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.

A serving plate of Christmas sugar cookies decorated with frosting and sprinkles.

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.

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.

Cookie dough cut into holiday shapes on a baking sheet.

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.

Quick Tip

Baked frosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Cut out cookies on a sheet pan.

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep Christmas cookies soft?

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.

Can you freeze Christmas sugar cookies?

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!


Decorated Christmas cookies on a cooling rack.

Flavor Variations

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.
A selection of Christmas sugar cookies served on a plate, with holiday decorations in the background.

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.

More Great Christmas Recipes

Love This Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 34 votes

Christmas Sugar Cookies

AuthorSara Welch
A serving plate of Christmas sugar cookies decorated with frosting and sprinkles.
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!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Chill Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 30


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.


  1. Dough can be frozen for up to two months; thaw in the refrigerator before using.
  2. Plain cookies can be frozen for up to one month, then thawed and frosted.


Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 19mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the great recipe! This is the first year that I have baked and decorated sugar cookies with my two little boys, and we enjoyed it so much that we are currently working on our second batch to have more to share with neighbors, friends, and family. When I first started rolling the dough, I got nervous about it being so sticky. Thankfully, I remembered reading a recommendation of sprinkling flour on all sides of the dough to keep it from sticking. (I am pretty new to making roll out sugar cookies!) I was able to get about 40 cookies from this recipe, and we had a little bit of icing left over (although my boys and I might have eaten a few cookies prior to icing… 😊). I made and refrigerated the icing ahead of time. When it came time to decorate, I forgot to set the containers of the different colored icings out to soften beforehand, but a few seconds in the microwave was enough to make it spreadable again. 🙂 Yummy! Thanks again, and Merry Christmas!

  2. 5 stars
    I was planning on throwing a “Christmas in July” party this summer so I am so happy I found this recipe! They look delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I admit, I’ve never made the rolled and cut sugar cookies for Christmas — think I’m too lazy. But these are perfection — I may have to motivate myself. Love the chocolate dip, too!

  4. 5 stars
    You just have to love a classic sugar cookie – these are the perfect base for cookies all year long. We will be using this recipe to make some star cookies for the 4th of July soon!

  5. 5 stars
    Sugar cookies were one of the things we all remembered about my grandma’s house. I love these. They are so unique.

  6. 5 stars
    What a cute way to serve sugar cookies for the holidays. I love the sprinkles! So festive! I hope I can find some at our local store. Can’t wait to make these cookies! Thanks for the recipe idea!

  7. I love making Christmas sugar cookies and dip them in dark chocolate. I have never adding sprinkle on the top so I will give it a try this Christmas. They made these cookies look colorful and delicious!

  8. These are such pretty colored Christmas Cookies! I love how they are not the traditional red and green! I need to try the sugar cookie base!

  9. 5 stars
    There is nothing better during the holidays than Tea Cakes. That’s what we call them down here in the south. They’re so tasty and so fun!