• Good news, you don't have to give up all your favourite sweets. (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

These cookies are for those in the "I can't bake, but want to" camp. The cookie batter is a straightforward one bowl, beat-with-a-wooden-spoon mixture (no beaters!). And you don't need a cookie cutter (they're piped into O-shapes). And the best part: the messier you are, the cuter these cookies look. These biscuits are best eaten within 1-2 days (as if they'd last that long?).






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (123 votes)


  • 50 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 150 g (¾ cup) plain flour



  • 80 g (½ cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp (about) water or strained lemon juice
  • red food colouring
  • 1 tbsp coloured sprinkles

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Place sugar into a medium mixing bowl, add egg and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in vanilla and melted butter. Add sifted flour and baking powder. Mix with a wooden spoon until thick and smooth.

Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm plain piping nozzle (see Baker's tips). Pipe 5 cm-diameter doughnut shapes onto lined trays, allowing room for spreading.

Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden on edges. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on trays.

Spread cookies with icing (see below) and scatter over sprinkles while icing is still wet. Allow icing to set on cookies, about 10 minutes.

To make icing, sift icing sugar into a small mixing bowl. Gradually stir in enough water or lemon juice, adding a few drops at a time, until mixture is the consistency of thick cream (see Baker's tips). Use a wooden spoon to beat until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer half of icing into a separate bowl. Add a tiny drop of red colouring to one bowl of icing and mix until an even pale pink colour.


Baker's tips

• If you don't have a piping bag, you can use a large ziplock bag. Only fill the bag two-thirds full of cookie batter (it will be easier to handle), twist the end so the batter is pushed to one corner, then snip off the corner to make a 1.5 cm-diameter hole. Hold the bag so it is perpendicular to the baking tray (not on an angle) to pipe the "doughnuts".

• If the icing is too runny, simply stir in some more icing sugar sugar, 1 tsp at a time, until the correct consistency.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.


This recipe is from Cookie Scout, our weekend cookie project. Bake with us.