Umbrella Sugar Cookies

Umbrella Sugar Cookies
Photo: Victor Schraeger
30 cookies

These crisp, lemony sugar cookies will lend a touch of whimsy to a spring shower, but you can enjoy them anytime -- regardless of the weather.


For the Cookies

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons ( ¾ stick) unsalted butter

  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus 2 additional tablespoons

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved

  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

  • 1 large egg

  • Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

For the Royal Icing

  • 2 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar

  • 7 ½ teaspoons meringue powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Make the cookies: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Put butter, granulated and confectioners' sugars, vanilla seeds, and zest into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches; mix until combined.

  3. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of floured parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

  4. Remove parchment. Using a 3-inch umbrella cutter, cut out shapes. Reroll scraps, and cut out. Space cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until pale golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

  5. Make the royal icing: Put confectioners' sugar, meringue powder, and 1/4 cup water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on low speed 10 minutes. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip.

  6. Decorate each cookie with icing, and then immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Cook's Notes

Leftover icing can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days.

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