Orange Sugar Cookies

filed under: Cookies · Dessert · Sugar Cookies on July 13, 2020

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!

Sugar Cookies Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Orange juice
  • Orange zest
  • Orange extract
  • Cream of tartar
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour

Frosting Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter
  • Sour cream
  • Orange juice
  • Salt
  • Orange extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Orange food coloring–Mix together red and yellow food coloring if you don’t have orange.

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).

  1. First, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl and mix until just combined. 
  2. Next, drizzle in the oil and add the eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and orange extract, mixing well.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, add the cream of tartar and salt to the flour and roughly sift. (You can use a strainer if you don’t have a flour sifter.)
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and use the stand mixer to mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. I like to make sure the cookies are consistent in shape and size. Using a scoop makes this possible! Simply scoop the dough and then level it on the side of the bowl. Drop the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Once your sheet is full, roll each ball in your clean hands until they are round and smooth.
  6. Then, with a kitchen glass that has granulated sugar on the bottom, press down into the cookie dough ball. Repeat that on all your cookies and they will all come out the same size!
  7. Finally, bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet while you prepare the orange frosting.

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 then smooth it around the center indentation of the cookie. For the final “swoop”, I hold my offset spatula steady, turn the cookie 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. They will last up to a month in the freezer.

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

Looking for More Orange-Flavored Recipes?

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Monkey Bread

Orange Bars

Orange Sweet Rolls

Orange Cardamom Breakfast Twist

4.8 from 5 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.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Orange Sugar Cookies
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 350 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke-iambaker.net
Ingredients
ORANGE SUGAR COOKIE
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (94g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup (168g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large (6 ounces) eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups (688g) all-purpose flour
ORANGE FROSTING
  • 1/2 cups (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 4-5 cups (500-625g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 drop orange food coloring, red + yellow food coloring
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
SUGAR COOKIES
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar and mix until just combined.

  2. Drizzle in oil and pour in eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and orange extract, and mix well.

  3. In a bowl add the cream of tartar and salt to the flour and roughly sift.
  4. 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.

  5. Using an ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out golf-ball size portions on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Roll out each cookie dough ball until it is smooth and round.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

  9. 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
  1. In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, sour cream, orange juice, salt, and orange extract.

  2. 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.)

  3. Add in a drop of orange food coloring for the soft orange color.

  4. Spread on cooled cookies using an offset spatula.

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Comments

  • Terk says:

    Lord.. how I love you.. finally.. someone thought to add egg “weight” instead of having to guess which size eggs to buy. I so appreciate this!! I will.be making thos very soon!!

  • Sue says:

    I’m rather offended the orange sugar cookie author felt the need to tell us to “roll the dough with CLEAN hands.” I’ve been baking 55 years, this is common knowledge for most people.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Sue! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. It was just a friendly reminder. Have a great day!

  • Kay Williams says:

    Are these orange butter cookies using g.f. flour?? I sure hope so thanks for emails kay

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Kay! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We used all-purpose flour for this recipe, so I can’t say how they would turn out using gluten-free flour. Have a great day!

  • Janina says:

    These orange cookies will be perfect for my husband bday next month. Thank You hi

  • Lottie Parker says:

    I can taste that orange creation WOW

  • Aussie lady says:

    Hello Amanda,
    I LOVE your new web sight.
    It’s very user friendly.
    I love it almost as much as I love your wonderful, creative selection of recipes!!!
    I’m so glad I can flick through & be inspired.
    Keep creating & giving us the joy of your generous sharing.
    Love from Brisbane Australia xxxx

  • Ginger says:

    Can this be made into a bar cookie?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Ginger! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried making these cookies into a bar cookie. Let us know how they turn out if you try it, and have a great day!

  • Judy says:

    I will definitely be making these. Not only do they look delicious but sound delicious also. I love all your recipes. You are really good at concocting new ones. Keep it up.

  • Annette Eiynk says:

    Can these be made with lemon instead of orange??

  • Christy says:

    Is the oj concentrate or diluted

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Christy! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. It is the juice from an orange. Have a great day!

  • Amber says:

    I made these and was not impressed when I first tasted them but when I tried them the 2nd day, I couldn’t get enough. Giving them an extra day to sit and the flavors blend must have done the trick because I will make them again. They are soft, flakey and the frosting is delicious. I, however, used salted butter and cut back on the salt in the recipe and they were fabulous.

  • Yadira says:

    If no orange extract can I use same in orange juice? Or vanilla extract?

  • Jan says:

    I rolled the dough into rolls and chilled in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Sliced and baked. Easier to handle. Recipe is tops!

  • Suzanne says:

    I am wanting to make your Orange cookie recipe but I do not have a stand mixer. Can I use my hand mixer?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Suzanne! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You could use a hand mixer for this recipe. Have a great day!

  • Hildah says:

    Love everything💓💓💓

  • Patricia K. says:

    In the narrative at the top it says to bake 8-12 minutes and in the recipe at the bottom, it says to bake cookies 7-9 minutes. Which is it, because you say “Be sure to check your cookies at 7 minutes” I do not want to overbake because you say overbaking will result in a tough, crumbly, tasteless cookie. Please let me know. I am going to try these today.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      7-9 minutes, start checking at 7 minutes. If the cookie appears to be a different color in the middle, or “wet” looking, it is not done. They will puff up SLIGHTLY and then deflate slightly when cooling. If the edges are darker or brown the cookie is over done.