Orange Sugar Cookies are super soft sugar cookies with just a touch of orange flavor and covered with a creamy sweet orange frosting. If you love cookies, don’t miss my 50 Best Cookie Recipes in the World!

Orange Sugar Cookies

Most sugar cookies are known for their ease when it comes to decorating and making shapes. However, I do not recommend this cookie for cut-out sugar cookies. It will spread slightly and there are definitely better recipes for that purpose, like my Sugar Cookie Recipe.

Orange Sugar Cookie with Orange Frosting - Orange Swig Cookie Sitting on White Surface

Orange Sugar Cookies Recipe

This cookie recipe does have a few untraditional ingredients like confectioners’ sugar (in the cookie!), cream of tartar, and oil. However, it all comes together perfectly to create the best sugar cookie you will try!

Can I Substitute Fresh for the Extract?

If you don’t have orange extract, you can use fresh orange juice or additional orange zest. Here is a simple equivalency:

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice = 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon orange zest = 1 teaspoon orange extract

Orange Sugar Cookie with Orange Frosting - Orange Swig Cookie Shot from Overhead Looking at Cookies

How to Make Orange Sugar Cookies

I recommend using a stand mixer for this sugar cookie recipe as you really need the ingredients to be evenly incorporated and to be mixed just long enough. I watch my mixer pretty close after all ingredients are added and wait for it to pull away from the sides of the bowl (much like bread dough does).

Orange Sugar Cookie with Orange Frosting - Orange Swig Cookie Being Held in a Hand

How to Make Orange Frosting

Just like the sugar cookie recipe, this frosting recipe has an ingredient that might surprise you! It’s sour cream! I absolutely love what it does to this frosting. I added the smallest amount of orange food color (red plus yellow food coloring) to the frosting to create this glorious orange color. The combination is truly fabulous!

To make the frosting, use a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. First, combine the butter, sour cream, orange juice, salt, and orange extract. After the ingredients are fully incorporated, add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Keep an eye on the frosting until it gets to your desired consistency. You may not need all five cups of sugar. Add a drop of orange food coloring for that orange color.

How to Frost Orange Sugar Cookies

This frosting is so gloriously smooth and creamy it is really easy to use! I just put a dollop on an offset spatula and then smooth it around the center indentation of the cookie. For the final “swoop”, I hold my offset spatula steady, turn the cookie in one direction, then turn it back in the other, moving the spatula slightly lower. It sounds complicated, but it’s really quite easy once you get the hang of it. The best part is that practicing is fun and you get to eat any mistakes!

How to Store Orange Sugar Cookies

Orange Sugar Cookies can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but they are really great chilled in the refrigerator as well! If you want to freeze the cookies, lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer until frozen. Then, store the frozen cookies in an airtight, freezer-safe container or zipped freezer-safe bag. Be sure to label and date the containers.

Hand Holding a Bit Into Orange Sugar Cookie with Orange Frosting - Orange Swig Cookie Showing Inside Texture

More Orange Treats

4.84 from 6 votes

Orange Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Orange Sugar Cookies are super soft sugar cookies with just a touch of orange flavor and covered with a creamy sweet orange frosting.

Ingredients

ORANGE SUGAR COOKIE

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (94g) confectioners' sugar
  • ¾ cup (168g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large (6 ounces) eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups (688g) all-purpose flour

ORANGE FROSTING

  • ½ cups (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (173g) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 4-5 cups (500-625g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 drop orange food coloring, red + yellow food coloring

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

SUGAR COOKIES

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar and mix until just combined.
  • Drizzle in oil and pour in eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and orange extract, and mix well.
  • In a bowl add the cream of tartar and salt to the flour and roughly sift.
  • Slowly add the flour to the butter mixture and allow the mixer to combine until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.
  • Using an ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out golf-ball size portions on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Roll out each cookie dough ball until it is smooth and round.
  • Using a kitchen glass that has been pressed into granulated sugar, press down on each cookie dough ball until the center of the cookie is pressed flatter than the edges. Repeat this on all cookies.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes or until edges are just slightly starting to brown and center no longer appears wet. Let the cookies cool while you prepare the frosting.
  • NOTE: It is important to not over-bake the cookies. Be sure to check your cookies at 7 minutes. Every oven is different and overbaking can result in a tough, crumbly, tasteless cookie. Let your first batch be a test batch so you can ensure the remaining cookies are perfect and soft!

ORANGE FROSTING

  • In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, sour cream, orange juice, salt, and orange extract.
  • Once ingredients are fully incorporated, start adding the confectioner's sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time. (You may not need all 5 cups. Keep an eye on the frosting to determine when it has reached your desired consistency. If it gets too be too thick you can add some milk to loosen.)
  • Add in a drop of orange food coloring for the soft orange color.
  • Spread on cooled cookies using an offset spatula.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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