Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree


Decorating cookies is a must during the Christmas season. This sugar cookie recipe is a classic that can be passed down through generations.

Best Sugar Cookies christmas trees
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
40 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
7 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
36 to 48 2 1/2-inch cookies


  • cup butter, softened

  • cup shortening

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour

  • Dash salt

  • 1 recipe Royal icing (see recipe below)

  • Decorative sprinkles

Royal Icing

  • 2 cup sifted powdered sugar

  • 4 teaspoon meringue powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ¼ cup warm water

  • 1 tablespoon warm water


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined.

  2. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover; chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using desired tree-shaped cookie cutters, cut out dough.

  4. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until the edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.

  5. Transfer to a wire racks and let cool. Frost with Royal Icing and decorate with sprinkles.

Royal Icing

  1. Stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the 1/4 cup warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes until very stiff. Add the 1 to 2 tablespoons additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make desired consistency.

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