These Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting are deliciously soft and sweet, topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting that makes for the easiest cookie decorating ever! These beauties TASTE as good as they look and will for sure impress your friends and family at the next Christmas party!
Sugar Cookies, A Beloved Christmas Tradition!
Sugar cookies are such a staple dessert for the Christmas holidays. Not only are they one of the best things ever to indulge in while snuggling up to your favourite Christmas movies (helloooo Hallmark channel!), they’re also a part of so many peoples’ Christmas traditions! I don’t know about you, but I definitely have decorating sugar cookies with loved ones as a part of my Christmas to-do list!
These Sugar cookies with buttercream frosting would also make great gifts. So go ahead, bake ’em, decorate ’em, and wrap ’em up in a pretty little box, tie it with string and give them to someone you love. Show a friend who’s going through a hard time that you’re thinking of them during this time. I believe that the gift of cookies speak alot of good things.
The Best Ingredient: Vanilla!
I truly believe that the ingredient that makes these sugar cookies so good is the vanilla. I decided to incorporate Rodelle’s Vanilla Paste into the cookie dough, not only for the spectacular flavour, but I wanted to see those tiny little black vanilla bean flecks. Can you see them? I have ALL the heart eyes for those magical little flecks. I think it’s because the moment I see them, my brain is triggered and I just can’t WAIT to taste that vanilla!
And not only does the cookie dough have vanilla in it, but the buttercream frosting does too! In the frosting I used Rodelle’s Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract and it tastes incredible! Buttercream frosting should always have vanilla in it, wouldn’t you agree?
I absolutely LOVE using my Rodelle vanillas because their taste is amazing, and the vanilla beans come from a place I can trust. Did you know that they’re part of an employee-owned cooperative of over 3,500 vanilla farmers in Madagascar that give 100% of their profits back to each farmer?! I grew up on a farm so I’m ALL-FOR the farmer earning 100% of what they’ve worked so hard for!
With that said, let’s bake some cookies!
Step 1: Make The Dough.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter nice and smooth with an electric mixer. Then add in the sugar, baking powder, and salt and combine until nice and smooth. Then beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Lastly, mix in the flour. It will be a perfectly smooth dough.
The dough at this point will be quite pliable, almost too pliable, so you’ll want to divide it into two discs, wrap each disc with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill. The chilled dough will make the cookies much easier to work with! Chill them for at least half an hour; I chilled mine overnight so that I could just bake and decorate them in the morning.
Step 2: Roll and Cut The Cookie Dough.
Place one of the dough discs on a lightly floured surface, and with a rolling pin, do one roll, pushing the rolling pin straight out in front of you. Spin the dough disc a quarter clock-wise, and push out the rolling pin again. Repeat this until your dough is about a 1/4″ thick.
Gather up your favorite cookie cutter shapes and place the cookie dough cut-outs onto parchment-lined baking sheets. You’ll want them to be 1″ apart. Keep gathering up the dough bits into a disc, re-rolling them and cutting them until you’ve used up all the dough! (Trust me, you don’t want to waste a bit of this delicious dough!)
After baking and cooling, you can choose to either freeze them in freezer bags or containers and save the decorating for your cookie-decorating party or you can get to decorating right away!
Step 3: Make The Buttercream!
Whippin’ up a delicious “American-style” buttercream frosting is super simple, thankfully. AND it’s a crusting-buttercream, meaning that as it dries, the outside of it hardens so that these cookies are completely stackable in your tupperware containers! Woohoo!
First you cream the butter in a large bowl until smooth. Then, add in your icing sugar, Rodelle Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract, milk, and mix until fully incorporated and fluffy smooth! The end consistency depends on the type of decorating you’re wanting to do…(read below!)
Step 4: Decorating the Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
Decorating with a knife:
If you’re planning to do the SUPER quick and simple decorating method of smearing the buttercream on the cookie with a knife, then you’ll want a very loose consistency of frosting. This means, less icing sugar and more milk.
The more icing sugar = the stiffer the frosting.
The more milk = the smoother the frosting. Add in the milk just a TB at a time, you don’t want it TOO loose!
As much as I love decorating cakes and cookies, I can admit I love this easy style of decorating. It’s just so simple and takes me back to my childhood.
Decorating with Piping Bags:
For this type of decorating you’ll want your frosting a little stiffer so that the piping designs look nice and crisp instead of melty and droopy. Pink is my favourite colour so I decided to go with an ombre Christmas look. I divided the buttercream into 4 bowls, and used Wilton’s pink gel food coloring in 3 of the bowls, leaving 1 bowl just white.
For the Ombre Effect:
Start with the lightest shade first. So in the first bowl, add a drop at a time and see how you like it. (To be honest I made one of the pinks a little more pink than I wanted to. But it still looks nice and keeps the ombre effect.) Then when you move on to the next bowl, add more drops than you did to the first bowl, and on the third bowl add even more drops.
And a good thing to remember: your frosting colour will deepen with time!
Get Piping Bags & Tips Ready:
Assemble 4 piping bags with Wilton couplers. Couplers are AWESOME because they allow you to switch up your decorating tips between colours. You don’t have to keep reusing new piping bags every time you want to use a new tip with a colour. It’s the best invention ever and I highly recommend. For these sugar cookies with buttercream frvosting I used the following Wilton Tips:
This truly is the fun part, you guys! Be creative. Make loops, lines, squiggles, pointy stars and flowers. Add sprinkles!!
I hope you guys love these cookies as much as I do! And as always, if you make these please tag me on Instagram; I’d love to see what you come up with!! Merry Christmas and Happy Baking, my friends. ♥️
Want More Vanilla Recipes? Check these out:
- Vanilla Butter Cake with Lemon Cream and Berries
- Homemade French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Heart Shaped Fruit Puff Pastries with Vanilla Glaze
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
These Vanilla Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting are deliciously soft and sweet, topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting that makes for the easiest cookie decorating ever! These beauties TASTE as good as they look and will for sure impress your friends and family at the next Christmas party!
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
- 2/3 cup Butter softened
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg
- 1 TB Milk
- 2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups Flour
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup Butter
- 3-4 cups Icing Sugar
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 TB Milk
Making the Sugar Cookie Dough
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Then add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined and smooth, scraping the sides occasionally.
Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until evenly combined. Then beat in the flour until combined.
Divide dough in half and shape into discs. Cover/wrap dough and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (to make it easier to handle).
Cutting The Sugar Cooking Dough
Preheat oven to 375 degrees C.
On a lightly floured surface roll out half the dough at a time to a 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut into the dough with your favourite cookie cutter shapes. Keep gathering all the leftover dough together, shaping into a ball and rolling out again until all the dough is used up.
Place cut-outs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet 1 inch apart and bake for 6-8 minutes. Edges should be firm and bottoms very lightly browned. While cookies are cooling on a wire rack, mix up the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting!
Making the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
In a large bowl cream the butter using an electric mixer (or in a stand mixer) until smooth.
Add in the icing sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix at low speed until icing sugar is incorporated and then mix at high speed for a minute or two. Buttercream should be lightened in colour and fluffy.
If it's too runny, mix in more icing sugar. If it's too stiff, add a TB of milk at a time until you reach the consistency you like.
If desired, divide buttercream into bowls and add gel food colouring. Feel free to just scrape the buttercream onto the cookie with a knife, or fill piping bags with buttercream and pipe fun designs onto the cookies!
- If you want your cookies to look exactly like mine, I divided the buttercream into 4 bowls, left one bowl as white, and then added drops of pink Wilton Gel Food Coloring to the other bowls.
- The food coloring in buttercream will deepen with time, so if you prefer lighter pastel colors, don’t add too many drops!
- Store in a tupperware container on the counter (cookies will get even softer!).
- After buttercream has crusted on the cookies, place them into freezer bags and store in the freezer.