Skip to content

Christmas Sugar Cookies

This is the best Christmas sugar cookies recipe. They have a sweet buttery taste plus are soft, chewy and easy to roll out then cut into shapes. Decorate with icing and sprinkles to spread festive cheer!

These are the perfect Christmas cookies for holiday baking along with mouthwatering Mexican wedding cookies, candy cane cookies and chocolate chip cookies!

Christmas sugar cookies with sugar cookie icing.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read disclosure policy.

Best Christmas Cookies with Icing

We adapted these Christmas sugar cookies from my favorite sugar cookie recipe and they not only taste great but their texture works perfectly with cookie cutters. They are soft and fluffy, with a texture that holds its shape no matter how you roll and shape them!

These easy cookies are so festive cut into holiday shapes and then topped with a foolproof pipeable cookie icing. These are the perfect cookies for Santa, to add to a Christmas dessert board or make for a cookie exchange.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple ingredients: This classic Christmas sugar cookie recipe has buttery flavor with a hint of vanilla and almond flavor.
  • Texture: They have a soft, fluffy interior and the cookie shape does not spread while baking.
  • Easy frosting: Decorate with a colorful icing that even a beginner can make and enjoy the best sugar cookies ever!

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Butter: Let the unsalted butter sit out on the counter top until it is at room temperature. Soft to the touch, but not too soft that it will melt the cookie dough when baking.
  • Sugar: Adds a little sweetness to the dough!
  • Eggs: Use large eggs to get the best consistency.
  • Vanilla and almond extract: The blend of these two extract gives these cookies the best flavor.
  • Flour: Binds the dough together, making it firmer and less sticky. You can also use some while you are rolling out the dough on the countertop.
  • Baking powder: This is an agent that will aid in puffing up the cookies as well as holding the shape of the cookie once it is done cooking.

How to Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

Homemade sugar cookies are always a family favorite dessert! They are always a tradition in our home to make together. This dough is so easy to make and comes together quickly with pantry staple ingredients. You will love how soft and chewy these cookies are!

A step by step collage of how to make sugar cookies.
  1. Dough. Cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the eggs, vanilla, almond extract and sour cream until combined. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.
  2. Chill. Divide the cookie dough in half, then wrap each half in plastic wrap. Then let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Roll. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. If it feels too sticky to roll out, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour.
  4. Cookie cutters. Cut out the shapes with your favorite cookie cutters and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake. Bake in the oven at 375°F for about 8 to 9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling wire rack for them to cool.
  6. Frost. Once the cookies have cooled all the way to room temperature. Start making the frosting and ready to frost each of the cookies.
Baked Christmas sugar cookies.

Baking Tips

For the best sugar cookie recipe follow these tips and tricks have the softest, fluffiest, cookies around.

  • Chill the dough. Don’t skip this step! Refrigerate the dough for at least 1-2 hours before cutting out your shapes. This helps the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
  • Parchment paper. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper (or on a baking mat). This way, you don’t have to peel up the shapes. You can just remove the extra scraps and transfer the parchment paper onto the pan.
  • Dust cookie cutter. Before using your cookie cutter, dust it in flour or powdered sugar first. This allows for an easy removal and keeps the dough from getting stuck in the cutter.
  • Bake same size cookies. Because you’re using different types of cutters, the cookies will be all different sizes. Make sure to bake similar sized cookies together so that some don’t overbake while others are underdone.
  • Fix the shape. If any of your shapes look a little misshapen after baking, carefully use your spatula to straighten out the edges right when the cookies come out of the oven. They’re still super pliable at this point.
  • Add sprinkles right after icing. Make sure to add any sprinkles or sanding sugar immediately after you ice or frost your cookies. If you wait too long, your icing or frosting will dry and the decorations won’t stick.

Recipe FAQs

Do you put sprinkles on cookies before or after baking?

If you are using sprinkles in the cookie dough you will want to add them in prior to baking the cookie dough. When adding the sprinkles on top of the frosting, outside of the cookie dough, these can be done when you are frosting your baked cookies.

How to get sprinkles to stick to cookies?

Use an egg wash to help get the sprinkles to stick to the cookies. Also make sure the cookies are cooled off before adding any frosting. The frosting will melt off until they are cooled to room temperature.

What is the most popular Christmas cookie in the US?

I would think sugar cookies because of how simple they are to make but it is actually another favorite peanut butter blossoms. These cookies have the Hershey kisses in the middle of them.

Can you cut this recipe in half?

You can easily cut this recipe in half if you’d like a smaller amount. Or you can follow the recipe and freeze half the dough for later.

Make Ahead + Freezing

The dough freezes beautifully – so you can absolutely make it ahead of time and freeze it for later. Simply wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Then store in the freezer for up to 4 months. You can also make the dough 2-3 days in advance and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Alternatively, you may also freeze the baked sugar cookies (without the icing). Let them cool after baking, then wrap with plastic wrap, add to a freezer bag and then store in the freezer. Then pull them out to thaw a few hours at room temperature before decorating.

Icing Christmas Sugar Cookies.

Now for the fun part…decorating with icing or frosting! Below are some delicious options to choose from.

  • Sugar cookie icing: This is my favorite icing to use and is perfect for beginners. It’s super easy, hardens quickly, and has a glossy finish. Not to mention it tastes so delicious!
  • Royal icing: There’s a little more technique involved in royal icing. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll become a pro in no time. Your cookies will look like they came from a local bakery!
  • Buttercream: If you prefer the flavor of a classic buttercream frosting, then you can definitely use that to frost your cookies too. It tastes so delicious!
  • Powdered sugar icing: This consistency is similar to a glaze or my gingerbread house icing, which makes it great for dipping the tops of the cookies or spooning a small amount on top.
Christmas sugar cookie recipes on the counter.

5 star review

“These are the best tasting sugar cookies I’ve made in a while! Others always spread, but these kept their shape, puffed up beautifully, and the dough was really easy to work with. I had so much fun with my daughter baking and decorating these for Christmas. She mainly ate the frosting and sprinkles, 😉 but we had fun, and that was the point. Thanks Jamielyn!”


Are you looking for more cookies recipes with frosting?! Try this ginger molasses cookies, cinnamon roll cookies, or these delicious eggnog cookies.

More Cookie to Make this Christmas

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the newest recipes!

Christmas sugar cookies.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

5 from 34 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This is the best Christmas sugar cookies recipe. They have a sweet buttery taste plus are soft, chewy and easy to roll out then cut into shapes.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Refrigerate: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Servings: 30


  • 1 ½ cups (345 g) butter , 3 sticks at room temperature
  • 2 cups (390 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 5 cups (650 g) all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Sugar Cookie Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons milk , more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract , or almond extract


  • In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Beat until creamy. Add in eggs, vanilla and almond extract and mix together until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  • Split dough in two and place in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Do not skip this step.
  • Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick on a baker's mat or a clean counter top. I like to sprinkle some powdered sugar on the rolling pin so the dough doesn't stick.
  • Cut with cookie cutters and then place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the center is barely set. Do not let the edges or bottoms brown. Watch carefully the last minute of baking. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.
  • Allow to cool and then frost as desired.


This recipe has been updated. Find our soft sugar cookie recipe with sour cream here.
An optional icing to use is this cream cheese frosting.
Freezer instructions:  Place on a pan and freeze cookies for 30 minutes. Once hard you can stack in a freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months. I like to place a piece of parchment paper in between each layer. 


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Let’s connect

Join our community of over 5 million!

Featured on

  • Taste of Home
  • Martha Stewart
  • Country Living
  • BuzzFeed
  • Yahoo
  • Food Network
  • Today