Kirbie's Cravings

Turtle Sugar Cookies

photo of three Turtle Sugar Cookies

I’m a little obsessed with turtles. When I was little my parents wouldn’t let me have a pet. My best friend had rabbits and cats and I was pretty upset that I wasn’t allowed to have a pet. One afternoon, after fighting with my parents over it, my dad went out to mow the lawn. A few minutes later, he came back and showed me a box turtle he had found in our yard. The box turtle ended up being my first pet.
photo of one Turtle Sugar Cookie
I didn’t know much about turtles but being the responsible pet owner, I did my research. I was so pleased to learn that turtles require little maintenance and live for a long time. After that, I became pretty obsessed with turtles. I have a lot of turtle figurines, stuffed animals, etc. I recently saw the cutest turtle cookies on Diamonds For Dessert.
photo of Turtle Sugar Cookies on a baking rack
It then occurred to me that I had never tried to make turtle cookies before, even though I’ve made many other turtle shaped foods (such as the turtle soft pretzels and turtle steamed buns). After seeing the cute turtle cookies, I really wanted to make some.

overhead photo of turtle sugar cookies

Mine don’t look as cute as the ones on Diamonds for Dessert. I ended up not doing the pattern on the shell and I think maybe it made a difference. Also, I didn’t use the same recipe. Instead of icebox cookies, I made sugar cookies. The sugar cookie dough I used didn’t need to be refrigerated, but it also meant that my dough wasn’t as firm so it wasn’t as easy to shape.
photo of turtle sugar cookies in a tin
When I was photoing the cookies, I realized that at certain angles, a few of them look like the mushroom characters from Super Mario Brothers. After that, that’s all I could see. I’m going to play around with the design to make these as cute as possible.

Turtle Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Sugar cookies shaped into adorable turtles. Their shells are made with Matcha giving them a pretty green color.


  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp matcha green tea powder


  • In a medium bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Sift the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until dough comes together.
  • Remove 2/3 of the dough. With the remaining 1/3 dough in the bowl, add in the 2 tsp of matcha powder and mix until combined.
  • Take the plain sugar cookie dough and split it into half. Take one half of the dough and roll into a cylinder about 1 inch thick in diameter. Then take the matcha dough and roll out to a thin sheet, the same width as the cylinder. Then wrap the matcha dough over the plain cylinder.
  • Slice the cylindrical dough to form the bodies. I sliced mine about 1/4 inch thick. As you slice, the dough may flatten at the bottom. Try to shape the bottom so that they end up being round circles again.
  • Using the remaining plain dough to form the head, hands and feet. Place the turtles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mats, about 1/2 inch apart.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges turn a golden brown.
  • After turtles have cooled, decorate the turtles with eyes. You can add sprinkles, pipe melted chocolate, etc.


Recipe inspired by Diamonds for Dessert 

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

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Recipe Rating

24 comments on “Turtle Sugar Cookies”

  1. Hi. I love these cookies. They’re adorable.

    But I also realized in Step one you are supposed to add salt to the dry ingredients, but amount of salt is not in the ingredients list.

    How much salt does this recipe call for?

  2. So. Fricken. Adorable.

  3. those are cute! I just tried making them a few days ago and failed =( I’ll try again another time

  4. So cute!! I actually think I like the simplicity of not having the lines. They came out great! And I love that you used matcha powder – sounds super tasty!

    • Thanks! I wanted to do them without the lines, but I don’t know why so many of them ended up looking like the 1-up mushrooms from Super Mario Brothers. hehe

  5. These are super adorable! I just went through your blog and I love it! Wish I had found you when I was in SD- it’s great seeing all your posts about restaurants that I recognize 🙂

  6. omg, slides? that’s kind of hilarious picturing it but i’m sure the turtle didn’t feel the same way! haha. seems like a maintanance free pet!

    • Haha. Yeah we had this little swing set in the background with some swings, and a slide. When I was young, I thought the turtle would love sliding down the slide. Now looking back I feel so bad for that turtle, but he tolerated my crazy notions. He wasn’t really much of a pet. More like a turtle that was living in our background that we played with, so it made a very low maintenance pet.

  7. So cute!!!! Hope you don’t mind me asking, but where did you live when you got the turtle? A turtle in someone’s back yard isn’t that common here in SD>

    • Haha, I don’t think I’ve seen any turtles in yards in SD. Or in California. It was back when I was living in Long Island, New York. Box turtles are able to seal themselves really tight into their shell so my dad thought it was a rock at first and was about to toss it. It ended up being a pet my parents could deal with because he just lived in our yard, ate some vegetables and crickets, and didn’t need much maintenance. The turtle was pretty tolerant with me and my siblings. We used to put him on slides and stuff. haha. I feel bad thinking back on it.

  8. Husband used to have a tortoise. I think he would prefer one of those over a turtle. We used to have fish and cleaning the tank was always a pain…. Plus, the tortoise could maintain our lawn! 😉

    • Lol, that is true! I was thinking of that actually- that when I get a house with a yard I should just get a tortoise to go graze in it. Yeah cleaning is a pain and the water turtles arent much fun. They don’t even like you to hold them or anything. When I have a yard again I definitely want to get a tortoise.

  9. I guess depending on the angle, they could be 1-up Mushrooms or turtles. Either way they are cute!!

    Husband has been wanting to get a pet turtle. I tell him he can have one when I can get my toucanette. He doesn’t care for birds so I guess that’s a never for both of us. 🙁

    • Aw. A toucanette sounds so cute! Turtles are so easy going. They live a long time, don’t require much food or attention. If you guys end up getting one you might want to look into getting a tortoise rather than a water turtle. I’ve had both. Water turtles are fun to look at but they get the water dirty very easily and so you often have to clean it. And they really never care much for you. Tortoises are a lot smarter and more of a responsive pet. You can feed them with your hand and they will let you hold them, feed them, play with them. They also live longer. And they aren’t nearly as messy. One of these days I’m going to post some of my turtle pics up.

  10. These are SO Cute! You know, you could also take the arms and legs off of the turtle bodies and make super mario 1-up mushroom sugar cookies! 🙂

    • Yeah, after I realized they look like the mushrooms I was thinking next time I’ll just make the mushroom characters!