Iced Gems

Iced Gems are frosted mini cookies popular in the UK. The store-bought version is an itty bitty biscuit topped with a dollop of royal icing and they come in a variety of pastel colors. My version is slightly updated and inspired by Cupcake Jemma’s idea to top them with a chewy meringue. These pink little lovelies sit atop a mini shortbread cookie and it’s impossible to have just one!



  • Use a 1 1/4” fluted cookie cutter for that traditional Iced Gem biscuit shape.

  • A few drops of Americolor Soft Pink gel food coloring = gorgeous girly pink.

  • Decorating with gold leaf requires a bit of patience. Using a damp paintbrush (used for food only), dampen the area of the meringue you’d like to decorate. I cut my gold leaf in strips and put it between the “peaks” on the meringue. Use your damp brush to pick up and apply gold leaf pieces to each meringue, touching the gold leaf very gently so it sticks. Don’t be tempted to brush it on! It’s okay if some of the gold leaf is “floating” and not attached to the meringue.


Ateco fluted edge round cutters
Americolor Soft Pink gel food coloring
Ateco # 864 French Star pastry tip
Martha Stewart detailing brush set
100% 24K Edible gold leaf sheets
Ateco 16” reusable pastry bag
Parchment paper sheets
Half sheet baking pans

Iced Gems

Makes about 50 1 1/4” gems


75 g soft unsalted butter
30 g caster sugar
115 g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of kosher salt


1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 large free range egg whites, weighed (room temperature)
Double the weight of egg whites in caster sugar (example: egg white = 60 g, sugar = 120 g)
A pinch of kosher salt
Gel food coloring (optional)

  1. Prepare sheet pans by lining them with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Combine butter and sugar for about 2 minutes on high speed. Does not need to be pale and fluffy.

  3. Add flour, vanilla and salt. Mix on medium speed until combined but crumbly.

  4. Push dough together with a spatula and turn out onto a clean work surface. 

  5. Knead together by hand until dough forms a disc.

  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8” thick.

  7. Cut into small circles and transfer to parchment lined sheet pan.

  8. Bake at 340º F for about 8-10 minutes, or until slightly golden.

  9. Leave on the baking pan to cool while preparing meringue.

  10. Wipe mixing bowl with vinegar to remove grease from butter.

  11. Whisk egg whites on high until fluffy with “tight” bubbles and no liquid egg white remains.

  12. Continue at medium-high speed, add sugar one spoonful at a time.

  13. Continue to mix on high for another 10-15 minutes, or until all the sugar granules have dissolved. Rub meringue between your fingers to test.

  14. Add gel color using a whisk to blend. (a whisk will help maintain the air in your meringue)

  15. Transfer meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

  16. Pipe onto cookies in dollops or “kisses.”

  17. Bake at 200º F for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let gems cool completely in the oven.

  18. Enjoy immediately or store in an air tight container for up to one week.