Tie Dye Cookies are such a fun treat to make for any holiday, party, or occasion. These colorful butter cookies are really easy to make, and the kids will absolutely love them! Learn how to color cookie dough so you can make these tie dye swirl cookies any time.
These colorful cookies are so much fun! This is a simple butter cookie recipe, but we’re using food coloring to dye the dough, to turn them into tie-dye cookies!
The kids will love helping with these. Once the dough is prepared, they can roll each color together into one big ball, then help roll them in the sanding sugar. It’s a fun “craft” project and snack time all in one!
Why You’ll Love this Butter Cookie Recipe:
- FUN AND COLORFUL: These tie dye butter cookies are so much fun. Colorful cookies are just extra festive and exciting to eat!
- KID FRIENDLY: These cookies are definitely a favorite for kids. As if they need more motivation to eat sugar, they’ll really enjoy making and eating these along with you.
- SUPER EASY: Dying the dough is really easy, and so is the rest of the recipe! You can absolutely bake these any time you need a cookie, even if it’s just for a fun weekend activity.
Use any colors you want for these easy tie dye cookies! This is a great way to change them up for different holidays, parties, seasons, or occasions. Use green and red for Christmas cookies; pastel/spring colors for Easter cookies; or your kids’ favorite colors for birthday parties.
How to Make Tie-Dye Butter Cookies
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
- Start by combining ingredients in a stand mixer, then mix in the flour and salt, just until incorporated and dough forms.
- Divide the dough into separate bowls to dye (*see below for details).
- Cover each ball of dough with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven.
- Combine 1 teaspoon of each color dough together to form tie dye cookies, then roll in sanding sugar and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Then let them cool before serving.
How to Color Cookie Dough (for Tie Dye Cookies)
- Once the cookie dough is formed, separate it into 3 equal portions. Place them in separate mixing bowls.
- Add one or two drops of gel food coloring to a portion of dough, and gently mix/knead until all of the dough is colored.
- Repeat with a different color, on another portion of dough.
- If desired, you can dye all 3 portions, or leave one uncolored (like we did here).
- You could also create more portions, and add even more colors if you want!
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Be sure to use gel food coloring to dye cookie dough. Since liquid food coloring is water-based, it will change the consistency of the dough. So gel is best!
Chilling the cookie dough before baking helps to prevent them from spreading while in the oven. While you could skip it, it only takes about 30 minutes, so I highly recommend chilling.
These cookies will keep at room temperature up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
To freeze these cookies, first let them cool completely. Place them flat in freezer-safe bags or containers. If you are making a lot to freeze, stack them with layers of parchment paper in between.
Tie Dye Cookies are so cool and colorful. You’ll want to make these for every party and holiday, because they make everything feel more festive!
- Let butter warm to room temperature before using. I usually just let it sit out 30 minutes before I start baking.
- Don’t over mix the cookie dough. This will lead to tough, chewy, flat cookies.
- This is a kid-friendly cookie recipe! I recommend dying the dough yourself, but they can easily help form the final cookies.
- Use any color food dye you want for these cookies.
- If needed, you can make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until ready to bake.
Can I use any cookie dough for tie dye cookies?
I really love using this butter cookie recipe to make tie dye cookies, but you can use a different type of recipe if you prefer. You can easily dye sugar cookie dough too, but use any kind you like.
What other extract flavors can I use?
This recipe calls for vanilla and almond extract, which creates a simple flavor. But you could use any flavor extract you like for these butter cookies. Peppermint extract would be fun if you’re making these for the holidays. Or use lemon extract for a great Easter cookie!
Can I use colored sanding sugar?
Yes, you can use any color sanding sugar if you want these cookies to be even more bright and colorful!
More Kid-Friendly Recipes We Love
Turn your butter cookies into tie dye cookies for something extra fun and colorful! They’re really easy to make, really delicious, and they’ll look so cool on the dessert table.
More Easy Cookie Recipes to Try:
- Chocolate Butter Cookies
- Spritz Cookies
- Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms
- M&M Brownie Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies
If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!
Tie-Dye Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Food coloring
- Coarse sanding sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.1 cup unsalted butter, ⅔ cup granulated sugar
Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat at medium speed until well mixed.1 egg, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon almond extract
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and both salts.2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon table salt, ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed just until all flour has been incorporated. Do not over mix the cookie dough or the cookies will be tough.
- Scrape around the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all flour has been incorporated.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and place each portion into a small mixing bowl.
Color two portions of dough with food coloring and gently mix until the food coloring is incorporated.Food coloring
- Tightly cover each dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the dough chills, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Pour sanding sugar into a small bowl.Coarse sanding sugar
- Remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator.
- Begin forming cookies by scooping about 1 teaspoon of each of the three colors of dough per cookie. Roll the colored dough together to form a cookie dough ball. Roll the ball of tie dyed dough into the sanding sugar. Place onto prepared baking sheet and slightly press the dough down – just until the top is flattened a little. Repeat, placing cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet, until all dough is used.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just set.
- Let cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.