Frosted Christmas Cookies are delicious holiday treats that everyone loves. In this simple recipe, just roll balls of dough and add colored frosting and sprinkles for a low-effort, high-reward recipe.
These frosted cookies are the perfect cookie when you want Christmas sugar cookies without the effort and hassle of making cutout cookies! The recipe doesn’t call for chilling, rolling pins, or cookie cutters.
You can use store-bought frosting to make the recipe even more uncomplicated. These frosted sugar cookies are the perfect cookie to take to a cookie exchange or add to your holiday cookie tray.
And if you want to create an entire Christmas cookie tray full of cookies, you can use this same basic dough to make 4 different cookie recipes!
Looking for more Christmas cookie ideas? Try Christmas Cake Mix Cookies, Chocolate Cherry Blossoms, Italian Ricotta Cookies, and Potato Chip Cookies!
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
Shortening and Butter – A combination of butter and shortening gives these a soft texture.
Instant Vanilla Pudding – The pudding adds flavor and helps make these moist and chewy. You don’t make the pudding. Just add the powder to the dough.
The remaining dough ingredients are baking staples, including
- vanilla extract
- baking powder
I used a quick homemade buttercream frosting. You can flavor the frosting with vanilla extract or peppermint extract. You can also use a can of store-bought frosting to simplify the recipe.
- powdered sugar
- vanilla or peppermint extract
- gel food coloring
🥣How to Make Frosted Christmas Cookies
- Mix the Wet Ingredients – Use an electric stand mixer to make the sugar cookie dough. Mix the butter, shortening and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Then add the eggs, vanilla and instant pudding.
- Add the Dry Ingredients – Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the wet ingredient about one third at a time until it is all combined.
- Scoop – Use a medium cookie scoop to make cookie dough balls about 1 1/2 tablespoons in size.
- Add to Baking Sheet – Put the dough balls on baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Keep the balls about 2 inches apart.
- Bake – Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 12-15 minutes, making sure not to overbake. Pull them out when the edges start to brown, and the middle just looks set.
- Cool – Let them cool on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes. Then place on a wire rack.
- Make Frosting – Beat the butter until creamy. Then add the confectioner’s sugar alternately with the heavy cream. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Color Frosting – Use gel food coloring to color some of the frosting red and green.
- Ice Cookies – Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies and top with festive sprinkles.
Find More Christmas Recipes!
💭How to Store
Store the frosted Christmas cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for 5-7 days. The baked cookies also freeze well, but I recommend freezing them unfrosted.
Package them in a freezer container, separated by layers of parchment paper. They will keep for 2 months in the freezer.
✔️Make the Dough Ahead of Time
This is excellent cookie dough to make ahead of time! It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Or freeze the dough for up to 2 months before baking. If frozen, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Take the dough out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling and baking the cookies. If the dough is too cold, it will not spread, so let it come to room temperature before baking.
❔Can I Make These Sugar Cookies into Shapes?
No, this recipe is not designed to use with cookie cutters. The dough is too soft to roll out well and will spread as it cooks.
🎄One Dough, 4 Cookies
This dough can be used to make a bunch of cookie recipes! You can create a colorful Christmas cookie tray from just this basic dough! Divide it in half or into fourths, and start baking a big batch of cookies. The other delicious cookies are:
⭐Tips for Making the Best Frosted Christmas Cookies
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
- These are supposed to be soft cookies. So be careful not to overbake them.
- Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on the cookie sheets.
- Use a piping bag and a star or straight tip to pipe the frosting on for a fancier look.
- Change the frosting and sprinkles to make these for other holidays, like Valentine’s Day or a birthday party.
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Frosted Christmas Cookies Recipe
- ¾ cups butter softened
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Sugar Cookie Frosting Ingredients
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint extract
- food coloring optional
- Christmas sprinkles optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Beat the butter, shortening, and sugar with an electric mixer for 3 minutes until soft and creamy.¾ cups butter, ¼ cup shortening, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- Add the eggs, vanilla, and instant pudding mix to the mixing bowl. Continue mixing until completely combined.2 eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 box instant vanilla pudding
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.2 ½ cups flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix between additions until all the flour is incorporated.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon to drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Space the dough balls about 2 inches apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. They are done when light golden brown around the edges and the middle is set.
- Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. This allows them to firm up. Then put them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Make the frosting while the cookies cool. Use a mixer to beat the butter until it is light and fluffy.1/2 cup unsalted butter
- Gradually add the powdered sugar and heavy cream, beating between each addition. Continue adding and mixing until it is all well incorporated.4 cups powdered sugar, 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix well.1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint extract
- Put the frosting in separate bowls to make the red, green, and white frosting. Gradually add drops of gel food coloring to the red and green icing until you reach the desired color.food coloring
- Add a layer of frosting to the cookies when they are completely cool. Decorate with sprinkles.Christmas sprinkles
- These are soft cookies. So be careful not to overbake them.
- Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on the cookie sheets.
- Store-bought frosting will make the recipe even simpler.
- Use a piping bag and tip and pipe the frosting on for a fancier look.
- Try using nonpariels or sparking sugar instead of sprinkles.
- It is easy to change the frosting and sprinkles to make these for other holidays, like Valentine’s Day or a birthday party.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.