These Christmas Sugar Cookies are the absolute best! They are thick, soft, and frosted with the yummiest buttercream frosting. Have the whole family join in on making these delicious festive cookies!
I’ve been enjoying these Christmas Sugar Cookies since I was a kid and continue to make them every year (plus other holiday variations)! They are soft and the frosting is delicious! It’s creamy, buttery, but still forms a crust on top making it possible to stack the cookies without ruining them.
Cut Out Christmas Sugar Cookies
These Christmas Sugar Cookies can be decorated as fancy or as simple as your want. My mom kept them simple by frosting the cookies with a butter knife and then let us kids shake on the sprinkles.
I’ve gotten a little creative and now add some extra details with a piping tip and other yummy candies. If you’ve tried my Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies you know how good chocolate chips are on sugar cookies. Reese’s are incredible on there too!
Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:
- All-Purpose Flour– This has the right amount of proteins in the flour to make the perfect texture sugar cookie. I have not tried any gluten free substitutions.
- Salted Butter– I always buy salted butter from Costco. If using unsalted, add 1/4 teaspoon salt per stick.
- Sour Cream– This is the secret ingredient to getting the perfect soft texture. PLEASE us full fat!
- Eggs– This add moisture to the cookie as well as structure so that it doesn’t crumble apart.
- Baking Soda– This leavening agent reacts with the sour cream to give the cookies rise.
- Salt– Salt is needed to help accentuate the other ingredients in the cookie.
- Vanilla Extract– Always use pure vanilla extract. Imitation just isn’t the same. For the best value, buy in bulk at places like Costco or Sam’s Club.
How to make Sugar Cookies:
Time needed: 3 hours and 10 minutes.
- Make the Dough
In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add 1 cup flour with salt and soda, mix, and continue to mix and add 1 cup flour at a time.
Cut two large pieces of plastic wrap, divide dough in two and empty dough onto each piece, shape into disks, wrap up, and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out
Empty 1 round of dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/3 inch thick. Cut out dough with cutters getting as close together as possible to minimize scraps. Place on an ungreased pan 2 inches apart. Set scraps of dough aside. Roll out and cut second round of dough. Add the scraps to the other scraps and knead it together. Roll out and repeat until all the dough is used.
Bake one pan at a time in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Cookies will look slightly puffed and white. They should not be golden at all.
Leave cookies on pan for about 5 minutes and then remove and let cool on wire rack or towel. When completely cooled, frost and immediately add sprinkles and candy.
Tips for the BEST Soft Sugar Cookies:
- Chill the dough! To work with the dough and prevent spreading while cooking, the dough must be chilled for at least an hour but up to 2 days before.
- Roll it thick. Don’t roll the dough too thin! Evenly roll the dough out so that it is 1/3 inch thick.
- Use as little flour as possible. Lightly dust the work surface and cut out the cookies as close together as possible. Roll out each dish and then combine the scraps from both and roll out again.
- Dip the cookie cutter in flour. If you find it hard to remove the cut out dough from the cutter, dip the cutter in flour an shake off the excess before each cut.
- Don’t over bake! If rolled to the proper thickness, these cookies need only 10 minutes to bake. They’ll still be white with no browning.
- Frost the Bottom. Yep! Flip the cookie over and slather or pipe the frosting onto the bottom of the cookie. Since the bottom touches the pan, it is always more cooked. The frosting softens it up which is a great quick fix if the cookies were baked a little too long. The completely fat surface also makes it easier to apply an even layer of frosting.
- Add sprinkles right away. Right after frosting each cookie, immediately shake on the sprinkles or apply candy decorations so that they adhere before the frosting dries. For less mess, decorate cookies on a rimmed baking sheet or tea towel so the sprinkles don’t spread everywhere.
This recipe uses sour cream which helps make the cookies soft. Also, rolling the dough 1/3 inch thick and baking only 10 minutes also insures that they will be soft.
If the cookies are browned on the bottom you have already baked them too long. Fortunately, I have a trick for you to help soften them back up. Once the cookies have cooled, turn them over and frost the bottom side. The cookie will absorb some of the moisture in the frosting making it soft. (Not right away, but by 12 hours after frosting, you’ll find that the cookie has softened.)
The dough must be chilled. Once chilled, it is quite firm. Already shaping the dough into a flat disc helps to prevent over working the dough and allows for easy and quick rolling.
We’re making cookies here! Use full fat! It’s better to enjoy an amazing delicious cookie and feel satisfied than a sub par cookie that leaves you disappointed. Am I right?!
Store frosted cookies at room temperate in an air tight container. Once the frosting has dried, you can lay wax paper or parchment paper on top and stack on a second layer of cookies.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THESE COOKIES:
- Half-Sheet Pan– These pans have made made hundreds of batches of cookies over the last 10 years and are still in great condition. They’re also great for sheet cakes, cookies, roasting vegetables, baking chicken…
- Cookie Cutters– I bought mine at Target a few years ago but these have most of the Christmas shapes that I have.
- Kitchen Aid Mixer– These things last forever! I’ve had mine for 10 years and I’m pretty sure my mom has had her’s for like 30. I couldn’t live without it! If you don’t have one, you can use an Electric Hand Mixer.
- Piping Bags & Tips- For the Stockings and mittens I used an open star tip (Wilton #21) and for the trees and candy canes I used a small round tip (Wilton #3).
LOOKING FOR MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIES? CHECK OUT THESE:
- Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms
- White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps
- Rudolphs Red Nose Cookies
- Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
Christmas Sugar Cookies
For the Dough:
- 1 cup butter, soft
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Frosting:
- 9 tablespoons butter
- 5-7 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Food coloring
- various candies (M&M's, Reese's…)
For the Dough:
- In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add 1 cup flour with salt and soda, mix, and continue to mix and add 1 cup flour at a time.
- Cut two large pieces of plastic wrap, divide dough in two and empty dough onto each piece, shape into disks, wrap up, and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Empty 1 round of dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/3 inch thick. Cut out dough with cutters getting as close together as possible to minimize scraps. Place on an ungreased pan 2 inches apart and set scraps aside. Roll out and cut second round of dough. Add the scraps to the other scraps and knead it together. Roll out and repeat until all the dough is used.
- Bake one pan at a time in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Cookies will look slightly puffed and white. They should not be golden at all.
- Leave cookies on pan for about 5 minutes and then remove and let cool on wire rack or towel. When completely cooled, frost and immediately add sprinkles and candy.
For the Frosting:
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter. Add half the sugar and blend well (start off slow!). Beat in vanilla and cream. Mix in the remaining sugar as needed to get desired consistency.
- Add food coloring.