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Using sugar cookies, you get soft, thick centers, slightly crisp edges, and flat tops for decorating. The dough comes with 7–8 simple ingredients, and the cookies hold their cookie-cutter shape in the oven. Decorate them with my glaze cookie icing, a delicious alternative to royal Icing. Put on your favorite cookie cutters and roll out your rolling pin!

Why You'll Love These best Christmas Sugar Cookies

▢ Soft, thick centers with slightly crisp edges
Delicious buttery vanilla flavor Made from simple ingredients

▢ Leave it plain, or flavor it with extras like maple, cinnamon, peppermint, and more

▢ Holds shape while baking. Icing is easy for beginners and young bakers

▢ Freezes beautifully

▢ The easy-to-follow recipe used by beginner and expert bakers alike

The Best christmas sugar cookies requires 7–8 ingredients. Since the ingredients are so few, you must follow the recipe closely because every component plays an important role. Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Eggs and flour provide structure, while vanilla adds flavor and texture. A touch of almond extract is always added for flavor, and I highly recommend it! You could also use peppermint extract or another flavor extract instead. The baking powder adds lift, and the salt balances the sweetness.
How do you get sugar cookies to keep their shape?

The difference between this recipe and others is that it uses only a tiny amount of baking powder and no baking soda. Our testing revealed that too much of these two ingredients resulted in puffy sugar cookies that lost their shape during baking due to puffing up too much. We also chill the dough before rolling so you can easily lift them off the bench and arrange them onto the baking sheet, maintaining its shape as they bake.


For the cookies:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Icing:
  • 1/3 cup Crisco (trans fat-free) or a 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • About 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cookie Decorations:
  • Sprinkles or jimmies
  • Sugar Pearls
  • Decorating Pens


Make the cookie dough: Mix the flour with baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and whipping cream together until creamy. With the hand mixer, mix in the flour mixture until no more dry streaks.

Roll out and chill: To make the cookie dough, first, divide it in two. Roll between parchment paper. Transfer the cookie dough sheets, still sandwiched between parchment, to the fridge. Chill for one hour or up to overnight.In a preheated oven, heat to 400°F. 

After removing one sheet of cookies from the refrigerator, use cutters to cut out shapes. If the cookie dough becomes too soft, let it chill for 5-10 minutes before cutting reset shapes. Bake on papered baking sheet until done: 10 minutes for thinner cookies or 12 minutes for thicker ones; there should be no sign of raw dough around the edges when pulled from the oven.

Make the Icing : Mix the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. If the Icing is thick to spread evenly, add milk and thoroughly mix until desired consistency. Separate into different bowls, and add food coloring for colors.


Spread the Icing to the cookies with a spatula.If you want the sprinkle decorations to stick directly on the cookie, brush the cookie with clear Karo syrup and then sprinkle.Green frosting and festive sprinkles for holiday cookies.

Substitutions and additions 

for the best Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe with Easy Icing

Sanding sugar is a straightforward way to add color and flavor to your holiday cookies. The most common type of sanding sugar is red, which comes in various sizes and colors. You can find this sugar in the baking aisle at any grocery store, but you may also be able to locate it directly in the baking aisle during the holidays. Green sanding sugar is also available but rarer than the red variety.

Green sanding sugar is used for fine dusting on food items like egg whites or pasta before baking them; it has no coloring and should not be confused with white sanding sugar-containing coloring agents.

ALMOND EXTRACT: If you do not like the flavor of almond extract, feel free to leave it out of the sugar cookie recipe. Almond extract is potent, so only a tiny amount is used in this recipe, giving it a delicious and subtle hint of almond flavor.

FROSTING: These easy Christmas sugar cookies are delightful, but you can always frost them if you wish. One cute idea would be to use white frosting to pipe bows, stars, and other simple decorations onto the colorful sugar-dusted cookies to make them look like Christmas ornaments. The snowflake cookie cutter is a fun addition to this holiday treat recipe!

CHRISTMAS TREE: You can't beat the sight of a Christmas tree, and these cookies are a great way to create your edible version. To make this recipe, you'll need to start with a large platter and some green sanding sugar. 

Then, arrange the cookies with the red sanding sugar on them—you'll have to be quick about it because they'll start to harden as soon as they're arranged! You'll also want to add one cookie sprinkled with yellow sanding sugar at the top of your tree. Your guests will love seeing their cookies come alive, and you'll love how simple it is to put together such a beautiful table centerpiece!