Sugee Cookies – Makes Melt-in-Your-Mouth Magic!

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Sugee cookies are very light, crumbly, oh-so-very-buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. These are festive favourites, but perfect treats for everyday tea.

I can’t possibly start my Lunar New Year without sugee cookies!

My festive baking this year has seen better progress than most, with lapis cakes and pineapple tarts all done, and now, with just three more days to the start of the New Year, I quickly get to baking these light, crumbly, and oh-so-very-buttery ghee cookies.

Sugee cookies are like a very lightweight version of shortbread cookies.

Biting into a sugee cookie, you first feel a crisp crunch, and the cookie quickly breaks into crumbly morsels, releasing an intense buttery flavour (as ghee is used instead of butter), and it all literally melts in your mouth.

It’s a sublime way to enjoy a cookie, don’t you agree?


Sugee cookies are very easy to bake (yes, believe me – finally, here’s a Chinese New Year goodie that doesn’t have to test our baking skills to the hilt!).

These cookies tend to have characteristic cracks in their appearance, and that’s due to the action of baking soda when mixed into the cookie dough.

I tend to defer to traditional Nonya recipes like this one by the late Mrs Leong Yee Soo, which uses the simplest of ingredients, and omits the use of baking soda.

But if you just love those surface cracks in your sugee cookies, mix in 2 to 2 1/2 tsp of baking soda with the flour, before adding to the ghee mixture. Then proceed as per the recipe instructions, and shape into rounds without making impressions.


DID YOU KNOW? Ghee is clarified butter — the butter oil, without the lactose and other milk solids. It is traditionally prepared by gently heating butter until it becomes a clear golden liquid.

The lactose and other milk solids coagulate and are meticulously removed. This process also evaporates most of the natural water content, making ghee light, pure and resistant to spoilage (source:

Perhaps, the only challenge you’re likely to face is the temptation to over-bake these cookies, and trust me, it’s easy to over-bake these.

You’ll tend to want to see the cookies brown a little, as most cookies and biscuits do, but these cookies should turn lighter, to a pale cream colour when baked (and I know that this might go against every impulse or instinct you have as a baker).

If they are over-baked, these cookies become hard, crispy and crunchy, though still delicious, and are perfectly edible.

If baked to a pale cream, these cookies will give you that full buttery taste of ghee, and that much sought after, characteristic, melt-in-your mouth texture.


4.49 from 25 votes
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Sugee Cookies

This recipe makes very light, crumbly, oh-so-very-buttery, melt-in-your-mouth sugee cookies. Makes approximately 200 cookies. (Adapted from 'The Best of Singapore Cooking' by Mrs Leong Yee Soo)
Celia Lim
Course: Cookies, Snack, Snacks and Treats, Tea
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Chinese New Year, Festive
Servings :200 cookies
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 19 mins


  • 400 g ghee
  • 300 g confectioner's (icing) sugar
  • 700 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  • In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream ghee confectioner's (icing) sugar, essence, and salt on medium speed for 5 minutes. Change to a dough hook attachment, add the flour, and knead into a soft dough. Leave covered for 4 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven to 120 deg C (250 deg F). Line baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  • Using a teaspoon, scoop a heaped teaspoon portion of dough and roll between your palms into a ball, each the size of a marble. Place on the baking tray, spaced well apart. Using a small fork, make impressions by pressing lightly on the centre of each ball, and sliding the fork away from the centre to prevent sticking. (For round-shaped cookies, roll into balls, and press lightly in the centre with your finger).
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until cookies turn lighter in colour. Transfer to a cooling rack. When completely cooled, store in airtight containers.
Did you make this? Share it on Instagram!I'd love to see! Don't forget to mention @foodelicacy or tag #foodelicacy so we can drool with you!


  1. Hi Adeeba, I usually do out of habit but you don’t need to for cookies. For cakes, it’s more important.?

  2. Sorry for too many questions,did you sift the flour and icing sugar?

  3. That’s so nice to hear!? Thank you so much for trying this recipe! Enjoy!?

  4. thank you for the recipe , my mom love it so much .

  5. Hi Adeeba, I left the dough out at room temperature.☺

  6. Did you leave the dough in fridge ?

  7. As per the instruction, pre-heat oven to 120 deg C (moderately hot) and bake at this temperature. Sorry for the confusion!? I’ll clear that up in the recipe. Thanks, Adeeba!

  8. Hi Adeeba, you only need to knead long enough to incorporate the flour, which shouldn’t take very long if I remember correctly.

  9. What do you mean by using a moderate oven ?

  10. Is there any possibility to over knead the dough after you add the flour ?

  11. Hi Adeeba, sure you can! This recipe is easily halved. Hope you like it!

  12. Can I divide this recipe by 2 ?

  13. Hi Yasin, yes, you can, you’ll get a little exercise doing it by hand?! It would be a lot easier if you could use a spoon/scoop/spatula with a long handle to beat the ghee and icing sugar mixture till it’s light and fluffy, then use your hands to knead in the flour.

  14. Can i use normal spoon to mix instead of electric mixer??

  15. Thank you, Mallika!?

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