Sugar cookies are basically my go-to cookie for any holiday. And one of my favourite holidays for making and decorating sugar cookies is Easter. The gorgeous pale tones, the intricate designs, the colourful variety. Easter egg sugar cookies are the definition of edible art.
Easter egg sugar cookies are golden brown and crisp on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and decorated with cute patterns using a meringue-based royal icing. And who says art has to be complicated? You certainly don't have to be Picasso to create a masterpiece. A few swirls here, a few polka dots there, and a few stripes is all you need to create adorable, simple Easter egg sugar cookies.
For more cute Easter treats, browse through my most popular Easter dessert recipes.
Ingredients in Easter Egg Sugar Cookies
You will need the following ingredients to make these cute Easter egg sugar cookies:
- unsalted butter - If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it, but leave out the extra salt in the recipe.
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- baking powder
- all-purpose flour
- royal icing - Easy to make with confectioners' sugar, meringue powder, water, vanilla extract.
- gel food colouring - for decorating the cookies with different colours.
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
You will also need the following kitchen tools and equipment:
- measuring cups and spoons
- mixing bowls
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- rolling pin
- egg-shaped cookie cutter
- half sheet baking pan and silicone baking mat (or parchment paper)
- wire cooling rack
- piping bags
- couplers - for securing the tips to the piping bag.
- no. 5 round tip for the base colour and no. 1 round tip or no. 2 round tip for piping the letters.
How to Make the Best Easter Egg Sugar Cookies
- Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Turn the mixer to low speed and add baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour and mix until combined. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic cling wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour, up to overnight).
- Cut out the cookies: Remove the dough from refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is ¼-inch thick. Use an egg-shaped cookie cutter to cut out egg cookie shapes. I used a 2-inch one. Transfer the cookies onto a half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing them an inch apart. Re-roll any scraps and repeat to cut out more cookies.
- Bake: Bake the cookies at 350 F preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
How to Make Easy Royal Icing for Easter Egg Sugar Cookies
Once you've baked the Easter egg sugar cookies and they have cooled completely, you can start making the royal icing. Traditionally, royal icing is made with raw egg whites, but you can actually use meringue powder in place of the egg whites (as we did) and still get icing that hardens beautifully with the same taste, texture and consistency as royal icing.
To make royal icing:
- Combine ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, combine confectioners' sugar with meringue powder. Add water and vanilla extract and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed, until smooth. If you find that the icing is too thick, add a little water (a teaspoon at a time). If you find the icing too thin, add a little more sugar.
- Add colour: To colour the icing, add gel food colouring. You can also use liquid food colouring, but this will have a slight effect on the consistency of the icing. You may need to add a little more sugar to get the consistency right.
How to Decorate Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
- Use a no. 5 round tip to outline the base colour on the sugar cookie, leaving about ⅛-inch from the edge, and fill in the inside. To get the icing completely to the edges, use the back of a spoon to spread the icing to the edge.
- Allow the base to dry enough so that when you add icing on top, it won't smudge or blend into it. It doesn't have to be fully set, but set enough, about 20-30 minutes.
- Use a thin no. 1 round tip to decorate the Easter egg cookies in cute patterns such as lines, squiggles and dots.
- Plan ahead. You will need to plan ahead and give yourself enough time when making these cookies. The entire process spans over the course of a several hours, up to a day:
- The cookies need to completely cool before icing for at least a few hours. Otherwise the icing will get too runny from the warm cookies and won't set properly.
- If adding multiple layers of icing, you need to allow the bottom layer to dry first, at least 30 minutes.
- The icing needs a few hours, up to a day, to completely set and harden, otherwise it can easily get smudged when storing, handling, or transporting, which is the last thing you want when you are storing them or getting ready to package them up as gifts.
- How to store: Once the icing is completely set, store Easter egg sugar cookies in a single layer or stacked up in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- How to freeze: These sugar cookies also freeze really well. Place them in an airtight container, layered in between pieces of parchment paper and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Cookie Recipes
- 30 Best Easter Dessert Recipes
- Mini Egg Easter Cookies
- No Bake Butterscotch and Peanut Butter Bird's Nest Cookies
- Carrot Cake Shortbread Cookies
- Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- Raspberry and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Slice and Bake Pecan Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.
This post was originally published in 2017. It has been completely updated with new photographs and clearer instructions.