Shamrock Sugar Cookies for St. Patrick’s Day

For this week’s Tablescape Thurday, I created a St. Patrick’s Day themed table setting with a sugar cookie shamrock centerpiece.  (St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape can be viewed in detail in this post:  St. Patrick’s Day Table Setting with Shamrock Cookie Tree Centerpiece)

St. Patrick's Day Table Setting with Shamrock Cookie Tree Centerpiece

Sugar Cookies and Icing Recipes

Today I’m sharing the recipe for both the sugar cookies and the icing.  The icing really works great for decorating cookies since it hardens quickly.  Also, included in this post are printable recipes for both the cookies and the icing.
Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe
This is a super easy recipe that can be made anytime because it uses everyday ingredients we normally have in the kitchen.

Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe
After mixing up the sugar cookie dough per the recipe, I rolled it out on a floured surface and cut out the cookies using a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter.  When cutting out cookies with a cookie cutter, I find it helps to stop every so often and clean off the cutter.  That just helps the cookie cutter do a better job.

Sugar Cookie and Frosting Recipe 3

If you’re planning on hanging your sugar cookies like I did in yesterday’s table setting, you’ll need a hole for the hanging ribbon.  After placing your cookies on a cookie sheet, before putting them in the oven punch out a little hole near the top with a drinking straw.  I had wondered if the hole would close back up during the baking process, but it doesn’t.   Be sure to make the hole before baking because once your cookies are baked, it would be difficult to create a hole without breaking them.

Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe

These sugar cookies can be enjoyed as is or iced for an extra treat.

Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe


Here’s a printable version of the sugar cookie recipe.  Further down in this post, you’ll find a printable recipe for the icing recipe, too.

Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Sugar Cookies

This recipe is a great all-purpose cookie recipe. Eat the cookies alone or decorate them with your fave frosting or icing.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 36
Author: Susan (Between Naps on the Porch)


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla or almond flavoring
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups flour all purpose


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a medium size bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, salt and flavoring until fluffy.
  • Add flour, beating until well mixed in.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  • Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness or even a little thicker if you're planning on making a cookie tree as I did for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter in the shape desired.
  • Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart.
  • If cookies will be hung with ribbon on a cookie tree, punch a small round hole near the top (not too close to the edge) with the end of a straw.
  • Bake cookies 12-15 minutes.
  • They are ready when the edges begin to turn brown.


Icing Recipe

For my St. Patrick’s Day table, I mixed up two batches of a powdered sugar (confectioners) icing.  Like the sugar cookie recipe, this icing is super easy to make and uses ingredients most folks always have on hand.  I added Wilton’s “Leaf Green” Icing Color to one batch of frosting and left the other batch white.  If you wish to add sugar sprinkles to some of your cookies, do that right after frosting your cookies so the sugar will stick to the fresh frosting.

Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe

I’ve used this icing recipe many times over the years for Valentine’s Day “heart-shaped” cookies.  For Valentine’s Day cookies I always color the icing different shades of red and pink. πŸ™‚  You may remember these heart cakes I made for a Valentine’s Day breakfast post a few years back.  I filled the center of the cakes with this same confectioners icing, colored in a soft shade of pink.  To view this tablescape in full, click here: Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Heart Cakes for Valentine's Day


Here’s a printable version of the icing recipe.

Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Powdered Sugar Icing

Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Author: Susan (Between Naps on the Porch)


  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of milk (I usually add more milk because this never seems like enough.)
  • A few drops of almond and vanilla extract
  • Icing coloring as desired I use Wilton's Icing Colors since it's super concentrated


  • Mix sugar, milk and flavorings together until smooth.
  • I always end up adding more milk. If you do add more, be sure to add it a little at the time so your icing isn't too thin.
  • Add icing coloring to icing a little at the time until the desired color is reached.
  • Spread over cooled cookies right away since the icing sets up quickly.
  • You can stir in a bit more milk if it starts to harden too quickly.


For future reference, this post can always be found under the category heading Good Eats at the top of the BNOTP blog.

Happy baking!

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  1. How cute would a bunny tree be:)

  2. 5 stars
    Love love this sugar cookie display! I am always on the lookout for a new sugar cookie recipe. The icing looks incredible – I like the fact that it dries quickly. The Valentines cakes filled in the center look beautiful! I want to try this…

  3. Susan, I love it! Such a cute idea. Thanks for the recipes. I would love a tutorial on the napkin fold. Thanks!

    • I promise that is coming soon! I’m working on the newsletter today πŸ™‚ but the napkin fold is next. I think I’ll post the napkin fold either Monday or Tuesday, so won’t be long.

  4. Thanks, I can’t wait and I am also anxious for the Newsletter!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and technique, your cookie tree is so adorable, I am dying to try this!

  6. Yummy!!!! I might make these this weekend!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Maryanne says

    Susan, what a great cookie to make for St. Paddy’s day! About how many cookies can you make from the recipe you provided? You show a plate full of cookies – did you have to double the recipe for all those? They really look delicious!

    • Thanks, Maryanne! It is supposed to make 3 dozen, but I made two batches because I wanted to make some of my cookies a bit fatter than you normally would…just thought they would be cuter on the tree if they were fatter. I didn’t count how many I got out the recipe, but it is supposed to make around 3 dozen. I never get as many cookies out of a recipe as they say you will. The cookie cutter I used was also really big, so have to take that into account, too.

  8. Susan,
    one question: what does the cute cookie tree look like today?
    In my home most of the “leaves” would have already “fallen”… even though spring is just around the corner! πŸ˜‰ Btw: love your new header! (I also love that even the shamrock shaped cookie cutter is green! lol)
    ~Hugs to you~

    • So far it’s just missing one cookie…I think a Leprechaun stole it during the night. πŸ˜‰ Actually, I need to go ahead and remove them all so they won’t get stale. The one that I, uh-I mean the Leprechaun ate was still fine. πŸ™‚

  9. Today being the Welsh St. David’s Day, I was hoping for a post with decorations and food with daffodils, leek soup, Welsh cakes, Welsh wool, etc. Maybe next year?

  10. JaneEllen says

    Come on your killing me here, I’m trying to be good and I see delicious scrumptious cookies. Oh me. Well guess I’ll just have to be bad and make some. What else can I do? Thanks for the wonderful recipes and the exceptional format you offered them in. I didn’t have to mess with the printer as much. Your table is absolutely beautiful but then they always are, no matter what the occasion. You are such a gracious lady.
    Happy Weekend

    • πŸ™‚ I feel your pain…sweets are def my downfall. I’m so glad the printing format worked! Yay for the Easy Recipe plugin! Thanks Jane! You are a sweetie! Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Love the “postcard” newsletter! And happy to see Spring masthead on this blog. Spring can’t come soon

  12. Awww… Susan!
    Thank you so very much for the very first “Postcard from the Porch”!
    Lβ™₯ve it! πŸ™‚
    ~Hugs to you~

  13. I LOVE sugar cookies. If you shape them like shamrocks and color them green, they’re healthy, right? #Salad

    : )

    Julie M.

  14. You are incredible! Thanks so much for making such a pretty setting for St. Patrick’s Day and sharing it. So, so pretty and the cookies. Now I have to make those cookies. They are so special. Linda

  15. Hi Susan,
    I have been looking forever for a good sugar cookie recipe. This recipe is fantastic! The Christmas cookies I made came out perfect, as well as the icing to go along with them.
    I also used your idea for the window wreaths hanging from the red ribbon and long-tailed bows. They look gorgeous!
    Thank you!

    • Yay! I love that recipe, too. So glad you liked it! Did you take any pictures of your cookies? Would love to see them! I know your home look beautiful! I’m so glad you left this comment…you made my day! Thanks, Linda!

  16. Even if the cookie cutter is identified as tin, there is
    a high chance it’s really made with aluminum.

  17. Cookie Monstress says

    I have yet to try this out but I see the reviews are great. I was just wondering if you can refrigerate this overnight. We have an annual Christmas cookie decorating contest and I just want to have everything prepared the night before!

  18. A quick question:
    Can this be refrigerated overnight?

  19. I adore your site, Susan! My hubby is all Irish and I always have a totally Irish dinner for him on St. Paddy’s Day – but this year I want to add the shamrock cookie tree! Could you tell me where I can buy the tree? It’ll be great year-round, too!
    Thank you so much!
    Judy (formerly from Atlanta but now in Michigan)

    • Thanks so much, Judy! I bought the original tree in Ross-Simon in Atlanta about 25-30 years ago to display Swarovski Christmas ornaments. A few years after that, I purchased a second one online since I realized I needed one more. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen them on their website again. I haven’t checked in the last couple of years, though…so you may want to look online. Hope you can find one! It’s silverplate so Google or search on their website for silverplate ornament tree or some phrase like that.

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