A fun and easy to make an Easter treat, these bunny cookies are soft and chewy sugar cookies made with only 8 ingredients and a cream cheese frosting. They will be a hit tucked into Easter baskets or served at a spring brunch.
While I love simple Italian Easter cookies and traditional Italian Easter cookies, these easy bunny cookies are so cute and delicious they may just hop right off the plate into your mouth!
The sugar cookie dough is not too sweet and has a light lemon taste. They are soft and chewy and simply decorated with a dollop of frosting and coconut for the tail. And did I mention how adorable they turn out? So cute!
Why You’ll Love These Bunny Cookies
- Fun to make: Make this cute sugar cookie recipe with your kids or grandkids. They will love to help shape the bunnies and make the tails.
- Simple ingredients: A simple sugar cookie dough is all you need to make these for Easter.
- Perfect for spring: Easter bunny sugar twist cookies are so adorable and perfect for an Easter brunch or any spring party.
Easter Bunny Cookie Ingredients
- Flour: All purpose flour is best, check that it has at least 11% protein to provide strength and cohesive structure to the cookie.
- Baking powder: A leavening agent that provides rise to these easy bunny cookies.
- Salt: Use only a pinch if using salted butter, if using unsalted butter add ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Lemon zest: One medium lemon zest or equivalent to 1 tablespoon.
- Granulated sugar: Gives these bunny sugar cookies their sweet taste.
- Butter: Your butter will need to be softened to room temperature.
- Eggs: You will need two large eggs at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract adds flavor to these cookies.
- Cream cheese frosting: Butter, cream cheese, cream and powdered sugar.
- Grated coconut: Unsweetened shredded coconut for the bunny tails.
How to Make Easy Bunny Cookies
First, whisk together your dry ingredients plus lemon zest in a large bowl to remove any lumps then set aside.
Cream together your sugar or butter for 2-3 minutes using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Alternately use a hand mixer.
Add eggs and vanilla then combine. Add dry ingredients and combine on low speed only until a dough starts to form.
Move the dough to lightly floured surface and gently knead to form a compact dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for one hour or longer.
Once dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge and place on a floured surface. Form ropes with the dough pieces. Make a double twist to free-form a bunny shape. Place on a prepared parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate.
Bake your easy bunny cookies at 350F degrees approximately 10-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
Combine cream cheese frosting ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy then fill a piping bag using a small hole tip and make a small dollop of frosting on each bunny cookie for the tail and sprinkle with coconut.
- Food coloring: Tint your dough with spring colors, light blue, pink, purple or green would be perfect.
- Tail: Add a jelly bean or a candy coated chocolate for the tail instead of coconut flakes.
- Frosting: Instead of cream cheese frosting use your favorite buttercream icing or even a store bought frosting in a pinch.
- Sprinkles: Add some multi-colored jimmies to the cookie dough.
- Zest: Add orange zest instead of lemon zest.
- Glaze: You could make a thick white chocolate glaze
- Room temperature ingredients: Room temperature ingredients will combine together better for best cookie results.
- Measure ingredients accurately: A kitchen scale will provide the best accuracy when measuring ingredients. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, scooping your flour into the measuring cup and then levelling it is best.
- Do not over knead dough: It will cause additional gluten to develop and your cookies may turn out dense.
- Chill the dough: Making your easy bunny cookies in stages not only makes life easier but leads to the best sugar cookies. Chill your dough at least an hour or overnight.
Sure! If you have a bunny cookie cutter feel free to roll out the dough and cut it into shapes instead of making the free-form bunny shapes. You may also like these easy cut out sugar cookies or cut out carrot cookies.
No, unfortunately not. You need to either use a stand mixer or a hand held mixer as that is the best way to get the correct sugar cookie dough consistency when creaming your butter and sugar.
You could add up to a ½ teaspoon of almond extract if you would like to flavor the dough although I think with the lemon zest and vanilla extract it has plenty of taste.
While this is one way to decorate Easter cookies with a cute bunny tail you could also frost your easy bunny cookies and then add sprinkles or even just add a simple glaze.
How to Store the Bunny Cookies
If you have made your bunny tails with the cream cheese frosting, these should only sit out at room temperature safely for 6-8 hours. After that store in an airtight container in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
Freeze unfrosted cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw, frost the bunny tail and enjoy before serving.
You will love making these Italian Easter Easy Bunny Cookies that are creatively shaped into a free-form bunny shape! Whether you place them in Easter baskets or serve them at a spring party both kids and adults will love these cookies. Enjoy!
More Spring Dessert Recipes
- Pineapple Coconut Squares
- Homemade Angel Food Cake
- No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
- Homemade Coconut Cake
- Homemade Carrot Cake
Easy Bunny Cookies
- 1-2 baking sheets
- 2¾ cups all purpose flour (at least 11% protein)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt*
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup +1½ tablespoons butter (softened) good quality (170 grams total)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
*If you use unsalted butter then add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (this is enough to make the bunny tails)
- 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
- 1¼ tablespoons cream cheese (whole room temperature)
- ½ tablespoon cream
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons grated coconut (unsweetened)
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and zest. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer (with the flat beaters) beat on medium speed the sugar and butter until creamy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed until a dough start to form.
- Move to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead to form a compact dough. Do not over knead. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured flat surface. Remove pieces of the dough and form ropes approximately 8 inches (20cm) long and a little more than ¼ inch (1 cm) wide. Make a double twist to form a bunny. Place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate while the oven is pre-heating.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
- Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Make a small dollop of frosting on each bunny cookie for the tail and sprinkle with coconut. Press down lightly to get the coconut to stick. Enjoy!
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a small bowl beat together all the ingredients until creamy. Fill a pastry bag using a small hole tip.
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