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Bring the spirit of St. Patrick's Day to your kitchen and bake up some Irish luck, with these charming shamrock sugar cookies, perfect for celebrating March 17th! Made with our all-time favorite soft sugar cookie recipe, these tender shamrock sugar cookies are then coated in a festive green icing. Sláinte!
For a different recipe for green cookies, make these matcha cookies! They have a subtly earthy taste.
These shamrock sugar cookies are perfect for celebrating all things green and Irish. The cookies are sweet and deliciously tender, and they'll disappear from the plate before you know it! You'll find the shamrock sugar cookie dough easy to roll out, and it puffs up but doesn't spread out when you bake it so it will hold the shamrock shape – or whatever shape you decide to cut these into!
These St. Patrick's Day treats use simple baking ingredients that are pantry staples! This is what you need:
- Butter: Creamy, rich butter makes for a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- White sugar: Sweetens up the dough.
- Eggs: Act as a binding agent.
- Vanilla extract: Adds warmth and aroma.
- All-purpose flour: Provides the structure to perfectly balance chewiness and crispness.
- Baking soda: Helps the cookies rise and become light and fluffy.
- Salt: Balances everything out!
- Powdered sugar: To make the icing deliciously sweet.
- Green food color: You can either purchase some or see the recipe notes to make your own all-natural version using spinach!
- Water or lemon juice: Lemon juice gives a little bright citrus note to these St Patrick's Day cookies, but you can also use water.
These shamrock cookies are like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and they're super easy to make with a prep time of just 10 minutes. These are the instructions:
- Make the dough: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla using an electric mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to this and then mix until combined. Then, let it cool in the fridge wrapped in parchment paper.
- Heat and cut: Heat up the oven then roll out the dough. Using shamrock cookie cutters, make your shamrock cookie shapes and place them on cookie sheets.
- Bake and decorate: Bake until lightly browned on the bottom and then take them out to cool completely – next is the fun part: decorating your shamrock sugar cookies!
St. Patrick's Day is unmistakenly associated with shamrocks, but you can use any cookie cutter shape you'd like before you bake and get ready to decorate. Decorating shamrock sugar cookies is half the fun! Keep it simple with some green frosting, or get creative with these ideas:
- Green icing: Check out or recipe notes for a method to making all-natural green frosting, or use green food color instead. Use a piping bag or icing pen to create polka dots with orange or white frosting around the outside, or make little patterns.
- Sprinkles: Use green, orange, and/or white sprinkles to reference the colors of the Irish flag, or get some adorable St Patrick's Day sprinkles.
- Edible glitter: Sprinkle some edible glitter over your shamrock sugar cookies to make them shine! You can get a variety of colors.
- Good luck chocolate coins: Get some edible chocolate coins to decorate your cookies with, in theme!
- Chocolate drizzle: Melt white or dark chocolate, then drizzle it over the cooled cookies. You could also dip a corner of the cookies into melted chocolate.
Can I use brown sugar?
You could use it in a pinch, however the final cookie will vary slightly in texture. Brown sugar has molasses added, which is what gives it a brown color and adds moisture. If you're happy with a cake-y texture, then try it out! If you wish to reduce the sugar, you could also try using a sugar alternative, such as erythritol.
How do I store these St. Patrick's Day cookies?
They can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for five days.
Shamrock Sugar Cookies
- ¾ cups butter (softened)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Green food color (see notes)
- 2-3 tablespoons water or lemon juice (see notes)
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla using an electric mixer.¾ cups butter, 1 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix till combined.
- Make a ball out of the dough, wrap it in parchment paper, and store it in your fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out half the dough to just under ½ inch between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Cut out shamrock shapes using a 3 ½ inch cookie cutter and transfer the cookies to baking sheets. Note: the cookies will fill 4 half-size sheet pans. If you don't have enough cookie sheets, bake one batch and then wait until the cookie sheet is completely cool before placing the next batch of cookies on it. Keep the cookie dough as cold as possible before baking, placing them into the fridge for a few minutes on the baking sheets if they become soft.
- Bake on cookie sheets for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
- In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and a few drops of food coloring. Then add 2 tablespoons of water or lemon juice and mix well. If you'd like a thinner icing, add a little more water.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.