These cute little Sugar Cookie Cups topped with frosting and sprinkles or other toppings make perfect mini desserts for any party or holiday.
Baked in mini muffin pans, these cupcake-shaped cookies are super easy to make and they look adorable once decorated for a holiday or special occasion.
We've already shared recipes to make chocolate chip cookie cups, peanut butter cookie cups, Snickerdoodle cookie cups, strawberry cookie cups, and more (see all of our cookie cup recipes, here) but today I'll show you how to make sugar cookie cups.
This recipe is similar to our delicious cut-out sugar cookie recipe.
The cut-out cookie recipe worked as a base for this recipe but had to be adjusted so the cookies would spread into a cup shape in the pan. To accomplish this, I added more butter to the recipe.
Not only do the cookies spread more easily, but they have a rich buttery flavor which is really nice.
Once baked, the cookies are soft and chewy and are perfectly shaped for toppings like frosting, fruit curd, cookie spread, peanut butter, Dulce de Leche, and more.
For these cookies, I chose to top mine with vanilla and chocolate frosting, orange and cherry curd, and Biscoff Cookie Spread. Each of these toppings gave the cookies a very unique flavor.
To make the cookies look really fun, I encourage you to add sprinkles, chopped nuts, toffee bits, or Crispearls (tiny balls of crisp rice cereal dipped with chocolate or colored-white chocolate).
Let's bake some cookies!
sugar cookie ingredients
- all-purpose flour
- salt - Table salt works best.
- baking powder - Always make sure your baking powder is fresh.
- butter - Use unsalted butter that has been slightly softened. When you press your finger into the butter, it should give slightly. I find that cutting the butter into slices and letting them sit in the mixing bowl for 15 minutes works great. If you prefer to use salted butter, just eliminate the salt from the recipe.
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- almond extract (or other extracts)
I enjoy flavoring my sugar cookie dough with almond extract but depending on the toppings you plan to add, you may want to use lemon, orange, cake batter, maple, peppermint, strawberry, or coconut extract instead. Or simply use vanilla.
You can simply use a tub of Duncan Hines Whipped White Frosting to decorate your cookie or you can make a batch of homemade buttercream frosting using the ingredients listed below.
- butter - You can use unsalted butter or salted butter to make this filling. Just be sure to allow it to soften so that it's similar in texture to the shortening.
- shortening - Use shortening to give the filling a whiter appearance and a flavor that is more similar to an OREO Cookie filling.
- vanilla extract - Pure vanilla extract will give you the best flavor.
- confectioners powdered sugar - I recommend sifting the powdered sugar to remove any lumps before mixing the filling.
- heavy whipping cream or milk - You'll need to thin out your frosting using cream or milk. Either work fine.
See the recipe card for quantities and the recipe.
To make chocolate frosting, I simply added some sifted cocoa powder to the frosting, then thinned it out with a bit of cream.
- mixing bowls - I love using Pampered Chef Batter Bowl. They have sturdy handles which makes mixing easier.
- hand-held mixer or stand mixer - This dough can be made using a hand-held mixer or even a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. I love my Confetti (sprinkles) Silicone Spatulas.
- non-stick mini muffin pan - Use one 24-cavity pan or two 12-cavity pans.
- baking spray - Spray just the insides of the muffin pan with baking spray.
- disposable pastry bags or regular pastry bags with a coupler
- 1M open star piping tip
Cut the slightly softened butter into small pieces and place them in a mixing bowl. Pour the granulated sugar on top.
Beat on medium speed until creamy about 3 minutes if using a hand mixer or 2 minutes if using a stand mixer.
Crack open an egg into a small bowl.
Lightly beat the egg.
Add the egg to the sugar and butter and beat until well blended 30-45 seconds.
Pour the vanilla and almond extract into the bowl.
Beat until creamy and smooth about 30 seconds.
Blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt using a fork or whisk.
Pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl.
Beat on low speed until the dough comes together.
Use your hands to mix the dough until it comes together in a ball. Do not overmix the dough.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough into a mini muffin pan that's been greased with baking spray.
Roll the dough into balls then flatten the balls into cupcake shapes in the muffin pan. The top edges will be smoother if you roll the dough first.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 14-16 minutes until the edges are browned and the top of the cookies are no longer shiny.
If you use a really dark (black) non-stick pan, you'll want to lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Allow the sugar cookie cups to cool for about 20 minutes, then carefully turn the pan over and allow the cookies to fall out. Turn the cookies right side up and set them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
These cookies look and taste great when topped with a variety of toppings.
Vanilla frosting is a perfect topping for these sugar cookie cups. Fill a pastry bag that's fitted with a large 1M open star tip with your frosting. Pipe a big swirl of frosting onto your cookie cups.
To decorate the frosted cookie cup, sprinkle on some rainbow Crispearls or your favorite sprinkles. I love the look and taste of the Crispearls. They are tiny balls of crisp rice cereal coated in white chocolate.
Frosting crusts as it air drys so be sure to add the sprinkles after you pipe the frosting onto each cookie otherwise the sprinkles may not stick.
Creamy chocolate frosting looks and tastes great on these cookies too. Fill a pastry bag with frosting and pipe on a swirl.
Then, add rainbow jimmies on top. The bright colors contrast nicely against the dark brown frosting. Red heart sprinkles would look great too.
You can pipe swirls of orange curd, lemon curd, or lime curd onto your cookie cups too. Curd is a little softer than frosting but it does hold a swirl nicely.
Just before you serve your cookie cups, dust some powdered sugar over the top. Just know that the powdered sugar will melt into the curd over time.
If you plan to add orange curd, lemon curd, or lime curd, you might want to swap out the almond extract for another flavoring. You can use lemon or orange extract or you can add the zest of a lemon, orange, or lime to the cookie dough.
A little of dusting of powdered sugar was a nice contrast to the tart cherry flavor of the curd. Plus, the white powder looks pretty against the deep burgundy curd.
You can store plain cookie cups at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 7 days. I store mine in 5.5 cup Rubbermaid Containers. They are the perfect size for cookie cups.
If you add frosting or Biscoff Cookie Spread, they will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days, and if you add fruit curd for up to 2 days.
Freeze the plain cookie cups in zip-top bags or airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw the cookies before adding your toppings.
Roll the sugar cookie dough into balls then flatten it into a cup shape before placing the dough in the cupcake cavities in the muffin pan. This will ensure your cookie cups have a nice shape to them.
Rotate the pan halfway through the baking cycle so the cookies brown more evenly. The cookies on the outer edges of the pan will be darker than those in the middle.
Looking for more sugar cookie recipes? Try these...