The BEST Christmas Cookies

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Baking Christmas Cookies is one of the holiday traditions I look forward to the most!

‘Tis the season for Christmas cookies, sweet and spicy scented Gingerbread Men smiling back at us, buttery melt in your mouth shortbread cookies and holiday cookie decorating parties!

Christmas cookies are a wonderful way to share your own Christmas traditions with friends and family throughout the holiday season. From cookie platters at your holiday parties to getting together to Host a Cookie Exchange, Christmas cookies are loved by everyone!

Christmas Cookie Collage with a title

This list shares my absolute favorite Christmas Cookie recipes, each and every one perfect for gifting, giving and sharing!

Favorite Christmas Cookies

How to Make Christmas Cookies

When making Christmas cookies, you’ll want to ensure you follow the recipe closely, especially the first time you make a new cookie!

  • Ingredient Temperature: Ensure ingredients (such as butter and eggs) are at room temperature unless otherwise directed in the recipe.
  • Butter: Use real butter as margarine or other substitutes may not produce the same results.
  • Measure Flour Correctly: Be sure to measure your flour by spooning the flour into the measuring cup. Scooping flour out of the bag (or container) with a measuring cup packs the flour into the cup. This can cause you to have too much flour and affect the consistency of your Christmas cookies.
  • Chill Time: Read through the directions since many Christmas cookies require chilling time to get the right consistency of dough (such as Easy Sugar Cookies or Gingerbread Cookies).
  • Bake Time: Always check cookies at the lowest end of the bake time suggested in the recipe.

Classic Christmas Cookies

Drop Christmas Cookies

No Bake Christmas Cookies

Other Christmas Treats and Cookies

Christmas Cookies lined up on a wooden board

The recipe below is one of my absolute favorite Christmas Cookies of all. This buttery shortbread cookie recipe comes from my friend Deanna who got the recipe from her Great-Great-Grandmother.  In her words, “These cookies are completely no fail, share them with the world”.

They are truly a beautiful, soft buttery Christmas Cookie that is easy to make!

Christmas cookies on a wooden board
4.5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

The Best Christmas Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 72 cookies
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
These easy Buttery Shortbread Christmas cookies are a tradition that has been passed down through generations.


  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring optional

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  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Cream butter and vanilla with a stand mixer until fluffy.
  • Add flour, powdered sugar and cornstarch a little at a time mixing.
  • If using food coloring, divide dough into and knead in a few drops of coloring to reach desired color.
  • Roll into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (not a non-stick cookie sheet).  Flatten with a fork, a meat tenderizer or the bottom of a pretty glass. Top with sprinkles if desired.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely and let sit at least 24 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

We use salted butter. You can use unsalted and add a pinch of salt to taste.
Ensure the mixture is beaten until light and fluffy.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 80, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 45mg, Potassium: 7mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 160IU, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 0.3mg
Keyword christmas cookies

How to Decorate Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies can be decorated with frosting, icing and of course an array of Christmas sprinkles.

  • A good royal icing is perfect for decorating sugar cookies. It dries hard and shiny (and sprinkles can be added) making cookies easy to store and stack.
  • Frosted Cookies are made with a favorite  buttercream or flavored frosting such as Peppermint Buttercream. These are delicious but can be more difficult to store as the frosting is softer and doesn’t set up.
  • Melted Chocolate is perfect for dipping shortbread or other christmas cookies or treats such as Easy Buckeyes. Once dipped in chocolate, make them extra festive by dipping them in sprinkles too.
  • Roll cookies such as Classic Thumbprint Cookies in nuts.
  • Top with Christmas sprinkles, crushed candy canes and more.

Freezing Christmas Cookies

Most cookies, including Christmas Cookies, can be made months ahead of time and frozen. The great thing is that cookies can be frozen before or after baking meaning that you can do your holiday baking in advance.

I would recommend decorating cookies after defrosting as condensation can ruin the cookies.

If you are freezing cookie dough, I would recommend freezing in smaller portions to help defrost quickly. To defrost, refrigerate dough overnight.

Christmas Cookies on a wooden board with writing
Christmas Cookies on a board with a title
Christmas Cookie Collage with a title

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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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