Best Sugar Cookies #ChristmasWeek #Giveaway

My friend, Kaye, is a spectacular cook. When she shared her recipe for the Best Sugar Cookies, I knew I had found a keeper. I reserve these tender, delicious cookies for the holidays and my family goes nuts for them.Best Sugar Cookies | Perfect cut-out cookies for all holidays and celebrations

The Best Sugar Cookies: A Classic Holiday Cookie for Christmas Week

I’ve been using this cookie dough for all my cut-out cookies since I first tried it. These sugar cookies keep their shape and taste wonderful. My decorating skills are a bit limited, but I like to tint the icing and spread it on with an off-set spatula. A few sprinkles make them extra festive. I remember icing dozens of round cookies orange and piping on black lines to make basketballs for Nick’s elementary school class. Now that was tedious! But they were well loved.  And I’ve iced pink hearts for Valentine’s Day, too.  But lately, this dough is whipped up for Christmas and Christmas alone. This is one recipe the whole family adores—and that doesn’t happen too often around here!

Best Sugar Cookies | Perfect cut-out cookies for all holidays and celebrations

Battle of the Sugar Cookies

I invited friends over a couple years ago to test out a couple sugar cookie recipes. It was interesting that the dough that tasted the best, didn’t make the winning cookies! Not that either dough was shabby in my humble opinion! This sugar cookie recipe was the winner and the recipe I’ve been baking for over a decade. The icing is a riff on royal icing. It’s shiny, but doesn’t involve either egg whites or piping (which is far from my strong suit!). If you don’t like to use corn syrup, go ahead and add a little more milk or even some heavy cream to thin the frosting. The results won’t be as glossy, but they’ll still be delicious!!Best Sugar Cookies | Perfect cut-out cookies for all holidays and celebrations

Best Sugar Cookies

Serves varies     adjust servings

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Total Time 39 mins

The best iced sugar cookies! Perfect for the holidays. Recipe courtesy of my friend, Kaye.


    Cookie Dough

    • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
    • 3 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (makes the frosting glossy)
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    • Food coloring of your choice


    1. Cream butter, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder and stir till combined. Put dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap well and chill for at least an hour.
    2. Preheat oven to 375º.
    3. On floured surface, roll out half of dough to about ⅛ inch thickness. Keep other half refrigerated till needed. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut and place on parchment lined cookie sheet at least an inch apart. Bake 7-9 minutes till cookies start to brown on edges and are firm. Cool for a couple minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
    4. To make the frosting , whisk together all ingredients. Add a bit more milk and/or corn syrup to thin if needed.


    Recipe Notes

    Total time does not include chilling time.
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size
    Amount Per ServingAs Served
    Calories 3399kcal Calories from fat 1154
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 128g197%
    Saturated Fat 77g385%
    Transfat 4g
    Cholesterol 499mg166%
    Sodium 595mg25%
    Carbohydrate 533g178%
    Dietary Fiber 7g28%
    Sugars 339g
    Protein 38g

    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

    Total FatLess than65g
    Sat FatLess than25g
    CholesterolLess than300mg
    SodiumLess than2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate300g
    Dietary Fiber25g
    Did you make this recipe?
    Leave review!

    More Christmas Week Recipes and the HUGE Giveaway!

    Welcome to Day 4 of Christmas Week. This annual event was started in 2012 and is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic. This year we have over 35 bloggers sharing festive sweet recipes for the event. Plus we all chipped in for a huge Amazon Gift Card Giveaway so be sure to enter! Click over to my Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes Post to enter this holiday giveaway. Open to those in the US and Canada.

    Recipes from Day 4 of Christmas Week! Please visit all our talented participants:

     Best Sugar Cookies | Perfect cut-out cookies for all holidays and celebrations


    1. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

      I’m always looking for great sugar cookie recipes! Does your icing dry so it’s not sticky? That seems to be a challenge too… Love the detail in your tree cutter:@)

    2. So colourful and festive, Liz. I must try your sugar cookie recipe soon.

    3. These are gorgeous, Liz! Honestly, your Christmas cookie photo shoots have been so gorgeous! They make me happy just looking!

    4. Beautiful Liz!!! I’m printing this one for sure (always looking for that “best” sugar cookie recipe and this might be the one!).

    5. These cookies look gorgeous, you have a lovely decorating style! I shy away from these fussy cookies because by the time I’ve decorated about 10, I get bored and wish I had never started. The basketball cookies must have been lovely.

    6. What a lovely decoration!

    7. This post has really gotten me into the holiday spirit, and of all the cut out shapes for sugar cookies, trees are my faves!

    8. These sugar cookies are just gorgeous, a Christmas must!

    9. So beautiful and festive, Liz! I have to try this recipe!

    10. TheKitchenLioness says:

      Beautiful and very pretty! I love everything about your post – this looks like a great new recipe for me to try with the kids and everything is so festive!

    11. Beautiful cookies! They remind me of the refrigerated ones I used to make with my grandparents before I started to bake. I’m sure these are way better, but that is a fond memory nonetheless.

    12. A good sugar cookie is a great thing to have, I have no doubt your is amazing and you decorated these beautifully! we are our worst critic.

    13. Love sugar cookies.. and these look fabulous. Can’t wait for Christmas! Xx

    14. These look beautifully festive – what a great gift idea too.

    15. Your decorating skills are NOT limited. They’re simple and tasteful and very well executed. GREG

    16. such lovely cutouts!!!

    17. wow, you really did a nice job decorating these!

    18. These look fantastic, Liz! It’s so great when you feel you have a recipe totally perfected, and I can tell that’s what you’ve done here. Bravo!

    19. These look fabulous Liz. Sugar cookies are always a hit because they are just so darn pretty when decorated.

    20. Well I don’t think your decorating skill are bad at all Liz. These Christmas tree cookies are so cute and whimsical. Frankly, they look like they could have come straight from the bakery. Beautiful!

    21. Lizzy,
      I’ve been using a sugar cookie recipe for many years but I’ll have to try yours this year. My icing isn’t really royal icing either. I think your decorated cookies look adorable.

    22. Your sugar cookies look wonderful. I like the cream cheese in the recipe, I make a recipe that is similar. I love the cutout cookies for the holidays.

    23. These cookies are beautiful and festive, perfect for the season. I couldn’t have done a better job decorating myself. 🙂

    24. Such pretty cookies, Liz! A work of art!

    25. Your decorating skill is totally nice, they are so cute. I cannot come anywhere close to your icing skills. Love a good sugar cookie recipe. So so perfect for gifts.

    26. Hotly Spiced says:

      These cookies are gorgeous, Liz. So cute. I love how you decorated them. Your tree cutter is better than mine – it has better shape. I’m not surprised your family loves these at Christmas time – they’re very festive xx

    27. Lizzy these Christmas cookies look perfect and beautiful!! Love so much!!
      Hugs xoxox

    28. Can I freeze the dough and bake closer to Christmas? In the mood for some baking today especially after drooling over these great looking cookies!

    29. I hope these never go out of style!

    30. These look like Christmas cookie perfection to me!

    31. These are beautiful! It’s usually so hot and humid at Christmas that even sugar cookies feel like they’re melting. 🙂 I’ve started putting freshly decorated sugar cookies in the dehydrator for a few minutes and then quickly packing them away. I’m going to try your recipe – maybe I can skip that step. 🙂

    32. Can this cookie be frozen with the frosting on? I am baking to make 20 cookie trays so I need to be able to freeze most of them. Thanks

      • Hi, Karen, I’ve tried freezing them, but the frosting is not nearly as attractive after they’re defrosted. I’d recommend making and freezing the cookies ahead of time and then defrosting them and frosting a few days before you want to give them away.


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