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 Cookies including shortbread, gingerbread and more!

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 in pink, green and white, ready to eat!

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!

The Best Christmas Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 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 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring optional

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  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Cream butter and vanilla in a bowl until fluffy.

  3. Add flour, powdered sugar and cornstarch a little at a time mixing. If using a hand mixer, you may need to knead a bit once mixed to get a smooth consistency.

  4. If using food coloring, divide dough into and knead in a few drops of coloring to reach desired color.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 80, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 45mg, Potassium: 7mg, Carbohydrates: 8g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 160%, Calcium: 2%, Iron: 0.3%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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.

The BEST Christmas Cookies for your cookie trays are all found right here! From shortbread to sugar cookies and our favorite no bake cookies, there is something here for everyone! #spendwithpennies #Christmascookies #Christmasbaking #cookierecipes #holidaybaking
The BEST Christmas Cookies for your cookie trays are all found right here! From shortbread to sugar cookies and our favorite no bake cookies, there is something here for everyone! #spendwithpennies #Christmascookies #Christmasbaking #cookierecipes #holidaybaking
The BEST Christmas Cookies for your cookie trays are all found right here! From shortbread to sugar cookies and our favorite no bake cookies, there is something here for everyone! #spendwithpennies #Christmascookies #Christmasbaking #cookierecipes #holidaybaking

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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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