Nutmeg logs are an easy cookie that comes together quickly and doesn’t need to chill before baking. They’re flavored with ground nutmeg and rum extract so they taste just like the holidays!
I’m so excited to share this taste of Christmas past with you today. These nutmeg logs are a huge part of my childhood holiday memories.
They were my mom’s go-to every year for the neighborhood cookie exchange—baking isn’t her favorite pastime so you know these cookies are easy to make.
And not only are they super simple, but the combination of rum extract and nutmeg just tastes like the holidays.
They’re not-too-sweet, a little spicy, and so perfect to pair with a cup of coffee or spiced cider while you’re decorating the Christmas tree. (Or while you’re typing up a blog post. Just watch out for crumbs falling onto your keyboard. . .fair warning!)
Why you’ll love these nutmeg logs:
- As I said above, they’re really easy to make. You don’t need a stand mixer, just an electric mixer and a mixing bowl
- You can top your cookies with sprinkles, cinnamon, nutmeg, or chopped nuts; they’re really versatile and you can easily customize them to suit your personal tastes
- Both the dough and the finished cookies freeze really well!
How to make your cookies
- Cream together butter and sugar
- Mix in vanilla extract, rum extract, and an egg
- Gradually beat in the dry ingredients
- Shape into 2-inch logs
Then you’ll bake your cookies for about 15 minutes. Cool them completely, then work on the frosting.
- Beat butter, milk, rum extract, and salt together (they won’t really combine—that’s fine)
- Gradually beat in powdered sugar
- Spread a small amount of frosting onto each cooled nutmeg log and top with cinnamon or sprinkles
Recipe notes and tips
- Note that the cookies don’t really brown on top—that’s fine, they’re not supposed to! The bottoms will get a little brown and that’s how to tell that they’re done. See the pic above for reference; the two logs in the center of the pic are flipped over to show the bottom.
- My mom always topped her frosted nutmeg logs with a sprinkle of finely chopped walnuts but I like the way a sprinkle of cinnamon looks.
- Be sure to cool your cookies completely before you frost them or the frosting will melt.
- Red and green (or any color) of sprinkles or a dash of nutmeg would also be fun decorations.
- Note that if you use sprinkles or chopped nuts you should decorate each cookie as you frost it because the frosting sets up quickly and the sprinkles won’t stick if you wait until you’ve frosted all of your cookies.
- See below for notes on freezing the cookie dough.
How to store your cookies
Uneaten nutmeg logs can be stored at room temperature, in airtight containers layered with wax paper, for 3 or 4 days.
The cookies can also be frozen in airtight containers for about a month.
Can I freeze this cookie dough?
You sure can! The dough for nutmeg logs freezes really well.
Shape the dough into logs as directed in the recipe, arrange logs on a foil-lined baking sheet, and freeze until the dough is solid (30 minutes to an hour).
Then pop the logs into freezer bags (or wrap them however you like to wrap your cookie dough for the freezer). You can freeze them for up to 1 month.
Bake the logs directly from the freezer, without thawing them first. Just add a minute or two to the baking time.
Did you make these nutmeg logs? That’s great! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. Then post a pic on IG–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your delicious creations!
Nutmeg logs are an easy cookie that comes together quickly. They're just the right level of sweet and spicy, so they're perfect for the hoildays!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons rum extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 to 4 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Cinnamon for sprinkling optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk the flour, nutmeg, and salt together in a medium bowl. (These are the dry ingredients.)
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until very creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, rum extract, and egg.
- With mixer on low, gradually beat in the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed until a cohesive dough forms; the dough will be stiff.
- Roll balls of dough into ropes about a 1/2-inch in diameter, then slice each rope into 2 1/2-inch lengths. (If necessary, you can dust a little flour on your counters to help you shape the dough; I find the dough is stiff enough to roll without a floured surface.)
- Arrange 1 inch apart on un-greased, unlined baking sheets. Bake 12 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom.
- Cool the logs completely on wire racks before frosting them.
- Beat the butter, 2 tablespoons of milk, the rum extract, and the salt together in a medium bowl. (The mixture won’t really come together; that’s fine. Just mix it all together a bit.)
- Turn mixer to low and gradually beat in the powdered sugar to combine. If necessary, add a little more milk to achieve a spreadable consistency.
- Spread a little frosting onto each cooled log and drag the tines of a fork through the frosting to make it look like a log. Sprinkle frosted cookies with a tiny bit of cinnamon. Serve.
- Store nutmeg logs at room temperature in airtight containers, layered with wax paper, for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze them (in airtight containers) for about a month.
- I use a ruler when I shape my nutmeg logs but you can just eyeball it if you want.
- These cookies don’t spread much when they bake and you shouldn’t have to chill the dough—however, if your kitchen is really warm, the dough might soften as you work with it. You can bake a couple of cookies off to test whether the dough is too warm; if the cookies spread more than you want, just chill the remaining shaped logs for 20 to 30 minutes before baking them.
- Instead of sprinkling your finished cookies with cinnamon, you can sprinkle them with a little nutmeg, some sprinkles, or some finely chopped walnuts.
If you’re decorating your cookies with sprinkles, do it as you’re frosting them rather than waiting until they’re all frosted. The frosting sets up quickly and the sprinkles won’t attach if you wait until the end.
- If you want to freeze your cookie dough, arrange the shaped logs on baking sheets. Freeze for an hour or so, until the logs are frozen solid. Place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake the cookies directly from the freezer, adding a minute or two to the baking time.
- See the body of this post for step by step photos.