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The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

You guys, when we tell you that these Christmas sugar cookie recipe is the best recipe – you will believe us once you make them!

christmas sugar cookies

If you like soft, buttery thick sugar cookies this is the Christmas cookie recipe for you! We make the dough from scratch with simple ingredients and also make homemade icing.

We have been making these cookies since we were little girls. Our mom has had a tradition of making homemade iced sugar cookies for Christmas. She had the same tradition as a little girl as well.

christmas sugar cookies

This sugar cookie recipe comes from our grandma. She was an excellent baker. Homemade sugar cookies is such a tradition and part of our family that our mom gifted each of her grandchildren this darling children’s book about love and sugar cookies! So if you have the same sugar cookie tradition in your family – this book makes such a sweet gift.

How to make soft sugar cookies?

The key to a good sugar cookie in our opinion is that it is soft and not thin and crispy. And the biggest reason to get the soft cookie is to (in our opinion) under cook the cookie. This means do not let the edges start to brown. You also want to roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch (or more).

This is the absolute BEST cookie sheet to use for making big batches of sugar cookies.

Wiltons Mega Cookie Sheet (non-stick) – it is HUGE! Depending on cookie cutter, you can fit about 28 cookies on one cookie sheet. Love this thing!

Favorite cookie cutters

These Christmas cookie cutters are great to work with. And these copper plated ornament cookie cutters are beautiful.

christmas sugar cookies

TIP: Make the dough ahead of time

Another thing we love about this recipe is that you can make the dough ahead of time. You can refrigerate or freeze the dough. If you refrigerate, wrap in plastic wrap and leave in fridge for 24 hours. So it is easy to make the day ahead.

Or very often our mom makes the sugar cookie dough, wraps in plastic wrap and pops it in the freezer for up to 6-8 weeks. Just make sure and thaw in fridge the day before you will use the dough.

Why do you chill the sugar cookie dough before baking?

This is a common baking trick. This helps in rolling out the dough, cutting with cookie cutter and then not having the dough spread out too much when baking. Essentially it helps the cookie hold its shape in the oven.

How to freeze sugar cookies

A wonderful thing about making homemade cut out sugar cookies is that you can make them ahead of time. We like to host a cookie decorating party each December. Often we will make the dough, cut out the cookies and bake a week prior to party. You can keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for up to three months.

The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe


1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

1 teaspoon water (more if needed)

3 cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ t salt


Cream butter, sugar and vanilla.

Add egg and water. Beat until light and fluffy.

In a new bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Sift together.

Blend dry mixture into creamed mixture, divide dough in half. Wrap each half in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

When you are ready to roll your dough, make sure and flour your working surface. If your dough feels too sticky, add a little bit of flour. If your dough seems to dry, add a tiny bit of water and kneed.

Roll your dough on the floured surface with a rolling pin. We like to roll our about a quarter inch thick (or more).

Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Watch them carefully. Take out of oven before edges turn brown.

TIP: every oven is different – so the first round of cookies you bake, make sure and watch carefully. Your oven might only take 6 minutes to bake, while others could take 8 or more minutes.

christmas cookies

How to make sugar cookie icing?

Homemade Icing

Start with 2 cups of powdered sugar.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Stir in teaspoons of milk one at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Makes about 2 doze cookies.

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  1. I put dough in Frig for an hour and it is so stiff it’s hard to roll out

    1. Let it sit on the counter for a little bit…. you can also knead it just a bit as well.

  2. How many sugar cookies come out from a recipe?

    1. it all depends on how thick or think you roll out hte dough and what size cookie cutter. Around 3 dozen

  3. Stephanie says:

    Do you salted or unsalted butter?

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