Orange Sugar Cookies

Delicious, fluffy, and cakey orange sugar cookies made with fresh orange zest + juice. After baking, they’re decorated with melted chocolates to create the perfect orange design!

Disclaimer: This was recipe made for a paid Instagram collaboration with Proctor Silex. This post contains affiliate links! Clicking the links are no cost to you at all, but they help me earn commission as part of my income. All of my affiliate links are for products that I truly love using, and wouldn’t share otherwise. Any clicks are really appreciated! <3

Cute orange sugar cookies decorated as oranges on a light wooden backdrop surrounded cut oranges.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe 🍊

  • The cookies are full of fresh, vibrant orange flavor. There’s both freshly squeezed orange juice and zest in the cookies. I used very sweet, ripe Florida oranges and the cookies were so light and refreshing!
  • It’s a fun twist to lemon sugar cookies! Lemon cookies are super popular (rightfully so, they’re delicious!), but I believe orange cookies will be on the rise. Plus, these cookies are so cute, fluffy, and delish.
  • You won’t need any special equipment. Simply mix everything in one bowl, scoop, and bake. All decorations are done with chocolates that were melted right in the microwave!

Ingredients

To make these easy orange sugar cookies, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Orange sugar cookie ingredients on a wooden backdrop, all labeled.

Ingredient Notes

  • You’ll need both orange zest and orange juice for this recipe! The orange zest will be massaged together with the granulated sugar to release its natural oils, which will enhance the orange flavor in the cookies. The orange juice will be added to the cookie dough batter.
  • Extra granulated sugar is for making more orange sugar to roll the cookies in before baking.
  • Softened unsalted butter will be lightly creamed together with the orange sugar.
  • I used white and milk/dark chocolate melting wafers to decorate the orange cookies, but you can also use chocolate chips. The milk/dark chocolate wafers are for the orange stem, and the white chocolate wafers are dyed with green food coloring to draw on the leaves.
    •  It’s best to use oil-based food coloring so the chocolate doesn’t seize. However, if you don’t have it on hand (like me), you can always stir in 1-2 tsp neutral oil (canola, vegetable) to the melted chocolate so it comes back together.

For the full list of ingredients and measurements, see the recipe card below.

How to Make Orange Sugar Cookies

Mixing orange zest and granulated sugar with a gloved hand in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 1: Rub together orange zest and granulated sugar. This will help release the natural oils in the zest, enhancing the orange flavor in the cookies!

Creaming butter and orange sugar together with hand mixer.

Step 2: Add softened butter and lightly cream, about 2-3 minutes.

Mixing vibrant orange-colored batter with mixer.

Step 3: Beat in an egg, vanilla extract, and orange food coloring until fully combined.

Orange cookie dough ready to be scooped.

Step 4: Stir in half your dry ingredients until mostly combined. Mix in all of the fresh orange juice, then stir in remaining dry ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Plopping an sugar cookie dough ball rolled in orange zest onto lined baking sheet.

Step 5: Scoop 2-3 tablespoon cookie dough balls and roll into orange sugar, placing cookies about 3-4 inches apart. Bake at 350°F/177°C for 10-13 minutes, or until edges are set.

Decorating orange cookies as oranges by using green-dyed white chocolate to draw on leaves.

Step 6: Decorate cooled cookies with melted chocolate and enjoy!

For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

Baking Tips

  • Weigh your ingredients! One of my favorite kitchen tools is a kitchen scale because it helps yield consistent results in baking. Measuring ingredients by weight is much more accurate rather than by volume (like using measuring cups). However, if you’re measuring your dry ingredients with cups, make sure you follow this tipgently spoon in the flour into the cup until it’s full, then scrape the excess off using the back of a knife or offset spatula.
  • For rounder cookies, immediately place a circle cookie cutter or mug (that is larger in diameter than your cookie) on top of a warm, oddly-shaped cookie. Move it around in a circular motion. This step (aka the cookie scoot) turns them into the more aesthetic, perfectly round cookies you see online! However, it’s not necessary and purely for pretty plating purposes. 🙂
Orange cookies on a plate with freshly cut orange slices.

Storage

You can store the baked orange cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They will get soggy over time due to how moist they are, so I recommend eating them as close to the day they’re baked as possible.

If you’d like to store the raw cookie dough, line a tray or plate with parchment or wax paper. Arrange the cookie balls in a single layer, then freeze for about 1 hour. Once the cookie dough balls are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake as usual, but add 2-3 extra minutes.

I really hope you enjoy this orange sugar cookie recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see! You can tag me at #bitesbybianca / @bitesbybianca on Instagram.

🎥 Quick Video Tutorial

📖 Recipe

Cute orange cookies decorated as oranges.

Orange Sugar Cookies

Bites by Bianca
Deliciously light and refreshing orange cookies made with fresh orange zest + juice. They're cakey, fluffy, and adorable!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 16 orange sugar cookies
Calories 171 kcal

Equipment

  • Kitchen scale/measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • hand whisk or electric mixer
  • silicone spatula
  • small mixing bowl for orange sugar
  • medium mixing bowl for dry ingredients
  • large mixing bowl for cookie dough
  • plastic wrap
  • Parchment Paper
  • Wire rack
  • microwave-safe bowls, for melting white chocolate
  • Piping bags for decorating

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp table salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • ½ tbsp orange zest from ½ medium orange
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • orange food coloring
  • cup orange juice from 1-2 medium oranges

For orange sugar:

  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tbsp orange zest from ½ medium orange

Decorating:

  • 1 tbsp milk/dark chocolate melting wafers can sub 1:1 milk/dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp white chocolate melting wafers can sub 1:1 white chocolate chips
  • green oil-based food coloring

Instructions
 

For the cookie dough:

  • In a medium bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients: 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, ½ tsp baking soda, and ¾ tsp table salt.
  • In a large bowl, use fingers to massage ½ tbsp orange zest with ½ cup granulated sugar until fragrant. This releases the oils from the zest, enhancing the orange flavor in the cookies.
  • Add the softened ½ cup unsalted butter and lightly cream using an electric/stand mixer or hand whisk.
  • Mix in 1 egg, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, and orange food coloring until smooth.
  • Add about half of the dry ingredients and stir with silicone spatula until it is mostly incorporated. Pour in ⅓ cup orange juice and stir until mostly mixed in. Add remaining dry ingredients, stirring until no dry spots remain.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Scoop & bake cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Add ⅓ cup granulated sugar and ½ tbsp orange zest to a small plate/bowl. Massage together until fragrant.
  • Use a medium cookie dough scoop to gather dough (about 2-3 tablespoons each). Roll into sugar then place onto lined baking tray, about 3-4 inches apart.
    Tip if dough is sticky: Plop the dough from the cookie scoop straight into the granulated sugar. Work quickly to roll it around to avoid it sticking to your fingers. They do not need to be shaped into perfect balls. 🙂
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until edges are set. Let cool on pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
    Optional: For rounder, more aesthetic cookies, take a something circular and larger than your cookies (cookie cutter, mug, cup), and place it on top of a warm, freshly baked cookie. Move the circular object around to shape the edges of the cookie until it becomes rounder.

Decorate:

  • Note: You can a piping bag, toothpick, or cookie scribe to add on the details. I used piping bags.
  • Add 1 tbsp milk/dark chocolate melting wafers to small microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Use this this to draw on orange stems.
  • Melt 3 tbsp white chocolate melting wafers in another small microwave-safe bowl. Mix in green oil-based food coloring and use this to draw on orange leaves.
    If you don't have oil-based food coloring, then the chocolate will seize/become lumpy. To counter this, stir in a tsp of neutral oil (canola, vegetable) at a time, until it becomes smooth again.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: Store cooled, freshly baked cookies in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They will get soggy over time due to their moistness, so I recommend eating them as close to the day they’re baked as possible!
  • Tip for measuring ingredients: I weigh my ingredients with a kitchen scale, rather than using measuring cups because it is more accurate. If using measuring cups, I recommend spooning flour into the cup and overfilling it, then leveling it off with a knife.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 151mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 210IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cookie, orange, sugar cookies
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