Nov 15


Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe & {Baby Duck Cookie How-To}

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Happy Friday!


I’ve got a new cookie recipe for you today – a slight variation on my sugar cookies – Brown Sugar Cookies. I used brown sugar instead of white granulated, and changed the amount of butter to make the dough a bit easier to work with. A lesser amount of butter also lessens the buttery flavour of the cookie, but the rustic brown sugar flavour makes up for it, in my humble opinion.


Baby Duck Cookie How-To

You can find the recipe for the dough below. Thanks to the The Cookie Cutter Company for the duck cookie cutter!

Royal Icing


You can find my favorite royal icing recipe here. The consistency of icing is key for easy decorating. Click here to see a YouTube video on finding the right icing thickness.

Decorating Steps

What you’ll need:

  • Piping Tips #1.5 and #2
  • Piping Bag
  • Couplers
  • Gel paste colors

Step One:

Outline the duck shape with royal icing. For detailed decorating tips, this tutorial may be helpful for you.

Step Two:

With the same icing, flood, or fill in your shape.

Step Three:

Shake the cookie gently to help the icing settle.

Let the base dry for at least a few hours.

Step Four:

Add the beak by outlining and filling in right away.

Step Five:

Add a small black dot of icing for the eye.

Step Six:

Using a #1.5 tip or size tip of your choice, pipe a bow at the duck’s neck. Let the beak, eye and bow dry for a minimum of 6-12 hours before packaging.

Other Options:

I asked you on Facebook and Instagram which bow you liked better, and it was actually split between a piped bow and the real bow (below). Thought I’d share the options for you to decide if you make them.

Another variation is to add marbled wings:

If you’d like a marbling tutorial {video} you can find it here.

One note about the recipe I’d like to mention… the next time I make these, I will might make sure my lumps are out of my brown sugar, as you can still see a few of them in the cookies. Not a huge deal (hence the “might”), as the icing covers them, but thought I’d mention it in case you don’t want to see little brown sugar spots in yours.

If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line below or on Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.

Happy decorating!



Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: Approx. 35 medium sized cookies


  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated - for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more. Overmixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you'd like a light and fluffy cookie, that's ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you'd like the cookie to hold its shape.
  2. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
  3. Add vanilla to mixing bowl. Stir briefly.
  4. Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour and salt).
  5. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won't escape. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it's ready. It's also important at this stage not to overmix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).
  6. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
  7. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
  8. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again.They will then hold their shape better when baked.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
  10. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
  11. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!

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  1. November 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Love these cute ducks. Going to try this recipe out for sure. I wanted to know do you use kosher salt or regular salt when you make cookies?

    • marian
      November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Hi Asmita,
      I use regular salt. You could definitely substitute for kosher if you like!

  2. November 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Super cute!

  3. Lisa
    November 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Have you tried this or your regular sugar cookie recipe with gluten free flour? I am looking for a GREAT gluten free cookie and cut-outs would be a plus.

    • marian
      November 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lisa,
      I haven’t tried it with a gluten free flour yet. I’m thinking it would work fine though! If you try it, please let me know how it goes.

  4. November 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Those ducks look amazing!

  5. November 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking those little chunks of brown sugar = little chunks of goodness to bite into! Such cute cookies, going to try the recipe, they look yummy!

  6. November 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I love the sound of a brown sugar cookie, Marian. And I adore the piped bow. 😉

  7. Georgia
    November 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate your “lessons learned” comments in the recipe about overmixing, etc. I’m definitely going to make these cookies.

  8. November 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    ahhh! these are so cute! i wish i could make them as pretty as yours so i can actually bring them to a baby shower, haha

  9. cheryl s.
    November 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    It seems like this simple but adorable little duck hit quite a responsive cord with your avid fans, myself being one of them!

  10. Jolene Prine
    November 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to try this recipe, I don’t have a duck cookie cutter but I’m sure I’ll find something as cute. Thanks for sharing this!!

  11. November 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    You’re work never disappoints! Beautiful cookies!

  12. November 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Marian, those are the cutest, and you make it look so easy.

  13. Maria Theresia
    November 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    These duck cookies are very sweet. I like the piped bow on them.
    thank you for sharing all your talent and time.

  14. November 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    These are so, so cute Marian! I just love them!

  15. Kim
    November 16, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I like the royal icing bow on the duck.

  16. Seema
    November 17, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Hi, just wondering what your cup measure equates to in grams. I have read there is a difference between US cup measures and European cup measures. Do you know if that is true?

    Many thanks

  17. November 18, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Super-adorable cookies, Marian!

  18. Cristina
    November 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I always love to drop by and see your work. I find it so inspiring… thank you so much for sharing.

  19. Kelly Kemp
    November 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    your designs are such an inspiration and I have learned so much from you….thanks….Kelly

  20. Leslie
    November 26, 2013 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    Hi, I am a newbie. I am curious where/how you store the cookies while you are waiting for them to dry, prior to packaging? Thanks for your great site, BTW!

  21. Linda
    November 27, 2013 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Hi Leslie
    I put mine back in the oven with the light on overnight. ( as I have to deal with to much humidity and sometimes to many flies). And they always turn out great.
    I hope this tip will help you. Greetings from Israel!

  22. December 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Super-cute ducky! Amazing tutorial. Thank you! : )

  23. Nancy
    December 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I have looked at your website for a long time now. I have decided to make some Christmas brown sugar cookies. Thank you for inspiring me!

    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Nancy and hope that went well! xo

      Thanks everyone for your sweet comments!

  24. Tashia
    February 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering- this seems to be a long process; which I’m not afraid of, but if I need these for a baby shower on Saturday, when should/could I start them? I have more time earlier in the week, but don’t want them to dry out or get stale. Any suggestions for storing them completely finished?

  25. Shelley
    May 4, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Love these cookies – super cute! I was wondering, can I freeze the cookies after decorating them and letting them dry? I will be making quite a few and it would help out if I could make them in advance. Thanks!

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  1. […] I used Sweetopia’s Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookie Recipe, and cut the recipe in half, which yielded 16 cookies. This recipe was perfect for getting a […]

  2. […] The sugar cookie recipe was great! It was actually a brown sugar cookie recipe I found on Sweetopia here. I had to cook it a bit longer because I have a thicker cookie sheet but It smells amazing when […]

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