Christmas Sugar Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min.


about 8 dozen

Updated: Feb. 14, 2024
This is my all-time favorite Christmas sugar cookie recipe. The addition of sour cream makes them extra moist. To dress them up, I drizzle or dip the cookies in tinted white chocolate, then sprinkle them with crushed candy canes. —Lisa MacLean, Winslow, Arizona


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • White candy coating
  • Green paste food coloring


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Beat in the sour cream, honey and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake at 325° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white coating; stir until smooth. Stir in food coloring; drizzle over cookies.

Christmas Sugar Cookies Tips

How do I decorate Christmas sugar cookies?

When it comes to decorating sugar cookies, the possibilities are endless. Dress up cookies with colorful sprinkles, jimmies, nonpareils and other fun embellishments. And don’t forgot the key ingredient to turning sugar cookies into edible works of art—royal icing. Make royal icing or purchase it from Wilton or other retailers. Here are more easy Christmas cookie decorating tips.

Should I chill the cookie dough before baking?

Yes! Chilling cookie dough prevents them from spreading out too quickly once they are in the oven. Popping your dough in the fridge allows the fats to cool. As a result, the cookies will expand more slowly, holding onto their texture. If you skip the chilling step, you’re more likely to wind up with flat, hard disks instead of lovely, chewy cookies. Cookies made from chilled dough are also much more flavorful. The dough becomes hydrated as the dry ingredients soak up moisture from the wet ingredients. This subtle hydration makes the dough less wet, concentrating the flavors.

Can I freeze homemade Christmas cookies?

Cookies that are already decorated with frosting or coated in chocolate or confectioners’ sugar should not be frozen. The same goes for delicate cookies like meringues and pizzelles. Just about anything else is game to be stored in the freezer. If the cookies lose some of their character in the freezer, you can usually restore them to life with a short stint in a moderate oven. While thick, robust doughs like drop, cutout and icebox cookies freeze like a charm, thinner cookie batters don’t hold up so well. If you’re making cookies with a thin batter, it’s best to go ahead and bake them off and freeze the cookies afterward.

How do I make sugar cookies softer or crispier?

If they're too hard or crispy, soften cookies by adding a slice of white bread to the bag. The cookies absorb the bread’s moisture, making them soft again. If your cookies are too soft or pale, it’s possible you added too much flour. Use the exact amount the recipe calls for and be sure your oven temperature isn’t set too low. The key to keeping cookies fresh and soft is to seal them in an airtight container, like a resealable freezer bag.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 48 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 33mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.