Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

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If you’re wanting a dessert that is both festive and delicious, look no further! These Christmas tree sugar cookies will shine at any holiday party!

For more tasty themed treats, you’ll have to try my Grinch cookies, Italian Christmas cookies, and cornflake wreaths! They’re as cute as they are yummy!

A variety of Christmas tree cookies.

I’m so ready for the holidays! The Christmas cheer has been hitting me a little early this year… so that means more themed treats coming your way! First the cinnamon roll wreath, then the eggnog pancakes, the chocolatey yule log, and now the cutest little Christmas tree sugar cookies! These buttery sugar cookies are beyond easy to make but so incredibly delicious! In this recipe, I use a little sour cream in my cookie dough which makes them so soft and moist! They’re the perfect buttery treat. You need a batch of these bad boys right now!

I’ve also included 3 super simple frosting ideas to get you started! My kids love helping with this part. I love watching each of them make their own little tree! I used my go-to cream cheese frosting for these cookies. That bit of tang is my favorite! You can also use buttercream or royal icing. No matter the frosting you choose, your Christmas tree sugar cookies are going to be sooo good! Cute, too! This is one recipe I’m surely going to be coming back to again and again this holiday season.

Ingredients for Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

This sugar cookie recipe is a winner! These cookies are made of pantry staples (to make your life a little easier) but turn out absolutely delicious every time! Of all the sugar cookies I’ve made in the past, I think this recipe is the best! You can find all measurements in the recipe card below.

  • All-Purpose Flour: Used to give your Christmas tree sugar cookies a light structure!
  • Salt: You need to add salt to your cookies to enhance their flavor. Without it, they’ll be bland!
  • Baking Powder: For light and fluffy cookies!
  • Unsalted Butter: I use softened, unsalted butter for a rich flavor and to help the dough mix together smoothly.
  • Granulated Sugar: White sugar added for that perfect sweetness!
  • Egg Yolks: Egg yolks have a high fat content which will make your cookies soft and tender.
  • Sour Cream: Adds extra fat content (soft cookies!) and gives the cookies the slightest bit of tang.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla helps to deepen the cookies’ flavor! Use pure vanilla extract if possible!
  • Lemon Extract: (Optional) I like to add a bit of lemon extract for a zesty finish.

Let’s Make Some Trees!

This recipe is perfect for all of your cookie-making needs this season. It’s so easy and you can switch up your cookie cutters to make all kinds of shapes! As cute as they may be, don’t expect them to last long! Each cookie is soft, buttery perfection.

  1. Preheat Oven, Line Cookie Sheets: Let’s start! To begin, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Mix Butter and Sugar: In another medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
    Add Remaining Ingredients: Next, add the egg yolks, sour cream and extracts and mix until just combined.
  4. Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients: Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just barely full combined.
  5. Roll and Cut: This recipe does not require any chilling time, so you’re ready to roll out your cookies! Split the dough into 2-3 pieces and roll them one at a time on a lightly floured surface until they are ¼ inch thick. Use your favorite Christmas tree cookie cutters (or alternative shapes!) to cut out your cookies. Press the scraps together and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes. Reroll the scraps and cut more cookies until all the dough has been used.
  6. Bake: Place the cookies on the parchment lined cookie sheets leaving 1 ½ inches between them. Bake for 7-8 minutes, rotating the pan at 4 minutes. I find this gives the cookies a nice, even bake. The edges will be just set and the cookies will be very light in color and should have very minimal coloring underneath them.
  7. Cool and Frost: Let the cookies cool on the pan for 2 minutes for the shape to set before transferring to a cooling rack. Frost once they are cooled or store in an airtight container until you are ready to frost them.
Various frosting colors and sprinkles.

Sugar Cookie Tips and Tricks

Here are a few of my favorite tips for making your Christmas tree sugar cookies taste as good as they look! You’ll want to make them year-round!

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: The key to a smooth cookie dough is to use room temp wet ingredients! Let your butter, eggs, and sour cream sit out on the counter for 30 minutes before adding to dough mixture.
  • Don’t Overmix: The best part about sugar cookies is that they are light and fluffy! If you overmix your dough, your cookies will become hard and dense. Only mix until all of the ingredients are combined.
  • Frosting: Since sugar cookies have a neutral flavor, you can use any kind of frosting that you want! You’ll have to try them with cream cheese, chocolate buttercream, and chocolate cream cheese frostings!
Process shots of dipping cookie into frosting and adding sprinkles.

Simple Christmas Tree Design

For our first design, we’re going to start with the most simple! This one is great if you’re making large batches of Christmas tree sugar cookies. Just dunk, sprinkle, and go!

  1. Warm Frosting: Dye a small bowl of frosting a bright green color. You can pop your frosting in the microwave for a few seconds for a smoother texture!
  2. Dip: Place your cookie flat into the melted frosting until it is fully coated.
  3. Sprinkle: Finish up with a candy star and add sprinkles as ornaments!
Frosting cookie with Christmas lights design.

Christmas Light Tree Design

This traditional Christmas tree design is one of my favorites. It’s so cute!

  1. Frost Branches and Needles: Using a fine piping tip and green frosting, create needles sloping downward until entire cookie is covered.
  2. Add Lights: Using black gel frosting, pipe a zig zag motion downwards to create the string of Christmas lights. Add multicolored candies on top as bulbs.
Closeup of a Christmas tree sugar cookie with Christmas light detailing.

Fluffy Christmas Tree Design

This fluffy tree design is the perfect addition to your sugar cookie lineup! The light green color makes it look frosted with snow!

  1. Mix Light Green Frosting: First, add a bit of white frosting to your green bowl to make a pastel variation.
  2. Frost Needles: Using your pastel green frosting and an extra large star-shaped piping tip, layer dollops to make the tree look fluffy. Cover entire cookie.
  3. Add Details: Using a very fine piping tip or gel liners, add mistletoe and candy cane detailing. You can also add sprinkles for ornaments in between!
Frosting a Christmas tree cookie and adding candy cane detailing.

Storing Leftover Christmas Tree Cookies

If you have leftover Christmas tree sugar cookies, (which I highly doubt you will) here’s how to store them! I assure you, you’ll love having them around to munch on! There’s so insanely good, even days after you’ve made them!

  • At Room Temperature: If you have frosted your cookies with royal icing, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • In the Refrigerator: If you used buttercream or cream cheese frosting on your cookies, they need to be stored in the fridge. They will last for 2-3 days.
Closeup of a Christmas tree cookie with mistletoe and candy cane detailing.

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

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If you're wanting a dessert that is both festive and delicious, look no further! These Christmas tree sugar cookies will shine at any holiday party!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 18 Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter Softened
  • 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In another medium bowl beat together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, sour cream, and extracts and mix until just combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just barely full combined.
  • This recipe does not require any chilling time, so you’re ready to roll out your cookies! Split the dough into 2-3 pieces and roll them one at a time on a lightly floured surface until they are ¼ inch thick. Use your favorite Christmas tree cookie cutters (or alternative shapes!) to cut out your cookies. Press the scraps together and set them aside to rest for about 5 minutes. Reroll the scraps and cut more cookies until all the dough has been used.
  • Place the cookies on the parchment-lined cookie sheets leaving 1 ½ inches between them. Bake for 7-8 minutes, rotating the pan at 4 minutes. I find this gives the cookies a nice, even bake. The edges will be just set and the cookies will be very light in color and should have very minimal coloring underneath them.
  • Let the cookies cool on the pan for 2 minutes for the shape to set before transferring to a cooling rack. Frost, once they are cooled or stored in an airtight container until you are ready to frost them.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese and unsalted butter together until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and beat again for about 10 seconds to make sure everything is completely incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Mix on low until the powdered sugar is moistened enough for you to increase the speed without it making a mess. Beat until smooth.
  • Use to frost cupcakes, cakes, cinnamon rolls and so much more!


Nutrition

Serves: 18

Calories137kcal (7%)Carbohydrates18g (6%)Protein2g (4%)Fat6g (9%)Saturated Fat4g (20%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat2gTrans Fat1gCholesterol36mg (12%)Sodium68mg (3%)Potassium33mg (1%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar8g (9%)Vitamin A195IU (4%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium13mg (1%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword christmas tree cookies, christmas tree sugar cookies
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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