These Christmas sugar cookies are roll out cookies that are frosted with an easy vanilla buttercream and decorated with sprinkles. A fun and classic holiday cookie that’s perfect for school parties and gift giving!
This is my absolute favorite go-to Christmas recipe, I’ve made these cookies dozens of times and they always come out perfect! You can also use this dough to make stained glass cookies and heart cookies.
Sugar cookies are a staple around the holidays and they come in so many different varieties. These Christmas sugar cookies have plenty of decorations with brightly colored frosting and festive sprinkles for an elegant presentation. Serve them alongside other treats such as funfetti cookies, rolo pretzels, peanut brittle and M&M cookies for the perfect dessert cookie tray offering.
Table of Contents
Christmas Sugar Cookies Ingredients
To make this recipe, you will need unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs vanilla extract, salt, all purpose flour, powdered sugar, heavy cream, food coloring and holiday sprinkles.
How Do You Make Christmas Sugar Cookies?
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after you add each egg. Pour in the vanilla and salt, then slowly mix in the flour until a dough forms. Shape the dough into a disc, then cover it with plastic wrap and chill until firm. Preheat the oven, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Roll out the dough, and use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you like. Place the dough shapes on the sheet pan and chill. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, then let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract and heavy cream, then beat until you have a smooth and creamy frosting. Divide the frosting into bowls, and add food coloring as desired. Spread frosting over the cookies, then top with sprinkles and enjoy.
Tips For The Perfect Cookies
- The great thing about this sugar cookie dough is that it can be made in advance, and stays fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I often freeze this dough in small portions, and we bake up a few cookies at a time when the craving strikes.
- It’s important to chill your cookies before you bake them, so you’ll end up with perfect cut-out shapes.
- I use gel food coloring to tint my frosting. It takes quite a bit of food color to get the bold colors in these photos. You can add a few drops at a time, stir until combined, then keep adding a little more in increments so you get to your desired color.
- Add the sprinkles to your cookies immediately upon frosting them, so the sprinkles will stick before the frosting has time to dry.
Baked frosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
The best way to keep your cookies soft is to make sure you don’t over-bake them. The cookies should be faintly golden brown around the edges, but you don’t want to bake them any longer than that, or they’ll get crispy. You should also be sure to store your cookies in a covered container to preserve their soft texture.
I recommend freezing the unfrosted cookies in a resealable freezer bag for up to 2 months. Thaw the cookies and decorate them. This is a great way to start on holiday baking early in the season!
These cookies are delicious as-is, but you can add some other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Cookie Dough: You can add other flavorings to the dough including cinnamon, lemon zest or peppermint extract. Almond extract is also a great choice.
- Frosting: Feel free to add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the frosting for chocolate frosting. You can also add extracts such as peppermint, almond or lemon.
- Toppings: Instead of frosting, try dipping the cookies halfway in either melted dark chocolate or melted white chocolate. You can also swap out the sprinkles for a topping of crushed candy canes. Another option would be to make a royal icing instead of buttercream.
This is the only sugar cookie recipe you’ll need this holiday season. The cookies are tender and flavorful, and they hold their shape perfectly. Holiday sugar cookies make a festive and delicious addition to any dessert platter.
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Christmas Sugar Cookies
For the cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Christmas sprinkles
For the frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar plus more if needed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream plus more if needed
- gel food colorings
For the cookies
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
- Add the vanilla and salt, then slowly mix in the flour until thoroughly combined
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a disc. Wrap the plastic wrap around the dough and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day before you plan to bake your cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
- Divide the dough in half. Re-wrap one half of the dough and place it in the fridge. Roll the remaining dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle.
- Using a 3-4 inch sized Christmas cookie cutters, cut out as many shapes as you can from the dough.
- Re-roll the dough and repeat the process until you’ve filled your first baking sheet. Cookies should be spaced 1 1/2 inches apart on the sheet.
- Place the pan of cookies in the fridge and chill for 20 minutes
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are set and the edges are just barely turning brown.
- Cool the cookies completely
- Repeat the same process with the other half of the dough that you previously put in the refrigerator.
For the frosting
- Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer. Beat for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat until smooth and creamy.
- If the frosting seems too thick, you can add 1 teaspoon of heavy cream at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting seems too thin, you can add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Divide the frosting into bowls, and add your desired food colors to each bowl; stir to combine.
- After the cookies have cooled, spread a layer of frosting over each one and add sprinkles on top.
- Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Dough can be frozen for up to two months; thaw in the refrigerator before using.
- Plain cookies can be frozen for up to one month, then thawed and frosted.