Brighten any occasion with smiley face cookies. Perfect for kids’ birthday parties, school birthday treats, and any occasion. Super easy to make and a fun celebration alternative to cake or cupcakes.
Originally posted on Live Party Love – moved to Northern Yum
Smiley face cookies — we’re really excited to share a piece of our childhood with you. These cookies are the ultimate birthday treat. And a great alternative to cake. They bring back some great memories. Walking into class with a cardboard flat of smiley face cookies was a BIG deal back in the day.
And if you’re from Sidney or have spent much time in Sidney, Montana, you know what we mean. Philadelphia has Philly Cheese Steak, Minneapolis has the Juicy Lucy, Seattle has Coffee & Dungeness Crab — and Sidney, Montana has Smiley Face Cookies. The bakery has since closed, but you can still find them at the local grocery store.
Our version may not be exactly the same, but they’re still delicious and so much fun. And brings back that nostalgic feeling from our childhood.
Smiley face cookies are perfect for school birthday treats or birthday parties. And the way the piping on our eyes turned out, they’d work great for an emoji or clown-themed party.
How to Make Smiley Face Cookies
I’m going to take you through a step-by-step tutorial for both the sugar cookies and frosting. Let’s get started!
Sugar Cookie Recipe
When using a 4-inch cookie cutter, this recipe makes approximately 24 to 28 cookies.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 5 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
Recipe Instructions & Tips
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. It’s important you don’t overcook them to make sure they turn out super soft.
Allow the cookies to cool. Otherwise, you may end up with droopy faces, and nobody wants that. *Haha*
A smooth buttercream frosting made with part butter, part shortening to keep a bright white color.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 5 2/3 cups powdered sugar
- 6-7 tablespoons cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (clear if possible)
- Food coloring
Recipe Instructions & Tips
Mix in cream and vanilla. Add additional cream to reach desired consistency.
Frost all the cookies using white icing. Then separate the remaining icing into 3 different bowls. Add food coloring to reach desired brightness.
We used a 3 color icing coupler set to pipe the eyes and mouth. It worked really great!
To use the 3 color icing coupler, Insert the white plastic end into the piping bag. Add each color into a separate decorating bag. (Folding the bag down makes it easy to load with frosting.)
Bring together each icing bag and line up the plastic ends. Attach the decorating tip and fasten. We used a star tip, but feel free to try out different decorating tips.
Apply the eyes and mouth on each cookie. Then store in a plastic container to keep them soft until you serve them.
Great for kids’ birthdays, but they truly will brighten any occasion. And it’s so simple to change the colors to match your party palette.Print
Delicious sugar cookies you’ll use for the base of each smiley face cookie.
- Begin by creaming together sugar, butter, egg, and milk.
- Add dry ingredients including flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut cookies with a 4-inch cookie cutter.
- Carefully transfer the cookies with a flat spatula to a parchment-covered baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. It’s important that you don’t overcook or the cookies will not be soft.
- Allow the cookies to cool.
Do not overbake these cookies to make sure you have soft cookies!
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: sugar cookie, cookie
Delicious buttercream frosting you’ll use on the ‘face’ of each smiley face cookie. Made with part butter, part shortening to keep a bright white color.
- Begin by mixing together softened butter and shortening.
- Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix well.
- Mix in cream and vanilla.
- Adding additional cream to achieve desired consistency.
- Frost all cookies using white icing.
- Then separate the remaining icing into 3 different bowls.
- Add food coloring to reach desired brightness.
- Insert the white plastic end into the piping bag.
- Add each color to an icing piping bag. (Folding the bag down makes it easy to load with frosting.)
- Bring together each icing bag and line up the plastic end. Attach the decorating tip and fasten.
- Apply eyes and mouth on each cookie.
- Store in a plastic container to keep them soft.
Store the frosted cookies in a plastic container to keep them soft.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: buttercream, frosting, cookie frosting
If you love this recipe, please share away. We’d love to see how yours turn out. Tag us on Instagram @northernyum.
Frequently asked questions
How should I store frosted sugar cookies?
I like to store cookies in an airtight plastic container. You can store them in the refrigerator or the freezer for more extended periods.
How do I make sure my cookies are soft?
Two tricks here: 1) make sure you don’t overbake, or they will be crunchy, and 2) store them in an airtight plastic container to maintain softness.
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