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Just like the orange creamsicles you loved as a kid, these orange creamsicle cookies are bursting with sweet and creamy vanilla orange flavor and rolled in powdered sugar just before baking for that extra melt-in-your-mouth experience.
Many years ago, I published this orange creamsicle cookie recipe on my site as a knock-off of my lemon crinkle cookie recipe. It has since then been one of my favorites to whip up all year round but always has a special spot at the holidays given their powdered sugar coating that complements the idea of snowy weather.
Whether you’re making these orange cookies in the summer or in the winter, the consensus is the same: you must make them. And you’re going to love the nostalgia of packing orange creamsicle ice cream into a delectable cookie.
If you’ve made my lemon crinkle cookies before, you know how simple crinkle cookies are. They require a handful of basic ingredients, and although I tried confidently to build this orange creamsicle cookies recipe exactly from that lemon version, I did find I needed a few tweaks because, surprise, oranges have more zest, and therefore more moisture, than lemons.
Trust me, this recipe has been tested more times than nearly all of the recipes on my site. You can rest assured you’ll have perfect orange cream cookies every time if you follow this recipe exactly with all of my best tips.
For the dry ingredients, you’ll need all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. It is imperative that you measure the flour properly, as these orange creamsicle cookies are sensitive to too much or too little flour given that crinkle cookies are meant to spread to create the crinkles.
For the wet ingredients team, you’ll need unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and an egg.
In order to bring that sweet orange creamsicle flavor, we’ll use a combination of zest and juice from fresh oranges as well as a hefty dose of vanilla extract.
I also always add orange gel food coloring (just a tiny bit) or a combination of red + yellow food coloring to achieve a rich orange color. This is not a requirement, but know that if you omit it, the color of the cookies will be very light orange.
If you’ve ever made crinkle cookies, you know that the powdered sugar coating is the key to the crinkles. You’ll need some of that in a bowl or on a plate when it comes time to bake the cookies.
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE CREAMSICLE COOKIES
The method for these cookies, like most of my cookie recipes, is simple, and you’ll start by combining those dry ingredients and setting them aside.
Next, get your wet ingredient base together, leaving out the food coloring for now.
Remember that we’re using fresh orange zest and fresh orange juice to bring all of the bright orange flavor to these cookies. I have seen some orange dreamsicle cookie recipes use orange extract or orange essential oil, but I think the best way to make cookies is to use standard ingredients we won’t have to buy just for one recipe one time.
That said, be sure you’re using all of the zest from the orange but only 1 Tablespoon of the juice. These cookies are as sensitive to liquid as they are flour.
Once the batter is together, they get a quick 1 hour chill in the fridge to firm up, and then it’s time for the powdered sugar hugs (we love powdered sugar hugs here).
ROLL IN POWDERED SUGAR
You’ll scoop dough from your bowl and drop it directly into powdered sugar. This might seem simple, but this is where you need to be sure you’re really following my best tips!
Really coat that cookie dough ball. I mean… Load it up with powdered sugar. It should even have a small pile of powdered sugar on the top of the cookie dough ball before it goes into the oven.
Like, there is no such thing as too much powdered sugar on these creamy orange dreamy cookies. While they bake, the cookie dough balls will spread slightly and create those cracks between powdered sugar chunks. Too many times over the years, folks have told me their crinkles didn’t really crinkle.
So that’s my tip. Load up on the powdered sugar and you’ll be golden! Or… Orange? You know what I mean.
RESHAPE IF COOKIES SPREAD TOO MUCH
As mentioned, I have made these cookies so many times, I have seen it all come out my oven! I almost always have to reshape cookies with the back of a spoon (see my reel on Insta about exactly how to do this).
You’ll also want to make sure any dough you aren’t using stays chilled in the fridge. As written, this recipe makes about 18 cookies, so you shouldn’t be stuck with tons of dough needing to chill while you’re baking a tray of them. With a bake time of only 11-13 minutes, this process goes quickly!
What I love most about these chewy cookies is that they have a distinct taste. You’d think they would scream “orange” right off the bat or taste like orange popsicles, but not quite.
While the orange taste is absolutely there, somehow the ingredients blend together perfectly to taste just like Froot Loops. Legit Froot Loops, I kid you not.
Matt and I always joke that I should just call them Orange Froot Loop Crinkle Cookies, but agree that might throw off the whole idea of the cookie and also the search terms (#bloggerlife)! But really– who knew that orange creamsicle was so close to Froot Loop flavor?
I’ve now typed “Froot Loop” more times in one paragraph than I have ever typed in my life.
Whatever you decide these cookies taste like, I think you’ll love having these orange creamsicle cookies on your list. They’re fun, fruity, beautiful, and just the right amount of nostalgia to keep you coming back for more.
Orange Creamsicle Cookies
- 1 and ¾ cups (210g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature1
- 1 Tablespoon (15mL) fresh orange juice
- zest of one orange
- orange food coloring2 optional
- ½ cup (60g) powdered sugar
- In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes). Beat in vanilla, egg, orange juice, and orange zest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Add the food coloring, if using. Mix until just combined. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. If chilling longer than 1 hour, allow to sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before rolling into balls.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Pour the powdered sugar onto a large plate. Using a cookie scoop (I use this #50 cookie scoop for all of my standard size cookies), scoop the dough out of the bowl and roll into a ball with your hands. Dough ball does not need to be perfect. Roll the ball of dough generously in the powdered sugar. Place no more than 8 balls of dough on a baking sheet at one time (4 rows of 2). Chill any dough you are not using.
- Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes or until cookies look mostly matte (not wet or shiny). Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. If cookies are misshapen or spread too much for your liking, use the back of a spoon to reshape hot cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well, up to 2 months. Rolled cookie dough can be frozen up to 3 months. Roll in powdered sugar before baking and bake frozen. Add another 1-2 minutes to baking time.
- Room temperature egg: it is always a good idea to use room temperature eggs when working with room temperature butter. The batter comes together much more easily.
- Orange food coloring: I prefer gel coloring, and my favorite brand is AmeriColor. You can omit completely, use traditional orange food coloring, or use a combination of red + yellow food coloring.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.