Snowflake sugar cookies are one of the easiest Christmas cookie recipes ever! Just mix, roll, cut, bake, and finish with royal icing and sprinkles. The recipe is an adaptation of Kelly's sugar cookies. These Christmas sugar cookies are a little larger, thicker, softer sugar cookies, perfect for frosting.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Almond extract: substitute the almond extract for vanilla or any other flavouring you like.
- Corn syrup: light corn syrup (also called clear or white corn syrup) isn't crucial to this recipe, but it does help cookies retain a chewiness they don't have without it. You can omit it if preferred.
- Make it dairy-free: use a good vegan butter for baking, like Miyoko's.
Step 1: whisk the dry ingredients together.
Step 2: cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the remaining wet ingredients.
Step 3: sift the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and beat on low to make the dough.
Step 4: divide the dough in two and chill.
Step 5: roll the chilled dough out between two sheets of parchment paper.
Step 6: cut the snowflake shapes and carefully lift the cookies.
Step 7: place the cut-out cookies onto a lined baking sheet.
Step 8: bake until the edges are just golden and cool before icing.
- Use vanilla sugar: buy or make your own vanilla sugar before starting the recipe and use it in place of the granulated sugar (or add vanilla extract to the mix).
- Don't skip chilling: 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.
- Don't worry about the puff: the cookies may appear slightly puffy when you remove them from the oven. They will deflate slightly while cooling, and the tops will be covered in icing anyway.
A hand or stand mixer makes quick work of cookie dough, but if you don't have one, you can make rolled cookies by hand. All you need is a wooden spoon and elbow grease.
When you sift the flour into the wet ingredients, some of the salt granules won't go through the sieve. Just add them into the bowl once all of the flour is sifted through.
To avoid over-mixing, finish mixing the sugar cookie dough by hand with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. This way you can scoop up any bits of dry flour underneath the dough, and you'll have nice tender cookies.
You can roll the sugar cookie dough as thick or as thin as you like. For the cookies pictured, the dough is rolled fairly thick, almost ½ inch (1 ¼ cm). Use the baking time in the recipe card as a guideline, checking your cookies for golden edges as they bake.
How To Store Sugar Cookies
Storage: keep the cookies, stored on the counter in an airtight container or tin with a tight fitting lid, for up to two days. For longer storage keep the cookies in the fridge, stored in an airtight container or tin with a tight fitting lid, for up to five days.
Freezing: keep the cookies in the freezer, stored in an airtight container or tin with a tight fitting lid, for up to one month. You can also cut your cookie shapes and freeze them, unbaked, until needed, up to two months. Once solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or tin.
What's the difference between a sugar cookie and a regular cookie?
A sugar cookie is a bit more sturdy than another cookie like shortbread or chocolate chip cookies because it's meant to be decorated. While there are recipes for soft or drop sugar cookies, they are usually made for topping with royal icing and are a bit snappy but not crumbly or chewy.
Are sugar cookies just shortbread?
Sugar cookies differ from shortbread in several ways. Sugar cookies aren't short - that is, crumbly - because they contain less butter than shortbread and are meant to be cut into shapes and decorated. Shortbread breaks apart too easily to be rolled and cut into delicate shapes.
Should sugar cookies be soft or crispy?
Sugar cookies can be crispy if you want them to be (simply bake them a little longer) but ideally should be a bit snappy until you bite into it, when it should become tender and soft.
If you make this Snowflake Cookie recipe or any other cookie recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
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.