Sugar Coated Cookies are sugar cookies rolled in colored sugar to produce a fun, colored treat! These colored sugar cookies are perfect for spring, but simply change up the color combinations and they are perfect for any holiday or season! 

If you are looking for a roll-out sugar cookie recipe that you can use cookie cutter shapes with, then I recommend my No Fail Sugar Cookies! They are soft, thick and turn out perfectly every single time! For thick and chewy frosted sugar cookie recipe, you’ll love my Crumbl Sugar Cookie Recipe! And for another fun springtime treat, check out my Bunny Bait

Colorful sugar coated cookies on a light grey background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • One bowl sugar cookie recipe. This recipe uses just one bowl! It’s perfect if you are looking for a quick sugar cookie dough recipe with even quicker clean up! It makes things so much simpler.
  • Rolled in colored sugar. You can use whatever colors and however many colors you want with these sugar coated cookies! I wanted some fun spring sugar cookies so I opted for a few pastel colors. But you can use red and green for Christmas sugar cookies, orange and black for Halloween sugar cookies, pink and red for Valentine’s sugar cookies, different shades of green for St. Patrick’s Day sugar cookies, and red and blue for 4th of July sugar cookies! 

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients used to make sugar coated cookies on a light gray background.
  • Unsalted Butter: Let the butter soften to room temperature. If using salted butter instead of unsalted, reduce the amount of salt 1/4 of a teaspoon per 1/2 cup of butter in the recipe. 
  • Granulated Sugar: The sugar will go in the cookies, but we also want sugar that we will dye for our different colors! 
  • Egg: The egg is important because it’s a binding agent in the dough. It will hold the cookies’ shape. 
  • Vanilla Extract: The vanilla flavoring is important in this sugar coated cookies recipe because it is our main flavoring. It will also enhance the sugar cookie flavor. 
  • Flour: Getting the right ratio of flour to fat is what will affect if our cookies are flat or thick!
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder: These two leavening agents will help the cookie puff up while baking. 
  • Food Coloring: If you are using store-bought colored sugar, then you won’t need food coloring. However, you can dye your own sugar by doing 1-3 drops of food coloring per 1/4 cup sugar. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the cookie dough. Combine all of the ingredients (minus the colored sugar) together in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer (or using a stand mixer), mix until the dough just forms. Roll the dough into 2 tablespoon-sized balls.
Sugar cookie dough made in one bowl, on a gray background.
  1. Roll in colored sugar. Roll each ball in colored sugar. Place the sugar coated cookie dough balls on a baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each ball.
Sugar cookie dough balls coated in colored sugar.
  1. Bake. Bake the colored sugar cookies at 350°F for 8-11 minutes or until the edges are just set and the tops are no longer shiny. Do not over bake or you’ll have a crunchy, not chewy, texture.
  2. Let cool. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. 

Recipe Tips

Once the dough forms, stop mixing. You don’t want to over mix the cookie dough or else it will get tough and that will affect the bake. 

Roll the sugar cookie dough balls in the colored sugar right after you’ve formed them into a ball. If you let the dough balls sit on the counter for too long, the balls dry out, making it difficult for the colored sugar to stick to the dough.

If you don’t pull the sugar coated cookies out at the right time, then they’ll be over baked. It’s best to just under bake the cookies. To ensure a soft sugar cookie you should remove the cookies when the edges and tops are just set. The cookies will cool for 5 minutes on the pan, meaning they will continue to set/bake a little from the residual heat on the pan. 

For flatter sugar cookies, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 11-13 minutes.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag at room temperature for 2-3 days.

To freeze the cookie dough, roll into balls and roll in the colored sugar. Then flash freeze on a baking sheet for 15 minutes or until firm. Transfer the dough balls to an airtight container or Ziplock bag and freeze for 1-2 months. Remove from the freezer and bake from frozen. You may need to add an extra minutes onto the bake time. 

To make ahead of time, make the dough and store it in an airtight container for 12-24 hours. Remove and let come to room temperature or to a consistency that you can scoop and roll into balls. Then roll in the colored sugar and bake as directed. 

Sugar cookies covered in colorful sugar on a white background.

Recipe FAQs

How do I make my own colored sugar?

Use 1-3 drops of liquid food coloring per 1/4 cup sugar. You can add more coloring or more sugar to adjust the brightness of the color. The more drops of food coloring you add, the wetter your colored sugar will be. 

Can I freeze sugar cookie dough?

Yes you can! These are great to freeze. Simply roll the dough, roll in the colored sugar and flash freeze on a sheet. Transfer to a Ziplock bag once firm and store for 1-2 months in the freezer. Remove and bake from frozen. You may need to add an additional minute to the bake time. 

Why are my sugar cookies hard?

The key to getting a soft sugar cookie is the flour to fat ratio and the bake! The flour to fat ratio is spot-on in this sugar coated sugar cookies recipe. However, if you over bake the cookies, the ratio doesn’t matter, you will still get a hard cookie. The trick is to pull the cookies out of the oven when they are slightly under baked. The edges will appear set and then tops won’t be shiny, but they make look a little under done. That’s fine! The colored sugar cookies will cool on the pan for 5 minutes, setting up more from the residual heat of the pan. This will help produce the best sugar cookies ever! 

Purple, blue, yellow, and green sugar coated cookies on a white background.

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Sugar cookie dough balls coated in colored sugar.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

(One Bowl) Sugar Coated Sugar Cookies

Sugar Coated Cookies are a fun, colored treat! They are perfect for spring, but simply change up the color combinations and they are perfect for any holiday or season! 
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 28 mins
Servings: 20 cookies

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter - softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg - at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • colored sugar

Instructions
 

  • Place the colored sugar in small separate bowls.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. 
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and mix until just combined. 
  • Scoop and roll into 2 tablespoon sized balls.  Roll each dough ball in the colored sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are just set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on pan. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

To ensure a soft sugar cookie you should remove the cookies when the edges and tops are just set. The cookies will cool for 5 minutes on the pan, meaning they will continue to set/bake a little from the residual heat on the pan. 
Store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 25g (8%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 6g (30%)Cholesterol: 33mg (11%)Sodium: 61mg (3%)Potassium: 33mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 13g (14%)Vitamin A: 296IU (6%)Calcium: 11mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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