Christmas Sugar Cookies


Christmas Tree and snowflake cookies with royal icing

We reckon there is nothing better than the buttery snap of an iced Christmas cookie. With this basic sugar cookie recipe you can modify it to your heart's content with whatever you have in the cupboard.

Skill level: Medium

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 8-10 mins

Makes: 20-30 biscuits (depending on size)



230g unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (220g) caster sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla essence

3 cups (450g) plain flour

2/3 cup (110g) Cornflour

1 tsp salt


Royal Icing*

1½ cups icing sugar, sifted

1 egg white

½ tsp lemon juice

Food colouring, if desired



  1. Combine butter and caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream until colour has lightened and mixture is fluffy (4-6 minutes)
  2. Add eggs to the mixture and beat until combined.
  3. Sift in plain flour, cornflour and salt then mix until flours are incorporated.
  4. Transfer to cling film and press the dough into a disk. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 170°C (fan forced). Line two large trays with baking paper or silicone mats.
  6. Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper until the thickness is between 6mm-1cm.
  7. Cut shapes from the dough using cookie cutters and then transfer to the baking trays and bake for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your cookies (smaller cookies may take less than 8 minutes so check on them halfway through). 
  8. Set aside to cool on the trays for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Royal Icing

  1. Whisk together egg white and lemon juice in a medium bowl.
  2. Gradually add the icing sugar, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and combined. Once combined, add a little food colouring if you want to colour the icing. 
  3. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle and decorate your cookies.

*This recipe makes royal icing that can be piped for gingerbread shapes. For flood consistency add either extra lemon juice or a little milk.


Adding other flavours

This sugar cookie recipe is the perfect vehicle for all manner of delicious flavours. The snowflakes were made using the basic recipe, but our Christmas tree cookies were made with the addition of 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom and the zest of an orange in the dough.

two flavours of cookie dough

Storage instructions

Transfer cookies to an airtight container and store on your kitchen bench in a cook place for up to 4 days... if they even last that long!