Rolled Cut-Out Christmas Sugar Cookies

by Kristen on December 13, 2013 · 32 comments

in Cookies

Cut-Out Christmas Sugar Cookies (with buttercream frosting) from The Frugal Girl

The other day, a friend asked me what sugar cookie recipe we use for frosted Christmas cookies, and I realized I haven’t shared that on my blog.


So, I’m here to fix that today.

Making Christmas cut-out cookies was one of my very favorite things to do when I was a kid, and so from the time my kids have been really little, we’ve done this every year.

frosted Christmas cookies

(When I was looking for photos for this post, I came across this hilarious one of Zoe from a few years back. She put the goggles on because, “I don’t want the sprinklies to get me in the eyes, Mommy!”)

I don't want the sprinklies to get me in the eyes!

Our cookies are often messily decorated or completely covered in red hots, but our goal in making these is not so much beautiful cookies but rather having fun together.


In the last few years, my kids (and who am I kidding? Mr. FG too!) have been making goofy cookies, which crack me up.

Cut-Out Christmas Cookies with Buttercream Frosting (from The Frugal Girl)

grumpy cookies

Wait until you see some of the crazy stuff they came up with this year (coming next week!)

I use a recipe that I found on another blog (I modified it very slightly) and for the frosting, I make a simple buttercream recipe that my family used growing up.


I don’t have step-by-step photos, but this isn’t rocket science. Basically, you make the dough, let it chill for an hour, roll it out, cut it with cookie cutters, and bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.


This recipe turns out cookies that are really buttery and slightly soft, though they are still sturdy enough to be handled and frosted. Also, the dough has always been easy to work with, and I’ve found the cookies to be easy to transfer to a baking sheet after cutting.

The frosting is just a basic buttercream, and when you make it, you can feel free to adjust the milk a bit to make the frosting the consistency you like. And if you accidentally add too much milk, you can always mix in a little extra powdered sugar to firm it up again.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Printable Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

(I usually make a double batch of the cookies and frosting so that the six of us have plenty to decorate.)

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Stir in egg, vanilla, and sour cream.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt; mix into butter/sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 350. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out using cookie cutters, place cookies on ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove cookies from sheet, let cool, and then frost.

Butter Frosting

(frosts one batch of cookies)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons milk, half and half, or cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat together 2 cups of powdered sugar with the butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and milk, then beat in remaining powdered sugar. Color as desired (for a pure white frosting, use less vanilla).


Psst! Come back this afternoon for a giveaway from Third Day Naturals!

Leave a Comment

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SandyH December 13, 2013 at 8:15 am

Yes, you never know when that rogue sprinkle might take off like a missle and hit you square in the eye!! This is the most priceless picture!

Your cookies look exactly like those my kids made growing up….the more candies, the better, was their theory!


2 Tammy December 13, 2013 at 8:33 am

This recipe sounds so good! I’ve never managed to find a decent sugar cookie recipe, so I’m going to give this one a try! I know my daughter would love to make them!


3 Kristen December 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

I think these are good…not as good as the sort of chewy sugar cookies that you roll into balls and then bake, but that kind of cookie is no good for shaping and decorating.

I hope you like these!


4 Alice December 13, 2013 at 8:56 am

I love the mad tree cookie. You guys should sell Tshirts or something with that on them.


5 ~Simplydor December 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

That would be soooooo CUTE ! :D


6 Kristen December 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Isn’t it great? Joshua made that one. :)


7 Natalia December 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I would buy it!


8 Rachel Parker December 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

Haha, you have to love the things kids come up with! Our daughter is just 13 months old now so we’re looking forward to developing Christmas traditions with her. Cookie baking sounds like a good one!


9 SheB December 13, 2013 at 9:52 am

Thanks! You read my mind! I always wondered what recipe you used but never got around to asking! I really love your christmas posts because they give me so many ideas


10 Jenn December 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

Hi Kristen! Thanks for sharing these recipes- they sound great and I will try out the cookie recipe for sure. We are hosting the Children’s ministry Christmas party this year at our church, and I was wondering how much your icing recipe firms up? I would like to put the cookies in treat bags for the kids, but if the frosting is too soft…
What do you think?


11 Kristen December 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

They harden up pretty quickly, and the frosting isn’t super soft to begin with (as long as your butter is just room temp, not warmer). If you make them ahead of time, the frosting will be totally fine, and I think you could even make them at the party and then send them home (wasn’t sure which you were asking about!)


12 Jenn December 14, 2013 at 8:15 am

Thanks, Kristen! I will try them out! We won’t be making them at the party since we have a couple of other crafts to do, but I will keep the recipe for next year :)


13 HeatherS December 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm

If you need a recipe that will make it so you can easily stack or pack sugar cookies, I use this one all the time.


14 Jenn December 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

Thanks HeatherS…I will check that out!

15 Lili@creativesavv December 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

I love that snowflake shaped cookie. Our collection of cutters looks a lot like yours — some plastic, some metal, some vintage, some new-ish.


16 Kristen December 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Yup, ours are a mish-mash!


17 Lori December 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

That is almost exactly the recipe that I use! I have never seen anyone else that used a recipe that contained sour cream. Imagine how disappointed I was when I first ate a cut-out cookie that my mom hadn’t made and it was nothing but a frosted sugar cookie… My recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter and an extra 1/2 cups of both flour and sugar, otherwise it’s the same. And it’s delicious!


18 Creshia December 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Thanks for sharing the recipe. The one I have is the same sugar cookie I grew up eating, but I hate the fact I have to use shortening. Plus, it was always hard for my kids (when they were younger) to place the cookie on the cookie sheet.

A silly question, are the sugar cookies you made very sweet, before icing? I stopped making the recipe I have for that very reason. I used what my mom always called Tea Cakes in place of the sugar cookies. I don’t like to sweet. lol

I do love the fact that your butter cream recipe seems to make much less then the one I have. We don’t don’t always need a ton. Mainly, because I eat whats left. lol

Our house is/was the same as most of ya’lls the more the sprinkles or candy the merrier.


19 Kristen December 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Ooh, that’s sort of hard to say, exactly…I’d say they’re not super-duper sweet. Definitely less sweet than round, roll-the-dough-into-a-ball sugar cookies, at least!


20 gladys December 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I haven’t tried to make sugar cookies yet but I will this coming Christmas for gifts and for the girls too!


21 WilliamB December 14, 2013 at 7:26 am

Question about the flour, FG: is that 3 cups of flour then sift it, or sift the flour then measure 3 cups of it? The former could be a lot more flour than the latter. (And then I’m going to convert it to weight, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.)


22 Kristen December 14, 2013 at 9:28 am

I never sift my flour. ;) So, it’s 3 cups of flour, and that’s that. I do the “scoop the flour into the measuring cup and level it off” method of measuring, rather than the “drag the measuring cup through the flour and then level it off” method, if that helps.

I ended up with slightly too little flour in my batch this year (the first cookies spread too much), but then once I added a little more flour, it was all good.

Do update us with the results once you get this down to a precise science! (I’m too lazy…er, not detail-oriented-enough to figure that out!)


23 WilliamB December 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I’ll try to remember. But I used the stir-scoop-and-level method, rather than my usual weighing (I made the dough at someone else’s house), and I won’t bake the cookies till after New Year’s.


24 Mark December 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

That picture of your daughter in goggles is absolutely priceless. Thanks for the recipe, our family will be giving this one a spin. And nice blog!


25 Bethany December 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I LOVE that picture of Zoe! Ha ha ha!


26 Liz @ Economies of Kale December 15, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I love the goggles and the faces. Can’t wait to see what you all came up with this year :)


27 Nichole December 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Thanks for sharing this recipe. My girls and I tried it yesterday and the cookies were sooo moist and tasty. They even held their shape with some very intricate animal cookie cutters. (Nothing says Christmas like a menagerie of zoo animals.) lol! :-)


28 Aleesha Banks December 17, 2013 at 3:55 am

These are lovely and so beautifully displayed! I really love this recipe as I’m not a great baker so this is a must try :) !


29 Katiana December 18, 2013 at 7:40 am

I am currently living in Malawi and working in a refugee camp. Made 100 of these (and the fantastic icing) for the post-secondary education program’s Christmas party that we had today… Let me tell you, it is always an adventure trying to bake here. I can’t find sour cream over here, so I substituted natural yogurt and it worked out well! The power was also out for most of yesterday, so the dough was rolled and cut out by flash light, and some cookies got baked early this morning before I ran out the door for work!
They have been seriously enjoyed! Apparently the cookies have all disappeared and the (adult) students are now eating straight icing!
Thanks for sharing the recipe – came up in my blog list at the exact right time! A perfect taste of Christmas!


30 Kristen December 18, 2013 at 7:56 am

Oh, that’s so lovely to hear! I’m really, really glad the cookies worked out well for you.


31 Martina December 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Kristen, these cookies are AWESOME. Thank you so much for sharing. I just baked up a batch today and I am so happy. They were so easy to make – the dough was simple to mix and rolling & cutting them out was a breeze compared to other recipes I’ve tried, which always seem to be too dry or too moist. Compared to the gingerbread I did the other day (which I always thought was a great recipe too…from my 4H days!), these are so much easier! I’m off to print this out & add to my go-to recipes. Thank you so much for sharing! And the photo of Zoe is hilarious…you’ll be happy to know it prompted my 2 year old to insist on wearing safety goggles this morning too (once I figured out what “eyeballs” were…vocabulary challenge ;) ). Merry Christmas!


32 Jan Elizabeth January 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

This was the first year EVER that we didn’t do this at Christmas. I think we should do it for Valentine’s day instead, I’m feeling deprived, especially when looking at your delicious-looking photos!
My kids got hilarious with ours as well, as the years wore on. One year they made all the Starwars characters (gingerbread people were the guards, and a very smooth, rippled-looking Christmas tree turned on its side was Jabba the Hut!) Another year my son made zombies… There are always some of us who make them Christmasy, so we have some when guests come over, so they don’t have to eat bleeding gingerbread people, etc. No matter what they look like, they are delicious! :)


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