Christmas Sugar Cookies

Soft and tender Christmas sugar cookies are the perfect holiday treat to make and eat as a family. They look as magical as they taste!

These brightly decorated masterpieces are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit this year. They are simple to make and so fun to decorate. For more festive Christmas treats try Gingerbread Cookies, Peppermint Brownies, and Christmas Crack.

Christmas Sugar Cookies in the shape of candy canes and trees

Fun and Festive Holiday Cookies

There is something so magical about decorating holiday sugar cookies as a family. It is one of my kids’ favorite things to do together. We love cutting out shapes and getting artistic with the decorations.

Not only are these sugar cookies insanely fun to decorate, they taste utterly irresistible. They are soft and tender with the perfect amount  of sweetness.

You will surely want to save this recipe in your folder of must-dos during the Christmas season!

Christmas Tree sugar cookies on a baking sheet

Tips for Perfect Cookies

Some notes on how to make sure your cookies turn out great each time include: 

  • Over-mixing the dough can create a tougher cookie.
  • Don’t roll the dough too thin, unless you want crispy cookies. I like to stick to ⅜” thick.
  • If your dough is too dry when you’re trying to roll it out simply sprinkle a bit of water on the dough and knead it a few times. Be sure you don’t add too much.
  • If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle a bit of flour and knead. 

Using these tips and tricks will ensure you have soft sugar cookies!

Frosting to decorate Christmas sugar cookies

How to Make Them

PREP. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a cookie sheet to be used later.

DOUGH. In a large bowl mix together butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg and almond until creamy. Use a Kitchen-Aid or hand mixer. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Combine together until soft dough forms.

ROLL & CUT. Lightly flour the counter and roll out the dough to about ⅜ inches. (For a crispier cookie roll the dough thinner.) Once the dough has been rolled cut with holiday cookie cutters.

BAKE. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool before decorating.

For the frosting

CREAM. Add the butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and almond extract to a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine.

DIVIDE & COLOR. You can make all the frosting one color or divide it into separate bowls and mix with different food coloring.

DECORATE. Frost the cookies. Use colored decorating gel to add embellishments. Add any holiday sprinkles you wish.

Candy cane shaped sugar cookies

Variations

Christmas baking is just not complete until I have made sugar cookies. When I made this recipe, I decided to stick to making trees and candy canes, but you can use any Christmas shaped cookie cutters that you wish. Some other notable shapes include:

  • Bell
  • Stocking
  • Gingerbread man
  • Snowman
  • Star

Make sure you also have different food coloring gel and sprinkles to match so each Christmas sugar cookie turns out both tasty and visually delicious.

A pile of Christmas sugar cookies

Storage Tips

You can STORE these Christmas sugar cookies both frosted or unfrosted. You can also store them at room temperature or keep them in the freezer for later. If you are storing frosted cookies, be sure that the frosting has set completely first. 

  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. Separate layers with parchment or wax paper. If you put the cookies in the fridge they last for 6-7 days.
  • To store the cookies in the FREEZER, you can either wrap them individually with plastic wrap or stack them, separating the layers with wax paper. Either way, be sure to use a freezer safe airtight container to put the cookies in. They’ll last for up to 3 months.

WARNING: Don’t be surprised when you make 3 dozen and have ZERO leftovers. 😉

Candy cane and Christmas tree sugar cookies

For More Christmas Cookies, try:

Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

4.94 from 30 votes
Soft and tender Christmas sugar cookies are the perfect holiday treat to make and eat as a family.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 293 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Equipment

  • Christmas Cookie Cutters

Ingredients

Sugar Cookies

  • 3/4 c Butter softened
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Frosting & Toppings

  • 1/3 c butter softened
  • 4 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • food coloring
  • Christmas sprinkles, colored decorating gel

Instructions
 

Sugar Cookie

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a cookie sheet to be used later.
  • In a large bowl mix together butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg and almond until creamy. Use a Kitchen-Aid or hand mixer.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Combine together until soft dough forms.
  • Lightly flour the counter and roll out the dough to about ⅜ inches. (For a crispier cookie roll the dough thinner.) Once the dough has been rolled cut with holiday cookie cutters.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool before decorating.

Frosting

  • Add the butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and almond extract to a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine.
  • You can make all the frosting one color or divide it into separate bowls and mix with different food coloring.
  • Frost the cookies. Use colored decorating gel to add embellishments. Add any holiday sprinkles you wish.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    These are so yummy. Great flavor not bland just make sure to chill the dough for a couple hours. It made rolling them out a lot easier

  2. Hi Kristyn, I’m only a teenager and I love to bake. My parents never let me try any recipes that call for food coloring. I wanted to make Christmas sugar cookies for Christmas tomorrow and I really want to try this recipe. My parents don’t let me buy food coloring because they say it’s super unhealthy. Is it? I really want to make these but instead I have to stick to plain sugar cookies that don’t require food coloring. Thank you!

    1. If you want to avoid food coloring dye you can buy different colors of freeze dried fruit like freeze dried strawberries for red/pink. Turn it in a powder in a food processor and mix it into the frosting. You won’t really notice the flavor of the fruit after being mixed with the sweet frosting and put on a cookie, and you’ll have a more natural way to color the frosting.

    2. Well, I can’t speak for your parents. A lot of people don’t like to use dyes. Nothing wrong with a white frosting 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    My oldest is 15 and I’ve only actually made sugar cookies once. But my 4 kids are no longer deprived we made these cookies for “santa” this year. They were soft but held their stamped shape really well. Above all they were delicious!

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