Make these super easy snowman sugar cookies and snowflake cookies, and decorate them with your favorite icing! I will give you options to decorate with royal icing, easy cookie icing, or buttercream.
Sugar cookies are a must-make every Christmas! These buttery cookies are so delicious to bite into, and they’re very simple to decorate so anyone can make them. I decorated mine with royal icing, but I’m giving you the option to use buttercream or my easy cookie icing instead (if you prefer!).
Decorating cookies with royal icing might sound intimidating, but I encourage you to try my recipe. I will show you that it’s not hard at all to get great results with royal icing, with a little bit of practice you’ll be able to decorate beautiful cookies for every occasion.
However you decide to decorate these cookies, the snowmen and the snowflakes are so pretty, everyone will think that you’re a pro!
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
For the sugar cookies:
- Unsalted Butter: For this recipe, you’ll want to soften the butter to room temperature. Just take it out of the fridge an hour before you start making the cookie dough.
- Granulated Sugar: You can’t make a sugar cookie without white granulated sugar.
- Egg: Choose a large-sized egg for baking, and let it sit at room temperature before mixing it in. This helps to create smoother and better-mixed cookie dough.
- Vanilla Extract: The flavor of cookies and all the best-baked goods comes from good quality vanilla extract. I like to use pure vanilla extract, but if you like imitation vanilla then go for it.
- Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt: These three ingredients make up our dry mix, and are the bulk of the cookie dough.
For the icing:
If you’re making royal icing, you will need powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, vanilla extract, and food coloring.
If you’re making buttercream, you will need unsalted butter, vanilla extract, salt, powdered sugar, and food coloring.
If you’re making my easy cookie icing, you will need powdered sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla extract, milk, and food coloring. To draw the faces of the snowmen, you will need thicker consistency of the icing or store-bought black and orange icing.
How To Make Snowflake and Snowman Sugar Cookies
To Make the Sugar Cookies:
- Preheat the Oven to 350°F/180°C, and line 2 cookie sheets with Silpat silicone mats or parchment paper.
- Cream Butter and Sugar. In the bowl of a stand Mixer, with the paddle attachment cream butter with sugar (2-3 minutes) until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat again for 1 minute.
- Add in the Dry Ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), and mix on low speed until combined and smooth.
- Roll Out. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and lightly sprinkle it with flour. Place half of the Cookie dough on the parchment paper, and with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough to ¼” inch thickness.
- Cut Out. Use a round cookie cutter, cut out circles and place on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown but still light in color. Remove from the oven to a wire rack, and cool completely.
Make a batch of icing using your preferred recipe.
If you’re using buttercream or royal icing, follow these steps:
- Place each color of icing in a pastry bag and set aside.
- Divide your baked cookies in half, so you decorate a batch of snowmen and a batch of snowflake cookies.
- For the snowmen cookies, begin by piping the white Icing around the outside of the cookies, and then fill in the center. Allow to dry and then start filling the aqua cookies, aqua around the edge and fill the center, let dry for 20 minutes. Next, take your black icing and draw two eyes and a smile for the snowman’s face.
- Next, take the orange icing and draw on his nose, repeat until all of the snowmen’s faces are finished. Then, take the white icing and draw an “X” on top of the aqua cookie and then draw another “X” to make the snowflake lines and then draw smaller lines to make the intricate part of the snowman.
If you’re making my easy cookie icing, dip the cookies in white icing for the snowmen and aqua icing for the snowflakes. Allow to cool and harden overnight, or for 24 hours. On the next day, use thicker consistency of icing or even store-bought icing to draw the faces, and the snowflakes on the cookies.
- Allow Icing to Fully Set and Harden: It is really important that you let your icing set completely before you stack the cookies. Royal icing takes about 6 hours to fully set and harden, buttercream takes around 3 hours but it won’t fully harden to be able to stack the cookies. The easy cookie icing takes 24 hours to fully set and harden.
- Use Gel Food Coloring: To color your icing, use gel food coloring rather than a liquid, so that the food coloring won’t alter the texture of the icing. I like this set from Wilton that has 12 different colors.
- Avoid overmixing the royal icing. If you add too much air to it, it becomes dull.
- If you’re making buttercream, whip it with the paddle attachment rather than using the whisk attachment to avoid air bubbles in the frosting.
Storing & Freezing
- To Store: Decorated cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. The icing keeps the cookies from drying out. Undecorated cookies will stay fresh for up to 1 week if you’d like to make the cookies one day and then decorate them later.
- To Freeze: Seal the cookies in an airtight container with a layer of parchment or wax paper between layers. Decorated and undecorated sugar cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Yes, royal icing decorated cookies stand up really well to being bagged up, much better than any other type. You can wrap your cookies in cello bags and tie them up with pretty ribbons to give as gifts.
Store the finished cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. You can also freeze royal icing decorated cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are so fun to make, and everyone will be so impressed with them! Be sure to Pin the recipe for the holidays!