These colourful and fun 100s & 1000s sugar cookies are made with my absolute favourite soft cut out sugar cookie dough with a hard set royal icing and loads of 100s & 1000s sprinkles. This post contains step-by-step photos to help you make these cookies perfectly every time as I know this is going to be a go to recipe for special occasions.
These cookies are inspired by the Arnotts 100s & 1000s cookies. I used to love these as a kid. They were simple and sweet cookies with the hard pink icing and I could very easily put a dint in a packet in a single sitting. These cookies are very similar to those but with our cookie base being a little softer but still with that classic hard pink icing and loads of 100s & 1000s sprinkles.
They are every bit just one more though, which is why it is necessary that we make so many at once. They also store really well making them a great make ahead treat or the perfect gift idea.
Grab your favourite cookie cutter and let’s get started.
Ingredients for sugar cookies
This is my absolute favourite, works every single time sugar cookie recipe. I’ve made it countless times over the years and honestly I cannot recommend any substitutions as I know this combination and ratio will ensure perfect cookies every single time.
- Dairy free butter – I always use Nuttelex buttery for my baking as I find it produces the best result and is dairy-free. I’ve not tested this recipe with regular butter so cannot confirm it will yield the same results. In my years of making this recipe I have had countless comments that people cannot believe these really do not contain real butter!
- White sugar – it wouldn’t be a sugar cookie without the sugar!
- Egg – to bind the cookie together and ensure that classic soft texture.
- Vanilla – essential flavouring of the cookie.
- Almond extract – this can be a controversial ingredient but I honestly think it’s the key to giving this cookie that classic sugar cookie flavour. Please try it!
- Plain flour – keeping the base of the cookie pretty standard.
- Baking powder – just a little bit to keep these cookies that perfect light and soft texture.
How to make 100s & 1000s cookies
Sugar cookies are one of those things that are really easy, but really time consuming. There is not a lot of active time, but there is a lot of waiting. For things to chill, to bake, to cool, to dry.
For that reason I recommending making these over a weekend when you can dedicate some chunks of time.
To make the cookies, you’ll need a large bowl and a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, a spatula, a large baking tray or two, and you’re favourite cookie cutter shape.
To start, beat together the sugar and dairy-free butter until creamy and paler in colour.
Add in the vanilla, almond extract and egg and continue to mix together until creamy and combined.
Finally, add in the flour and baking powder. I like to do this in about 3 goes to include it all so that I don’t end up with a giant plume of flour covering my kitchen when trying to beat it in.
Once the dough has come together, it will look a little rough and soft, but that’s exactly what we want.
Bring the dough together with your hands, lightly floured, to make sure it doesn’t stick and roll out onto a floured surface. This dough can get sticky so just make sure you have extra flour on hand to cover the surface and your rolling pin.
I like to separate the dough into 2 to make it easier to roll. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 3mm thick. Place into the fridge to chill for at least an hour. If you want, you can let it chill overnight.
When you are ready to bake, cut the shapes out of the cold dough. It is so important that the dough is cold as this will ensure the cookies bake evenly and do not spread in the oven. At any time when the dough is not being used, make sure to put it back in the fridge so you are always working with that cold dough.
Now it will depend on how thick you roll out the cookies, and the size of the cookie cutter you are using, but my medium heart yielded 57 cookies from this recipe. Yes it’s a lot of cookies, but like I said at the start, once you start eating them you will be glad you have so many! Just keep gently rolling out the dough and cutting out your shapes until you have used all the dough up.
I have a pretty small oven, so I can only bake two small trays at a time as its important not to over crowd the trays or the oven as this will result in the cookies being unevenly cooked. Every oven is different though so make sure to watch the first batch so you can gauge the perfect scenario for you.
Bake for around 8 minutes in batches until all dough is used up. Again this timing will depend on your oven, and the thickness and size of the cookies based on the cookie cutter you used. Remember the the cookies will continue to firm up as they cool so you want to remove them as soon as the edges start to show a little bit of colour.
The cookies need to be completely cool before icing, and I mean COMPLETELY. Any residual heat at all will mean that the icing will melt and it will become quite messy. For this reason, I usually bake one day, ice the next. Yes it means more time before I can have my cookies, but it also means that I know I am starting with a perfect base for piping.
Also, fair warning, the icing takes time so it’s quite nice to have a break between baking and icing.
So what about the Royal Icing?
Royal icing is quite special. It is sweet, shiny, and dries hard making it the best icing for cookies, particularly when wanting to pipe designs.
I always use my easy homemade royal icing recipe that uses just three ingredients.
This recipe makes an icing that is delicious, is easy to pipe and looks great on the finished cookie. This is the same recipe that I use for my gingerbread house so I know it’s going to give me great results.
If you’re looking for an easier option though rather than making your own from scratch, you can buy a packet mix at the supermarket which is something I’ve used for years before finally making my own.
This is the royal icing found in the baking isle of the supermarket and I have never had an issue with availability. It contains egg white powder and icing sugar and all you need to do is add water and beat into soft peaks. I packet yields just about the right amount to decorate all of these cookies.
Either option is going to yield a delicious result!
Decorating the cookies
This is the most fun and the most time consuming part of making these cookies. It took me about 2 hours in total to ice these cookies but it is also extremely satisfying.
There are two steps when frosting sugar cookies. The outline, and the filling in or what’s called ‘flooding’. You first pipe the stiff icing around the edges of the cookies forming an outline.
Once that has crusted and is firm, thin down the remaining icing so it is a smooth consistency and pipe in the center of the cookies. The icing will spread so be careful not to over fill. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick.
These cookies are great because they don’t demand perfection, making them perfect for those who are not comfortable with piping royal icing. We just have a single colour cookie, then we sprinkle over the 100s & 1000s while trying to avoid the inevitable mess of little coloured balls bouncing around the kitchen tiles.
The icing will be firm after a few hours, but it really takes 24 hours to set hard. Leave the cookies out overnight to dry. The cookies will remain soft, and in the morning you can stack and store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I make these cookies very sparingly but when I do they are always received with the best reviews. They seem to disappear a lot quicker than the time it takes to make, but if you are wanting to impress with a standout cookie, these are 100% it.
And yes, I’ve eaten a couple in the time it’s taken me to right this post. I don’t know that it would be possible to not!
More Cookie Recipes:
100s & 1000s Sugar Cookies
- ¾ cup dairy-free butter*
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ¼ cups plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 batch
homemade royal icing
- food colouring
- 100s & 1000s sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
- Make the cookies. Using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, cream dairy-free spread* and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg, vanilla and almond extracts and continue mixing on high for 2-3 mins until fully combined.
- Mix in sifted flour and baking powder slowly until the mixture just comes together. If the dough is too soft add a little more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
- Divide dough evenly into 2 parts and roll each out onto baking paper. Place into fridge for at least 1 hour to chill. This step ensures the cookies hold their shape in the oven.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and use a cookie cutter to make shapes, rolling out again until all the dough is used. Anytime you are not actively using the cookies dough, such as while waiting for a batch to cook, cover dough with baking paper and place back in the fridge. You want to always be working with cold dough.
- Place cut out shapes onto the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes or until cookies start to turn a light golden colour around the edges. They may still be a bit soft but will firm up as they cool. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
- Decorate the cookies. Make a batch of the homemade royal icing and tint it a light pink using a gel food colouring. Pipe an outline around the edges of the cookies. Once complete let dry for 30-60 minutes until the outlines have formed a crust. Squeeze remaining icing back into the bowl and add about 2 tablespoons more water to thin out the mixture. Place icing back into the piping bag and fill in the outlines of the cookies. Once the area is covered, sprinkle over 100s & 1000s and set aside on a wire rack to dry.
- Icing will crust after a couple of hours but needs to be left overnight to harden completely. The cookies themselves will remain soft and in the morning they will be fine to stack and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.