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Air Fryer Sugar Cookies (Sprinkles or Frosting)

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Easy air fryer sugar cookies are crisp outside and soft and buttery inside! Decorate with sprinkles or frosting.
air fryer sugar cookies, some with frosting some with sprinkles

Air fryer sugar cookies are rich, buttery cookies with a crisp outside and a soft middle. This easy, no-chill cookie recipe takes classic sugar cookies and bakes them in the air fryer! And these cookies bake in about 7 minutes, so you can quickly enjoy warm, fresh cookies.

Nothing beats fresh sugar cookies from scratch, whether you want a holiday treat or a simple afternoon snack. And sugar cookies are versatile. Decorate these delicious sugar cookies with sprinkles, frosting, or just eat them plain for a dessert that everyone will love!

decorated air fryer sugar cookies on a platter

And with the holiday season approaching, it’s time for some new cookie recipes! Just because your grandma didn’t make cookies in the air fryer doesn’t mean you can’t try new things and use a new cooking method to create the perfect cookie.

🍪Why Make Cookies in the Air Fryer?

One of the significant advantages of making cookies in the air fryer is that it doesn’t heat up the house. This is great when you want to make cookies in the middle of summer!

But my favorite reason is that it lets me make small batches of cookies. Now that my husband and I are empty nesters, we don’t need to make a huge batch that leaves us with dozens of leftover cookies. I can easily make 8-10 cookies at a time with the air fryer, which is plenty.

Love classic cookies? Check out my delicious recipes for air fryer snickerdoodles or air fryer chocolate chip cookies!

🧈Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Butter and shortening – Butter and shortening are the fat in these cookies. They help give them their soft and chewy texture.

Instant vanilla pudding – The pudding gives these cookies a soft and moist texture. You don’t make the pudding. Just add the powdered pudding to the cookie dough.

Sprinkles or frosting – Decorate these tasty treats by rolling them in sprinkles or adding frosting. Or eat them plain, right out of the air fryer!

The remaining simple ingredients are baking staples, including granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and salt.

labeled sugar cookie ingredient photo

🥣How to Make Air Fryer Sugar Cookies

1. Make the Cookie Dough

Making the cookies starts by creaming the butter, shortening, and white sugar in an electric mixer. Once they are combined and fluffy, add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and pudding mix. Mix well.

adding the pudding and eggs
Adding the pudding mix and eggs
adding the flour
Adding the flour

Then add the baking powder and salt to the bowl of flour and stir. Mix these dry ingredients into the butter mixture a little at a time. I usually add about 1/3 of the flour mixture at once, then mix it into the dough.

2. Form the Cookies

This homemade cookie dough doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out balls of dough about 1 1/2 inches in size and put them on a plate or cutting board. Make 8-10 cookie dough balls, or however many will fit in your air fryer.

scooping out dough balls for sugar cookies
Making cookie dough balls
rolling the cookies in sprinkles
Rolling in sprinkles (optional)

If you want to make sprinkle sugar cookies, then put some sprinkles on a shallow plate. Roll the cookie balls in the sprinkles until they are thoroughly coated.

To ensure these cook evenly in the air fryer, you need to flatten them slightly. Use your fingers to flatten them to about 1/2 inch thick.

3. Air Fry the Cookies

Start by preheating the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3 minutes. If you use parchment paper, place a sheet in the basket after preheating. Never preheat with a piece of parchment paper inside!

Place the flattened cookies on the parchment paper, keeping them about 1 1/2 inches apart in a single layer. These will not spread as much as cookies baked in the oven, but they will spread some.

sugar cookies before air frying
Before air frying (slightly flattened)
sugar cookies in air fryer after baking
After air frying

Air fry them at 350 F for 5-8 minutes. They are done when the cookies are light golden brown on top, and the middle is just set. Let the cookies cool in the basket for 5 minutes before placing them on wire racks.

4. Frosting (optional)

If you didn’t roll the dough in sprinkles, you might want to add some frosting. Use store-bought or your favorite homemade frosting and add a thick layer to the cooled cookies.

frosted air fryer sugar cookie

🎄Making Multiple Batches of Cookies

My 5.8-quart Cosori air fryer makes about 8 cookies per batch. This recipe makes enough for about 40 cookies. So you can keep baking more batches or save the dough to make later. See the freezing instructions here.

In addition, this cookie dough can make other air fryer cookies, including Christmas M&M cookies, Thumbprint cookies, and Hershey Kiss cookies.

So you can use the rest of the dough to make other kinds of cookies and end up with 40 tasty cookies of all different types. Check out the individual posts for your favorite.

💭How to Store

Store the homemade cookies in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. The baked cookies can be frozen, although it is better to freeze them before frosting.

🧊 Freezing the Dough

This dough freezes well. I generally divide it into 4 parts, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it in a freezer-safe container. This gives me 8-12 cookies per dough portion. Put the dough in the refrigerator the night before you plan to make it, and let it thaw.

⭐Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Sugar Cookies

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Use softened butter in the recipe.
  • Make the cookies a uniform size by using a cookie scoop or tablespoon to make the dough balls.
  • Ensure you don’t have parchment paper in the air fryer when preheating.
  • Flatten the cookies slightly before air frying.
air fryer sugar cookie on a spatula

📝FAQ

Can I make these sugar cookies into shapes?

Making cutout cookies is fun, but you need to use a different dough recipe. This dough spreads too much for using cookie cutters.

Why do I have to flatten air-fried cookies?

The air fryer cooks so fast that the cookies don’t have much time to spread. The outside will cook before the middle if you don’t flatten them.

Can I bake these in the oven?

Yes, this classic recipe can be baked in the oven. Bake the cookies in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 12-15 minutes.

Do I have to use parchment paper?

Parchment paper isn’t essential, but it will help keep the cookies from sticking and make cleanup easier. You can buy inexpensive parchment paper perfectly sized for most air fryer baskets.

Can I air fry premade sugar cookie dough?

Yes, you can use premade dough if you don’t want to make air fryer sugar cookies from scratch. Preheat the air fryer at 350 F for 3 minutes. Then bake the cookies on parchment paper for 6-8 minutes.

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air fryer sugar cookies, some with frosting some with sprinkles
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Sugar Cookie Recipe

Easy air fryer sugar cookies are crisp outside and soft and buttery inside! Decorate with sprinkles or frosting.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Servings: 40
Print Pin Save

Ingredients
 

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

  • 1/4 cup colored sprinkles

For Frosted Sugar Cookies

  • 1/2 cup buttercream frosting

Instructions

  • Place the butter, shortening, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream them together with an electric mixer.
    ¾ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar
  • Add in eggs, vanilla, and instant pudding mix. Continue mixing until thoroughly incorporated.
    2 eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • In a separate bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    2 ½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time mixing between additions until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Preheat the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3 minutes.
  • Use a dough scoop or spoon to scoop the dough into tablespoon size balls.
  • For sprinkle sugar cookies: Put the sprinkles on a shallow plate. Roll the cookie balls in the sprinkles.
    1/4 cup colored sprinkles
  • Flatten the cookie balls slightly with your fingers, pushing them down until they are about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Add a parchment paper liner to the air fryer basket once it has preheated. Place the cookie balls on the parchment paper, keeping them about 1 inch apart. Make multiple batches if necessary.
  • Bake for 5-8 minutes or until set and golden brown.
  • Remove from the air fryer and let them cool in the basket for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For frosted sugar cookies: Once the cookies are completely cool, spread them with frosting and add sprinkles.
    1/2 cup buttercream frosting

Notes

Never preheat the air fryer with parchment paper inside.

One Dough, 4 Cookies

Use this same cookie dough to make other air fryer cookie recipes! See here for all the classic cookies you can create and make some festive treats for the holidays.

 

Freezing the Dough

This dough freezes well. Divide it into 4 parts, wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. This gives me 8-12 cookies per dough portion. Put the frozen cookie dough in the refrigerator the night before you plan to make it, and let it thaw.

Oven Baking

Bake the cookies in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 12-15 minutes.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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holding a sugar cookie in front of the air fryer
By on September 8th, 2022

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