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Rolled Cut-Out Christmas Sugar 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!

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Friday 20th of December 2019

Kristen, what kind of flour should I use?


Saturday 21st of December 2019

Regular all purpose is just fine for cookies!

Jan Elizabeth

Monday 27th of January 2014

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! :)


Thursday 19th of December 2013

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'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!


Wednesday 18th of December 2013

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!


Wednesday 18th of December 2013

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

Aleesha Banks

Tuesday 17th of December 2013

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 :) !

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