To me, Christmas sugar cookies are the first cookie I think of during the holidays. It’s what my mom always made, and my sister and I to help decorate with sprinkles. They are simple but delicious and just sing Christmas to me. I love lots of cookies during the holidays. Everything from Chocolate Chip Cookies to Shortbread is welcome in my house.
But you gotta have a sugar cookie! So, after trying many other kinds, this recipe feels nostalgic but also modern. It’s slightly spiced and bright but still buttery. A little bit soft, a little bit crisp, and perfect for holding it’s shape when cut. They can be decorated pre-baking with sprinkles or post baking with frosting or icing. Or, enjoyed plain. All ways are equally delicious.
I have made these outside of Christmas for birthday parties or just because and they always receive many compliments. It’s easy and delicious, and takes hardly any time.
I have tons of other cookies if you search cookies on my site, but here some other particularly festive options for the holidays:
Christmas Sugar Cookies Key Ingredients
- Salted Butter – we use salted butter in these in lieu of the traditional salted to add a little extra saltiness and moisture. Salted butter generally has a slightly higher water content than unsalted. I personally prefer to use European salted butter when making these to add a little more richness from the added butterfat.
- Orange Zest – We only add a little bit of zest to add a little brightness to the cookies. If you frost your cookies you won’t taste the orange at all but you will taste what it adds to the cookie.
- Cinnamon – Like the orange zest, we aren’t adding enough cinnamon to make this a cinnamon flavored cookie, it will just add a little more interest to the flavor profile.
- 1 small Orange for zesting
- 135 g Granulated sugar ⅔ cup
- 1 cup Salted butter room temperature
- 1 large Egg room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ⅛ tsp Almond extract
- 300 g AP Flour
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- Measure out your flour and add cinnamon. Mix to combine and set aside.
- Measure out your sugar into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Zest about ½ a teaspoon of orange zest into the sugar.
- Add your butter to the sugar and zest and mix on medium-low for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in your egg and extracts and mix until well combined.
- Add your flour mixture in and mix on low until dough just comes together.
- Gather the dough and place it onto a piece of plastic cling wrap. Press out into a disc shape and wrap in the plastic wrap completely.
- Place your dough in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight.
- When ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Flour your work surface. Let your dough sit out for about 5 minutes and the roll out to somewhere between ⅛" for thin cookies and ¼" for thicker cookies.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out your cookies, transferring to the baking sheet. Any scraps can be pushed together and rolled out to repeat.If decorating with icing cookies are ready to bake. If decorating with sprinkles, place sprinkles on pre-baking.
- Bake your cookies on the center rack of your oven for 10-12 minutes. The edges will be a light golden color. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Allow cookies to cool before icing with buttercream or royal icing. Store in an airtight container. Cookies are freshest for about 3-5 days after baking. Enjoy!