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The best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is with some Easy Shamrock Sugar Cookies! Homemade sugar cookie cutouts are topped with frosting and sanding sugar for a sweet treat everyone will love. Make them entirely from scratch, or check out my semi-homemade tips to make them even easier.
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Easiest Ever Shamrock Cookies
If you need a sweet treat for St. Patrick’s Day, these shamrock sugar cookies are what to make. Soft sugar cookies topped with green frosting and decorative sugar are easy to make and so cute.
We’re all about the shamrock foods around here. If I can cut it into a shamrock shape, I’m going to make it! These St. Patrick’s day cookies are always a favorite and, if you follow the instructions, they’re practically foolproof, too. Trust me; if I can make them, anyone can do it!
They’re great for potlucks, parties, or just make a batch to share with friends and family. With all that green, it’s hard not to get into the spirit! I can’t wait to show you how to decorate St. Patrick’s day cookies.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s easy! The dough is literally a dump-and-mix situation. Just combine all of the ingredients in one bowl and mix!
- Learn how to roll the dough, so you get the perfect cut-out cookies. I use a shamrock cookie cutter, but you can use any shape you like.
- NO FUSS FROSTING! The frosting is simple, too, to make decorating shamrock sugar cookies so easy! I love how the green sanding sugar looks – it adds the perfect finishing touch.
- I love the flavor of these shamrock butter cookies, and the texture is perfect. I prefer them on the softer side, but you can also make crispier sugar cookies if that’s what you like.
Ingredients in Sugar Cookies
Read my in depth post about cutout sugar cookies!
Flour: These use All-Purpose Flour – be sure to measure it correctly.
Powdered Sugar: You need this in the cookie dough AND the frosting.
Butter: Use unsalted and make sure it’s softened.
Egg: I always use large eggs.
Salt and Baking Soda: Normal Cookie ingredients!
Cream of Tartar: This is my secret ingredient for soft sugar cookie cutouts. Learn all about cream of tartar (with substitutions).
Extract: I love using vanilla and almond extract in my cookies. Almond extract is optional.
Milk: You’ll need milk for the frosting to thin to the right consistency.
Decorating: Green food coloring and green sanding sugar makes the decorations SO easy.
How to Make Shamrock Sugar Cookies
- Make the Cookies: Place all of the cookie dough ingredients in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine them at low speed. Stop to scrape the bowl if needed. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Tip: Be sure to mix at a low speed; otherwise, the dry ingredients will fly out of the bowl and make a mess.
- Roll Out Dough: Once the dough forms, stop mixing and divide the dough in half. Place half of the dough on a large piece of wax paper. Place another sheet on top and press down on the cookie dough to create a disc. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough between the wax paper. Roll it three to four times and then peel off the wax paper sheets and replace them with new ones. Continue rolling out the dough until it’s about ¼” thick. When you’ve rolled out both batches of dough, place them on cookie sheets and chill them for at least 30 minutes. Or, cover the pans with plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight.
- Cut Cookies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. While it’s heating, cut out the cookies with the cookie cutter and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. You can reroll the scraps and cut them out, so you don’t waste any dough. Rolling the dough again will warm it up, so it’s a good idea to chill the cut-outs for 10 minutes before baking them.
- Bake: Bake the sugar cookies for six to ten minutes (if you do a different shape, the baking time will vary).
How to Decorate Shamrock Sugar Cookies
Mix up your frosting like you’d make regular buttercream.
This is the EASIEST decoration EVER:
- Place the sanding sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Frost each cookie with green tinted frosting.
- Dip the frosted cookies frosting-side-down in the sugar.
Not in the mood to make everything from scratch? Here are some handy-dandy swaps you can use to make these shamrock cookies even easier!
- Use store-bought sugar cookie dough to make the cookies.
- Skip making the frosting and use canned icing instead. Look for green, or you can tint white frosting with food coloring.
I’ve seen them at craft stores, Target, or you can buy them on Amazon.
Store the decorated cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for the best results. They will keep up to three days at room temperature.
Yes, they freeze great! Once you’ve decorated the cookies, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place the sheet pan in the freezer. Or, you can freeze them unfrosted and decorate them later. Once the cookies are frozen, transfer them to a freezer container. You can stack them in the container, but be sure to unstack them before thawing.
I hope you make these decorated shamrock sugar cookies this year! Oh, and keep in mind you can make them for any holiday – just change the cookie cutter and frosting, and you can make them all year round. Enjoy!
More Desserts Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day
Have you made this recipe?
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Shamrock Sugar Cookies Recipe
- 2 ½ cups (310g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups (141g) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter , softened
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 2 cups (452g) powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk regular low- or non-fat are all fine
- Green Food Coloring
- Green Sanding Sugar
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer). Mix on low, scraping the bowl occasionally, until the mixture forms a cookie dough. Be sure to start on low or the dry ingredients will fly everywhere!
- Divide the dough in half. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a large cutting board or flat surface. Place the cookie dough on the wax paper. Place another large sheet of wax paper on top of the cookie dough. Press down into a flat disk with the palm of your hand, then roll out the dough between the two pieces of wax paper. After each 3-4 rolls, carefully lift the top sheet of wax paper off the dough, then replace it, flip the dough over, and carefully peel the other wax paper sheet, replace it, then continue rolling until the dough is about 1/4” thick. Place the dough, still between the wax paper sheets, on another cutting board or cookie sheet.
- Repeat with second half of dough. Place both rolled out cookie dough sheets in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or wrap them well with plastic wrap and chill overnight).
- When ready to cut cookies, preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cut cookies in desired shapes and place them on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Save the scraps of dough and re-roll them as needed. Note: once you re-roll the dough, you may want to chill those cutouts for about 10 minutes before baking them so they’ll keep their shape.
- Bake cookies for 6-10 minutes depending on the size. I take them out as soon as the bottoms start to brown because we like them softer. If you want crunchy cookies, let them cook longer. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.
- To make frosting, beat butter until smooth in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Slowly mix in powdered sugar, then vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the frosting is the consistency you desire.
- Tint the frosting green. Place sanding sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Frost cookie then dip frosting-side down in sugar.
- Store in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Can freeze cookies in a single layer, then stack in an airtight container (be sure to unstack them before thawing). Or freeze cookies unfrosted in an airtight container.
These Shamrock Sugar Cookies can be made entirely from scratch, but the tips I shared for the semi-homemade version make them even easier to make, bake and enjoy!
Last Updated on January 19, 2022