This time of year calls for cookies and milk – and not just for Santa! If you’ve ever wanted to learn to create beautiful and delicious decorated Christmas cookies for the holidays, read on.
This is your ultimate holiday cookie decorating guide with over 40 hand-curated Decorated Christmas Cookies recipes to teach you everything about baking and decorating Christmas cookies.
Ultimate Guide to Decorated Christmas Cookies with 40+ recipes and tips
This guide will help you create decorated cookies for the holiday season. It’s full of tips and tricks; easy, fun decorating ideas and examples of some of my favorite decorated cookies from around the web. There are options for gluten-free, vegan, paleo cookies and more, including classic sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, shortbread, brownies, and a few surprises.
Plus learn about different frosting techniques including royal icing, powdered sugar icing, drizzling and buttercream frosting.
Basic Christmas Cookies for Decorating
Decorated Christmas cookies, start with well-written cookie recipes. Here are some of my favorite basic recipes for the classics – sugar (including my no-fail sugar cookie recipe), gingerbread, and shortbread – as well as options for the vegan and gluten-free recipients on your nice list.
Simple, Classic Cookie Recipes
Santa isn’t the only one who loves receiving whimsical cookies and a glass of cold milk during the holidays. Everyone I know loves a good Christmas cookie. But not everyone knows how to make their cookies stand out from the crowd. These recipes will help.
- Let’s start with my fail-proof sugar cookie recipe. It’s the perfect basic recipe (and tutorial) for beginners.
- This sugar cookie truffle recipe from I Heart Naptime is a wonderful base to kick-start your creativity.
- Anyone who has vegan, diabetic or gluten-free family members should have this sugar cookie recipe from Strength and Sunshine.
- These Old fashioned Amish sugar cookies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake are sure to bring back childhood memories.
- Is there anything more special than a warm chocolate kiss on top of a cookie at Christmas time? These Christmas Chocolate Kiss Cookies from The Kitchen is my Playground are an updated classic.
- Linzer cookies are a Christmas standby and much easier to make than you might think. This gluten-free version from Fearless Dining makes them accessible to anyone.
- Remember thumbprint cookies? They might have been a staple on your grandmother’s table, but the Vegan Raspberry Thumbprint adaptation from Cotter Crunch allows everyone to enjoy.
- Cotter Crunch does it again with this delicious Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Cookie. They’re sure to be a crowd favorite.
- Get back to basics (and teach your kids your love of food) with this Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe from Sugar Spun Run.
Decorated Christmas Tree Cookie Ideas
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree – How Lovely Is Your Frosting!
Looking for a classic decorated Christmas tree cookies? Start with my Decorated Christmas Tree Cookies with Royal Icing. Plus learn all about royal icing, including how to make it (and at right consistency), color, decorate, store and serve these cookies.
Watch the video below to learn how to decorate Christmas tree cookies with royal icing.
More decorated Christmas tree cookies
- While not a tree, Christmas greenery still counts, and this easy wreath cookie tutorial from My Heavenly Recipes will get even your kids in the kitchen!
- Down Red Bud Drive created this beautiful, and impressive looking 3d Christmas tree cookie.
- Ever thought about putting that tree cookie cutter to good use, but not as a tree? Spaceships and Laserbeams did with this fun Minion version.
- A bit less traditional, but so delightful – chocolate brownie trees with mint white chocolate drizzle from The Toasty Kitchen will have you going back for seconds.
- Shortbread cookies are another classic during the holidays and this lemon shortbread tree cookie from An Italian in my Kitchen is just perfect.
Santa Decorated Christmas Cookies
Santa shaped cookies are an iconic Christmas cookie. If you want to grow beyond the simple cookie cutter and sprinkles version, then you have to check out the following posts. It’s a veritable Santa’s bag full of treats. Here are some decorated Santa Christmas cookies, both of and for Santa!
You’ll End Up on Santa’s Nice List if You Make These Cookies
- Yes, even Santa wears a Christmas sweater – and this Plaid Sweater Sugar Cookie version is just what I picture him relaxing in after a long night on the sleigh.
- If you remember making Santa cut out cookies as a child, you’ll love these. I especially love his fluffy beard. Binky’s Culinary Carnival gave a fun update to an old classic.
- Everyone needs a Santa hat this time of year – bonus points if it’s delicious like these from 4 Sons R Us.
- Have your little one leave Santa their wish on a decorated cookie this year! Delicious Table shows you how.
- It’s no secret that it’s cold at the North Pole. Whip up some of these gorgeous hat and mitten cookies from Noshtastic and Santa will thank you
Gingerbread Man cookies, houses and more
A gingerbread man or gingerbread house is a staple of the Christmas season, but sometimes it’s fun to step outside of the box (or house as it were) and go for something more creative. What about a ninjabread man? Or a tiny gingerbread house to accompany your mug of hot cocoa?
These Decorated Gingerbread Cookies will add plenty of holiday cheer
- I was so impressed by these intricate gingerbread house mug toppers from Noshtastic! They are the perfect complement to your favorite warm beverage this time of year.
- Not looking for a crunchy gingerbread cookie? Definitely, give these soft molasses cookies from I Heart Naptime a try.
- If someone on your list is following a paleo diet, you’ll want to put together a care package with these sugar-free and paleo gingerbread cookies from Wholesome Yum.
- Flippin Delicious blew me away with her ninjabread men. Yes, you read that correctly. Not only will they knock you out, so will the fact that they are dairy, egg, and gluten free as well as vegan. Wow!
- With the rise of gluten intolerance, I’m happy to see a large variety of quality gluten-free baking tips and recipes. Faithfully Gluten Free adds to the mix with this version of gluten-free gingerbread cookies.
- Sugar Spun Run shares this gold standard gingerbread man recipe. Everything from the base recipe to the decorations will take you back to your childhood. You will love them.
- Want a new take on gingerbread men? Add Rice Krispies! This gingerbread Rice Krispie treat recipe comes from 4 Sons R Us.
Decorated Snowflake Cookie Ideas
No matter which flavor you prefer, there’s a snowflake cookie recipe below just waiting for you.
- I have to say, when I saw this stunning fudgy, brownie cut-out snowflake from Foodal, I immediately wanted a dozen. They are gorgeous and it’s such a fresh take on a classic cookie.
- Along with these gorgeous snowflake cookies comes a step by step tutorial for decorating with royal icing from Foodal. I highly recommend it.
- Burlap and Blue put together a fun gingerbread snowflake cookie recipe – something you don’t often see.
- If you’re looking for something more classic, you have to see this sugar cookie snowflake from Bitz & Giggles.
Classic Shapes and Surprising Twists on Decorated Christmas Cookies
If the classics aren’t your style, then try one of these tutorials. They are classics with a whimsical twist that are sure to impress your guests and Santa!
Simple Classic Decorated Christmas Cookies with a Creative Twist
- When I started putting together this roundup of amazing recipes, I knew I had to include these holiday chalkboard cookies from A Turtles Life for Me. Her tips for making the cookies that look like a real chalkboard with frosting is a must see.
- It wouldn’t be a decorated Christmas cookie without these snowmen cookies.
- While not exactly a cookie, I had to include my Brown Butter Peppermint Rice Krispie Treats. They are loaded with chewy peppermint flavor and oh so festive.
- The Grinch is back this year, and these grinch themed cookies from Finding Zest are the perfect cookie for movie night. The frosting method is fun and simple too!
- These snow globe cookies from Home. Made. Interest. are absolutely beautiful, and not in the shape you might expect!
- There’s nothing better than buttercream frosting and it’s a wonderful frosting to start with. The Baking Chocolatess walks you through making soft sour cream cookies with a decadent buttercream frosting that you must try.
- Hosting an ugly Christmas sweater party? You’ll want to make these ugly Christmas sweater sugar cookies from Bread Booze Bacon as a party favor. They’re almost too cute to call ugly!
- I love these simple stained glass cookies from Liv for Cake. They really are simple, but look so elegant.
- My Heavenly Recipes gives a fun update to Christmas light shapes with this cookie recipe.
- Any dessert on a stick is automatically more fun. Check out these Christmas cookie pops from A Savory Feast.
Learning to make decorated Christmas cookies can be fun for you and your family. And with the tips and tricks in this post, you’ll be a pro in no time.
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