simple ladybug cookiesI’m no Martha, but I like to make stuff and I like to bake cookies. I’ve been making so many ladybug party favors lately I was dreaming about ladybugs! Last week I decided that I’d figure out how to make ladybug cookies. So here they are…and here’s how you can make some, too.

I usually make sugar cookies from scratch, but you can use the pre-made dough if you prefer. Here’s the recipe I used to make the dough:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange oil (or lemon oil)
3 cups flour
food color

Cream the butter, add sugar. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and citrus oils, then add food color. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, then add to mixture. Mix until it makes a cohesive dough, then cover and chill dough for several hours or overnight.

If you’re using the pre-made dough, you’ll need to keep it at room temp for a while to let it soften a bit and then add the food color. Knead it in until you have the desired color, then chill again until you’re ready to roll out the cookies.
ladybug cookie tools

Once dough has chilled, lightly flour your surface and then roll out your dough to 1/8″ – 1/4″ thickness. You don’t need any special cookie cutters to make the ladybugs; here are the tools I used:

plastic cover and juice glass (anything round!)
measuring spoons

Cut out a bunch of circles with your glass or other round cutters. For half of the circles, you’ll want to use the knife to cut them in half. And for each of the full circles you cut, you’ll need to cut out a tiny half circle with the measuring spoon (I used the teaspoon…see below).

Place the cookie pieces on your baking sheet, making sure to leave space between them. The two half circles will be the wings, and the tiny half circle you cut out with the measuring spoon will be the ladybug’s head. Place the tiny half circle so it overlaps the full circle a tiny bit, then gently pat the two pieces together so they look like the picture below. Repeat for all the ladybugs.

ladybug cookies cut out
Bake at 375° for 5 to 8 minutes, until they are no longer glossy in the center (or until they are just brown at the edges if you like them a little more done!). Let them cool on racks.

Now you need to make the icing or frosting. If you don’t want to add black food coloring, you can use chocolate buttercream frosting for the spots and other markings. You can buy frosting or make your own.

You can also decorate with royal icing (like this recipe). I added cocoa for flavor and a touch of black food coloring for a darker color, then poured icing into a piping bag.

Each ladybug cookie needs to be frosted over the whole “body” and “head” (see below). If using royal icing, allow to dry for about 10 minutes.

Then take two of the half circle “wings” and set them down on the frosting at an angle, with the tops touching just below the head (see below).

ladybug cookies with wings
Pipe or dab frosting dots on each wing and you’re done! Add sprinkles or tiny candies for eyes, if you like. That’s it!

In the past I made these with a bit of red food color so they were a pretty peachy-pink color. This time I used red gel coloring for a more intense red dough. Both are adorable, so experiment to find your favorite or simply match your party colors. You can also make bigger cookies to share as party favors, or smaller ones for a whimsical dessert table. For the tinier cookies I used my juice glass as a cutter, and cut out the “head” with a smaller measuring spoon (1/2″ teaspoon), but you can play with these proportions, too.

These cookies are so fun to make (and eat)! Wouldn’t it be a cute snack for a kids birthday party? Definitely perfect for for a ladybug bridal shower or baby shower, too. Please let me know if you make these cookies! Share any comments below.

Related Recipes for Parties:
Spanikopita? I say “Mini Quiche”
Say Cheese(cake)! Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
Spring Flowers Cupcakes

Simple ladybug cookies you can make without a special cutter.