We have a recipe for the best Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies. Learn how to make gorgeous and tasty Christmas cut out cookies in just a few steps. 

Christmas Sugar Cookies decorated on a plate.
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Sugar cookies go hand and hand with Christmas Desserts. We have the absolute best cut out sugar cookies that you need to make. The kids and I have been making these for years.

Choose from all of your favorite holiday shapes and decorate with delicious icing. I also love to make Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies with sugar cookie frosting.

These tasty cookies are perfect for Christmas parties, cookie exchanges and more. Everyone will think you purchased these from a bakery because they look so pretty and taste decadent. 

Why this recipe is the best

  • Delicious Cookies. The texture and flavor is amazing.
  • Easy to make. The cookies take very little time to prepare.
  • So much fun to decorate. Get creative and make an assortment of designs.

Ingredients

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Sugar

Icing Ingredients: 

  • Egg Whites
  • Confectioner’s Sugar
  • Gel Food Coloring

Find the complete ingredient list and instructions at the bottom of the post.

  • Step 1. Prepare Oven – First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Step 2. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs – Next, cream the soft butter with the sugar until the combination is smooth not grainy to the touch in a large bowl. Add all 4 eggs at one time.
Dough in mixing bowl.

Step 3. Continue to mix. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Continue mixing to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly blended. 

Cookie dough wrapped in plastic wrap.

Step 4. Make the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap completely covering the entire dough ball.

Dough on floured surface.

Step 5. Put in the refrigerator for about 6 hours or overnight. Prepare dough area. Put flour out on the wood cutting board, rub flour on the rolling pin, and work some flour into the batter. (if needed)

Rolled cookie dough with cookie cutters.

Step 6. Begin cutting cookies – Roll out the dough out on the cutting board and using your favorite Christmas cookie cutter begin to make your cookies.

Cookies on baking sheet.

Step 7. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Move the cut cookies to cookie sheet. Bake and cool the cookies.

Bowl with icing and a beater.

Step 8. Combine the icing ingredients in a bowl mixing on medium speed for 4 minutes, except your food coloring. If icing is not stiff enough, add ¼ C powder sugar until the icing is to a 15 second consistency. 

Bowls with different colors of icing.

Step 9. Mix the icing with the food gel coloring of your choice. You can separate the icing into different bowls for different colors.

Icing in piping bag with different colors of icing.

Step 10. Place the royal icing in piping bags and decorate the cookies with the colors of your choice. Allow the decorated cookies between 2-3 hours to dry.

Now that you have cut out your cookies and baked them now it is time to decorate them. This is were I get the kids involved. They love to admire their work and it so fun doing this activity with them.

  • Outline Cookie – We like to first outline the cookie. If you have little kids, you may want to help them with this. But is also fun to see what they create.
  • Fill in Cookie – Fill in cookie with your favorite holiday colors. It is fun to use different colors to really make the cookies shine.
  • Use Tip – To fill in those corner areas, we recommend using a tip. This is also good to use for the details of your cookies.
  • Sprinkles – If you are adding in small sprinkles or mini chocolate chips, we recommend adding before the frosting sets. This allows for the sprinkles to stick to the frosting.
  • Allow Cookie to Rest – Once you are done decorating, place on a wire rack and let the frosting and sprinkles set before serving. This is also important if you are wrapping up in a bag to give as a gift.

Expert Tips:

  • Chill Dough – Allow time for the dough to chill before cutting into shapes.
  • Line Baking Sheet – We recommend lining the baking sheet with parchment paper. This prevents the cookies from spreading and sticking to the pan.
  • Keep Dough Cool – It is important to keep dough cool before baking. If you are waiting to put cookies in the oven, we recommend placing in the refrigerator.
  • Overmixing the Dough – Be careful to not over mixing the dough. This helps keep the dough together which helps for the cookies not to spread while baking.
  • Fresh Ingredients – When preparing the cookie dough, make sure you use fresh ingredients. The cookies taste better and cook better.
  • Mixing Ingredients – We like using our stand mixer to mix the ingredients, but you can also use a hand mixer.
  • Food Coloring – We recommend using gel food coloring for the best and vibrate colors for your sugar cookies.
  • Piping Bags – For ease of decorating, place the prepared icing in separate piping bags. This allows you to get the perfect outline and the most amazing decorated cookies.
  • Baking Cookies – You want to bake the cookies until they are barely set. This allows for a softer cookie. If you bake until they are brown, then the cookie will be crunchy. Sugar Cookies are supposed to be very soft and chewy.

Freezing sugar cookie dough is easy to do. There are two options you can use if you are planning on freezing the dough.

Freeze the dough uncut – After mixing the dough, you can freeze as is and wrap tightly with saran wrap. Place in a freeze safe container that is airtight. When you are ready to use, thaw dough overnight in the refrigerator and then roll and cut out your cookies.

Freezer cutout cookies – You can go ahead and cut your cookie dough in the shapes that you prefer. Then place them on a baking sheet and cover completely.

Freeze on baking sheet – Then freeze on the baking sheet. Once you ready to bake, then remove from the freezer and thaw. Then the cookies are ready to bake.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do you Chill Cookie Dough?

The Sugar Cookie Dough needs to chill for at least 6 hours. We recommend making it and letting it set in the refrigerator overnight.

Make sure to wrap the dough completely so no air gets to the dough and dries it out.

How long do Cut Out Sugar Cookies last?

They will last for about a week in an airtight container.  After a week, the appearance of the icing may change and the quality may not be the same.

However, if you have a heat sealer to use on each cookie, they will last for several weeks. 

How Long Does the Icing Need to Harden for?

After decorating the sugar cookies it is important to allow the icing to harden. This prevents the icing to blend with the other colors.

We recommend allowing the icing to harden for at least 3 hours or overnight.

How to Store Decorated Sugar Cookies?

Place decorated cookies in an airtight container. If you are stacking cookies in the container, we recommend placing a piece of wax paper in between the cookies.

If placing on a cookie tray, make sure it is completely wrapped tightly.

How to Freeze Christmas cutout cookies:

Make sure the cookies are set before freezing. Use a freezer container and parchment paper in between each layer to keep the appearance of the cookies intact. 

The cookies should keep up to 3 months in the freezer. 

Christmas Sugar Cookies decorated on a plate.

More Christmas Cookies:

Make this Christmas Cutout Cookie Recipe and please leave a comment once you do!

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Christmas cut out Sugar Cookies

5 from 14 votes
We have a recipe for the best Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies. Learn how to make gorgeous and tasty Christmas cut out cookies in just a few steps. 
Prep Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Cool 10 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 33 minutes
Servings 36
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 195

Ingredients

  • Cookie Ingredients:
  • 5 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C soft unsalted butter
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Icing Ingredients:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Gel Food Coloring

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cream the soft butter with the sugar until the combination is smooth not grainy to the touch in a mixing bowl.
  • Add all 4 eggs at one time. Continue to mix.
  • Add the vanilla.  Continue mixing.
  • Sift the four, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.
  • Continue mixing to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  • Make the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling wrap completely covering the entire dough ball.
  • Put in the refrigerator for about 6 hours or overnight. Check to see if the dough is firm.
  • Pull the cookie dough out of the refrigerator and sit it out to soften up a bit.
  • Put flour out on the wood cutting board, rub flour on the rolling pin, and work some flour intothe batter. (if needed)
  • Roll the dough out on the cutting board and using your favorite Christmas cookie cutter begin to make your cookies.
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a metal spatula move the cut cookies to the parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.  Check to see if the cookies are thoroughly baked.
  • Take the cookies off of the cookie sheet and put on a wire rack to cool completely.(About 10 minutes).
  • Icing Directions:
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl mixing on medium speed for 4 minutes. (except your food coloring). If icing is  not stiff enough add ¼ C powder sugar until the icing is to a 15 second consistency.  Which means that when you slice a spatula across the top of the icing, it would take 15 seconds to disappear.
  • Mix the icing with the food gel coloring of your choice. You can separate the icing into different bowls for different colors.
  • Place the icing in piping bags and decorate the cookies with the colors of your choice.
  • Allow the decorated cookies between 2-3 hours to dry.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 195kcal, Carbohydrates 28g, Protein 3g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 5g, Cholesterol 39mg, Sodium 76mg, Potassium 65mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 14g, Vitamin A 263IU, Calcium 20mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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    1. I usually use a hand held mixer or stand up mixer for this recipe but I think a food processor would work great too!