Christmas Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies are decorated with a sweet buttercream frosting and festive sprinkles. The only soft sugar cookie recipe you'll need.
Sugar cookies are a classic, crowd-pleasing cookie. These cookies are soft, slightly sweet, and decorated with a sweet buttercream frosting and sprinkles.
The perfect addition to your next holiday cookie tray, and easy to customize for any holiday or event.
These cookies are soft, chewy, and lightly flavored with vanilla extract. The cookies themselves are not too sweet, and perfectly pair with a sweet buttercream frosting.
Ingredients and substitutions
As with most baking recipes, there are not many substitutions I would suggest. Since baking is an exact science, all of the ingredients included are necessary and should not be substituted or omitted.
- Unsalted butter - can be substituted with salted butter (omit the salt listed). Your butter should be room temperature - not cold, not melted.
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs - again, your eggs should be room temperature. Set them on the counter 1 hour before baking, or place your whole eggs in a small bowl covered in warm tap water for 15 minutes.
- Vanilla extract - can be substituted with another extract flavor, like lemon, maple, or peppermint.
- All-purpose flour - I have only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour. If you have a different flour on hand, I suggest searching for a recipe using your preferred type of flour. Many times, it's not as easy as a 1:1 substitution, and a recipe made for your type of flour will turn out better.
- Baking powder - cannot be substituted with baking soda - these are two different ingredients that will react differently with the other ingredients listed. Check the expiration date before beginning - expired baking powder will result in a flat, dense cookie.
- Salt - enhances the flavor of your cookie and balances out the sweetness (does not make them "salty").
Can I make these without frosting?
The cookie base is written to be paired with a sweet buttercream frosting. The cookies themselves are not very sweet and work well with a frosting or glaze.
If you plan to change the recipe and make these cookies without buttercream frosting, I highly suggest rolling your cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before baking.
Room temperature ingredients
Room temperature ingredients are important when baking cookies because your ingredients will incorporate together into a smooth and even dough.
This will help to make perfect cookies, every time.
Place your eggs and butter on the counter top an hour before starting to bring them to room temperature.
Properly measured flour
Properly measuring your flour is extremely important in baking. The best way to measure ingredients is by using a kitchen scale (you can find the gram measurements by clicking on 'metric' below the ingredient list).
If you don't have a scale, I recommend the spoon and level method. Using a spoon, gently fill your measuring cup with flour, then level off the top with a knife.
By scooping your flour with the measuring cup, you compact the flour into the cup and add up to 25% extra flour to the recipe. This results in cakey, thick cookies that don't spread well when baked.
Frosting your cookies
I chose to frost my cookies with a buttercream rosette. Check out this quick video on how to make a simple rosette with frosting.
It's surprisingly easy, and makes your cookies look professionally decorated. Plus, you can frost a whole batch in minutes! It's really that easy.
If you'd like more detailed instructions on how to make my buttercream frosting recipe, check out the full post here: American Buttercream Frosting
Christmas Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons heavy cream
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined.
- Cover bowl or wrap dough in wax paper. Chill for at 1 hour (up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator. Refrigerating will help the flavors meld and also create a firmer dough to roll into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop dough using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls.
- Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten the balls slightly using your hands or the bottom of a glass dusted with flour (to prevent sticking). This will ensure your cookies spread and leave you with a nice flat top to frost. Optionally, not flattening dough will give you a thicker, rounded top cookie.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges begin to barely brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, combine butter, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla extract. Add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time, or until desired consistency is achieved. Whip until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
- Decorate cookies as desired - spread with a knife or use a piping bag with decorating tip. Cookies shown are piped with a rosette using a Wilton 2D tip.
- Use the spoon and level method when measuring flour to prevent thick, cakey cookies. Spoon flour into your measuring cup, then level off with a knife. Scooping flour with your measuring cup will add up to 25% extra flour to your recipe, resulting in dry cookies that won't spread.
- Cookie dough will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. Add a slice of bread to cookie container to help keep cookies moist. Replace as needed (bread will dry out).
- If not frosting sugar cookies, I suggest rolling in granulated sugar before baking. Without frosting, cookies are not very sweet on their own.