Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

Making these Christmas tree sugar cookies is such a festive way to get the holiday season started! If you’ve never decorated sugar cookies with buttercream frosting, you are in for a treat.

This is the best buttercream recipe, both flavor and texture-wise. The cutout sugar cookies are really easy to make too, so it’s a win-win! Read below for the recipe.

Christmas Tree Buttercream Cookies Recipe

The Best Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

You may be wondering what makes these the best Christmas sugar cookies, especially compared to the myriad of other cookies! If you’re going to make Christmas sugar cookies, you don’t want a recipe that will disappoint, right?

Honestly, there are a lot of good recipes out there. There are a couple of things, however, that make this recipe stand out from the crowd.

The Cookie

First, the cookie is incredibly soft and delicious. The Christmas tree cookies hold their shape perfectly too (or any shape for that matter). The cookies are so good that people eat them plain, no frosting needed.

I can definitely say I’ve eaten my fair share of these cookies without frosting, and they are delightful.

Sometimes people use an average cookie recipe and try to cover it up with loads of frosting. That’s a no-no in my book!

Both parts of the cookie should be equally good without the other for it to be a truly great recipe.

The Buttercream Frosting

Second, even people who don’t love buttercream frosting enjoy this recipe. My husband, for example, always told me he didn’t like frosted cookies for years. When he tasted this buttercream, however, it was a different story.

I saw him going back to take another cookie repeatedly, which told me that I really had a fantastic recipe that could even convert someone who doesn’t like buttercream.

The buttercream is creamy and smooth, and it’s very easy to pipe. If you follow the recipe and weigh the ingredients (yes, get a scale please!), it will turn out perfectly every time.

The flavor combination of the buttercream is also amazing. It has 3 flavorings that blend and complement each other perfectly, but none of the flavors are overpowering.

Christmas Cookies that hold their shape

The Material

I don’t believe there is just one type of material best for Christmas cookie cutters. I own plastic, 3d printer cutters, metal, and copper, and all have good qualities.

However, I don’t use cheap plastic cutters. The edges of these cutters are usually less crisp and sharp, making cutting the cookies more difficult.

If you’re going to use plastic, use something like these (which I own and adore!)

Will it Rust?

If you choose metal tree cookie cutters, find out if they are stainless steel. I can’t say how many cookie cutters I’ve had rust when they sat in water for a few hours…I had no idea they weren’t stainless steel.

It’s really annoying to have brand-new cutters rust, so keep that in mind when buying Christmas cookie cutters.

The Design

The last thing to consider is the design. Not all cutters are created equally. When I shop for cutters, I like to give the metal ones a light squeeze to see if they bend much.

Cutters that flex easily are more likely to bend out of shape. They can also flex inward or outward when cutting, changing the shape of the cookie.

Christmas Tree Buttercream Cookies Recipe

How to Decorate Christmas Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

I highly recommend getting the following to make these cookies if you want to follow my cookie designs:

Make the frosting, then divide it into 3 portions for the green and 1 small portion for the brown. Color the 3 portions green, making one light, one darker, and the next even darker.

Color the brown, and add a hint of black if you want a deeper brown. The chocolate brown tends to be slightly orange, so the black helps balance it out.

Use the #2 tips for the straight-line trees and the star tip for the other trees. If desired, add some nonpareils and Christmas cookie sprinkles.

If you don’t want to decorate them as shown, create your own design or use a butter knife to decorate the Christmas tree sugar cookies with buttercream frosting.

They will taste good no matter what!

Green Christmas Tree Cookie with buttercream frosting

Design Ideas for Christmas Cookies

Before decorating buttercream sugar cookies, one of my favorite things is looking for clipart of Christmas trees, Santa, deer, etc. Instead of just looking at other people’s cookie creations, it’s fun to take art and recreate it.

When it comes to buttercream Christmas cookies, don’t think overly complex. Royal icing is much easier for the really complex cookies because the icing consistency allows for greater detail.

Instead, think of simpler designs. Clipart tends to be more simple in nature, so it’s a great place to start.

You can also copy ornament patterns, paintings, etc. The options are truly endless!

Christmas Tree Cookies recipe

Other Recipes You’ll Want to Try

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Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

Christmas Tree Buttercream Cookies with green frosting and pearl nonpareils

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chill Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 41 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Christmas Sugar Cookies

  • 226 g unsalted butter, chilled (1 cup)
  • 200 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 375 g all-purpose flour (3 cups + 2 Tbs)

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • 226 g unsalted butter, cold (1 cup)
  • 60 g cream cheese, softened (2 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp butter emulsion(opt.)
  • 1/4 tsp almond emulsion (or extract) (opt.)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 480 g powdered sugar (4 cups)
  • 85 g heavy cream (4 Tbs)
  • Food coloring

Instructions

To Make the Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  1. See directions here.

To Make the Buttercream Frosting

  1. Cream butter on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. It will take longer because the butter is cold. Add the cream cheese and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and other flavorings if using, and mix. Add half of powdered sugar and mix on a low speed to start. Increase speed to medium as powdered sugar absorbs into the butter.
  3. Add remaining powdered sugar and heavy cream (you can also use 2-3 Tbs of milk if you don’t have cream). Mix on low, and then increase the speed to medium for 3 minutes. Turn the speed down to low (about speed 2), and mix for 2 more minutes to get rid of extra air and bubbles.
  4. As a note, the amount of cream you need depends on how stiff or soft you want the frosting. If you want a thinner buttercream, add 1-2 tablespoons more.
  5. Add food coloring if desired, and use immediately or store in an airtight container. Buttercream frosting does not need to be refrigerated if you are frosting a cake or cookies right away. Refrigerate if not using the same day.
  6. Remove from fridge an hour before using, and rewhip for a minute if needed.
  7. Can be stored in the fridge for a week or the freezer for two months.
  8. See more information on buttercream here if desired.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

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