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5 Ways to Spice Up Your Average Sugar Cookie Recipe

One thing I never had time for in my full-time working mom days was baking. I didn’t do it. Like, ever. Honestly, my family was lucky if they got a home cooked dinner.

Baking a sugar cookie recipe for dessert wasn’t even on my radar.

Since my family has relocated to Vermont and I now primarily stay home with the kiddos, I’ve found lots of time to do things I never had time for before. Like, baking. We’re now in the habit of baking about 2-3 times a week.

Getting ready to bake a sugar cookie recipe, boy, baking

I’m not super at planning ahead. So, even though we are baking pretty frequently, I haven’t always thought out what we’ll bake and when, and I definitely haven’t bought the proper ingredients. Typically, baking isn’t even my idea. My four-year-old will walk up to me and ask, “What we gonna make today?” And, I’ll open the pantry, assess the food sitch, and devise a plan. Needless to say, I’ve gotten creative.

I start with the same base Sugar Cookie recipe (Courtesy of Ebony at Her Life on Purpose). I like this recipe because it does not call for cream of tartar. Because, seriously, who’s got that?! And then I jazz things up based on the rando food stuffs I have on hand. 

This is the Sugar Cookie recipe from which all of my delicious creations start:

Sugar Cookie Recipe
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
18 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
18 min
4126 calories
564 g
674 g
192 g
44 g
119 g
928 g
254 g
301 g
7 g
59 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 4126
Calories from Fat 1690
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 192g
Saturated Fat 119g
Trans Fat 7g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 50g
Cholesterol 674mg
Sodium 254mg
Total Carbohydrates 564g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 301g
Protein 44g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 ¾ cups All-purpose Flour
  2. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 1 cup of butter, softened
  5. 1 ½ cup of sugar
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In one bowl, stir your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt. Set to the side.
  3. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Then egg and vanilla.
  4. After that, slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients.
  5. Spoon dough onto a lined baking sheet (for easy clean up.)
  6. Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes.
Burlington VT Moms Blog

Here are 5 delicious add-ins to spice up your average Sugar Cookie Recipe:

Creamsicle Cuties:

For this, I simply add the zest and juice from half of a cutie (or Halo or Clementine or whatever you call it) to the dough. Then I top the cooled cookies with a creamsicle glaze. This is made from ½ a cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir it together with a fork and then add the zest and juice of the other half of the cutie.

Creamsicle Cuties Sugar Cookie Recipe

Craisin Pistachio

This one is seriously easy… just add a ¼ cup of craisins and a ¼ cup of pistachios. To kick it up a notch, top the cooled cookies with a lime glaze. Use the same glaze recipe from above, just swap the cutie juice and zest for lime juice and zest.

Gooey S’Mores

For a deliciously gooey cookie, add a ¼ cup of mini marshmallows and a ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips. I like the dark chocolate chips as they are bitter and the cookies are already super sweet. You can also opt to leave out the teaspoon of vanilla and replace it with a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon (for more of a graham cracker flavor).

Double Chocolate

Throw 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder into the dry ingredients for the dough and fold in ½ cup of white chocolate chips. Done and done.

Maple Walnut

My favorite! Fold a ½ cup of finely chopped walnuts into the cookie dough. Top with a drizzle of a simple maple glaze: ½ cup of powdered sugar with ¼ cup of Vermont maple syrup.

boy in costume eating sugar cookies

Bonus Recipe: Check out this Chocolate Peanut Butter Sugar Cookie Recipe!

Share your go-to cookie recipe or baking hack in the comments!


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