How to create a realistic moss effect on cookies

How to Create Realistic Moss Cookies

By Mike Tamplin on Apr 18, 2014


I‘m so late to posting my Easter cookies this year, but that’s okay. What I’m about to show you could work for any occasion.

When I was searching for springtime inspiration, I randomly came across a brilliant post by Andrea of It’s the Life. She shows how to easily make an edible moss effect for cakes and cupcakes. It’s genius really. Luckily, with a few tweaks to Andrea’s method, it works for cookies, as well.

Creating Realistic Moss Cookies

As Andrea describes in her post, the secret to getting a realistic moss effect that you can eat is graham cracker crumbs. Green food coloring and the brown undertones of the crackers really give the cookies an earthy quality.

graham crackers and crumbs

I had two types of graham cracker boxes in my pantry. Both would work perfectly fine for moss cookies. If you buy the pre-made graham cracker crumbs you can skip the crushing step I describe below.

Decorating Process

  1. 1

    Crush graham crackers to crumbs

    Place 4 to 5 graham crackers in a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and use a rolling pin to crush the crackers into fine crumbs. Set aside.

    woodland moss cookies step 1
  2. 2

    Thin green food coloring gel with alcohol

    I had a difficult time spreading color throughout the graham cracker crumbs using Americolor food gels alone. To help incorporate the color, I thinned the food gels with a small amount of vodka. (The taste of vodka dissipates once the crumbs are dry.) I used a mixture of Electric Green, Mint Green, and Leaf Green to get the moss shade I was looking for.

    woodland moss cookies step 2
  3. 3

    Mix color in with crumbs

    Pour the color mixture in the Ziploc bag with the crumbs. Seal the bag and massage the color until the crumbs are an even color green throughout.

    edible moss cookies step 3

Here’s a drying tip!

If you find the crumbs are too soggy after adding the liquid, don’t fret. Pour the bag of crumbs into an oven-safe pan. Roast them in 200 degrees for a few minutes to dry them out. Any previously wet chunks should break apart easily.

  1. 4

    Store Crumbs in a Container

    Once the color is incorporated, pour the crumbs in an open container. The crumbs should look like the picture below.

    woodland Easter moss cookies step 4
  2. 5

    Flood top of the cookie

    On any cookie shape of choice (I used a bunny silhouette), flood the top of the cookie with 20-second royal icing. I tinted the icing a mossy green to hide any empty spots after we apply the crumbs.

    flooding a easter rabbit cookie step 5
  3. 6


    Once the cookie is flooded, wait 5 to 10 minutes for the icing to firm and slightly crust. This will prevent the crumbs from sinking in the icing.

    woodland easter bunny cookie step 6
  4. 7

    Sprinkle Crumbs over the Cookie

    For this next step, I like to use Sugarbelle’s method of sprinkling over wax paper for easy cleanup. (Another tidy alternative method is to use a coffee filter, as demonstrated by avid sprinkle user, Michelle at Make Me Cake Me).

    Sprinkle the crumbs over the entire flooded surface. Once the cookie is covered in crumbs, lift and gently shake off the excess.

    sprinkle crumbs over moss cookie step 7
  5. 8

    Set Cookie aside to dry

    Once the excess crumbs are removed, set the cookie aside to dry completely. (At least 8 hours or overnight.)

    woodland easter moss cookies drying step 8
  6. 9

    Pour Excess Crumbs back into Container

    After setting aside the cookie, use the wax paper as a funnel to pour the excess crumbs back into the container. Repeat the steps 5 through 8 with the next cookie.

    pouring moss cookie crumbs step 9

Here’s the finished moss-covered Easter bunny. It looked to me like it was lacking a detail, so I added a simple bow tie string around its neck.

moss cookie closeup

These bunny moss cookies were part of a larger Easter woodland-themed cookie set.

Woodland Easter Cookies by Semi Sweet Designs

If you’re curious about the cookie cutters I used for this batch, here’s the breakdown below.

woodland easter cookie cutters

For more whimsy, woodland-inspired cookie designs, check out these links below:

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend!

How to create a realistic moss effect on cookies

This post is linked up to these link parties.


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119 replies on “How to Create Realistic Moss Cookies

  1. These are amazing! Can’t wait to try!

  2. I used your awesome moss tutorial to make rock troll cookies from FROZEN recently, and posted about it today. Thank you so much for the tutorial and the fabulous technique!

  3. I found you from Lisa, The Barefoot Baker. The “moss” is simply amazing! I have got to try it! Thank you so much for the tutorial :)

  4. Crazy Bakey Things 62

    Mike – I am pretty much blown away by how nice your site is – and the tutorials – I really really like the moss effect and I am definitely going to try it out on a couple of mossy cookie ideas! Really happy I found your site! Keep up the good – and super beautiful -work. I am def going to find you on instagram.
    sweet regards,
    cookie on!


  5. Sorry if someone already said this but I’m from Australia and we don’t have graham crackers. What’s a good equivalent?
    Thank you,

    1. Marion Andrews

      I think that digestive biscuits are close to Graham Cracker here in Australia. I hope that helps.
      Does anyone know what 20 second royal icing is please?

      1. 20 Second royal icing is a combination of 10X powdered sugar, meringue powder or egg whites maybe some Karo Syrup a pinch of salt mixed with water and flavoring (vanilla, etc.) to a consistency that when you drizzle from a spoon into the bowl the tracks take about 20 seconds to disappear. Think honey or shampoo.

      2. Thanks for the digestive biscuits info, Marion! To answer your icing question, 20-second icing is a medium consistency icing. It’s not too thick and not too thin. If you run a knife through it, the line the knife creates should disappear into the icing in 20 seconds. I hope that helps!

  6. I just used this method to create moss on a birch wedding cake today, it turned out awesome, thank you so much for this tutorial!!

  7. Hello, can I use water instead of vodka to thin the food coloring?

    1. Hi Joann. I think you could use water but it might make the graham cracker crumbs a little soggy. If that happens just put the crumb mixture in a baking sheet in the oven or over a frying pan on the stove to dry up again.

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