretied AND has a twist tie… so worth the price!
- Clearbags also has pre-tied stretchy loops that are fabulous for dressing up packaging with very little investment. I am not affiliated or paid by ClearBags but I was their Dec 2018 featured customer and you can get an idea of my packaging HERE
Gold/Silver/Glitter Dusts, Powders and Pens
- Metallic Paints (for details/text etc.)
- Edible Glitter/Dry Dusts: I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Sugar Art DiamondDusts for EDIBLE glitter (unlike Disco Dust) and their Elite Color powders for things like cheeks and added dimension!
- “Highlighters” and etc.: These are dusts classified for decoration use only. They are incredibly beautiful to look at, but not technically edible (like Disco Dust!) You can mix with vodka or alcohol based extract (i.e lemon) to use as a metallic splatter or paint. DO NOT mix with water, as this will dissolve the icing this is placed on! Truly Mad Plastic’s golds are beautiful — go to their website and search for gold. The Sugar Art also offers highlighters, you just need to search for it on their website. Mix with vodka until it is a mercury like consistency. If you have access to Everclear instead of vodka, that’s even better! You will need to play with the ratio that works for you, just like icing consistency. I can’t tell you how many drops of alcohol to how many grams of powder, sorry. I always eyeball mine. I have a small clip on this consistency in my Instagram highlights under Tips/Tricks.
- Pens — it depends on your needs but there are so many options!
Airbrush & Stencils
If you’re first starting out– keep it simple and effective. I 100% recommend the Cake Boss airbrush, and around $50-$65, it’s a steal! I also have a few beginner airbrush color sets I recommend, all linked HERE. You can buy a replacement gun HERE. I currently use the Cookie Countess airbrush & colors and am very happy! I’ve heard great things about Killer Zebras colors as well.
- Stencils (which can also be used with icing, not just airbrush)
- Stencil Holders – to help keep your stencils secure while stenciling
- Random Tidbit: When I’m adding dimension to my cookies, I like to use brown diluted with white. I always keep a large WHITE around to dilute colors, so I don’t have to buy so many shades!
I have a whole post dedicated to this HERE.
- I really like this basic set from Wilton, great for basic painting on accents and brush embroidery techniques.
- For stuff like ombres, brush effect, I like to use fan brushes, like the ones included in this set — you actually might as well buy the larger set as you’ll find a use for all the brushes at some point 😉
Brand doesn’t matter so long as it has good reviews, and of course I get mine from Amazon. If you want to get one with a cutter, great, but there is for some reason a big price difference between cutter vs. not. I have this one.
I didn’t know how much I liked this tool until I got one. Great for helping to flood shapes at an angle of your choice and especially great for florals. While Amazon has a great selection, I own the LC Sweets Cookie Swivel and absolutely love it!
- vistaprint.com for budget business cards
- uprinting.com also has sticker services & a lot of other stuff
- https://www.etsy.com/shop/zeewilldraw (UK) – she also has stencils
- I take photos with my Sony NEX3, which has been discontinued and is replaced by the Alpha series
- Although phone cameras have come a long way, stand-alone cameras still capture depth and clarity a bit better, just my preference
- I love using tripods. I cannot live without tripods, so please either buy one of those cheap standalone ones with squiggly legs OR invest in an Arkon mount (which is my recommendation, videos are so “in” right now).
- All the items discussed above are linked in THIS SECTION of my amazon shop– this is where I purchase my stuff. It also includes links to some lighting kits if you don’t have access to consistent natural light.
- I take videos via my iphone xs and use VivaVideo for edits. This speeds things up 4x but if you need it faster (which I often do), I just process it again.
- I use a single consistency to outline and flood– it’s about a 25 second icing and I usually require a scribe to help it settle smoothly- you really need to play with this to figure out what YOU prefer. Every person is different. I can’t guide you through this via the internet. There’s no magic number of drops per batch of icing. It depends on how big your starter batch is, how thick it is. No shortcuts but for you to figure this out with a lot of trial and error.
- My completed (iced, dried, and heat sealed) cookies can be frozen. I put the heat sealed cookies into another airtight container and freeze. I defrost them in the same airtight container to prevent condensation from forming and ruining the cookies. If you want to freeze your cookies at any stage, you should always do a freeze test. Each recipe is different and can behave differently. I can’t tell you for your recipe, environment, etc. Do the work. For me personally, I have eaten (so and have clients) frozen cookies that are 4 months old and they were still soft and fresh tasting.
- Royal Icing Transfers: Sometimes I have extra icing and I choose to create Royal Icing Transfers (google this if you don’t know what it is). These can be stored in a dark, dry, cool place for months. Think about those Wilton ones you get at Michaels– since it’s essentially dried sugar, it lasts pretty much forever. I try to use them within a few months. You can also use a similar technique to make sprinkles– search around for homemade sprinkles on the internet and there are plenty of tutorials. I have some templates available for purchase HERE.