This time last year I was dreaming about my upcoming honeymoon to Tahiti. Just imagine turquoise water, fresh pineapple, tropical cocktails, lazy days lounging on the beach and lots of sun. I can’t travel to Tahiti every year, but I can bring some fresh, tropical flavors to the dessert table, like these pińa colada sugar cookies. Tangy sweet pineapple sugar cookies topped with a creamy coconut buttercream are the perfect summertime treat! Bring them to a pool party, beach picnic or any summer celebration.
In fact, I teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers for a virtual Instagram pool party. The idea is for each of us to Insta-bring what we would actually take to a real-life pool party. The pińa colada sugar cookies are my contribution. Lori from Giggle Living created the cutest pool party decorations. Kathryn from Worn Slap Out made this refreshing coconut lime sorbet. Taryn from Life and Sprinkles put together donut fruit skewers. And Lauren from The Basic Ginger concocted grilled BLT boats with Greek yogurt dressing.
If you’re interested in throwing a real-life pool party, you can easily invite your guests using Paperless Post. Taryn and I created these adorable online invitations for our virtual party. Get the same look but just switch out the time and place! There are also so many other customizable templates to choose from.
Disclosure: Paperless Post gave us credits to create these invitations for free, but all opinions are my own.
Now, let’s make some pińa colada sugar cookies! Make them gluten free using a 1 to 1 baking flour, like this one. Or make them gluten-full.
(You might also like these pińa colada cupcakes!)
I’ve included detailed instructions below. But here are a few best practices to keep in mind when making sugar cookies:
- Chill the cookie dough for at least one hour. I often let it chill for two hours. Or let it chill overnight! In that case the dough needs to warm up for about 15 minutes before it’s rolled out.
- Always roll out cookie dough on a lightly floured surface. To avoid sticking, periodically reflour the surface and the rolling pin. I even lightly flour the spatula I use to move the cutouts to the cookie sheets.
- Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Don’t put more than 12 cookies on a pan. Chill each pan for 30 minutes before baking. I don’t even preheat the oven until the first pan has been in the fridge for half an hour. Bake only one pan at a time.
This recipe yields about 30 cookies, depending on what size cookie cutters you use.
Also, the amount of frosting needed depends on how you decorate the cookies. I used Wilton tip #2D to create these rosettes, and I needed the entire recipe. If you’re simply spreading it on with a knife, you can probably get by with half.
Top with shredded coconut or sprinkles! I opted for sprinkles because I’m not the biggest fan of shredded coconut’s texture.
You also have the option of boozing up the frosting! Add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut rum at a time, taste-testing as you go.
I always store sugar cookies in the freezer. They stay fresher longer, and they defrost quickly. Freeze one layer of cookies in an airtight container for about 5 minutes, add a layer of wax paper, and then freeze another layer of cookies. Continue freezing and stacking until you’ve stored them all.
- classic sugar cookies
- pistachio sugar cookies
- lemon sugar cookies
- strawberry sugar cookies
- peach sugar cookies
Pińa Colada Sugar Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full cookies
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter-flavored Crisco
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 oz. island pineapple gelatin (Jell-O brand)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp pineapple juice room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp whole milk
- 4 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 tsp coconut rum optional
- sprinkles and/or shredded coconut optional
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, Crisco and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Then cream in the gelatin. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well-incorporated. On low speed, mix in the vanilla and pineapple juice.
- On low speed, gradually blend in the dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. (You can also chill the dough overnight.)
- Roll out half of the chilled dough onto a floured surface until an 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator until you're ready for it. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Don't put more than 12 cookies on a pan.
- Re-roll the scraps until you've used up the dough and then roll out the remaining chilled dough.
- Chill each sheet of cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). I don't even preheat the oven until the cookies have been in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake the cookies (one pan at a time) for no more than 6-7 minutes. Don't worry if they still look a little soft when you take them out of the oven. (But you don't want them to look wet and doughy.) Thicker, larger cookies might need 7 minutes, and smaller cookies will only need 6.
- Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
Decorating the Cookies
- Make the frosting while the cookies are cooling. (I actually recommend freezing the cookies before decorating them.) Cream the butter and Crisco until smooth. Add in 1/2 of the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until incorporated and then beat on high speed until creamy. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar, the milk and heavy cream, the coconut extract and the coconut rum (if using). Mix on low speed until incorporated, and then beat on high speed until creamy and fluffy. I actually recommend adding only 1/2 tsp of rum at a time and tasting before you add any more. You might even want more than 1 tsp!
- Decorate as desired and store in an airtight container in the freezer. Enjoy!