Stacked Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies add festive fun to your holiday cookie platters! Sweet sugar cookies in three different sizes are layered with green buttercream frosting and decorated with sprinkles. These cookies look complicated, but they’re really simple to make.
Delicious sugar cookies, stacked and frosted to look like Christmas Trees, will be the showstopping centerpiece to your Holiday cookie platters!
And while these Christmas tree cookies look impressive, they are not at all difficult to make. In fact, I think they’re extra fun to make since you get to build the cookies rather than just decorate them.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- No Cookie Cutters Needed! Some versions of this recipe have you cutting out circles in three different sizes, but this recipe is easier. Instead of rolling out and cutting dough, simply portion out the different-sized layers from the dough and drop them on the cookie sheet. The result is softer cookies with rounded edges.
- Easy and Fun To Decorate: Pick up some gold star sprinkles for the top of the trees, and decorate the layers with your favorite holiday sprinkles.
- A Crowd Pleaser: Everyone is always impressed at how these cookies look and even more impressed once they taste them!
Ingredients Needed to Make Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt: Using both baking soda and baking powder helps these sugar cookies to puff up nicely, making our trees tall and sturdy.
- Butter, Sugar, Egg: This sugar cookie recipe is pretty standard. You want to use granulated sugar, unsalted butter, and a large egg. Be sure to let the butter and the egg come to room temperature before mixing.
- Vanilla Extract: Always use pure vanilla extract, and avoid anything that says “imitation” on the package.
- Easy Buttercream Frosting: More unsalted butter is blended with powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk, and a pinch of salt. Green gel food coloring gives you the perfect Christmas tree shade.
- Sprinkles: Look for yellow or gold star sprinkles for the top of each tree, and decorate around the sugar cookie Christmas trees with your favorite holiday sprinkles.
How To Make Stacked Christmas Tree Cookies
- Get Ready to Bake! Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until fully combined.
- Mix and Chill: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until you’ve created a smooth cookie dough. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Scoop: Use three sizes of cookie scoops to make three different-sized cookie dough balls. On the cookie sheet, scoop four 1-teaspoon balls, four 2-teaspoon balls, and four 3-teaspoon balls. This is enough to create 4 trees, and you’ll repeat this process 3 or 4 more times to bake all of the cookies.
- Bake: Bake each tray of cookies for 6-7 minutes. Remove from the tray and allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack before adding frosting.
- Make the Frosting: Start by creaming together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Then add in the vanilla extract, salt, and milk and continue to mix until well combined. Finally, add green food coloring a drop at a time until you’ve reached your desired shade of Christmas tree green. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Assemble the Trees: For each sugar cookie tree, start by covering a large cookie with a layer of frosting. Add the medium cookie on top, and cover that with a layer of frosting. Finally, add a small cookie to the stack, and finish with a swirl of frosting ending in a point.
- Decorate: Use sprinkles to add a star to the top of each tree, and decorate the sides with additional Christmas sprinkles.
Top Tips For Making the Best Christmas Cookies
- Keep the Dough Chilled: You’ll be baking multiple trays of cookies, so be sure to put the dough back in the fridge while the first batches are baking. If the dough is too warm, the cookies will spread too much.
- Stay Organized: I found it was easiest for me to portion out the dough as I show here, making all three sizes and enough for four trees on each tray of cookies. You may prefer to do a pan of all 1-inch cookies, and separate pans for the other sizes. Either way, keep track so that in the end you have the right amount of cookies in each size to create the trees.
- For Smooth, Round Cookies: Use a round cookie cutter that is larger than the cookies to gently swirl them in the pan to smooth the edges while the cookies are still warm.
- Make 1 Tree at a Time: It might sound like a good idea to make your sugar cookie Christmas trees in an assembly line fashion, but it isn’t. If the frosting dries, you will not be able to stick the additional cookies to it, and the sprinkles won’t stick either.
- These fit perfectly into cupcake liners, so feel free to use them if you want to include stacked Christmas tree sugar cookies on a platter and they need to be laid on their sides.
Variations to Try
Instead of making these trees with round layers, use your favorite cut-out cookie recipe instead, and cut out stars in various shapes to stack.
You can add a layer to make the trees taller if you like, simply create some sugar cookies that are a size larger or smaller than the ones you’ve already made.
A dusting of powdered sugar is another decorative addition that makes it look like your trees have been out in the snow!
More Delicious and Fun Christmas Cookie Recipes!
- Classic Gingerbread Cookies are in the photo above, and are one of the most loved Christmas cookies ever! Also pictured here are Rugelach and gorgeous Stained Glass Cookies with Jolly Rancher centers.
- I have the best recipe for Candy Cane Cookies that you need to try too.
- Eggnog Cookies
- Christmas Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- Grinch Sugar Cookies
Keep your Christmas tree sugar cookies in an airtight container, and enjoy them within 3 days.
Because of the way these are stacked, I worry that they won’t freeze well. There’s a possibility that the color of the frosting would run as they thaw. These are best enjoyed while they are fresh!
These Stacked Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies are so fun to make, and everyone will be so impressed with them! Be sure to Pin the recipe for the holidays!