Orange Zest Sugar Cookies

Orange Zest Sugar Cookies

Our next door neighbors have a big orange tree just out of reach from our property.  Luckily, at least once each (winter) season a big bag of fresh oranges arrives on our porch, courtesy of our neighbors.

In addition to eating the oranges fresh, and making juice, I usually try to bake something with the delicious fruit.  One year, I made yummy Orange Cranberry Muffins with the bounty.  This year, I thought some Orange Zest Sugar Cookies would be a great way to use the fresh oranges.

The recipe is just a slight variation of my regular Sugar Cookie Recipe.  Instead of decorating the cookies with royal icing, I made a simple (and delicious) orange glaze.  I think these simple, yet pretty cookies would be a perfect addition to a tea party, or ladies brunch.  I cut the cookies with a shortbread cookie cutter, but any shape would produce equally delicious results.

Print Recipe

Orange Zest Sugar Cookies with Fresh Orange Glaze

Yield: About 30- 2 1/2 inch cookies, or 16- 31/2 inch cookies

Fresh orange zest adds a delicioust twist to traditional rolled sugar cookies.


For the cookies-
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) Challenge unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest, finely chopped

For the glaze-
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest


Make the cookies-
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes.

Add the egg, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest and beat another minute or so.

Add the flour mixture slowly. (Be careful not to add too much at a time or you will have a snowstorm of flour.)

Blend until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of parchment paper.

Using your hands, knead the dough a few times.

Place the dough in a large plastic (ziplock type) bag and refrigerate for about 2 hours. If you want to speed up the chilling process, place the bag of dough in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Just don’t forget it in the freezer, or it will become too firm to work with (and then you’ll have to wait for it to thaw).

When it’s almost time to remove the dough from the refrigerator (or freezer), preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

Roll out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut out desired shapes, and place on a baking sheet. Place the entire baking sheet of cookies in the freezer for about 5 minutes (this helps prevent the cookies from losing their shape when baking).

Once chilled, bake cookies at 350* for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.

Allow cookies to cool, and prepare orange glaze.

Make the glaze-
In a medium sized bowl, melt butter in microwave (less than 30 seconds). Add all other glaze ingredients, and stir well with a whisk. If the glaze is too thick, add a tiny bit more orange juice, if the glaze is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.

Drizzle glaze over cookies, as deisred. You can put the glaze into a small ziplock-type baggie, snip off the end, and use that to drizzle on the glaze.

Recipes Source- Glorious Treats

Orange Zest Sugar Cookies

Happy Baking!


  1. They look delicious!

  2. these sound delicious!

  3. Now those look absolutely scrumptious!

  4. I hope my doughter can translate this for me, it looks great!
    Greetings from germany

  5. I wish I had a kind neighbour like you do…..what a treat!!!!, fresh oranges from the tree.
    I loved this post.
    Kisses from Spain

  6. This recipe sounds (and looks) simple, fresh and delicious. Orange and lemon are two of my favorite spring time flavors. I tend to use lemon in most of my sugar cookies and icings in the spring.

    Did you roll 1/4, 3/8″? Thanks for sharing

    • Laura,
      I usually roll out about 3/8″ thick. Of course you can do thinner if you like, but you may need to watch the baking time.

  7. This looks like it could easily be a favorite of mine!

  8. These are so bright and pretty — I bet they taste like Summer!!

  9. These look absolutely amazing. Orange is such a great flavor. So fresh and sunny!

  10. I love that you can see the flecks of orange zest in the glaze … thank you for sharing!

  11. these look so yummy- and perfect for spring! Hope yo try them soon :)

  12. I love the simple glaze and bet they taste amazing!

  13. First off, I am such a fan. Thank you for sharing your talents and sweet personality with the world.

    I checked your FAQ, and did not see this one, and it has been one I have been “googling’ for hours….and for a few days…
    How do you make your recipes print friendly, and look as if they are on a recipe card? Inquiring minds would like to know :)
    This one is giving me a run for my money, and any info leading me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for being, well…. glorious!
    best wishes

  14. Hi,
    I love how sweet these look and I bet they taste even better. Thank you so much for sharing. I bet these would go great at a brunch!

  15. These cookies are so unique – I absolutely love them!!!

  16. This looks delicious…! I am so going to try this xxx

  17. These look so yummy! Can’t wait to try them.

  18. Yum! These look so good! I may drizzle some chocolate glaze on there as well, I do love chocolate and orange! Love you!


  19. Lovely idea! I love sugar cookies flavored with some kind of citrus fruit.
    I love oranges a lot, too.
    Since you have many oranges and you like them so much, may I suggest a lovely Orange Spoon Sweet? It is really good! I make it every winter, when I have a surplus of oranges.

  20. How nice of your neighbour to give you fresh oranges from their tree. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to have fresh fruit trees growing so close by. Your photos are great and your orange zest sugar cookies look amazing! Wouldn’t be surprised if some of your customers started asking for these in their decorated cookie orders.

  21. This is a wonderful recipe. I love cookies, and the I guess the touch of orange gives a delicate flavor to these cookies. I have to try you recipe.

  22. Oh your cookies look totally gorgeous, they sound like they taste great too!

  23. I’ve been on a citrus kick lately and these look FABULOUS! Excited to try them :)

  24. Just found you on Pinterest and these cookies look amazing (repinned!) as well as about 5 other things right off the bat! Beautiful goodies!

  25. so pretty and well yummy I’m sure!!!

  26. Wow, I’ve been following your beautiful creations for awhile now, and I just found out you’re my “neighbor”! (I live just south of Galt)

    I LOVE your glorious food and voted for you as the “best local blogger” for the KCRA A-List!

    • Hi neighbor! I love hearing from local readers! So glad you enjoy my site, and thanks for the vote in the KCRA contest as well!

  27. yum! these cookies look so refreshing and delicious, I wish I could eat them now. Yum!

  28. Your cookies look yummy! I ordered the shortbread cutter! Thanks for supplying the info for it!! I wanted to know what you used to get your icing to look like it does?? Did you use an icing tube? Thanks!!

    • Hi Cristy, I just put the icing in a small ziplock baggie and snipped off the end, and drizzled the icing on the cookies that way. Happy baking!

  29. Thanks for replying Glory!!

  30. This looks so yummy! I would like to try the recipe but not sure on one of the ingredients. For the glaze you have vanilla down as one of the ingredients. I just wanted to make sure it is vanilla extract? Thank you!

  31. Hi, the cookies look lovely.
    But i’m wondering, will the glaze become harden? Because i will keep in an air tight container and i scare the glaze won’t set and my cookies will become a mess when i store it. Thanks.

  32. Hi there,
    Im going to try these out this weekend as part of my christmas preparation baking.. But my sister is allergic to nuts so I cant use the Almond extract. Any suggestions for a substitute?
    Love Kathleen
    Canberra, Australia

  33. Made them for my birthday – one of the best cookie recipes I’ve ever tried!

  34. Pingback: Orange Cookies | yinghui (:

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