Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting

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I ended up making about six different types of cookies over Christmas. However, being under a bit of a time crunch and needing a break from the Internet, I failed to blog about any of them. Sorry about that.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon I thought this would be a good time to revisit one of my favorite cookies, but with a little twist. So, today I’m sharing a classic sugar cookie recipe with you. I feel that sugar cookies are a little like pie crust. Everyone has a favorite. Some people like them thicker; others prefer them thin. Some folks have to have them frosted; others just want a little sugar sprinkled on top. My dad likes his plain, thick, and heated up in the microwave. Today, I’m going to share my mom’s sugar cookie recipe that I’ve come to know and love. My great uunt also has a recipe for a much thicker cookie that I’ve actually never made. I will share that recipe as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

When I was growing up, my mom, grandma, and I made these cookies every Christmas. My mom made the dough and was in charge of the rolling and baking. Grandma frosted the cookies and I decorated them. The frosting was always white and the decorations were always a variety of sprinkles. It was cold outside when we made them, so after they were frosted and decorated we’d put them on trays, cutting boards, and whatever else we could find and put them in the garage so the frosting could set before we packed them away. I always looked forward to that day. Always.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

Nowadays, things have changed, I’m the one in charge of making the sugar cookies. And, while they are a tad time consuming, there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about them, so I’ll continue to make them with joy year after year.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

However, this time around I decided to give them a fun little twist. A few months ago I bought a couple bottles of cotton candy extract (you can find it on Amazon) for another recipe which I ended up making. So, I thought I’d try out the extract in the recipe. While it doesn’t drastically alter the flavor, it definitely adds something different and delicious to these cookies. Plus, they smell even more heavenly than your typical sugar cookie.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

I opted to add a little color to my frosting as well to emphasize the cotton candy theme.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

The cookies turned out pretty cute, didn’t they? Of course, how can a sugar cookie covered in frosting with sprinkles on top be anything but cute.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

If your mouth is watering, it’s understandable.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

I feel that part of making a good sugar cookie is practice. The first time I made them I rolled out my dough too thin and baked them for too long. They were about as crunchy as a Nilla Wafers. Just take your time and have patience.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

Old family recipes are often based on weird factors like “how the dough feels” or “the right consistency of the frosting.” These things will make absolutely no sense until you do it a few times. And eventually it will make perfect sense. This is why our parents’ and grandparents’ recipes were always the best. They knew those secret little touches that were really never explained in the recipe.

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting | Inspired by Charm

Anywho, I really hope you enjoy this recipe! It was a pleasure sharing it with you. Happy baking, my friends!

Heart Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting - 10 Recipes to Celebrate Valentine's Day

Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting

Classic sugar cookies get updated with a delicious cotton candy frosting. These heart-shaped Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting are perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
Print Pin Rate
Course: cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cotton candy, frosting, sugar cookie
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 36
Calories: 253kcal


Sugar Cookies:

Cotton Candy Frosting:


  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together the Crisco, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined, add in half of the dry ingredients. Begin to mix and then add in the buttermilk. Then add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least four hours or overnight.
  • For the frosting, cream together the Crisco and butter. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar, alternating with the milk as necessary. Before completely combined add in the cotton candy extract, vanilla extract, and pinch of kosher salt. Food coloring can be added at this time as well. If you prefer a stronger flavor, add more extract until you achieve the desired flavor. More milk can be added if you feel the frosting is too thick. The frosting does not need to be refrigerated before use.
  • After your dough has properly chilled, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
  • On a well-floured surface, roll out about 1/4 of the dough. You’ll want the dough to be about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, depending on your preference. Cut the dough out with your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until the first sign of browning appears on the surface of the cookie. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then add the frosting and sprinkles.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Love your memory of decorating cookies with your grandmother. Growing up in Wisconsin we did the same thing ~ stored cookies in various Tupperware on our back porch! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. I have not seen a recipe using Crisco in ages, and my mother ALWAYS used it! I always use butter, I will buy a small can of Crisco and try it, I did use it when younger. These cookies look SO good, and I bought special Valentine’s sprinkles to use.

  3. Newbie here…..I too love your sugar cookies and frosting…..of long ago…..Keep it going !!! Designs and all and the repeats…..priceless and better than EVER!!!

  4. I am so making these! If they have buttermilk in them, they’ve got to be good!! AND who knew that you can buy cotton candy extract? Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi there! I’m a long time reader but first time commenter 🙂 I just wanted to take a minute to share my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe! I used to decorate cakes and cookies and this was my go to recipe for sugar cookies at Christmas. They are not overly sweet, really hardly sweet at all but with frosting they are so delicious! The nutmeg in the recipe just adds something unique to them! They also perfectly hold their shape when you cut them out which makes awesome cut outs! Anyway, I just wanted to share. You can find them by Googling Paige’s Sour Cream Cut Outs or the link below! 🙂

    Take care!

    1. This is really fabulous Arlene! Thank you very much for sharing this. I’m really excited to try this recipe. Adding it to my to-do list!

      xo Michael

  6. Love these cookies and have to bake them! Would you mind sharing your brand of cotton candy extract though? I’m somewhat daunted by the surprising selection!

    1. Cannie, of course. I actually have the Amazon link in the post above. Just click on that. I actually plan on trying some of the other brands, but that one worked well for me.

      xo Michael

  7. I have just recently discovered your blog (thank you very much, YHL), and oh, what delicious, cozy fun it is! These sound divine, and I can’t wait to give them a whirl. I don’t tend to have a lot of luck with pressed cookies (hello, messing them up when transferring to the baking sheet), but the cotton candy icing idea (yikes! yum!) is pushing me over the edge to give it a whirl!

    1. Awww! Thanks Julie. I’m still so grateful YHL shared my little blog. It was an honor. Best of luck with making the cookies. With baking, I think practice makes perfect. Good luck!

      xo Michael

  8. Michael,
    I love the recipe. I love the fact that you still used Crisco in the recipe! Alton Brown had a series on his television show a few years ago and the type shortening used DOES make a difference in the final product. I actually tried my Mother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe using butter and then another batch using Crisco.
    The color and I can only imagine the taste are right on! I never got enough cotton candy when I was a child. The only place you could by it was at the circus and those did not come around every day. So thank you for this recipe that takes me down memory lane.
    I have enjoyed your room remodel, too.


    1. Excellent point Jill. That’s why I love old family recipes. They are the best! It was before people counted calories or wanted everything gluten, fat, dairy, etc – FREE. Ya know? I need to dig up more of these recipes.

      xo Michael