Sugar cookies for the 4th of July? Yes! These star-shaped patriotic cookies are easy to whip up and so much fun to decorate.
We’re starting with my favorite sugar cookie recipe that’s buttery, light and crispy. Then, we’re dressing these cookies up in red, white and blue just for Independence Day.
And why stop there? These Fourth of July cookies are perfect for Memorial Day, Labor Day or any other time you’re feeling patriotic. Who says sugar cookies should only be for Christmas?
What you need to make these Patriotic Star Sugar Cookies
Here’s what you’ll need to create these little red, white and blue desserts:
- White frosting. Yes, you could make royal icing from scratch. You could also buy special decorating icing. But for these cookies, you won’t need to do either of those things. Any kind of ready-to-spread white frosting will work just fine to decorate these red, white and blue cookies. And it’s much more convenient!
- Gel food coloring. To achieve the bold, deep red and blue colors for these cookies, you’ll need quality gel food coloring. My favorites are Wilton and Chefmaster.
- Disposable decorating bags. Since we will be using several bags of frosting for the different colors, the easiest thing to do is use bags that you can throw away when you’re finished. Many supermarkets carry these bags. You can also find them in craft stores and on Amazon.
- Decorating tip for piping the outlines of the stars. I used a Wilton #3 tip for these cookies.
- Star-shaped cookie cutters. I used a set of 5 cookie cutters for variation in size.
- Small craft paintbrush. Get the smallest you can find, easily found at craft stores and on Amazon.
- Patriotic cookie decorations. Grab star-shaped sprinkles, tiny sugar pearls or regular sprinkles in patriotic colors and get creative!
Ingredients for these 4th of July Sugar Cookies
Here’s what you’ll need to make these simple but super tasty sugar cookies:
- All-purpose or gluten free flour
- Salted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Sour cream
- Lemon zest
- Baking powder
How to make these Red White and Blue Cookies
Make the sugar cookie dough in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine your wet ingredients first. Then add the dry ingredients until a dough forms.
Be sure to chill the dough before working with it. Chilled dough is much easier to roll out and cut into shapes.
How to Decorate these Patriotic Star Sugar Cookies
Dye the Frosting
Take one container of white frosting and divide it between two small bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and blue food coloring to the other. Use as much food coloring as you need to achieve a bold red and deep blue color.
Pipe the outlines
The first step for all of these cookie designs is to pipe the outlines. Piping the outlines creates a clean look where the frosting doesn’t seep down the sides of the cookie.
If you’d like to use different colored outlines, repeat this process using the red or blue frostings.
Thin the frosting
Once you’ve done the outlines, it’s time to fill in the rest of the cookie. To fill in the outlines, you’ll want the frosting to be a thinner consistency than what we used for the outlines.
Add water, one teaspoon at a time, until the frosting becomes a “paintable” consistency. Why? Because we’re going to use a paintbrush for this part!
Using a small paintbrush, fill in the colors. For the stars and stripes cookie, use blue icing on one side and paint the white and red stripes on the other side.
Finish with red, white and blue sprinkles
Decorate your cookies with patriotic sprinkles while your icing is still wet. Allow the cookies to set before moving them.
How to Store these 4th of July Star Sugar Cookies
While these cookies are setting, the best way to store them is in a single layer on a baking sheet, covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
After the icing is completely set, you can safely stack them. Gently stack these cookies in an airtight container with layers of parchment paper in between each layer.
They will keep at room temperature for several days.
How to Transport these Patriotic Star Sugar Cookies
Taking these cookies to a 4th of July party? The best way to transport them is on a flat cookie sheet, covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
If the frosting is completely set, it’s okay to pile them carefully onto a serving plate. They’ll be picture perfect for your 4th of July celebration!
What if the icing is too thick or too thin?
Ready-to-spread frosting that can be found in grocery stores is the right consistency for piping the outline of the star shapes. But it will be too thick for flooding.
Flooding is a term used to describe filling in the cookie with color. To make flood icing, simply add water to regular icing until it reaches a looser, smoother consistency.
For best results, add one teaspoon of water at a time to regular icing until the icing is the consistency of creamy salad dressing.
If you end up overdoing it with the water and your icing is too thin, simply add more regular icing to the mixture until it thickens.
When you make these patriotic star sugar cookies for the 4th of July, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a star rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For other 4th of July desserts, try these:
For more cookie recipes, try these:
- Lemon Shortbread Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Ultimate Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Fluffernutter Thumbprint Cookies
Easy Patriotic Star Sugar Cookies (for July 4th)
- 1 set of star shaped cookie cutters
- 1 Wilton #3 decorating tip
- disposable decorating bags
- 1 small cake decorating paint brush
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks salted butter room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 containers ready-made white frosting
- red gel food coloring
- blue gel food coloring
- patriotic cookie decorations/sprinkles
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars and lemon zest on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. On low speed, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until just combined.
- Form the dough into 2 discs, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. (You can also freeze the dough for future use.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough onto a well-floured surface until it reaches 1/4 inch thickness. Using a star cookie cutter, cut into shapes and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be pale with a slightly golden bottom. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before removing onto a wire rack.