3 Ingredient Sugar Cookie Recipe for Mother’s Day

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Celebrating Mother’s Day can be as simple and sweet as baking up this 3 ingredient sugar cookie recipe. Read on for the details.

A plate of decorated  3 ingredient sugar cookies shaped like mittens and sweaters in pink and blue, with icing details.
Photo credit: Thrive at Home.

Are you looking for easy ways to involve your kids in cooking and baking?

If so, you’ll love our easy sugar cookie ideas. 

This straightforward recipe for easy Mother’s Day cookies is perfect for busy homeschooling moms like you and me. When my children were younger, I wanted them to enjoy a fun baking activity without spending hours in the kitchen. 

The children loved baking these cookies and decorating them on their own. They then worked on individual Mother’s Day Cards for Kids and were thrilled to present me with both.

Secret Ingredient and Sugar Cookie Hack

3 ingredient sugar Cookies with polka dot icing.
Photo credit: Thrive at Home.

I found I could save some time on this 3 ingredient sugar cookie recipe by starting with a basic readymade Pillsbury sugar cookie dough mix. This cuts down on prep time. 

We can make the cookies “our own” with a couple of secret ingredients, various cookie cutters and fun icing designs. By the way, be sure to check out my Easter Sugar Cookies, too. 

These three ingredient sugar cookies are fast, fun, and easy to bake. This is a wonderful way to create lasting memories with all of my children.

Ingredients for 3 Ingredient Sugar Cookie Recipe

A group of sugar cookies on a white surface.
Photo credit: Thrive at Home.

The simplicity of this recipe makes it ideal for a quick baking session with kids:

  • 1 package of Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (the secret ingredient that gives these cookies a unique flavor)


Creating these delightful sugar cookies is as easy as 1-2-3.

Prep Your Dough: Combine the cookie dough with the all-purpose flour and almond extract in a large bowl. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated.

Roll and Cut: Roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes.

Bake: Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 8 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Let them cool before decorating.

Ingredients for Royal Icing

A couple of bottles of gel icing next to a cookie.
Photo credit: Thrive at Home.

Cooking and baking are important life skills to teach our kids. However, I know that kids also want to have fun in the kitchen. Adding a splash of color and creativity to these Mother’s Day mug cookies with an easy Royal Icing recipe is easy.

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 8-12 tablespoons room temperature water
  • Gel food coloring (optional)

How to Make Royal Icing

A package of icing light and a bottle of icing sugar.
Photo credit: Thrive at Home.

This icing is perfect for decorating your Mother’s Day cookies. While you’re at it, consider the colors and cookie cutters to use for Father’s Day, The 4th of July, or Canada Day, too. We love light sugar cookies in the summer!

Mix: Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder in a stand mixer.

Add water: Begin with eight tablespoons of water, mixing on low. Gradually add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until the icing reaches a consistency that drizzles slowly from the whisk when lifted.

Color: Divide the icing into separate bowls and stir in gel food coloring if desired.

Decorate: Transfer the icing to piping bags and decorate your cooled cookies.

Sugar Cookie Decorating Tips

A group of sugar cookies decorated with coffee mugs and polka dots.
Photo credit: Thrive at Home.

So I could be more artistic. However, several of my children are very creative. They love decorating these cookies. 

One of my daughters says to outline your cookie shapes with icing first, then fill in the centers. Smooth any bubbles or gaps with a toothpick.

Let the icing dry completely, ideally for four hours. Next, add detailed decorations like polka dots or hearts.

3 Ingredient Sugar Cookie Recipe FAQs

A group of cookies with icing and a bottle of milk.
Photo credit: Thrive at Home.

Do you have questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

How long do these sugar cookies last?

Stored in an airtight container, these three-ingredient sugar cookies can last up to a week, making them a great make-ahead option for Mother’s Day. To keep things simple, serve them after an easy Air Fryer Cheeseburger dinner.

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dough in advance and refrigerate it overnight. Just let it come to room temperature before rolling and cutting.

What are some simple cookie decorating ideas for kids?

Kids can enjoy decorating these cookies with various icing colors, sprinkles, and even edible markers for drawing. It’s a fun and creative way to spend time together.

Bake Cookies and Make Memories

This three-ingredient sugar cookie recipe offers a quick, easy, and enjoyable way for busy working mothers and children to bond over baking. With the added touch of almond extract and the simplicity of a baking mix, you can focus more on the fun and less on the fuss. Celebrate this Mother’s Day by making delicious memories that are as sweet as they are simple.

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Recipe poster for mother’s day featuring decorated sugar cookies shaped like mugs and hearts, with pink and blue icing.
Promotional image for easy 3-ingredient sugar cookies for mother's day, showing decorated heart-shaped cookies on a plate.
A plate of cookies decorated with pink and blue polka dots.

3 Ingredient Sugar Cookie Recipe with Secret Ingredient

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Need a last-minute Mother's Day idea? Try our fast and foolproof 3 ingredient sugar cookies! Perfect for a fun family activity.


  • 1 package Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Royal Icing Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue pwder
  • 8 to 12 tablespoons of water
  • gel food coloring


  1. Combine dough, flour and almond extract in a large bowl. 
  2. Roll to ¼” thickness.
  3. Cut out ½” x 3” rectangles OR use cookie cutters in your favorite shape, (I like mugs, but butterflies are also fun for Mother's Day. 
  4. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

Instructions for Royal Icing

In a stand mixer combine sugar and meringue powder.

Add 8 tablespoons of water, using the whisk attachment, and beat for 1 minute on low.

Continue to add water one tablespoon at a time until the icing slowly drizzles from the whisk when lifted.

Once prepared, if the icing is too hard, add more water. If it is too runny, add more icing sugar.

Separate the icing into small mixing bowls and add desired food coloring. Mix well. Scoop the icing into piping bags or icing bottles.


Decorating instructions:

Line around the edge of the design with icing and fill the middle. 

Use a toothpick to poke bubbles or direct icing into holes. Allow each design area to dry before moving on.

The icing should completely dry, at room temperature for at least four hours, before adding piping details to the top.

Polka Dots: before the flooded area dries, add dots of different colored icing.

Hearts: before the flooded area dries, add dots of different colored icing, drag a toothpick through each dot, creating a heart.

Zig zag design: before the flooded area dries, add stripes of different colored icing and then drag a toothpick through the stripes.

Sprinkles: before the flooded area dries, add sprinkles.

Candy: glue to the cookie with a drop of icing.

Edible marker: Before using it on the icing, allow the icing to harden completely for at least four hours.

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