Stacked Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies — Softy, chewy, buttery sugar cookies are stacked in the shape of Christmas trees and layered with buttercream frosting! Fun and festive for the holidays and EASY to make! No need to roll out the dough nor chill it. A great holiday cookie to make with kids!
Stacked Christmas Tree Cookie Recipe
Can we just stop and talk about how cute and festive these sugar cookies stacked in the form of little Christmas trees are?
The cookie Christmas trees are soft, chewy, buttery, and will become an instant family favorite over the holidays.
Coupled with the creamy buttercream frosting that’s tinted a festive green color for the season, as well as shiny metallic ball-shaped sprinkles to stand in as Christmas ornaments, these are the best tasting Christmas trees you’ll ever eat!
Plus, my stacked Christmas tree cookies are easy enough to make, even for novice bakers.
That’s because you don’t need to roll out cookie dough and cut out the cookies. These are drop cookies so it saves a lot of time and effort!
Christmas tree stacked cookies are super fun cookies to make with kids or grandkids. They may not look as “perfect” after little hands do the decorating, but the endearing factor will more than make up for it.
Tip: If you need an easy no-bake Christmas treat and don’t have time to make these cookies, try making my loaded Christmas Puppy Chow instead!
Ingredients in Stacked Christmas Tree Cookies
For these festive Christmas tree sugar cookies, you’ll need the following common fridge and pantry ingredients:
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking solda
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Green food coloring
How to Make Stacked Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
Despite looking somewhat complicated, I promise that these soft and chewy sugar cookies are a cinch to make.
Step 1: Beat the butter, then add the confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.
Step 2: Add the egg and beat until combined.
Step 3: Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and beat to form a dough.
Step 4: Make 3 different sized balls of dough – one, two, and three teaspoons, respectively.
Step 5: Bake the small, medium, and large sized balls on Silpat baking mats. Note the with slightly varying baking times and see detailed instructions below in the recipe card.
Step 6: Cool completely while you make the frosting.
How to Make Buttercream Frosting for Sugar Cookies
To create the cookie Christmas trees, you’ll need to make a homemade buttercream frosting. This helps stick the cookies together, plus it adds a pop of color to the sugar cookies!
- Beat the butter until it’s creamy.
- Add half the confectioners’ sugar and beat to incorporate.
- Add the vanilla, salt, and remaining half the confectioner’s sugar.
- Add the food coloring as desired.
Decorating Stacked Christmas Tree Cookies
Even if you’re not a cookie decorating pro, because I sure am not, these stacked Christmas tree cookies are not tricky at all.
Simply do the following:
- Fit a star piping tip in the piping bag and fill it with the frosting. I like the 1M tip for this, but most any star tip is fine.
- Pipe the frosting onto the largest cookie, followed by medium, and small.
- Pipe a swirl on the smallest (topmost) cookie and decorate it with a yellow star to make it look like a Christmas tree.
- Decorate the stacked cookie tree with gold and silver pearl sprinkles or any other pearl sprinkles of your choice.
Can I Use Another Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe?
Recipes for sugar cookie dough are like chicken noodle soup. Many people have one, or one that’s been passed down in the family, and everyone thinks theirs is the best.
If you fall into this category of bakers and want to use your favorite tried and true sugar cookie dough recipe, go for it. Adjust baking times as necessary of course.
I have another recipe for Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies, which are crisper and crunchier than the sugar cookie base recipe I used for these stacked cookie Christmas trees.
Both are wonderful and you can use that cookie base recipe for these Christmas tree cookies if that’s the style of sugar cookie that strikes your fancy.
Storing Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
After they’ve been decorated, these Christmas tree cookies will keep airtight in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, although they will taste best the fresher they are.
However, I don’t like to store cookies in the fridge and am fine with storing them airtight at room temp for up to 4 days. For me personally, the high quantity of sugar helps preserve the butter but store them however you’re most comfortable.
If you plan to freeze the cookies, I would freeze the baked but undecorated cookies in an airtight container or ziptop bag. Frost them after thawing is my advice.
Tips for the Best Stacked Christmas Tree Cookies
Coloring the frosting: When you’re adding the green food coloring to the buttercream frosting, feel free to go as intense or pale as you like. Bright green frosting is so festive that no one will be able to resist the cookies.
Sprinkle options: As the sprinkles go, I have a full baking cabinet of metallic sprinkles and tons of options since this is what I do.
However, if you don’t, you really don’t need to buy anything special for the Christmas tree cookies. Use whatever red and green sprinkles you have on hand.
Adding the star on top: Don’t worry about the yellow star on top, either. Your cookies will look just as cute with another type of sprinkles or adornment.
Another option would be to put a chocolate chip, a halved Rolo candy, a red or yellow M&M, or whatever you can find in your cupboards and pantry that you can repurpose.
Baking the cookies: I recommend baking one sheet of cookies at a time, if possible. I know this can be a bit of a pain, but cookies bake more evenly and the results are the est when they’re baked one sheet at a time, and rotated halfway through.
I don’t care how expensive or fancy your oven is (I have one of those), one sheet at a time on the center rack is always the way to go with cookies.
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- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Drops green food coloring, as desired
- Yellow star sprinkles
- Silver and gold pearl-shaped sprinklers
- Preheat oven to 350F and line at least 2 baking sheets with Silpat liners or parchment paper; set aside.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or large bowl and handheld electric mixer, add the butter, and beat on high speed until creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the confectioners' sugar and cream them together (beat until incorporated and creamy), about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg, vanilla, and beat until well incorporated. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and beat until just incorporated; don't overmix.
- Make balls of 3 sizes - 1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons, and 3 teaspoons, respectively. You should make approximately 20 balls of each size, so 60 balls total. This will vary slightly based on the exact size you make the balls.
- For the large size (3 teaspoons of dough), bake for about 10 minutes. For the medium size (2 teaspoons of dough), bake for about 7 to 8 minutes. For the small size (1 teaspoon of dough), bake for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until done.* (See Notes) Cookies are done when they are set around the edges, even if they look a bit underdone in the centers because they firm up as they cool. Allow them to cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Tip - If possible, I recommend baking one sheet of cookies at a time, on the center rack, and rotating your baking sheet midway through for the most optimal results.
- To the same large mixing bowl, add the butter, and beat on high speed until it's smooth and creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add half the confectioners' sugar and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the remaining half the confectioners' sugar and beat until incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla, salt, and beat to incorporate.
- Add the green food coloring, a few drops at a time, and beat on medium speed to incorporate. Keep adding food coloring until you reach your desired shade and intensity of green.
Decorating and Garnishing
- Fit a star tip in a piping bag (I like the 1M tip), fill it with frosting, and pipe frosting onto the largest cookies, followed by piping it onto the medium cookies.
- On the smallest cookies, pipe a swirl on top so it looks like the top of a tree.
- Decorate it with a yellow star to make it look like a Christmas tree.
- Stack together a large base, topped with a medium cookie, topped with the small ones; repeat until you've made and stacked together all the cookies.
- Decorate your cookie trees with gold and silver pearl sprinkles or any other sprinkles of your choice such as red and green jimmies or similar.
*Baking time is highly dependent on the exact size of your cookie balls, your oven, climate, brand of ingredients, etc. Bake until they cookies are done, watch them and evaluate your cookies, independent of whatever the time on the clock says.
Storage: After they’ve been decorated, these Christmas tree cookies will keep airtight in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, although they will taste best the fresher they are. However, I don’t like to store cookies in the fridge and am fine with storing them airtight at room temp for up to 4 days. For me personally, the high quantity of sugar helps preserve the butter but store them however you’re most comfortable. If you plan to freeze the cookies, I would freeze the baked but undecorated cookies in an airtight container or ziptop bag. Frost them after thawing (not before freezing them) is my advice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g
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