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nutmeg cookies on a wire rack with a pink cake stand and a dishtowel behind them

Nutmeg Logs

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!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 30
Author Kelsie



  • 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



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk the flour, nutmeg, and salt together in a medium bowl. (These are the dry ingredients.)
  3. 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.
  4. With mixer on low, gradually beat in the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed until a cohesive dough forms; the dough will be stiff.
  5. 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.)
  6. Arrange 1 inch apart on un-greased, unlined baking sheets. Bake 12 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom.
  7. Cool the logs completely on wire racks before frosting them.


  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Recipe Notes

  • 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.