Simple Sugar Cookies with Buttercream are soft sugar cookies frosted with a light green buttercream and dusted with gold sprinkles. Try my Copycat Swig Cookie for another frosted sugar cookie recipe.
Simple Sugar Cookies with Buttercream
With the green buttercream and gold sprinkles, this treat is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! But, if you missed it this year, or even if you are not Irish, you will enjoy every bite of these cookies! It starts with a soft sugar cookie that is delicious on its own, but the buttercream with gold sprinkles makes you think you have found the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow!
There are two parts to this dessert–the sugar cookies and the buttercream.
Room Temperature Ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients (especially butter and eggs) will help you get the best results when baking these cookies. Butter is at room temperature at 65°F. Don’t put it in the microwave to soften it; simply cut it up into small pieces and let it sit out if you forgot to take it out of the refrigerator.
Flour: I used a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour. If you don’t have any on hand, here is a homemade recipe for cake flour.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch makes the baked cookies a little lighter with a crumbly texture.
Buttercream: This is a whipped vanilla buttercream with some green food coloring to make it more festive for St. Patrick’s Day. However, you could always make it whatever color you prefer!
Sprinkles: Just like adding the green coloring for the holiday, I also added gold sprinkles to stick with the theme.
This cookie dough does need to chill in the freezer for about an hour, so be aware of that time. And yes, it does matter, so try not to skip that step. I will explain why chilling dough is important below.
To make the dough, first, mix together the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. I like to use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. While the wet ingredients are being mixed (about 3 minutes), whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while mixing on low speed.
Once the ingredients have been incorporated, remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add a pinch of salt and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Using a small ice cream scoop, place balls of cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The balls of dough can be close together at this point. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour. If you are not planning on baking the cookies after the hour, store the dough in a freezer-safe container until ready to bake.
How to Make Sugar Cookies with Buttercream
After the cookies have chilled, spread out the cookies onto a couple of baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes, trying not to overbake. I made a batch that were golden around the edges and found those to be a bit too crunchy. The goal for this recipe was to create a light, soft, buttery and airy cookie that almost melted in your mouth. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting with the buttercream.
How to Make Buttercream
Having your butter and milk at room temperature helps greatly. Substituting whipping cream for milk is a great idea, but not necessary if you get the butter whipped up nicely. (I do not recommend skim milk in this recipe.) Add the amount of milk that is needed to reach your desired consistency. Spread the buttercream on top of the cooled cookies. Don’t forget the gold sprinkles!
If you are feeling a bit scandalous (although this is not really scandalous) try adding some champagne to your buttercream for a fun St. Patty’s Day kick!)
Do I Have to Chill the Cookie Dough?
Well, I can’t make you do anything, but please do chill this dough. When you chill cookie dough, it solidifies the fat. Then, when you are ready to bake the cookies, the chilled dough takes longer to melt and remains solid longer, meaning the cookies spread less.
Chilling dough also gives you more flavorful cookies. The dry ingredients have time to soak up the wet ingredients, allowing them all to come together. Baking will be more even as well.
Looking for More Cookie Recipes?
Simple Sugar Cookies with Buttercream
- 1 cup (125g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 227g) butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (94g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch table salt
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups (250g) confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons (20-30g) milk
- 1 drop green food coloring
- 2 tablespoons gold sprinkles
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla on low to just combine. Switch mixer to medium-high and mixer for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cake flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Remove bowl from mixer and add in pinch of salt. With a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl and gently mix ingredients.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of sugar cookie and place them close together on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Do this until all the dough is gone; you should have about 24 sugar cookie dough balls.
- Place in freezer for at least one hour. (If freezing for longer make sure the sugar cookie dough is sealed in an air-tight container until ready to use.)
- When ready to bake, heat oven to 350°F.
- Place dough balls (can still be frozen) on parchment-lined baking sheets 2 inches apart from each other.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until no longer "wet" looking in the center. These cookies are best when slightly under-done.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting with buttercream.
- Cream butter and vanilla in mixer for 2-4 minutes.
- Add in confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time.
- Slowly add in milk. Use more milk for a creamier consistency; use less milk for a stiff consistency.
- Add food coloring. (Use more or less to reach your desired consistency.)
- Use buttercream to frost completely cooled cookies. Add gold sprinkles on top.
Did you make this recipe?
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