Turtle sugar cookies with buttercream frosting

So, good news! My cookie cutter worked!!! I was able to make a batch of red eared slider turtle cookies for my coworker’s last day.

I may have gone a little overboard when I was piping the frosting, but it was my first time using the little tip and I was just so excited to decorate them!

I won’t lie, these cookies take a long time to make.  I started these on Sunday and did one or two steps every day, finishing at 10:30 PM Tuesday night. If you need a quick and easy cookie recipe, I would find a less labor intensive one. But if you have the time and creativity they are so much fun!

This recipe will work for any cookie cutter, obviously!

Cut-out sugar cookie recipe (adapted from here)

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Beat together the shortening, butter and white sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla and milk.

Finally, add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and stir until combined. Put the whole bowl in the fridge for at least an hour*

*Both times I’ve made these I’ve had to wait several hours or overnight for the dough to be “rollable,” so I recommend mixing everything a few days before so that you aren’t rushing.

Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 400° and start rolling it out. Make sure everything is coated with flour so that your dough sticks to itself and not your rolling pin, the countertop, your hands, your dog, etc.

Some tips:

  1. Take out dough as you need it, and keep the rest in the fridge. It’s easier to work with when it’s cold!
  2. Roll the dough directly on parchment paper (read: NOT wax paper. Wax paper will melt! I know this from experience) and then slide the paper onto your cookie sheet. The more you handle the cookies the more likely they are to lose their cookie cutter shape!

I always start using the big rolling pin and a big hunk of dough to cut out shapes, but I quickly grow tired of this.

So then I break out this cute little rolling pin and roll out individual cookie sized chunks of dough. I find this easier because I can spread them out over the parchment paper!

Sometimes I even get sick of this after awhile, so I end up punching the dough flat. It’s faster and more fun, though probably less professional 🙂


You will end up with extra dough that is too small to roll out. You can either eat it (which I normally do) or put all those art classes to good use and get creative. I threw together this little baby turtle. My sculpture teacher would be so proud if he could see me now.



Working in batches (while one batch is baking you are rolling out the next one) bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Let cool completely before you frost them!

Keep reading to learn how to make the frosting.


Filed under Dessert

3 Responses to Turtle sugar cookies with buttercream frosting

  1. Ken

    Getting pretty fancy with the detailed frosting!

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