Jolly is an understatement once you taste these Christmas Sugar Cookies. They’re melt-in-your-mouth good and easily the best sugar cookies you’ve ever had. Decorate them for Christmas, Easter, St. Patty’s Day, or any occasion in between. You’ll want to keep this recipe in your baking arsenal year-round.

Sugar Cookie Cutouts shaped like mittens decorated with red and green frosting and plated on a white platter.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

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No matter if you want to slice-and-bake or make festive cut-outs, this is the last sugar cookie recipe you’ll ever need. The cookies are buttery and not overpoweringly sweet. The outside is perfectly crisp with a soft, tender middle that’ll have you reaching for another one before you’ve finished the first. 

For many of us, the holidays mean baked goods and gift trays galore. These Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple enough to crank batch after batch of delectable cookies. Everyone will swear you’ve got your own bakeshop full of elves. 

Simply chill and slice the dough, then coat it with holiday sprinkles. Or, cut out festive shapes and get the whole family involved in a cookie-decorating activity. Either way, the cookies are delicious enough that you’ll want to bake some throughout the year, not just during the holidays. 

This recipe remains at the top of my list, along with my effortless Ginger Snap Cookies and No Bake Haystack Cookies. Whip up this Christmas Cookie Trifecta, and there’s no way you won’t make the Nice list. 

Slice and bake sugar cookies on a cupcake stand placed on a green napkin with glasses of milk in the background. The sugar cookies are stacked on top of each other.

How To Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

  1. Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Then set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. With a stand or hand mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You’ll notice the color of the butter change, and the texture will become creamy and airy.
  3. Incorporate the egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat in the egg. A room-temperature egg will incorporate easier than a cold one. Then, add the milk and vanilla and mix until fully combined.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients in additions. On a slower speed, mix in about a cup of the dry ingredient mixture at a time until all of it is incorporated. Once the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, it’s a perfect consistency.

For Cut-And-Bake Cookies:

Divide and chill the dough. Split the dough into two halves, and roll each half into a log with a 2-in diameter. Wrap the logs in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Slice chilled dough into rounds and bake. Cut the chilled dough log every ¼ inch to create the sugar cookie rounds. Transfer them to a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake in a 375°F oven for 6-7 minutes. The edges of the cookies will be golden, and the centers will be set.

For Cut-Out Cookies:

Divide and chill the dough. Separate the dough into two halves, and form flattened discs. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roll out the chilled dough. Lightly cover your work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out the chilled dough to a ¼ inch thick. 

Cut into festive shapes. Use your cutter to create holiday-shaped cookies. Transfer these cut-outs to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough, allow it to chill, then cut out your shapes. Continue this process until you don’t have any dough remaining.

Bake, cool, and decorate.  Bake at 375°F for 6-7 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Leave the finished cookies on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Once cooled completely, you’re ready to decorate.

Sugar Cookies shaped like mittens and decorated with red and green royal icing are scattered on a flat wood surface.

Decorative Variations

For Cut-And-Bake Cookies:

  • Press red and green decorative sugar or holiday sprinkles into the face of the cookies before you bake.
  • Stamp the unbaked cookie rounds with the bottom of a decorative drinking glass. You can use this method in addition to decorative sugar toppings. 
  • Make cookie sandwiches with Eggnog Buttercream
  • Frost the finished cookies with Royal Icing. The round shape makes adorable snowmen faces or ornaments. 

For Cut-Out Cookies:

  • Frost the cut-out cookies with Royal Icing. You can be as detailed or abstract as you’d like.
  • Look for pre-made Cookie Icing at your grocery store to make this recipe even less fussy.
  • Leave the cookies plain and let the shapes speak for themselves. This look is particularly striking when paired with other holiday-flavored but undecorated cookies. 

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t skip chilling the dough. The longer you chill the dough, the better since it’ll give the fats ample time to solidify before baking. This way, you’ll get tender, chewy cookies instead of flat ones that melt as soon as they hit the oven.
  • Freeze leftover dough. You can freeze this sugar cookie dough for up to 2 months. keep some on hand for whenever a sugar craving strikes. 
  • Sticky dough? If you’re trying to slice or use cookie cutters on your dough and it’s too sticky, you might need to re-chill it. Wrap it up and place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before continuing. You could also try pressing your cookie cutter into a plate of powdered sugar, then pressing it into the dough for a clean cut every time.
Mitten sugar cookie cutouts decorated with red and green icing on a white platter with a glass of milk in the background.

Our Favorite Baking Tools

Baking Sheet

This Nordic Ware Insulated Cookie Sheet bakes up the most perfect cutout cookies because of the even heat distribution. We’ve been using this one for over 10 years.

Classic Stand Mixer

This KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer is a staple in our kitchen and a sure workhorse. It’s not used for just baking, you can easily shred chicken, make mashed potatoes or whip up pizza dough.

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Sugar Cookies shaped like mittens and decorated with red and green royal icing are scattered on a flat wood surface.

Get the Recipe: Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

This simple Sugar Cookie recipe will follow you all year long. Perfect cookies that won’t spread when you bake them!
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  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough


  • 1 hand mixer
  • 1 baking sheet


  • Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the egg. Beat to combine.
  • Add the milk and vanilla continuing to beat until well combined.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and beat until the dough begins to pull away from the sides.
  • For slice and bake cookies:
  • Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 2 months.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • When ready to bake, slice the dough into rounds approximately 1/4 inch wide.
  • Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 6-8 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the centers are set.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • For cutout cookies:
  • Divide the dough into two equal disks and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Chill the dough for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Dough can be frozen at this point for up to 2 months.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar on a clean dry surface and roll out one dough disk to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and arrange approximately 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling wrap to cool completely before decorating.
  • Repeat with remaining dough.


Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 19mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 165IU, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 0.4mg