A beautiful pink frosted sugar cookie can brighten anyone’s day. It’s even better if the cookie is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the frosting has a bright burst of fresh strawberry flavor. These Amish sugar cookies with strawberry cream cheese frosting are perfect for any occasion, especially Valentine’s Day, baby showers, or bridal showers. Make them for your family, or make them for a friend just to show you care.
These powdered sugar cookies made with oil and butter have a fine texture and a delicate butter vanilla flavor. They’re drop sugar cookies that don’t require rolling. They’re easy to make and a joy to serve.
You might wonder why this recipe is called Amish sugar cookies. The original version of this recipe for drop sugar cookies comes from an Amish and Mennonite cookbook. Different versions of this recipe have been around for hundreds of years. Some are soft and some are crispy – these are in between. They remind me of Swig sugar cookies, if you’re familiar with that restaurant chain that sells baked treats and flavored sodas.
Assemble ingredients and equipment
To make Amish sugar cookies, you need the following equipment:
- Stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer
- Large bowl
- Cookie sheets (1 or 2)
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
- 2-tablespoon cookie scoop
- Cooling rack
One secret to successful baking is to assemble all your ingredients and equipment ahead of time. That way you’ll be able to get the timing right and remember all the ingredients. If I try to get the ingredients out of the pantry one at a time, I always seem to forget something!
This recipe calls for softened unsalted butter. If you want to substitute salted butter, that also works. See the recipe notes for how to substitute salted butter for unsalted.
If you need to soften butter quickly, I’ve found this method using hot water in the microwave to be the most effective.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line one or two cookie sheets with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. If you decide to use only one cookie sheet, you can bake the cookies in two batches.
Mix the wet ingredients and sugar
Start your Amish sugar cookies by blending together softened butter, vegetable oil, sugar, and powdered sugar. You can use a stand mixer for this, with the cookie paddle, or you can use a hand-held electric mixer and a large mixing bowl.
After the butter, oil, sugar, and powdered sugar are well blended, add the eggs and butter vanilla bakery emulsion, and blend thoroughly.
Bakery emulsions vs. extract
For this recipe, I like to use butter vanilla bakery emulsion. If you’re not familiar with bakery emulsion, it’s basically a different type of flavor extract. While typical flavor extracts are flavoring dissolved in alcohol, emulsion is based in water with an emulsifier.
Water is a more neutral carrier than alcohol (so it’s great for frosting or icing), and no alcohol also means that the flavor doesn’t burn off at high heat (so it’s great in baked goods). I buy it at my local gourmet kitchen supply store, and a few people have told me they’ve seen select flavors at their local grocery store. Dozens of flavors are available on Amazon.
Of course, the old Amish sugar cookie recipe doesn’t call for bakery emulsion. You can absolutely use vanilla extract instead.
One of the reasons I like butter vanilla bakery emulsion for this recipe is that when I tested the recipe with vanilla extract, I thought the cookies should taste more buttery. Amish sugar cookies are made with half oil and half butter, which gives them their unique texture. Butter vanilla bakery emulsion boosts the butter flavor.
Combine the dry ingredients
After mixing the wet ingredients and sugar, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
Measure flour correctly
It’s important to measure your flour correctly, to get a cookie dough that is the right consistency. The most accurate way to measure flour is to use a food scale. A cup of flour should weigh 125 grams.
Estimates for the correct weight of a cup of flour range between 120 and 130 grams. I use a measurement of 125 grams, and for reference I usually use Gold Medal all purpose flour.
To measure flour accurately without a scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup, then level off with a knife. This useful article will help you understand how to measure flour:
Blend the batter
Add the dry ingredients, one cup at a time, to the wet ingredients. Blend to combine after each addition. Mix just until well combined, and do not overmix.
Scoop and bake the cookies
Using a two-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the Amish sugar cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown on the bottom and edges. Mine were perfect after 10 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely before putting on the icing.
Make the frosting
Freeze-dried strawberries add tons of real strawberry flavor to strawberry cream cheese frosting without adding any moisture. Freeze-dried strawberries are not hard to find, but they might not be in every grocery store. I had to call a few different stores in my area before I found these at Walmart.
You’ll need to grind the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder using a blender or food processor.
The next step in making your strawberry cream cheese frosting is to beat your butter and cream cheese, using a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, until fluffy and well blended.
Add the strawberry powder and one cup of powdered sugar, and beat until blended. Add one more cup of powdered sugar and beat some more.
Add the whipping cream and bakery emulsion and blend. Add the rest of the powdered sugar one cup at a time, blending after each.
The recipe calls for 5-6 cups of powdered sugar. Add enough powdered sugar so the frosting is thick, but still smooth enough to handle. If you think the frosting is too thick, add a little more whipping cream.
Frost cookies and garnish
I like to pipe frosting onto Amish sugar cookies in a swirl pattern, using a round tip or a star tip. Start on the outside and work toward the middle.
Immediately after frosting each cookie, add whatever decorations you would like. Sprinkles, candy pearls, or sparkling sugar will all look beautiful with this cookie. This step is optional.
Freezing Amish sugar cookies
If you want to freeze your Amish sugar cookies to eat later, freeze them in a single layer. After they are frozen solid, you can stack them in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers. This method prevents the cookies from sticking together and ruining the frosting.
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this recipe. If you make it, be sure to leave a review!
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out some of FoodLove’s other cookie recipes:
Or, check out some of our favorite cupcake recipes:
Amish Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cookies:
- 1/2 cup 1 stick or 110g unsalted butter, softened (see notes to substitute salted butter)
- 1/2 cup 125ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup 100g sugar
- 1/2 cup 60g powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon 5ml butter vanilla bakery emulsion (or substitute vanilla extract)
- 2 1/2 cups 315g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon 3g baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon 3g cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon 2g salt
For the frosting:
- 1 stick 1/2 cup, 4 ounces or 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature (see notes to substitute salted butter)
- 8 oz. 250g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup 22g freeze dried strawberries, crushed in a blender to yield 1/3 cup fine powder
- 2 tablespoons 30ml whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon 3ml butter vanilla bakery emulsion (or vanilla extract)
- 1/4 teaspoon 2g table salt
- 5-6 cups 600-729g confectioner’s sugar
For the garnish:
- Candy sprinkles candy pearls, or sparkling sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Make the cookie dough:
- Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer, beat together the butter, oil, sugar, and powdered sugar until well blended. Continue to mix while adding in the egg and vanilla bakery emulsion.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, one cup at a time. Mix to combine after each addition.
- Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop 12 balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until the bottoms and
edges of the cookies are browned slightly.
- Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Repeat the scooping and baking process to make 12 more cookies.
Make the frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed with the whisk attachment for about 1 minute, until smooth.
- Add 1 cup of powdered sugar along with the strawberry powder, and beat until combined. Repeat with 1 more cup of powdered sugar.
- Add whipping cream, bakery emulsion, and salt, and beat until combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until combined after each addition, for a total of 5-6 cups, until the frosting is the texture you want.
- Beat for 2-3 additional minutes, until frosting is smooth, thick, and fluffy.
Frost and decorate the cookies:
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, pipe frosting onto each cookie in a swirl
pattern, starting from the outside of the cookie and working toward the center.
- Alternatively, you can frost the cookies with an offset spatula, butter knife, or spoon.
- Immediately after frosting each cookie, add sprinkles, candy pearls, or sparkling sugar to decorate (optional).
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