Beehive Honey Vanilla Sugar Cookies

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A fun dessert for a bee-themed party, these melt-in-your-mouth Beehive Sugar Cookies have a delicious honey-vanilla flavor your guests will love!

A fun bee-themed cookie recipe for a Bee Party! These tender sugar cookies have a light honey-vanilla flavor and are super simple to make. You can make the bee decorations from scratch or purchase them to make it even easier

Beehive Cookies Recipe

Ella’s second birthday party was a small get-together with friends at a bee adventure farm (part apiary and part adventure park).

I brought a very simple picnic spread since we knew the kids’ patience would be minimal and skipped serving cake in favor of Beehive Cupcakes and these Honey Vanilla Sugar Cookies!

I’m not normally a fan of sugar cookies. They always look so cute but they are so often hard and flavorless. Why would you want to put the time and effort into decorating such a cute dessert for it to only look good?!

Thankfully, these cookies buck that trend and are absolutely delicious with a soft, tender texture thanks to the addition of cream of tartar to the cookie dough.

 

Can I freeze sugar cookies? Yes – you can freeze just the unbaked cookie dough, or the baked (undecorated) cookies. If freezing the sugar cookie dough, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then freeze in an airtight freezer container or freezer bag. Baked sugar cookies can be frozen without being wrapped, just placed in an airtight freezer container. (This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.) Both can be frozen for up to three months without flavor or texture loss.

Can I add real honey to the recipe? Real honey will cause the cookies to spread and would prevent the frosting from hardening. A good-quality honey extract gives the honey flavor to the icing without being overpowering or causing consistency issues.

Why are my sugar cookies hard? There are two main reasons that your sugar cookies may come out hard: overworking the dough, or over baking. To avoid over-mixing, turn off your mixer as soon as the dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the wet ingredients. To avoid over-baking your sugar cookies, remove them from the oven as soon as they gain a slight pale yellow color, not the golden brown color that you look for in other cookie recipes.

Our recipe uses pre-made fondant bees as a cute decoration. If you’d prefer to make them yourself, check out this tutorial from Wilton.

More Fun Recipes for a Bee Themed Party

Beehive Sugar Cookie Ingredients

For the honey-vanilla cookies:

For the royal icing:

Tip: if you don’t want to deal with royal icing, you can top these cookies with yellow buttercream frosting and they will still be supercute!

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Electric mixer <– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Rolling pin
  • Beehive Cookie Cutter
  • Cookie trays
  • Two piping bags fitted with a number 2 tip <– a basic piping set will have all you need
  • 2 squeeze bottles, optional
  • Cooling racks <– I have and love these tiered cooling racks, they save so much counter space and are also oven-safe

How to Make Beehive Cookies

For the Honey-Vanilla Sugar Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, powdered icing sugar, vanilla, almond extract for 1 minute. Add the egg and continue mixing until combined.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. 

In two parts, in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Lightly flour a cutting board and fold out the cookie dough onto the board.

Knead the dough until smooth and then roll out to 1/4″ thickness.

Using the cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and place onto the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart

Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, until just lightly golden and small cracks start to form on the top of the cookies.

Pull out of the oven and cool completely before decorating.


For the icing decoration:

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the powdered icing sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract.

If the royal icing is still too runny, add in 1/2 cup of powdered icing sugar.

Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Scoop 1 cup of the frosting into a small bowl. Dye the main bowl of frosting with the golden yellow food dye, and then dye the 1 cup of removed frosting black.

Scoop the frosting into individual piping bags, reserving about 1/2 cup of each frosting.

Into the reserved frostings, mix in about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of water to make them thinner, and then pour into individual squeeze bottles.

Using the black piping bag, pipe the outline of the entrance to the beehive.

Fill in with the thinned black icing

Using the golden yellow piping bag, pipe the outlines of the beehive

Using the thinned golden yellow icing, fill in alternating sections of the beehive. Allow to dry for three hours before filling in the empty sections.

Allow the cookies to dry for 3 more hours before adding the icing bees.

Using the golden yellow piping bag, pipe a dollop of icing onto the bottom of the bee icing transfers and then place the bees onto the cookies.

Allow the cookies to dry for an hour before enjoying!

 

Pin this Bee Cookie Recipe for Your Bee-themed Party:

How to make Beehive Sugar Cookies, a tender and delicious Honey Vanilla Sugar Cookie recipe perfect for a Bee Themed Birthday Party or baby shower

Grab your free printable for our bee-themed sugar cookies:

Yield: 24 cookies

Beehive Honey Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Beehive Honey Vanilla Sugar Cookies

A fun bee-themed sugar cookie for a Bee Birthday Party. These tender sugar cookies have a delicious honey-vanilla flavor your guests will love.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

For the honey-vanilla cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 3 cups flour

For the royal icing:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon honey extract
  • Golden yellow and Black gel food coloring
  • Bee icing transfers

Instructions

For the Honey-Vanilla Sugar Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, powdered icing sugar, vanilla, almond extract for 1 minute. Add the egg and continue mixing until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. 
  5. In two parts, in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  6. Lightly flour a cutting board and fold out the cookie dough onto the board.
  7. Knead the dough until smooth and then roll out to 1/4" thickness.
  8. Using the cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and place onto the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart
  9. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, until just lightly golden and small cracks start to form on the top of the cookies.
  10. Pull out of the oven and cool completely before decorating.

For the icing decoration:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the powdered icing sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract.
  2. If the royal icing is still too runny, add in 1/2 cup of powdered icing sugar.
  3. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Scoop 1 cup of the frosting into a small bowl. Dye the main bowl of frosting with the golden yellow food dye, and then dye the 1 cup of removed frosting black.
  5. Scoop the frosting into individual piping bags, reserving about 1/2 cup of each frosting.
  6. Into the reserved frostings, mix in about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of water to make them thinner, and then pour into individual squeeze bottles.
  7. Using the black piping bag, pipe the outline of the entrance to the beehive.
  8. Fill in with the thinned black icing
  9. Using the golden yellow piping bag, pipe the outlines of the beehive
  10. Using the thinned golden yellow icing, fill in alternating sections of the beehive. Allow to dry for three hours before filling in the empty sections.
  11. Allow the cookies to dry for 3 more hours before adding the icing bees.
  12. Using the golden yellow piping bag, pipe a dollop of icing onto the bottom of the bee icing transfers and then place the bees onto the cookies.
  13. Allow the cookies to dry for an hour before enjoying!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

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I hope you love these simple sugar cookies as much as our party guests did! They are such a fun addition to a Bee Birthday Party or would be cute with a sweet note attached like, “You’re Bee-utiful” or “Thank You for Bee-ing a Friend.” (I could list so many bee puns right now, but I’m avoiding the temptation!)

Check out our other delicious Cookie Recipes:

Cookie Recipes

A fun bee-themed cookie recipe for a Bee Party! These tender sugar cookies have a light honey-vanilla flavor and are super simple to make. You can make the bee decorations from scratch or purchase them to make it even easier  How to make Beehive Sugar Cookies, a tender and delicious Honey Vanilla Sugar Cookie recipe perfect for a Bee Themed Birthday Party or baby shower

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