Holiday Orange Slice Sugar Cookies

Holiday Orange Slice Sugar Cookies

These Holiday Orange Slice Sugar Cookies are a sentimental recipe for me – inspired by the very most delicious Orange Slice Cake my mom used to make every Christmas when I was a little girl.

cookies on plate

These cookies aren’t just another pretty face

As beautiful as these cookies are, with

  • little gems of chewy orange slice candy and
  • chopped bits of pecans and
  • coconut flakes –
  • all enrobed in a sugary white glazed icing,

they are every bit as delicious. Really, it’s quite amazing just how delicious they truly are!

cooling cookies

These cookies are a memory with every bite – the exact flavors of mom’s Holiday Orange Slice Cake – just in a delicious, tender sugar cookie!

Emily, FFAY

3 tips for cookie success

Well, actually there are 4 tips to achieve recipe success and the first is

  • Don’t get overwhelmed with the list of ingredients and instructions. [They really are quite simple, so read the recipe through first, get your bearings and proceed with boldness – they are simple and they are worth it]

Yes – these really are a simple cookie to make (in spite of the list of ingredients and instructions), BUT there are three things you need to keep in mind when making Holiday Orange Slice Sugar Cookies.

  • Clean your knife frequently when chopping the orange slices candy. [when chopped, orange slices will get very sticky and getting bite-sized bits can quickly become difficult and messy – cleaning your knife with cold water makes this process so much more manageable]
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before dipping them in the sugar glaze coating. [warm cookies will fall apart in the glaze]
  • Bake the cookies to ‘a little more done‘. [If you’re like me, I always bake my cookies 1 minute less than recommended. But for this recipe, cookies need to be completely baked through in order to maintain their structure while being dipped in the glaze]
dipped cooled cookies

People often ask me “why Food for a Year?” And this recipe encapsulates the heart behind the name of my blog and now company. These cookies are a memory with every bite – the exact flavors of mom’s Holiday Orange Slice Cake – all wrapped up into a glazed delicious, tender sugar cookie! Every time I taste this flavor combination, I hear John Denver and the Muppets Christmas album ringing in my mind’s ear.

I’m sitting in my childhood living room by the light of many Christmas decorations and a loaded Christmas tree. Snow is falling outside, beef stew is on the stove and the inspiration behind these cookies is baking away in mom’s oven. This @food_for_a_year recipe is “Food for 1984” and my little ten year old self. I hope you enjoy meeting a little piece of her through this recipe! Oh – and if you’ve wondered about my mom’s cake – I wrote the recipe for it HERE.

broken cookies

Holiday Orange Slice Sugar Cookies

Wet Ingredients
  • 1 c butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 2 T water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ t almond extract
  • 8 oz orange slices candy, chopped into blueberry-sized pieces
  • 1 c toasted sweetened coconut
  • 1 c toasted pecans, chopped
Dry Ingredients
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t cream of tartar
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 5 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar for pressing cookies
  • 4 c sifted powdered sugar
  • 3-4 T corn syrup
  • 1 t vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 T water, more or less to desired consistency


  • Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a mixer, cream together sugars, oils, water, eggs and extracts.
  • Fold in pecans and coconut.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients & gently mix. Add flour in thirds to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Add chopped orange slices to remaining third of flour,  coating the pieces so that they don’t clump.
  • Pour flour and coated orange slices into the cookie batter and mix to incorporate.
  • Form ¼ cup-sized dough balls. place dough on lined baking sheets, approximately 2″ apart. Lightly hand roll each cookie dough ball. 
  • Place the remaining 1/2 c granulated sugar in a small dish and dip the base of a small glass into the sugar and then press into each cookie.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookie edges are lightly golden in color. 
  • While cookies are baking, prepare glaze by mixing “glaze ingredients” in a medium mixing bowl
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray for 1-2 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
  • Once cookies are cool, dip in prepared glaze. Tap off extra glaze to leave a thin layer. [Dip tops and bottoms]. 
  • Place on a wire rack to let glaze drip off and harden.
  • Allow glaze to set before serving.

Makes approximately 36 cookies.

sugar cookie pin