Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Butter Frosting


I know it’s a little late in the year to be starting your Christmas cookies, but I told my coworkers on Friday that I don’t do Christmas cards (because many of them do) — I do Christmas cookies. And so to make good on my promise, I’m making Christmas cookies post-Christmas.

I got this recipe from my aunt Terri years and years ago and I’ve used it ever since. Oddly, when I pulled the recipe out (i.e. asked my mom to send it to me), I had trouble deciphering it. I had used all these abbreviations in the recipe: T. t. tsp. tbsp. Go figure.

I had to guess as to what were the appropriate measurements and I didn’t realize I had used ALL those abbreviations until I had already started deciphering the recipe. That being said, this is the recipe I used this year:


  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 c. flour, sifted
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. milk


  1. Cream butter. Add sugar gradually. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients and milk.
  2. Chill for at least an hour. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick on a well-floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
  3. Grease cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen.

butter frosting ingredients.

  • 3 T. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. cream or milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

butter frosting directions.

  1. Blend the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Divide the frosting equally into four different portions. Use food coloring to make green, blue, and red frosting. Leave one of the portions as white.

This is an easy recipe to follow — great to make with children. Here are a few suggestions:

  • I tend to under-bake any kind of cookie I make. I like them soft and chewy as opposed to hard or crispy. For sugar cookies you do have to have a certain amount of crispness or the cookies will break as you try to frost them. And then you’ll end up eating all the broken cookies (because you can’t serve them to people) and you’ll get sick from eating too many cookies. It could happen! (OK, I got kind of sick from eating all the broken cookies.) A good way to avoid under-baking or over-baking your cookies is making them thick. That way you can bake them longer and they’ll end up sturdy but not too crispy.
  • Don’t use small cookie cutters. In fact, the bigger the better. Small cookie cutters look cute and in theory seem like a good idea until you’re stuck frosting the little buggers. They take forever.
  • Sprinkles can substitute as food coloring. I got lazy when making these cookies as I usually do when I’m making them by myself. I didn’t feel like breaking out the food coloring so instead I used sprinkles to add color to the cookies. A really easy way to do this is to put your frosted cookie on a paper plate and sprinkle so the plate catches the sprinkles and they don’t get all over your kitchen.

Recipe rating: 

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