Christmas Sugar Cookies
Christmas Sugar Cookies

These Christmas cookies are buttery, tender, and ready for frosting. A proven family favorite, this is THE cookie Santa will want on his cookie plate!

At my house, making sugar cookies for Christmas is as much about the frosting and decoration as it is about the baking.

Whether you consider yourself artistic or creative or not, one of the great things about making sugar cookies is that you get to choose the shapes of the cookie cutters and the decorations. The possibilities are endless and the biscuits will turn heads on any festive dessert tray.

The best icing for Christmas cookies

How do you make frosting for sugar cookies?

Some people prefer to use royal icing on their sugar cookies, though In our family we use this infallible classic powdered sugar recipe – made with just a few simple ingredients – then we add our food coloring of choice to the icing.

The color palette you choose and how you use it for your holiday sugar cookies is entirely up to you. Some people want a specific color theme to match the Christmas decorations in their home. Some people prefer to cover the cookies with crystals and skip the frosting altogether.

Plan your frosting colors

Think ahead of time about how much of each glaze color you will need for your designs. Divide the easy frosting into separate bowls and add food coloring in small drops, mixing thoroughly each time until you reach your desired color. If you need to lighten a color you can mix in some of the basic glaze back in, but it’s a lot easier to darken a color than lighten it, so go slow!

Tips for baking Christmas cookies

  • Cut shapes close together: When cutting out cookie shapes, place the cuts as close together as possible to get the most cookies out of the surface of the rolled dough. When cutting, always make sure to work on a floured and sugared surface.
  • Dip cutters in flour: Dipping the cutter in some flour after each cut will also help the dough release from the cutter more easily.
  • Bake longer for crispier cookies: If you want your cookies to be a little crunchier than soft, simply bake them a little longer until lightly browned around the edges.
  • After baking, let the cookies rest for a minute or two: After baking, let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for a minute or two before attempting to remove them. This allows the biscuits to firm up a bit and keep their shape. Chill the baked cookies on wire racks for at least 5-10 minutes after removing them from the baking sheets.
  • Cool baking sheets between batches: Be sure to let the baking sheets cool completely between batches to prevent the batter from thinning and running, which will happen if you place it on a warm surface.

Happy Holidays!

You might think that after you’ve put the time and effort into preparing the dough, chilling it, rolling it out, cutting out the cookies, and baking them — not to mention icing and decorating — that the cookies are just too pretty to eat are . Well, think again.

These holiday sugar cookies are totally addicting. And although they will last up to a week if stored in an airtight container, trust me. They won’t last that long. Happy Holiday Baking!

Tip for rolling out the dough

This dough can be a little sticky, so we’ve found the easiest way to roll it out between two sheets of parchment and then chill in the fridge. Not only does the parchment make it easy to get the dough even, but the thin sheets mean they cool faster in the fridge!

If it helps, slide the sheets of rolled out cookie dough onto sheet pans to make getting the abs out of the fridge easier, or to balance them on other items in the fridge.

How to store and freeze Christmas cookies

Store the frozen cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to five days. After that, they dry out and become crumbly.

You can also freeze unfrosted Cookies for up to three months. We recommend stacking a few cookies, then wrapping them in foil and then storing them in an airtight freezer bag or container. Frost when ready to eat.

Try these other Christmas cookies!

  • Walnut snowball cookies
  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Christmas Sugar Cookies

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
5 minutes

60 minutes

total time
80 minutes

60 servings

Based on the recipe for Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies, Huntsville Heritage Cookbook, 1967, The Junior League of Huntsville, AL, Lowry Printing, Inc.


For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1 big Egg, beaten easily

  • 3 tablespoon whipped cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can replace almond extract)

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 Cup crisco (trans fat free) or 1/3 cup softened butter

  • 1 lb powdered sugar

  • above 1/4 Cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookie Decorations:

  • sprinkles or jimmies

  • sugar pearls

  • decorate pens


  1. Prepare cookie dough:

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla, followed by the whipped cream. With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture until no dry streaks of flour remain.

  2. Roll out and cool:

    Divide the dough in two. Unroll each half between two sheets of parchment paper. (The parchment makes this sticky dough easier to roll out, and the dough cools faster, too.)

    Transfer the cookie dough sheets, still sandwiched between parchment, to the refrigerator. (Set on baking sheets if needed so you can balance the sheets on other items in your fridge.)

    Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  4. Cut out the cookie shapes:

    Peel off the top layer of parchment from one of the cookie dough sheets. Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookie shapes. If the dough gets too soft, chill in the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding.

  5. Bake:

    Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat. Bake at 400°F for 5-8 minutes.

    Remove the cookies from the oven as soon as you see them discolor at the base of the cookie.

    Leave to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batches of cookies. You can also collect the leftovers, roll them out again and cut out more cookies.

  6. Make the icing:

    In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the crisco or butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.

    If your frosting is too thick to spread evenly, add small amounts of milk and mix thoroughly until the frosting is the consistency you want.

    Divide into different bowls, add food coloring to achieve different colors.

  7. Decorate:

    Using a butter knife or offset spatula, spread the icing over the cookies. Use piping bags to add decorative accents if desired.

    If you want the sprinkles to stick directly to the cookie, brush the cookie with Karo Clear Syrup, then sprinkle with sprinkles.

nutritional information (per serving)
107 calories
5g Fat
16g carbohydrates
1g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!