Sugar cookies, some with royal icing, beside the Berry Summer Flowers Coffee Mug on a kitchen island.

RECIPE: Sugar Cookies with (or without) Royal Icing

Delicious, sweet, crispy yet chewy sugar cookies!

This week I wanted to try to make sugar cookies for the first time. A long time ago I was given sugar cookies that had royal icing on the top and I loved them so much. I just really liked that "candy crunch" it had to it on top of a crispy yet chewy delicious sugar cookie. I wanted to challenge myself to make and use royal icing for the first time, too!

This sugar cookie recipe turned out so yummy and delicious! They taste so good paired with my morning coffee!

Since I have to accommodate the hungry mouths of a family that LOVES cookies, I had to make a larger batch. Truthfully, I think I'd make this larger batch (with about 40 cookies in the size shown) regardless, to have them for a while, but if you need to you can cut this recipe I used in half.

Sugar cookies stacked on a cooling rack with utensils on a kitchen island.


Sugar Cookies:

    • 6 ½ cups Flour.
    • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda.
    • 1 teaspoon Salt.
    • 4 cups Sugar.
    • 2 ½ cups softened Butter or Margarine.
    • 4 Eggs.
    • 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract.

    Royal Icing:

    • 6 Egg Whites.
    • 2 pounds Powdered Sugar (2 lbs bag).
    • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract.


    NOTE: You'll want to do this before you start, if you are going to be making the royal icing.

    While your 6 eggs for the royal icing are cold, separate the egg whites from the yolks and put them in a small bowl. They're easier to separate when cold, but the recipe requires the egg whites be room temperature.


    Sugar Cookies:

    1. In a medium to large bowl, thoroughly mix together your flour, baking soda, and salt.
    2. Using an electric mixer, in a very large bowl, combine your sugar and softened butter until smooth.
    3. Add the first two eggs. Once mixed, add the other two eggs and your vanilla.
    4. Slowly add your flour, baking soda, and salt mix until well combined.
    5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
    6. When ready to remove dough from refrigerator, preheat oven to 350°F.
    7. Once cooled and more firm, roll out a portion of your dough on a cutting board with flour. (Re-wrap and chill the remaining dough until ready to use.)
    8. Use round cookie cutters to cut out your cookies and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. You can use parchment paper to line them if you prefer. (I used 3" round cutters for mine, as shown in the pictures. This makes a bigger cookie and only fits about 6 cookies per cookie sheet.)
      NOTE: If you will not be using royal icing, you have the option to add a coating of sugar to your cookies before putting them in the oven.
    9. Bake in oven until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges. Approximately 8-10 minutes, but may require an extra minute or two depending on the oven or how many sheets of cookies are in at a time.
    10. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack or wire rack. Cool completely.

    If you're not making royal icing, then you're done! Enjoy your sugar cookies!

    If you are going to add royal icing, get your piping bags ready and move onto the next set of directions.

    Tall stack of cookies next to the 15oz Berry Summer Flowers Mug on a kitchen island.

    Royal Icing:

    1. In a medium to large mixing bowl, pour in your room temperature egg-whites.
    2. Unless you're really ambitious to whisk this by hand, I recommend using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment on low to medium speed to mix the egg whites until they become frothy.
    3. On low speed, slowly add your powdered sugar and vanilla.
    4. (Optional) Once mixed, you can separate into different bowls to add food coloring gel to color your icing to your desired hue and shade.
    5. Pour the royal icing into a piping bag and then decorate your cookies.

    The royal icing begins to dry quickly, so be sure to decorate in a timely manner.

    NOTE: It takes at least 6 hours for the icing to really begin to harden adequately. They can be lightly stacked after an hour or two of icing them. The smooth finish can easily be dented or smeared though so be careful! I also find before this hardening happens, that the icing on the cookies is very, very sweet. The flavor and sweetness balances out more as the icing hardens. For the best and the most yummy results, I recommend waiting a full 24 hours before eating the cookies so you get that true "candy-like coating" crunch to the royal icing.


    Sugar cookies with turquoise, pink, and white royal icing made by Amy Sagan of Amy's Coffee Mugs.

    Coffee Mug pictured in photos:

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    1 comment

    Thank for the icing Tips, that was very thoughtful of you.


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