Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies – These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They’re thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies Recipe

These cut out sugar cookies taste like truly traditional Christmas sugar cookies – old fashioned, simple, and delicious!

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

If you have childhood memories of making cut out cookies with your Grandma or your family members, this is the recipe to bring back all that lovely nostalgia! 

My cut out sugar cookies are thin, but soft, and the royal icing is easier than you think to make! Sure, it takes a bit of practice if you want to become an expert piper, but it’s totally do-able. It’s not about how “perfect” your cookies look. Rather, it’s how they taste and I promise you that everyone is going to love these!

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Ingredients In Classic Christmas Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

These cut out Christmas sugar cookies are based on a classic recipe that uses common ingredients that you surely will have in your fridge and panty.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

For the Cookies you will need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract

For the Royal Icing you will need:

  • Eggs whites (pasteurized recommended)
  • Confectioners’ sugarChristmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

How To Make Cut Out Christmas Sugar Cookie Dough

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set it aside. To the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy before adding the egg and vanilla, and beat just until combined.

Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. It’s very important that you do not overmix the cookie dough after the dry ingredients are added because overmixing can cause the cookies to turn out crispy instead of soft.

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 6-inch round disc and wrap each with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour and up to one day.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place one disc unwrapped on a lightly floured surface.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Use a rolling pin to roll into an 1/8-inch thick sheet of dough and use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes. Repeat until dough is used up from both dough discs.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

If the dough chilled for more than 2 hours, you’ll likely need to let it rest at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Baking Christmas Sugar Cookies

Place the cut out cookies on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for an additional 15 minutes. The second chill is to help the cookies keep their shape while baking and cannot be skipped.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven, and then bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, just until the edges are turning light brown.

Take note that you do not want the edges to be golden brown or you will end up with crispy cookies.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

How To Make Royal Icing

This royal icing is easily prepared by adding the egg whites and the powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute then increase to high speed and beat until glossy stiff peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Use pasteurized egg whites in the frosting to avoid any potential issue with consuming raw egg whites. 

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Divide the icing and use gel food coloring to color as desired, fill your pastry bags, and then use a #2 or #3 piping tip to pipe a border around the cookie and let it set for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a small piping tip, just cut a small piece off the bottom of the icing bags.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of water to the icing to thin it out slightly, then fill in the cookies. Use a toothpick to spread the icing out to cover fully.

Make sure to add your festive holiday sprinkles as desired before frosting hardens!

You cannot omit or skip the egg whites if you want the best royal icing both in terms of its final consistency, texture, and sheen.  

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Can You Freeze Cut Out Sugar Cookies?

Yes you can and I have a variety of ways you can freeze them!

Freeze Non-Iced Cookies: Let the cookies cool to room temperature and place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Freeze Already Iced Cookies: Let cookies set overnight before packaging into individual bags and then freeze for up to 3 months.

Freeze Raw Cookie Dough: You can also freeze the actual cookie dough, before baking it, for up to 3 months. I recommend diving it in half and freezing the 6-inch discs separately. Allow it to come up to room temperature on the counter before rolling it out. 

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Tips For The Best Cut Out Christmas Sugar Cookies

Allow the cookies to fully set at room temperature before packing them into an air-tight container. Cookies should remain soft and fresh for about 10 days when stored in a cool place such as your countertop or pantry in the winter months, and kept in an airtight container.

Cut out Christmas sugar cookies come out best when rolled to 1/8-inch thick. You can roll them thicker but you risk them spreading during baking.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

I use pretty standard size cookie cutters for this recipe, about 3 to 4 inches in size. However, you can use mini cookie cutters, but you’ll want to cook for a shorter time.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Even though the cookies are thin, they are not crispy, as long as you only let the edges just barely turn light brown. This is a cookie recipe where you don’t want to over bake them and to err on the side of under baking because they will continue to carry-over cook while resting on the baking sheet and will continue to develop a bit of color even after they’ve been pulled from the oven.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!
Yield: 24

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 43 minutes

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies - These traditional sugar cookies are just like Grandma used to make!! They're thin but still soft, topped with a simple 2-ingredient royal icing, and loaded with sprinkles! So festive and perfect for cookies exchanges or hostess gifts!!

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Royal Icing

  • 1/4 cup eggs whites (pasteurized recommended)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Holiday sprinkles, as desired

Instructions

  1. Cookies - To a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. To a large bowl with handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream (a verb that means to mix; there is no cream in this recipe) together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients while mixing on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds. Do not overmix or your cookies may turn out crispy rather than soft.
  5. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 6-inch round disc, wrap each disc with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour, and up to 1 day (meaning you can make this dough ahead of time and keep in the fridge for up to 1 day).
  6. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place one disc unwrapped on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll into an 1/8-inch thick sheet of dough, and use cookie cutters (I recommend 3 to 4-inch stand cutters) to cut out your shapes. Repeat until dough is used up from both dough discs. Note: If the dough chilled for more than 2 hours, you’ll likely need to let it rest at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling.
  7. Place the cut out cookies on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to
    chill for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350F.
  9. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, just until the edges are turning light brown. You do not want the edges to be golden brown or you will end up with crispy cookies. Remember that cookies will continue to firm up as they cool and due to carryover cooking as they sit on the baking sheet, they will continue to take on a bit more color.
  10. After about 5 to 10 minutes, or when cool enough to move them, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting them.
  11. Royal Icing - Prepare the icing by adding the egg whites and the confectioners' sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then increase to
    high speed and beat until glossy stiff peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  12. Divide the icing and use gel food coloring to color as desired, fill your pastry bags, then use a #2 or #3 piping tip to pipe a border around the cookie and let it set for 5 minutes.
  13. Add 1/4 teaspoon of water to the icing to thin it out slightly, then fill in the cookies. Use a toothpick to
    spread the icing out to cover fully.
  14. Add sprinkles as desired before frosting hardens. Allow the cookies to fully set at room temperature before packaging up in an air-tight container. Cookies should remain soft and fresh for about 10 days when stored in a cool place such as your countertop or pantry in the winter months, and kept in an airtight container. See Notes below regarding freezing cookies*.

Notes

*Freeze Non-Iced Cookies: Let the cookies cool to room temperature and place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Freeze Already Iced Cookies: Let cookies set overnight before packaging into individual bags and then freeze for up to 3 months.

Freeze Raw Cookie Dough: You can also freeze the actual cookie dough, before baking it, for up to 3 months. I recommend diving it in half and freezing the 6-inch discs separately. Allow it to come up to room temperature on the counter before rolling it out. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g

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