Make a batch of jelly bean sugar cookies for Easter dessert! There’s only 9 easy ingredients required for these soft drop sugar cookies. No rolling pin or cookie cutters required. Press a few jelly beans into the warm cookies for a festive treat!
As one of the first cookie recipes ever published on Sally’s Baking Addiction, these jelly bean sugar cookies craved a facelift. I revamped the recipe, updated the photos, and added plenty of helpful success tips. If you’re looking for quick and simple Easter dessert ideas this year, may your search end with these jelly bean sugar cookies. 🙂
Let’s Talk Easter!
What are your favorite Easter recipes? Mine include deviled eggs, glazed ham, green bean casserole, and carrot cake. I would LOVE to hear what you usually serve.
More Easter Recipes
I have plenty of Easter recipes, including Easter cookies, Easter cupcakes, and hot cross buns, plus roundups of my favorite Easter brunch recipes and Easter dessert recipes.
Jelly Bean Sugar Cookies
This is a very basic sugar cookie recipe requiring just 9 easy ingredients. I doubled the original recipe and slightly increased the cookie size. In terms of ingredients and preparation, the recipe is very similar to my drop sugar cookies. Today’s jelly bean sugar cookies are slightly smaller (1 Tbsp dough balls vs 2 Tbsp dough balls), so they’ll spread less. Since they’ll spread less, we can get away with a shorter chill time. Remember that cookie dough chilling is a key factor in how to prevent cookies from spreading.
These jelly bean sugar cookies are pretty buttery, so chilling the dough is important. You only need to chill the cookie dough for 1-2 hours. The cookie dough gets a little hard after 1-2 hours in the refrigerator, so I recommend rolling the dough into balls before chilling.
These easy sugar cookies get all of their flavor from butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Make sure you’re using room temperature butter.
How About Those Jelly Beans?
Add the jelly beans after the cookies bake. Give them a couple minutes to cool down, then press a couple jelly beans into the tops of the warm cookies. The cooler the cookies, the less likely the jelly beans will stick. Use any jelly beans your heart desires. I like the “Just Born” brand and fit 3 into each sugar cookie.
Drop Sugar Cookies
This is a drop sugar cookie recipe. Save the rolling pin, ditch the cookie cutters, and break out a cookie scoop! These soft sugar cookies are perfect if you want no fuss sugar cookies. If you’re looking for an Easter activity, I also have these decorated Easter Cookies.
Now, those recipes DO require a rolling pin and cookie cutters. They’re my basic sugar cookies in the shape of Easter eggs and bunnies. They’re actually really fun to decorate with royal icing or easy cookie icing!
If you’re looking for something quicker and equally as festive, stick with these jelly bean sugar cookies. Or want to try making your own Easter candy? Try my Easter Egg Buttercream Candies or Peanut Butter Easter Eggs. So fun!
More Easter Recipes
- Hummingbird Cake
- Easter Cake
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Hot Cross Buns
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Maple Pecan Sticky Buns
- Sour Cream Crumb Cake
- Easter Cupcakes
And don’t forget to share what you usually make on Easter Sunday!Print
Jelly Bean Sugar Cookies
- Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 11 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Yield: 30 cookies
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
There’s only 9 easy ingredients required for these soft drop sugar cookies. Chill the cookie dough for at least 1-2 hours before baking. Press a few jelly beans into the warm cookies for a festive treat!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 bag jelly beans
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 1 minute. Add the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be thick and a little sticky. Scoop dough (about 1 Tablespoon of dough each) and roll into balls. Place dough balls onto a large plate or lined baking sheet.
- Cover and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours and up to 4 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Arrange chilled cookie dough balls 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes. Press a couple jelly beans into the centers of the warm cookies. (Cooling for only 3 minutes is the magic number so the jelly beans stick!) Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough, roll into balls, and chill the dough balls in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. (See note about cookie dough chilling.) Cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Baking Sheet | Silicone Baking Mat or Parchment Paper | Cooling Rack
- Jelly Beans: Use your favorite variety or brand. I usually use Just Born brand, found in the seasonal section of most grocery stores. Purchase 1 standard bag. You’ll have leftovers.
- Dough Chilling: Chilling the cookie dough is imperative. These cookies are very buttery and the colder the cookie dough, the less your sugar cookies will over-spread. The cookie dough can get a little hard after 1 hour in the refrigerator, so I recommend rolling the dough into balls before chilling. Here are all of my tips on how to prevent cookies from spreading.
- Recipe originally published in 2012.
Keywords: jelly bean sugar cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
These came out perfect! They were so easy, look cute, and taste delicious too! The kids loved them!
Hi, my came out flat for some reason. The butter wasn’t too soft and I left the dough in the fridge over night
I make a lot of your recipes and love them all! Our 11 year old grandchild is a newly diagnosed insulin dependent diabetic and must have carb count on all recipes. Do you provide it with your recipes. I have been unable to locate it. Thank you for the help!
Hi Janet! We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076
Would it be possible to make a chocolate version of these? Maybe by swapping out a few tablespoons of the flour for cocoa powder?
Hi Christine! Sounds delicious. We would use our chocolate cookies recipe instead, following those cookie dough, chilling, and baking instructions. You can make them smaller (the bake time will be slightly shorter) and add jellybeans on top. Let us know if you give it a try!
Hi Sally! Love your recipes. I’m just wondering – do you think you could substitute mini eggs instead of jelly beans? Or would it be better to make your chocolate chip cookie recipe and put mini eggs into that?
Hi Sheryce, either option would be great! Let us know what you try.
I decided to go with the sugar cookies. I put the mini eggs on right after pulling the cookies from the oven and they kept their shape and stuck well. Delicious!
I want to make these for Easter, how far in advance can I make them? Would a week be ok?
Hi Andi, for best taste and texture, I recommend only a couple days in advance. Store covered at room temperature.
This is a great recipe. I made them for a kids’ club and they were thoroughly enjoyed. I found I needed to roll the balls a bit taller than they are wide to prevent too much spreading. I made a few without any jelly beans and this is simply a wonderful cookie even without the jelly beans!
Can I make this without almond extract for those with tree nut allergies?
Hi Becky, absolutely. You can simply omit the almond extract without any replacement.
Made these today wth Cadbury mini eggs instead of jelly beans and they are so cute and Yummy! Reminds me of a slice and bake cherry cookie recipe of yours I make often. I thought the mini eggs would fall off but after the cookies cooled they were stuck on pretty good. The first ones in the oven spread a bit too much, but subsequent ones were ok, so I would suggest longer than an hour chill time.
I made these for Easter dessert and they were a hit. Easy to make, easy to bake, and easy to eat!!
I sprinkled colored sugar (easter colors green, pink, lavender and yellow) over the cookies as soon as they came out of the oven and pressed in 3 jelly beans.
Its a very good sugar cookie all on its own. Thank you Sally for another hit!!
I made these today with my kids. They are so easy to make and they’re delicious and adorable! I made my cookies a little bit smaller, and I halved the jellybeans lengthwise so they would stick on better. They’re just perfect for Easter and I bet it’s a great cookie base for other toppings too.
Thank you, Sally!
If I leave the almond extract out, should I replace it with something else?
Hi Cindy, you can simply omit the almond extract without any replacement.
Just finished a batch of these for Easter Sunday! They are wonder.
great recipe! came out beautiful
These taste wonderful! I made them for my sons’ preschool classes and the kids all LOVED them. I appreciate that you didn’t write that the almond extract would be optional in this recipe like you usually do with sugar cookie recipes. The almond is a MUST and makes the flavor next level. Thank you for the simplest and cutest Easter treat for kids! I will be making these every year from now on.
This probably gets asked all the time, but do you suppose I could sub either white rice flour or almond flour (or a combination) to make them GF for my daughter? These look amazing and I am desperate to make them but would feel pretty guilty if she can’t have any!!
Hi Judy! We don’t recommend almond flour or white rice flour as they have very different properties than all purpose. We have not tested any gluten free flours but other readers have reported using a 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour in some recipes if that could be something you wish to try.
The verdict is in – 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour worked perfectly. My daughter also used dairy free butter to make them gluten free/dairy free. They were absolutely delicious.
These look great! I made your Christmas drop cookies and they were a hit! Can you roll these in the sugar sprinkles to cover them before baking and then adding the jelly beans or frozen chocolate eggs after?
Hi Jill, we can’t see why not. Sounds like a fun idea — let us know how it turns out for you!
These are fun for Easter time for the kids. I’m not sure how I feel about the taste of jelly beans on the cookies. However, they were all gone!
Absolutely delicious cookies!! Took off one star because the jelly beans fell off. Maybe a dab of white chocolate under each jelly bean would glue them on? I’ll try that next time. Loved the flavor of the jelly beans with the cookies! Thanks, Sally!
The taste of these are sensational! I made them already for Easter, not sure there will be any left since I can’t keep my hands off them.
Made these today with gummy bears instead of jelly beans for my kids. Came out perfectly and they tasted like a thumbprint cookie with jam center! Love your recipes.
I just baked these and they turned out perfectly! The sugar cookie is delicious and the addition of the jelly beans only makes them better!
Could you roll these in sweetened coconut for a grassy effect before baking?
Absolutely! That would be adorable.
These cookies are adorable! Perfect for kids!
Can the almond extract be left out of these cookies?
Hi Sally! I just wanted to thank you soooo much for this amazing recipe! I made the Jellybean cookies today and I was so happy that they turned out looking practically like yours 😀 I accedentally stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and I already printed probably a billion and one recipes I want to try haha. Happy Easter!!!
These are so cute!! Do u think those easter chocolate eggs would work? Not really a big fan of jelly beans.
Hey Natasha! Yes, they will work wonderfully. Be sure to freeze the chocolate easter eggs before hand so they don’t melt all over the warm cookies as you press them in.