Valentine's sugar cookies are fun and so easy to make with no chill time necessary! The sugar cookie frosting is made with simple ingredients and is perfect for decorating the cookies.
These heart-shaped cookies are so fun to make and perfect for Valentine's day! The cookies are incredibly soft and buttery with slightly crisp edges, and they don't spread at all when baked. The sugar cookie icing is easy to make and perfect for decorating the cookies. It spreads or pipes easily and then sets quickly with a beautiful, smooth, shiny finish.
Ingredients for Valentine's Sugar Cookies
- All-purpose flour: Flour provides structure and helps the cookies hold their shape when baking. Be sure to measure correctly. The best way to measure flour is to fluff it up in the bag with a spoon or a fork, then lightly spoon it into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
- Cornstarch: A little cornstarch in the dough is my secret weapon that promises the cookies won't spread in the oven.
- Baking powder: Baking powder causes the cookies to puff up just a little when they bake which makes them softer.
- Salt: Crucial for flavor. Make sure you're using unsalted butter or the cookies will taste too salty. If all you have is salted butter then reduce the salt to ¼ tsp.
- Butter: Unsalted and softened to room temperature. You will need to leave the butter out at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or you can speed up softening by cutting the butter into small pieces.
- Granulated sugar: Creaming sugar with butter whips air into the butter and helps make the cookies soft.
- One whole egg + 1 egg yolk: Adding an extra egg yolk makes these cookies chewy and soft plus helps prevent them from spreading.
- Vanilla extract: You can use pure or imitation vanilla, whichever you prefer.
How to Make Heart-Shaped Valentine's Sugar Cookies
- Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Use a hand-held electric mixer to cream the softened butter and the sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. The dough will be very thick.
- Preheat your oven to 350° and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (don't grease).
- Form the dough into a large ball and divide it in half or quarters (optional, makes rolling out easier). Lightly flour a clean surface and your rolling pin and roll the dough out to about ¼" thick.
- Cut out the cookie shapes and arrange them on the prepared pan. Gather up the dough scraps, re-roll, and repeat until all of the dough is used. Sprinkle the dough and your rolling pin with more flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. Do your best to get as many cut out as you can each time you roll the dough out so you don't end up adding too much flour.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn light golden brown. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a plate or a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Sugar Cookie Icing
The sugar cookie icing is made with powdered sugar, light corn syrup, cream, and vanilla extract. I also like to add a tiny pinch of salt so it's not too sweet. You can't really go wrong with making the icing, because if it's too thin you can always add a little more powdered sugar, or if it's too thick just add an extra splash of cream.
How to Decorate Valentine's Sugar Cookies
Divide the icing into separate bowls and add more or less red food coloring to each to dye the icing different shades of red or pink. I like to use gel food coloring because it's stronger so you don't need as much of it. Liquid food coloring can make the icing too runny, which is fine, but you may need to add some more powdered sugar to thicken it up.
Spread the icing on top of the cooled cookies using a spatula or a butter knife. Or to pipe the icing, add it to a piping bag with a small round tip, pipe an outline around the outer edge of the cookie, and then fill the outline in. If you're adding any sprinkles or other decorations be sure to do so before the icing sets.
Tips for Making Valentine's Sugar Cookies
- For soft cookies with crisp edges, rolling the dough out ¼" thick is perfect. If you want cookies that are thinner and crispier, you can roll the dough out closer to ⅛" thick. Or, if you want very soft, fluffy cookies, you can roll the dough out closer to ½" thick. Thinner cookies will take 10-12 minutes to bake and thicker ones will take 14-16 minutes.
- You can cover the dough and refrigerate it overnight or for up to 3 days. Let the dough soften to room temperature before rolling it out.
- I used a 3 and ½" wide heart-shaped cookie cutter and made 14 cookies. If yours is slightly smaller or larger that's fine. The size of the cookie won't affect the baking time as much as the thickness will. Either way, you'll always know the cookies are done when the edges are just starting to turn light golden brown.
- You don't need to chill the dough before rolling it out, but if it gets too warm and is difficult to work with, just place the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm it back up and make rolling out easier.
How to Store Cookies
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week. You can store them frosted or unfrosted, for frosted you may want to put layers of parchment paper between the cookies. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 2 months.
How to Freeze Cookies and Cookie Dough
To freeze baked cookies (unfrosted): Once cooled, add them to a large plastic bag and keep frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about an hour and then frost as desired.
To freeze frosted cookies: Place the cookies on a pan and freeze for about an hour. Then, wrap each cookie individually with plastic wrap and add them to a large plastic bag or an airtight container. Keep frozen for up to 2 months and thaw overnight in the fridge before unwrapping and serving.
To freeze cookie dough: Roll out the dough and cut it into shapes. Arrange the shaped cookie dough on a large baking pan and set in the freezer until completely solid (about 1 hour). Then, add the cookie dough shapes to a large plastic bag or an airtight container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking pan and bake (do not thaw) in a 350° oven. Add 2 minutes to the baking time or bake until the edges are just starting to turn light golden brown.
More Cookie Recipes:
Heart-Shaped Valentine's Day Cookies
- heart-shaped cookie cutter
- 2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Sugar Cookie Icing:
- 2 and ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- liquid or gel red food coloring, optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (don’t grease).
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a hand-held electric mixer to cream the softened, unsalted butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. The dough will be very thick.
- On a lightly floured and clean surface, roll the dough out to ¼" thick. Lightly dust the dough and your rolling pin with flour as needed. Cut out the cookie shapes and arrange them on the prepared baking pan. Gather up the dough scraps, re-roll, and repeat until all of the dough is used. Sprinkle the dough and your rolling pin with more flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. Do your best to get as many cookies cut out as you can each time you roll the dough out so you don’t end up adding too much flour.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, and then transfer to a plate or a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make the cookie icing: In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, light corn syrup, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt. If the icing is too thick you can add a little more milk or cream, or if it's too thin you can add a little more powdered sugar. Divide the icing into separate bowls and add more or less red food coloring to each to make different shades of red or pink. Gel food coloring is best because you don't need as much of it. Liquid food coloring can make the icing runny, so you might need to add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up.
- Frost and decorate the cooled cookies as desired. If adding sprinkles or other decorations be sure to do so before the icing sets.
- Store cookies (frosted or unfrosted) in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, or in the fridge for 10 days.
- For thinner, crispier cookies, roll the dough out closer to ⅛" thick and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- For softer, fluffier cookies, roll the dough out closer to ½" thick and bake for 14-16 minutes.