Sweet frosted Valentine sugar cookies with pink frosting and adorable holiday sprinkles make a perfect holiday party treat for kids.
Holiday baking is one of my very favorite things to do.
It's not a coincidence that one of my bestselling cookbooks for kids, The Ultimate Kids' Baking Book, features sweet festive dessert recipes for kids to bake for all the holidays of the year.
But of all the holidays?? Is there anything more darling than Valentine's Day with its cute red, pink, and white color palette?
These easy frosted Valentine sugar cookies are prefect for beginner bakers or for prepping for a cookie decorating party with your kids' friends.
Why This is the Best Recipe
These adorable pink frosted Valentine's Day cookies are a festive holiday variation of my soft frosted sugar cookies.
You can mix and match the color of icing and sprinkles for just about any holiday but I know sometimes it is easier to just see what they'd look like for the holiday you're prepping for right now.
If you're looking for make ahead tips, flavor variations, and more sugar cookie decorating ideas, you'll want to reference the sugar cookies recipe here but I've included everything you need to know for making Valentine's Day-specific cookies in the post you're reading right now.
The wonderful thing about making homemade Valentine cookies is how easy the list of ingredients can be:
- Sour Cream
- Almond Extract
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
Then to frost the cookies, you'll need:
- Powdered Sugar
- Food Gels: I find the thicker food coloring gels work much better than the more liquid coloring drops. This is my favorite set for beginner bakers and it even includes the exact pink I used that you see in the photos on this post.
- Valentine's Day Sprinkles: You can use a mix of red, pink, and white jimmies or heart-shaped sprinkles. Or mix them! This would be a great set to start with.
Nut Free Valentine Cookies for Class Parties
One word of caution for those of you who may be baking a classroom party treat for the holiday . . .
Since most schools honor nut-free classrooms, it is really important to consider your audience when baking these cookies.
The almond extract in the cookie dough could be a problem for some kids and it is best to leave it out. It won't affect the baking in any way and it will ensure a nut-free cookie experience for the kiddos.
Make the Cookie Dough
This cookie dough recipe is very thick at the end. I think it works best if you have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
It could be done by hand or with a hand mixer, but be sure your hand mixer has a strong motor.
Beat the butter, sour cream, and sugar together until smooth and light.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and beat them in until just combined.
Separately, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder to be sure they are evenly combined.
Add the flour in 3 batches, mixing well between each stage. This helps make sure the cookie dough is well mixed because at the end it is so thick.
The sugar cookie dough is quite sticky once it is ready.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Use a kitchen spoon to scoop portions of dough about 2-inches wide. Drop each portion onto the baking sheet, 12 cookie balls about 2 inches apart like this:
Then dampen your hands with clean water. Shake off all the excess so you're not dripping wet.
Then quickly roll each of the portions into a smooth cookie ball (bottom left).
Then pat each ball into a pancake-like shape about 1/4-inch thick (bottom center and right).
The cookies will puff up a bit when they bake. By patting them down like this, you help form a pretty round shape and clean edges on the cookie. This also helps prevent the cookies from cracking.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Bake the cookies for 7 minutes or until they are just set and the bottoms are beginning to turn light brown.
They will look puffed up like this:
Make the Vanilla Frosting
Let the cookies cool completely before you try to frost them or the frosting will melt.
Add the softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to a mixing bowl and beat them together until smooth and fluffy.
NOTE: If you plan to tint your frosting, it is best to squeeze the drops onto a butter knife first and then smooth it over the frosting and mix it in.
This helps prevent squeezing too much color into the frosting. You can always add more but you can't take it out!
Reminder: This is the food coloring gel set I used, it includes the exact same pink featured in these photos.
How to Decorate Cookies for Valentine's Day
Decorating soft sugar cookies with frosting is so easy!
Simply spread the frosting over the cookie with a butter knife and swirl it a little to look pretty. Add the sprinkles over the top before the frosting sets so they stick!
Soft Frosted Valentine Sugar Cookies
For the Soft Sugar Cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional, skip if baking these cookies for a Valentine's Day class party
- 6 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For Decorating: (Optional)
- Pink food coloring gel
- Heart-shaped sprinkles or red, white, and pink jimmies
Bake the Soft Sugar Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Beat the butter, sour cream, and sugar together in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until smooth and light.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract to the mixing bowl and mix them in until just combined.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl to ensure they are well combined. Add the flour, baking soda, baking soda, and salt to the bowl and whisk them together.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three stages, mixing well between each addition. This helps ensure the flour is well mixed into the dough since it is quite thick towards the end.
- Since the dough will be so sticky, it is easiest to use a table spoon to portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Place each cookie dough scoop 2 inches apart. Then dampen your hands slightly with water. Shake off all the excess. Roll the cookie dough balls into smooth balls and return them to their position. Then flatten the cookies like a pancake, a little more than 1/4-inch thick, by gently tapping it into place with your fingers. See the photos in the post above for visual reference.
- Bake the cookies for 5 - 7 minutes or until they just begin to set up and the bottoms become lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Prepare the Frosting and Decorate:
- Beat the butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed. Once combined, add the milk and pink food coloring gel if using and beat until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.
- Frost the cookies only once they are completely cooled or the frosting will melt. Add the Valentine's Day sprinkles before the frosting sets or they won't stick.
Nut-Free Valentine's Day Cookies for Class Parties:If you're baking these Valentine's Day sugar cookies to bring to a class party or other event with lots of kids, you'll want to skip adding the almond extract just in case there are nut allergies in the group. We love the flavor the almond extract adds, so if you're baking them for just your own family, go ahead and keep it.
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