Bite into summer with our beach cookies, boasting a sweet, sugary base and a playful mix of toppings that’ll take you straight to the seashore. Kids will have the best time making these adorable cookies, and it’s a perfect rainy day summer activity!

a beach cookie with an umbrella and chocolate teddy graham.

There’s nothing quite like the joy of a sunny day spent at the beach or an afternoon pool party. Our beach cookies capture that same fun spirit, turning it into a sweet treat that’s as delightful to look at as it is to eat.

The soft, sugary base is the perfect canvas for a fun assortment of beach-themed toppings. And the taste? Just like those beloved frosted sugar cookies you find at your local bakery.

Summer birthday parties or special occasions call for fun desserts, and we’ve got you covered, not just with these adorable beach cookies but lots of other fun favorites too! You can’t go wrong with Southern Banana Pudding, Lemon Icebox Pie, Strawberry Bars, or the best Lemon Bars!

a plate of beach-themed cookies.


See the recipe card below for full ingredients and recipe instructions.

Ingredients to make summer cookies.
  • Unsalted butter – y’all know I’m partial to Land O’Lakes
  • Granulated sugar – I always use Dominos
  • Vanilla extract – go for the good stuff
  • All-purpose flour
  • Egg
  • Baking powder – make sure it’s not expired!
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Blue food dye – we like the gel
  • Toppings: Teddy Grahams, Goldfish, Turtle Cheese Crackers, Gummy Lifesavers, Toothpick Umbrellas, sour candy, beach balls, and other Beach-Themed Crackers or Candies.

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Feel free to make these cookies your own with some of these ideas:

  • Swap the toppings: Switch out the Teddy Grahams or Goldfish for other beach or sea creature-themed candies like Swedish Fish or toy flip flops.
  • Cookie base: This cookie base is a simple sugar cookie shortbread-type dough. If you prefer, you could use a Snickerdoodle or chocolate cookie base for a different flavor profile.
  • Frosting: We used regular vanilla buttercream frosting dyed blue, but you could use cream cheese frosting if you prefer. Just add the blue dye for that beachy feel. You can also use Royal Icing for a more professionally decorated look.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free flour.
  • Vegetarian or vegan: Most gummies (including Life Savers® brand) have gelatin in them and gelatin is not vegetarian. However, the cookie recipe itself, without the toppings, is vegetarian, and can even be vegan if plant-based butter is used.

How to make beach cookies

  1. Preparation: Preheat the oven and prepare your cookie sheet.
  2. Mix ingredients: Mix together the sugar and butter, then add egg and vanilla.
  3. Dry ingredients: Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Bake: Bake until they’re just right – soft with a slight golden bottom.
  5. Cool and decorate: Allow the beach cookies to cool, then frost them and add the toppings.

Voila! Your summer cookies are ready.


Remember to let your cookies cool completely before you frost them for the best results. 

The Turtle cheese crackers in the pictures were from ALDI and are called Turtles Baked Cheddar Snack Crackers.


How do I store these cookies?

Keep them at room temperature in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh for 3-5 days.

Can I use store-bought frosted sugar cookies for this recipe?

Absolutely! Just follow the decorating steps using your store-bought cookies.

How do I frost these cookies?

Frosting these cookies is easy! All you need is a knife (or even the back of a spoon). Add some frosting to the cookie and spread it around. Don’t be worried about the rough edges the knife might make; those are just the waves in the water.

Do I need all of the toppings?

Not at all. Feel free to use what you have on hand or can find at the store. The more creative, the better!

blue frosted beach cookies with fish toppings.

These beach cookies are a fun and adorable blend of taste and creativity. Whether you’re planning a summer bash or want to bring beach vibes home, these cookies are the perfect choice. Enjoy the process, get creative, and make summer even sweeter!

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5 from 1 vote

Beach Cookies

Bite into summer with our beach cookies, boasting a sweet, sugary base and a playful mix of toppings that’ll transport you straight to the seashore.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 32 minutes
Servings: 14 cookies
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  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 2 cups buttercream frosting
  • 3-5 drops blue food dye
  • graham crackers
  • goldfish
  • turtle cheese crackers
  • Gummy Life Savers®
  • Toothpick umbrellas
  • Other beach-themed crackers or candies


  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Mix together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then add the egg and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, corn starch, and salt and stir until well mixed.
  • Using your cookie scoop, place about 6 scoops onto your parchment lined cookie sheet, evenly spread out, and bake for about 12 minutes. They will still be soft but slightly golden on the bottom
  • Repeat until the dough is gone.
  • While the cookies are baking, mix the food dye into the frosting and gather all of your toppings.
  • Allow the cookies to cool, frost them, and add your toppings before enjoying!


Be sure to allow the cookies to cool before frosting them.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days.


Calories: 285kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 200mg, Potassium: 59mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 220IU, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Calories: 285
Keyword: beach cookie recipe, beach cookies, summer cookie recipe, summer cookies
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Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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5 from 1 vote

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    My kids and I made these this summer (a few times!) and my kids and I absolutely loved them! I probably ate a few too many, but they were sooo good! My kids had so much fun making these!!