Santa Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Sure, you could make just a big batch of Santa bellies for the Christmas cookie tray, but we love the idea of pairing them with cookies cut as the letter H for a special Ho Ho Ho sugar cookie cutout idea.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Bake Time:
7 mins
Decorate Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
about 52 2 1/2-inch cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 recipe Royal Icing

  • red, black, and yellow food color

  • Decorative sprinkles and/or small candies (optional)

Royal Icing

  • 1 16 ounce package powdered sugar (4 cups)

  • 3 tablespoon meringue powder*

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ½ cup warm water

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters, one shaped as the letter H and one circle, cut dough into shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  3. Bake for 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

  4. Prepare Royal Icing, divide into four bowls of about 1 1/4 cup to tint red, 3/4 cup to leave white, 2/3 cup to tint black, and 1/3 cup to tint yellow.

  5. Pipe thin red-tinted royal icing around outside of all cookies, let dry. Flood entire cookie with red-tinted icing. Sprinkle H-shape cookies with desired sprinkles, if desired. Let all cookies stand until dry. For Santa belly, use a pastry bag with a small round tip to pipe thin black-tinted icing to make the belt outline. Fill in with black icing. Repeat the outlining and filling in process using a pastry bag with a small round tip to pipe thin white icing in a beard shape. Using a pastry bag with a small round tip, pipe medium-consistency yellow-tinted icing for the belt buckle.

Royal Icing

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add warm water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7 minutes or until stiff. Cover bowl with damp paper towels and plastic wrap. Chill for up to 48 hours.

    Ho Ho Ho Sugar Cookies
    Matthew Clark

Thin Icing

To thin the royal icing for filling in large areas, stir in additional warm water, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is a thick, spoonable glaze. Fill in outlined cookies with the spreadable royal icing.

*Test Kitchen Tip:

Look for meringue powder in the cake decorating aisle of hobby and craft stores.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

80 Calories
4g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 52
Calories 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 63mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 1g
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0.4mg 2%
Potassium 12mg 0%
Folate, total 14mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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