Sugar Cookie Wreaths


This classic BHG cookie recipe with a festive designed first appeared in 1925.

holiday cookies

Carson Downing

50 cookies

Since the earliest issues of Better Homes & Gardens, readers counted on us for the best sugar cookie recipe. And every year our Test Kitchen tries new formulas to ensure we don’t disappoint. This classic sugar cookie recipe features a festive wreath decoration that has been an evergreen favorite, making appearances in both our 1949 and ’59 holiday cookie stories and in our iconic Red Plaid cookbook.

We used a two-step process to make the wreath design. First dip the cookies in Powdered Sugar Icing and allow them to dry completely. Then decorate with Buttercream Frosting in a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip. Garnish with cinnamon candies.


Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 to 3 oz. cinnamon candy

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tbsp milk

  • 1/4 tsp clear vanilla

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup softened butter

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tbsp heavy cream

  • 1/2 tsp clear vanilla


Sugar Cookies

  1. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and ½ tsp. salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill until dough is easy to handle, 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat oven to 375ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time to ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Using 2½-inch round or desired-shape cookie cutters, cut out dough. (If necessary, dip cutters in flour to prevent sticking.) Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Reroll scraps as needed

  3. Bake until edges are firm and bottoms are very light brown, 7 minutes. Remove; cool on a wire rack. Decorate as desired with Powdered Sugar Icing, Buttercream Frosting, and/ or cinnamon candies.

Powdered Sugar Icing

  1. In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar, milk, and clear vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until icing reaches desired consistency.

Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a large bowl beat softened butter with a mixer on medium 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Beat in ½ cup powdered sugar. Add heavy cream and clear vanilla; beat on low until combined. Gradually beat in 1½ cups additional powdered sugar just until combined. Beat on medium 5 minutes or until fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Add 2 tsp. additional cream; beat on high 1 minute more. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

123 Calories
6g Fat
17g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 50
Calories 123.4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5.9g 8%
Saturated Fat 3.6g 18%
Cholesterol 22.4mg 7%
Sodium 62.4mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 16.8g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
Total Sugars 10.4g
Protein 1.1g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12.7mg 1%
Iron 0.4mg 2%
Potassium 13.6mg 0%
Fatty acids, total trans 0.2g
Vitamin D 2IU
Alanine 0g
Arginine 0.1g
Ash 0.3g
Aspartic acid 0.1g
Caffeine 0mg
Carotene, alpha 0mcg
Choline, total 8mg
Copper, Cu 0mg
Cystine 0g
Energy 516.2kJ
Fluoride, F 0.2mcg
Folate, total 14.9mcg
Glutamic acid 0.3g
Glycine 0g
Histidine 0g
Isoleucine 0g
Leucine 0.1g
Lysine 0g
Methionine 0g
Magnesium, Mg 2.2mg
Manganese, Mn 0.1mg
Niacin 0.4mg
Phosphorus, P 17.2mg
Pantothenic acid 0.1mg
Phenylalanine 0.1g
Proline 0.1g
Retinol 50.3mcg
Selenium, Se 3.3mcg
Serine 0.1g
Starch 0g
Theobromine 0mg
Threonine 0g
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.2mg
Tryptophan 0g
Tyrosine 0g
Valine 0.1g
Vitamin A, IU 186IU
Vitamin A, RAE 51.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0mcg
Vitamin B-6 0mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.5mcg
Water 4.1g
Zinc, Zn 0.1mg

*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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