Christmas Sugar Cookies

5 from 4 votes

Christmas Sugar Cookies are deliciously tender and buttery cut-out cookies with a refreshing mint glaze and so much fun to make!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Christmas Sugar Cookies are THE holiday cookie recipe! It doesn’t get much more festive than crisp vanilla cookies cut into fun shapes and decked out in colorful icing and sprinkles. This Christmas sugar cookie recipe has got you covered from the base cookie to the icing, which is so easy, glossy, and pipeable without having to use egg whites!

Christmas sugar cookies on a round plate with undecorated cut out cookies around.
Want to save this recipe?
Just type your email below and I’ll send it to you. And as a bonus you’ll get delicious new recipes from me!

There are lots of cookies that we associate with Christmas, from Gingerbread Cookies to Pecan Snowball Cookies, but I think it’s safe to say that Christmas sugar cookies are right at the top of the list!

Christmas sugar cookies are simple, and buttery, and their vanilla flavor means that everyone loves them, and the endless possibilities for shapes and decoration makes them the most festive option on the dessert table.

Recipe At a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Vanilla and Peppermint (if you use peppermint extract in the icing)
Skill Level: Intermediate


  • A Fun Holiday Activity: Making Christmas sugar cookies to decorate with your family is the best holiday tradition! Big kids can help measure and mix the dough, while little ones will have fun rolling out the dough, cutting it, and creating their own holiday masterpieces with an array of icing colors and sprinkles.
  • No Royal Icing Needed: Royal icing is what the pros use, but it’s a lot of fuss for the home baker—plus, raw egg whites in frosting might make you a little bit nervous! My icing for these frosted Christmas cookies is a simple combination of milk and powdered sugar, plus extract for flavor and your choice of colors.
  • Everyone Loves Them: Some holiday cookies can be polarizing, but one cookie everyone can agree upon is the classic iced Christmas cookie! They have a mild flavor, no nuts, and no strong spices.
  • No Chill Dough: This Christmas cookie dough doesn’t spread in the oven, so you don’t need to chill it between mixing it up and rolling it out. This means you’ll have cookies ready to decorate (and eat!) that much faster!

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

Ingredients for recipe in individual bowls and containers: flour, salt, baking powder, butter sticks, sugar, egg, vanilla, peppermint extract, powdered sugar, food coloring, and cream.

Sugar Cookies

  • Unsalted butter: Using unsalted butter gives you more control over the flavor of the finished cookies.
  • Granulated sugar: Just simple everyday white sugar!
  • Egg: Let this come to room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract: I recommend pure vanilla extract, not imitation.
  • Baking powder: This allows the cookies to rise.
  • Salt: Just a bit to enhance the flavor and provide balance.
  • All-purpose flour: The main ingredient of most of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes!
  • Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners’ sugar.
  • Milk: Any type of milk you have on hand.
  • Peppermint extract: I love the festive flavor of peppermint extract, which pairs well with the vanilla in the dough, but you can use vanilla for a more classic take on Christmas sugar cookies.
  • Food coloring: Optional—as you can see in the photos, you can do snowflakes without any coloring.
  • Make them gluten-free. This Christmas cookie dough is one where you can successfully swap in a measure-for-measure gluten-free all-purpose flour.
  • Try them with almond extract. A combination of half almond extract and half vanilla extract is delicious in sugar cookies. (It’s also an unexpectedly delicious pairing with peppermint!)
  • Use another icing. If you have a favorite icing to use for Christmas sugar cookies, feel free to substitute that. My Homemade Small-Batch Buttercream will also work, but keep in mind you’ll need to refrigerate the cookies and you won’t be able to stack them.
  • Add cinnamon. Ground cinnamon in the dough adds a bit of cozy flavor to the mix. If you do this, be sure to use vanilla extract in the icing, not peppermint.

How to Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

Let’s get started! Although I made the dough for this recipe in a stand mixer, you can also use a mixing bowl and a hand mixer.

  1. Cream the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until they’re light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well-combined.
  3. Add the baking powder and salt, then mix in the flour a cup at a time.
  4. Beat until the flour is incorporated and there are no steaks.
  5. Transfer the Christmas cookie dough to a lightly floured work surface.
  6. Roll out the dough and cut the cookies.
6 image collage making recipe: 1- butter and sugar in a bowl, 2- after creaming with egg and vanilla added, 3- after combining with dry ingredients added, 4- cookie dough after mixing, 5- dough on a silicone mat, 6-dough after rolling out with a cookie cutter pressing shapes out.

Make the Icing and Decorate the Cookies

  1. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and extract to a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk to combine, ensuring there are no lumps of sugar.
  3. Divide the icing into bowls and color as desired.
  4. Pipe or spread the icing onto the Christmas sugar cookies.
4 image collage making recipe: 1- powdered sugar and milk, peppermint extract, and cream in a bowl, 2- after whisking together into a smooth icing, 3- icing divided with food coloring added into 3 different colors, 4- piping green icing on a cut out christmas tree cookie.

Tips for Making the Best Frosted Christmas Cookies

  1. Don’t forget to soften the butter. When you gently press a finger into it, it should leave an indentation. Softening the butter helps it incorporate evenly into the rest of the dough.
  2. Flour the cookie cutters if they’re sticking. Dip the cutters in flour, cut a cookie, dip again, cut again, etc. Sometimes the cookie cutters don’t stick to the dough, but if they do, this will help!
  3. Make them frustration-free for little ones. If you’re baking with toddlers or preschoolers, I recommend spreading a base layer of icing onto each cookie and setting out sprinkles, sanding sugar, and M&Ms that they can use to decorate. This is much easier (and less messy!) than having them pipe the frosting.
  4. Don’t use mint extract. Mint extract tastes like spearmint, not peppermint, which isn’t what we want for these cookies!
Cut out Christmas cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet decorated with holiday colors.

How to Store Christmas Sugar Cookies

Store your iced Christmas cookies in an airtight container after the frosting has set. (If you’re worried about smudging the frosting, you can place wax or parchment paper between the layers.)

How Long Will Christmas Sugar Cookies Last at Room Temperature?

These cookies will last up to a week at room temperature when stored properly.

Can I Freeze Frosted Sugar Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze these cookies for up to 3 months. It’s best to store them before frosting them, but you can freeze them after frosting by placing them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, freezing until the frosting is solid, and then transferring to an airtight container or freezer bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I keep the rolling pin from sticking to the cookie dough?

If your rolling pin is sticking, you can lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. (You can also dust the rolling pin itself, but I find dusting the dough is much more effective.) Be sure to roll without using a lot of pressure, too.

Why didn’t I get 32 cookies from this recipe?

The yield in the recipe card is approximate because different sizes and shapes of cookie cutters will yield different numbers of cookies!

Are these cookies crisp or chewy?

These Christmas sugar cookies are crisp without being hard. If you’d like a softer cookie, you can under-bake them slightly.

Decorated cut out Christmas Sugar Cookies.

Make these easy Christmas sugar cookies your family’s new holiday tradition! No one can resist a batch of festive, colorful cookies in an assortment of holiday shapes.

If you try this feel good Christmas Sugar Cookie recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

order MY book

The Feel Good Foodie Cookbook is now available everywhere books are sold!

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies are deliciously tender and buttery cut-out cookies with a refreshing mint glaze and so much fun to make!
5 from 4 votes
Servings 32 cookies
Course Dessert
Calories 151
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Email This Recipe
Enter your email and I’ll send this directly to you. Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week!




  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract or vanilla
  • Food coloring optional


Make the Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Add softened butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and egg. Continue mixing for another 3 minutes to combine well.
  • Add baking powder and salt, and combine well. Then, add 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing until just combined and no flour streak remains.
  • Lightly flour a clean surface and roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick.
  • Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, keeping each cut as close as possible to get the most out of each cut. Transfer cut-out cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Combine the scraps of dough and reroll to cut out more dough, continuing this step until all the dough is used.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie cutter you use. Remove from the oven when the bottom edges start to brown lightly.
  • Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Make the Icing

  • Add powdered sugar, milk, and extract to a small bowl and mix until smooth.
  • If coloring, divide into separate bowls and add food colors as desired. Add to a pastry bag or squeeze bottle.
  • Pipe icing onto cookies and allow to air dry until set. If adding sprinkles or edible glitter, do so before setting.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 151kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 49mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 188IU, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Dessert

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Zainun says:

    These cookies are delicious with the most perfect icing too! I used this recipe for my holiday baking and everyone loved it!! The cookie recipe was super easy to follow and makes the best tasting sugar cookies! The icing is perfect and sets amazing, giving enough time to decorate but then sets quickly after and just beautifully!! Can’t wait to try your other holiday cookie recipes!!!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much, Zainun! Happy to hear that they were a hit among family and friends! Looking forward to hearing what you think of my other holiday cookies!