What Are Cookie Scribes?

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Cookie scribes are a great way to add precision and a level of fun to your baking skills. Cookie scribes (or icing pens) have become the backbone of artisanal baking as of late, in fact!

Many businesses are now even offering DIY kits for making your own custom scribes at home. While you can buy them from any utensil store or online, there is something wholesome about making them yourself. 

What are cookie scribes? A cookie scribe is a tool used in baking to decorate, pop air bubbles, and fine-tune the icing, cream, or outer layer of cakes, muffins, cookies, and more. These needle-like tools are a must-have for every type of baker as they help in bringing a polished finish to many baking goodies.

While you can go the boring route of buying scribes from your local supermarket, if you really want to take your baking game to the next level and add a bit of fun to the craft then we highly recommend that you customize the scribes.

Don’t know how? Read on below to learn more about scribes, their uses, and how you can customize them at home!

What Are Scribes?

In a nutshell, scribes are like thick needles or pens that are designed for various purposes. People who bake cakes will be more aware of what scribes are, as they may use them or a similar utensil like it to fine-tune the decoration on the cake.

Scribes are excellent for popping air bubbles in the dough, cookies, cakes, and more. They can also be used to level off any rouge icing on a cake.

They can be seen as a surgical tool for bakers who can use them to precisely trace and decorate icing on different baking goodies. 

Scribes can also be used to decorate coffee art and fine-tune cream over coffee too.

It is the perfect solution for all types of decoration and saves you a lot of redoes, as you wouldn’t want to use anything but a fine-tipped needle to carefully drag or move icing or cream over a surface. 

For example, bakers who use fondant on cakes will find scribes to be indispensable as they are commonly used to carefully correct errors in the fondant. 

Cookie scribes will also come in handy while baking various things as you can use them to safely pop air bubbles without damaging the outer layer of your masterpiece

Scribes come in many shapes and sizes but for the most part, they are attached to a small cylindrical wooden piece with a needle at the end.

The needle itself can be either sharp or blunt and can be used as a pencil tool to correct small mistakes or discrepancies in various types of decorations. 

To get started, we recommend that you buy a few scribes from a local supermarket and get acquainted with how to use them.

Once you get a hang of how to properly and appropriately use them in everyday baking endeavors, you can then set out and make your own.

Making scribes is very easy, especially when you have the right tools. There are many businesses online that sell DIY scribe kits with a range of beautiful decorative accessories.

These accessories are meant to customize the scribe so you can make several of them using beads, small silicone shapes, and even small pearls.

The best part is, you can interchange these accessories and buy different types of decorations to customize the scribes even further. 

Making Scribes At Home

A scribe, also called an icing pen, is made of a stainless-steel metal needle that is attached to an ergonomic grip at the end.

The grip can be made of plastic, wood, or even metal. To get started on making scribes, you can look for a good scribe kit online. 

For example, this scribe kit is the perfect place to start. It comes with a lot of decorative pieces and a stainless-steel needle that is equipped with a bead-stopper and needle-block to protect you against accidentally poking yourself. 

The decorative pieces are made of silicone and can easily slide on through the needle. The top of the needle has a beautiful metal heart as well. Customize it however you like and change up things as per your liking! 

You can also check your local supermarket for other scribe kits. Some even come with a rotating turntable.

The turntable is meant to individually decorate cookies like gingerbread men or plain rounded cookies without you having to move around the cookie.

The turntable is yet another indispensable tool for bakers as it can easily rotate the cookie and decorate it using the scribe. For example, this scribe kit with a turntable is a great place to start for beginners. 

Think of the turntable as a mini cake rotator. Just as you would spin the cake around to make it easy to decorate, you can also do the same for cookies, muffins, and more. 

How To Use Scribes

To use your newly bought scribes, you will need a cookie, some cream, and a turntable if it is available! If not, that’s fine; you can continue without it as well.

Place a layer of cream at the center of the cookie and use the scribe to carefully move the cream around the surface. You will want to spread the cream all over the surface, covering each corner.

You will notice that using a fine-tip needle, in this case, is extremely useful as you can simply drag the cream around. 

You can also use the scribe to pop any unwanted air bubbles without disturbing the rest of the surface.

Imagine using a finger or a brush instead; both of them will leave a trace or an indent that will be difficult to repair without a scribe. 

This is why most bakers will use a scribe to decorate over delicate surfaces so that they have more control over the decoration.

Once you are acquainted with using a simple scribe, you can experiment with various width sizes too. 

Scribes are available for multiple purposes and some brands can even customize the scribe as per your needs. However, for most uses, a simple 0.8-inch-wide scribe should be enough

Things To Keep In Mind

Cookie scribes come in different thicknesses and lengths. Some can be 1-inch wide from the top while being 5-6 inches long.

These proportions roughly provide the feel of holding a pencil tool. Scribes can also come in different colors so you can pick and choose as per your liking too.

While most scribes are made of steel or acrylic, we recommend getting high-quality stainless-steel tips that will provide you with a long-term solution for decorating your baking goodies.

A popular option among bakers is having a stainless-steel needle with a plastic back. 

The plastic back has a special grip on it that makes it easier to hold while you concentrate on whatever you are decorating. If possible, try and get scribes that have a plastic tip cover that can be put on over the needle

While scribes aren’t sharp, it would be a great idea to cover them while not in use so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from any unwanted accidents.

The scribes must be kept away when not in use and should be stored in a separate box that holds them in place. 

Trust us, you wouldn’t want to poke your hand while frantically searching drawers for these scribes!

If you are getting plastic or decorative custom scribes then we recommend getting food-safe scribes

Most of the materials used to decorate scribes are silicone-based and are made of food-grade material that you can bring to your kitchen or near food without worry.

However, some cheap brands may sell custom scribes that are not fit to use in the kitchen. 

Follow up with the retailer or ask the manufacturer for more details on the safety of the cookie scribes. You can also check the back of the packaging to learn more about the particular kit that you are buying. 

Related Questions 

Now that we’ve gone over what cookie scribes are and how to use them, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

What are scribes made of?

Cookie scribes are made of usually two materials. One is the stainless-steel needle and the other is a grip at the other end where you hold the needle. The grip is made of either wood, plastic, or gripped metal

Scribes can also be made of acrylic but we recommend getting stainless steel ones for more control and longevity.

Can you buy scribes in bulk?

Yes, scribes can be bought in a pack of 3, 4, or even more. They are usually sold as part of a kit with more accessories.

For example, some scribe kits also come with a turntable that can be used with the scribes for more precise decoration. 

Can I use other materials instead of scribes?

Scribes are specially built to decorate. Their applications go beyond baking as well; for example, they can be used to decorate coffee art too.

While you could use any thick, sharp needle to achieve the same results, having a dedicated scribe will be a more appropriate tool for the job. 

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