Christmas Sugar Cookies

24 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Christmas Sugar Cookies with an easy sugar cookie dough and no chill time. Try these soft chewy cookies with colorful sanding sugars today!

It’s hard to think of a more classic holiday cookie than these fun, festive sugar cookies! Make these favorite sugar cookies this Holiday season along with other classic Cookie Recipes like Gingerbread Cookies, Shortbread Cookies, and Brown Sugar Cookies.

About our Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

This sugar cookie recipe is perfect to put out on a cookie plate at a holiday party, package up to give as gifts, or enjoy over winter break with your family. The simple cookies are coated in a sparkling sugar coating with red, green, or white colors that make them look perfectly festive.

The great thing about these holiday Sugar Cookies is that the dough is made with simple ingredients and there is no chill time. It comes together in minutes then you loosely roll the dough in sugar and bake. You can make a batch in just 20 minutes and have the perfect Christmas treat ready to go. Plus, it’s up to you if you prefer chewy or crisper cookies just depending on how long you bake them.

The simple sugar coating makes the cookies perfect for the holidays, but there are plenty of other toppings you could try adding to the cookies. Try rolling the cookie dough in your favorite festive sprinkles like you would butter cookies. Or try spreading some Sugar Cookie Frosting over the top of the baked cookies and decorate that with sugar or sprinkles.

Christmas Sugar Cookies Ingredients

  • Butter: You want to start with room temperature butter so that it creams easily with the sugar for soft, tender cookies. Use unsalted butter so that you can control how salty the cookie dough gets.
  • Sugar: While you use sanding sugar on the outside of the cookies, it’s important to use granulated sugar in the actual dough. Sanding sugar doesn’t melt as easily as regular sugar so your texture will be off if you don’t use the right baking sugar.
  • Eggs: An egg binds the dough together and makes it more tender, plus it gives it a slightly chewy texture. Make sure your egg is also at room temperature so it mixes easily and your cookies are soft.
  • Leavening Agents: These cookies get both baking soda and baking powder to help them rise since you aren’t resting or chilling the dough. The extra leavening agents also make the cookies melt in your mouth.
  • Sanding Sugar: Sanding sugar is a decorating sugar that has a larger crystal than regular white sugar and doesn’t dissolve as the cookies bake. It makes the outside of your cookies sparkle, like an edible glitter. You can buy it in so many different colors or add the tiniest drop of food coloring to make your own. If you make your own, spread it on a baking tray and let it dry overnight before decorating your cookies.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Baking Sheet: Two regular sized cookie sheets should be enough to make this batch of cookies. Make sure to line them with parchment, or a silicone baking mat, for perfectly baked cookies.
  • Parchment Paper: The parchment paper helps create a non-stick surface between the dough and the baking sheet so your cookies don’t stick. It also helps your cookies bake more evenly.

How to Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

Time needed: 20 minutes.

  1. Prep for Baking

    Start the recipe by preheating the oven. Line your cookie sheets with a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  2. Mix the Dough

    Cream the butter and granulated sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Next add the egg and vanilla extract, continue mixing until smooth. In a separate bowl sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the electric mixer, and mix at the lowest speed until the streaks of flour are all combined into the dough.Christmas Sugar Cookies collage preparing cookie dough

  3. Shape and Coat the Cookies

    Roll the dough into heaping teaspoons and scoop them onto the cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass in white sugar, then press down gently on each cookie dough ball. Add the three colors of sanding sugar into separate bowls. Coat each of the unbaked cookies in one of the three colors. Then place them back on the cookie sheet to bake.Christmas Sugar Cookies Collage shaping and rolling cookies

  4. Bake the Cookies

    Put them in the preheated oven for 8 minutes for softer cookies or 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Let the baked cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet after the baking time.Christmas Sugar Cookies baked cookies on baking sheet

Nutritional Facts

Baking Christmas Sugar Cookies Tips

Our best tricks for perfect Christmas Sugar Cookies

  1. Make Frosted Cookies
    • If you want to make frosted cookies instead of the sugar coating, you can easily make this a rolled cookie dough. Simply chill for an hour, roll out the dough, cut the shapes and bake. Make sugar to let your cookies cool completely and then either pipe on Royal Icing designs or spread a layer of Sugar Cookie Frosting on top. 
  2. Don’t Overbake the Cookies
    • Sugar cookies can go from chewy to crispy to burnt quickly, in a matter of just 2-3 minutes. You don’t want them to brown, just be slightly golden and set on the edges. They shouldn’t take more than 10-11 minutes to bake.
  3. Prep the Dough Ahead
    • If you want to get ahead on your holiday baking, you can prep a batch of dough ahead of time and freeze the unbaked cookies. Roll the dough into balls and place them on the baking sheet. Flash freeze them for an hour or two before transferring the dough balls to a freezer bag to store them for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the Christmas Sugar Cookies, put the dough balls on the cookie sheet and add a couple of minutes to the baking time to get them perfectly done.

What to Pair With Christmas Sugar Cookies

Santa Snack: Leave Santa the sweetest treat by leaving him these cookies with a big mug of Peppermint Hot Chocolate, complete with candy cane garnish. Don’t forget to leave some lettuce and carrots for the reindeer too!

Cookie Plate: Make the ultimate Christmas Cookie platter with other festive red and green cookies like Christmas Pinwheel Cookies, Butter Cookies, and our original Christmas Cookies made with M&Ms and festive sprinkles. 

How to Store Christmas Sugar Cookies

Serve: To keep the Sugar Cookies fresh cover them in plastic wrap. They’ll stay good at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Store: You can also transfer the cookies to an airtight container to keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Freeze: As long as they’re sealed tightly, Christmas Sugar Cookies can keep well frozen for as long as 6 months.

FAQ for Christmas Sugar Cookies

What is the best sugar for cookies?

For the cookie dough, it’s best to use smaller crystal sugar like granulated sugar or regular brown sugar. For decorating, use sanding sugar or decorative sugar that has larger granules.

What is the difference between sanding sugar and granulated sugar? 

The difference between sanding sugar and granulated sugar is the size of the sugar granules. Sanding sugar is larger and meant for decorating because it won’t dissolve with heat, instead it gives a sparkly appearance.

Can you make the Sugar Cookie dough in advance?

Yes, you can freeze this cookie dough for up to 6 months. It’s best to shape the dough balls then freeze on a baking tray before storing them in a freezer safe container. That way you can just press the dough balls into the sugar and bake as usual.

Christmas Sugar Cookies baked cookies on parchment paper

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies with an easy sugar cookie dough and no chill time. Try these soft chewy cookies with colorful sanding sugars today!
Yield 24 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup red sanding sugar
  • 1/4 cup green sanding sugar
  • 1/4 cup sanding sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Add a heaping teaspoon of rolled cookie dough per cookie to the sheet.
  • Add the sanding sugar to small bowls individually.
  • Using a glass dipped in sugar, press down on the cookie dough balls slightly.
  • Coat each cookie dough ball in one of the bowls of sugar.
  • Bake for 8 minutes for soft cookies or 10 minutes for crunchy cookies.
  • Let cool 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies Variations

Sprinkles: For some fun sprinkle decorations, roll the cookie dough in red and green jimmies, nonpareils, or edible glitter before baking.

Flavorings: To experiment with the flavor of the cookies mix in a teaspoon almond extract, a squeeze of lemon juice, or peppermint extract with the dough.

Frosted Cookies: If you want to decorate with colorful frosting, add gel food coloring to Sugar Cookie Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting. Or leave it white and press the frosted cookies into the sanding sugar before the frosting sets.

Related Recipes

More Fun Festive Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Sugar Cookies baked cookies in a spread out stack

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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