Snowflake sugar cookies are one of the easiest Christmas cookie recipes ever! Just mix, roll, cut, bake, and finish with icing and sprinkles.
Photography by Kelly Neil
OK, first things first. I am NOT a cookie decorator (which, if you’ve seen these eggnog cookies with spiced rum buttercream you already know😅). But what I AM is a lover of delicious baked treats! And that’s where these soft sugar cookies come in. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make homemade sugar cookies then this recipe is for you!
I made snowflake cookies for the holidays but you can use this recipe to make cutout cookies year round, in any shape you want. The recipe is an adaptation of my own sugar cookie base I’ve been using for years. I usually prefer a thinner sugar cookie with a bit of snap, however for these Christmas sugar cookies I wanted larger, thicker, soft sugar cookies to frost (and to be honest, all I had to do to achieve this was add a little extra flour and an extra egg).
If you’ve never made a cutout cookie recipe before, don’t be intimidated! The dough literally could not be easier to make. I also show you the best way to roll the dough, and help your sugar cookie cutouts retain their shape while baking.
One final note. I’m only learning how to use royal icing and don’t feel qualified to give any advice on making or using it just yet. If you want to try using royal icing yourself there are many, many, MANY videos on YouTube to check out. All I will say about it is this—cookie decorating is supposed to be fun! I encourage you to play with icing or other decorations. Enjoy the results regardless of the final outcome because, either way, your snowflake sugar cookies will be delicious.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.
Tips & Notes
Make a batch of homemade vanilla sugar with vanilla bean before you begin!
I use a hand or stand mixer for efficiency, however, if you don’t own one you can make rolled cookies by hand. All you need is a wooden spoon and elbow grease.
I like to sift powdered sugar and flour through a sieve for baking recipes. I don’t know if it actually helps make my recipes bake lighter or not but I find the process satisfying.
Light corn syrup (also called clear or white corn syrup) isn’t crucial to this recipe, however, it does help cookies retain a chewiness they don’t have without it. You can omit it if you want.
When you sift the flour into the wet ingredients, some of the salt granules won’t go through the sieve. Just dump them into the bowl once all of the flour is pressed through.
I like to finish mixing the sugar cookie dough by hand with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. I can scoop up any bits of dry flour underneath the dough, and it also prevents over-mixing which can lead to tough cookies.
It’s really important to rest and chill the dough after you wrap it in plastic. Chilling cookie dough allows gluten to develop in the flour and solidifies the butter. These factors help the cookies stay tender and retain their shape in the oven.
I prefer waxed paper to roll cookie or pie dough. It’s thinner than parchment paper and adheres to the dough better than parchment does (in my opinion anyway).
You can roll the sugar cookie dough as thick or as thin as you like. For this recipe, I rolled the dough fairly thick, almost ½ inch (1 ¼ cm) thick. Use the baking time in the recipe card as a guideline, checking your cookies for golden edges as they bake.
I freeze my sugar cookie cutouts for at least 20 minutes before baking. You can also cut your cookie shapes and freeze them until needed, up to two months. Once solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or tin.
The cookies may appear slightly puffy when you remove them from the oven. Don’t be alarmed because they will deflate slightly while cooling, and as well, icing will cover the tops.
How To Store Snowflake Sugar Cookies
Room Temperature—Keep the cookies, stored on the counter in an airtight container or tin with a tight fitting lid, for up to two days.
Fridge—Keep the cookies in the fridge, stored in an airtight container or tin with a tight fitting lid, for up to five days.
Freezer—Keep the cookies in the freezer, stored in an airtight container or tin with a tight fitting lid, for up to one month.
I haven’t tested these snowflake sugar cookies with dairy-free butter, however, I think it would be fine. But again, I have not tested this.
Substitute the almond extract for vanilla or any other flavouring you like.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
Snowflake Sugar Cookies
- Mixing bowl
- Stand mixer
- Fine mesh sieve
- Wax paper
- Rolling Pin
- Snowflake cookie cutters
- Plate or small tray
- Parchment paper
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- baking sheet
- Wire rack
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter, room temperature to soft
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
Make The Sugar Cookie Dough
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the butter and granulated sugar in a second mixing bowl. Sift the powdered sugar through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl. Mix the butters and sugars on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes (if using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment).
- Add the eggs, corn syrup, and almond extract to the butter. Mix until well combined and fluffy, stopping the scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through mixing.
- Sift the flour mixture into the bowl of butter. Dump in any salt granules that don’t go through the sieve into the bowl. Mix on low (switch to the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) until the flour is almostcombined. Finish mixing the dough by hand with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, being sure to incorporate any dry bits of flour at the bottom of the bowl.
- Quickly and gently gather the dough together using your hands. Place the dough on a work surface and divide it in two. Use your hands to shape each portion of dough into a disc. Wrap each dish gently but tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough discs in the fridge for a minimum of one hour.
Bake The Snowflake Sugar Cookies
- Remove a disc of dough from the fridge. Lightly flour a piece of waxed paper on a work surface. Place the dough on top of the paper, sprinkle it lightly with flour, and place a second piece of wax paper on top. Starting in the middle of the dough, gently use a rolling pin to start rolling just to the edge of the dough. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat until the dough is smoothly rolled out to your desired thickness (I like these cookies fairly thick, somewhere between ¼ and ½ inch (½ to 1 ¼ cm).
- Cut shapes with snowflake cookie cutters. Some of the cookies will stick inside the cookie cutter. Use the tip of a finger to gently press and push the cutouts onto a plate or small tray lined with parchment.
- Repeat the process, re-rolling the scraps when needed, until all of the dough is gone. Place the unbaked cookies in the freezer for 20 minutes (or longer—see the tips & notes section).
- While the unbaked cookies are in the freezer, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the cookie cutouts from the freezer. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheets leaving some room in between them. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake the snowflake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are pale gold on the edges.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and place the baking sheets on wire cooling racks. After 10 minutes, use a small offset spatula to transfer the cookies from the sheets directly to the racks to cool completely before decorating.