Christmas Sugar Cookies

These frosted Christmas Sugar Cookies are my grandma's best recipe, so buttery and sweet! A family favorite. No Christmas is complete without them.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 49 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 19 minutes
Servings 48 servings
Calories 137 kcal


For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 2/3 cup butter cold and firm
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream cold
  • Food coloring


To make the cookies:

  1. In a large bowl, sift or vigorously whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  2. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, or with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture and milk until just incorporated. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 2 days in advance.

  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

  5. On a floured surface, roll chilled dough between parchment paper or wax paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with Christmas cookie cutters. Transfer to prepared baking sheets with an offset spatula. 

  6. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes (if thicker than 1/8 inch, may take 10 to 15 minutes). Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before decorating with frosting (recipe follows).

To make the frosting:

  1. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed, or with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together.

  2. Add vanilla and milk and beat until smooth. Add more milk as necessary to achieve the desired consistency for writing on cookies.

  3. Divide frosting into small portions and color each with food coloring as desired. Transfer to piping bags and decorate cooled cookies. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from the Wisconsin Electric Power Company Christmas Cooky Book.