Iced Sugar Cookies

Published December 10, 2012. Updated April 19, 2024

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Iced Sugar Cookies are the gorgeous buttery tender cookies cut into festive shapes then covered with a sweet hardened icing. Perfect for any holiday, as you can use any shape of cookie cutter and colored icing to match.

Iced Sugar Cookies cut into snowflake shapes.

Iced Sugar Cookies

I have a confession. This is the very first time in my life I have made royal icing. It is the very first time in my life I’ve made iced sugar cookies. So please don’t be too critical I’ve got a few things to learn about the tricks of icing.

The reason I haven’t made icing and iced sugar cookies up until now because I’ve tasted iced sugar cookies before and I’ve always liked the frosted puffy version better. But, iced sugar cookies can be decorated far prettier and they make better gifts so I decided it was the perfect season to give them a try.

Sugar cookies decorated with royal icing.

Made with Royal Icing, It’s Easier Than You’d Think.

The icing really wasn’t hard to make thanks to Annie’s wonderful tutorial (from her blog – Annie’s Eats). Before I reading that tutorial I didn’t even know what flood icing was.

These cookies are so delicious and are also so fun to make. Some of you may know by know how I love art and I love food so these cookies are made for me. I loved how I got to make each cookie unique just as you will never find an identical snowflake.

Iced Sugar Cookies

I don’t know why I was so harsh on iced sugar cookies in the past. They are basically a soft shortbread cookie with a sugary icing. How could that not be good?

They reminded me of how I want to re-create one of my favorite cookies from my childhood, those Keebler pink iced animal cookies with their delicious nutmeg flavor. These taste nothing like those, these are far better they were just a fun reminder for some reason.

Holiday Sugar Cookies

Allow Enough Time to Make Them

They take a bit of time but you don’t need to put as much time into them as I did. If you wanted to simply ice them with a solid color and maybe add some sprinkle then it would be faster than piping additional decorations among the tops.

Keep in mind these cookies aren’t a batch that you can have made in 20 minutes, they take a bit of time but you don’t need to put as much time into them as I did. If you wanted to simply ice them with a solid color and maybe add some sprinkle then it would be faster than piping additional decorations among the tops.

Either way I hope you have a chance to try these cookies soon. They are simply amazing with their delicate, buttery cookie flavor and that lightly crunchy shell from the icing. MMMM they are a cookie you’re going to remember. Enjoy!

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5 from 2 votes

Iced Sugar Cookies

Buttery tender cookies cut into festive shapes then covered with a sweet hardened icing. Perfect for any holiday as you can use any shape of cookie cutter. Recipe yield varies.*
Servings: 26
Prep1 hour
Cook30 minutes
Chill2 hours
Ready in: 3 hours 30 minutes



  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter, powdered sugar and salt on low speed until well combine, about 20 seconds. Mix in egg, vanilla and almond extract.
  • With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour and mix until combine. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate until firm about 1 1/2 hours (0r freeze folding dough once with a wooden spoon halfway through chilling until firm about 40 minutes - which is what I did).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. Roll dough out on a generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness then cut dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters.
  • Carefully transfer cut shapes to prepared baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, edges should not brown. Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool cookies completely then frost with icing.
  • *I got 26 cookies, I made about 1/2 of them large snowflakes and half of them small snowflakes so it will just depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
Nutrition Facts
Iced Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 25mg8%
Sodium 114mg5%
Potassium 21mg1%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 227IU5%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.



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  • Chris Murphy

    I tried this recipe for a big get-together, and the cookies were a huge hit! One friend (who’s usually the baker in our circle of friends) said that these were the perfect sugar cookies! I’m so thrilled that I’ll make this my go-to cookie recipe from now on!

  • Lindsey

    I just baked this recipe and barely let my cookies cool. They taste *pretty* dang close to Smith’s! Thank you so much for blogging this recipe for us :)

  • Cathy

    These are the best sugar cookies I have tried and I have made several recipes over the years. The flavor is wonderful and the cut outs retain their shape. This will become my go to recipe in the future as received many compliments on the taste and texture.

  • Jen

    Help! I have no idea what I did wrong but my dough isn’t really dough it’s just crumbly. I followed the recipe exactly. I put them in ththe freezer now to see if it helps but I just had them In the refrigerator for the 11/2. Any idea what I did wrong? :( on a side not they smell good.

  • Mimi

    These cookies just popped out of my oven, and the house has that delicious, sugar cookie candle scent! I am drooling! I can tell that these are sturdy cookies, great for decorating; and delicious too… just by the bits of dough I was sneaking from the bowl. My squirrel shaped cookie actually came off the baking sheet without its head breaking off. Thanks for the great recipe. This will be a christmas cookie staple from now on. :) Thanks!

  • Susan | Suz Bakes

    I can’t believe this was your first attempt!! I’m looking for good (as in tastes good!!) recipes for this holiday when my nieces come to visit – this looks perfect. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Brittney L.

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It took me a couple times to get it right but my most recent batch come out perfect and I have several requests to do them again! Thanks! They were amazing!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so happy to hear they came out perfect for you Brittney! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment!