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Sugar cookies recipe

Sugar cookies recipe

213 ratings

Little ones will love helping to make these pretty iced sugar cookies. Cut out festive shapes from the simple dough, bake and ice with celebratory colours. Remember to add a small hole before baking if you want to hang these delicious decorations on the tree. See method

  • Makes 60
  • 15 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook, plus icing and setting time
  • 90 calories / serving


To decorate

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 330g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 60g cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

For the icing

  • 400g icing sugar, sieved
  • red and green food colouring

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    3g 4%
  • Saturates

    2g 9%
  • Sugars

    11g 12%
  • Salt

    0g 0%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 15.9g Protein 0.8g Fibre 0.2g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180˚C, fan 160˚C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric whisk until light and fluffy, and pale in colour. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then tip in the flours and a large pinch of salt and mix on a slow speed until the dough comes together.
  3. Split the dough in half, form into balls and cover each with cling film. Place in the fridge for 45 mins (or up to 12 hrs) to firm up.
  4. Remove from the fridge, unwrap and roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to a thickness of 1cm. Using Christmas cutters, cut into shapes and place on the lined baking trays. Bring the remainder of the dough together and repeat the process until you have used up all the dough.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins until cooked through and golden at the edges. Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. For the icing, mix the icing sugar with hot water until you reach the consistency of pouring custard, adding a few more drops of water at a time if needed until the desired consistency is reached.
  7. Divide the mixture into 3 bowls (or more if you want to use more colours). Add the food colouring and mix until the desired colour is reached.
  8. Fill a piping bag with the plain icing. Snip the end of the bag to create a 2-3mm hole (or use a small nozzle, 2mm diameter). Pipe the icing around the edges of the biscuits that you want to decorate in this colour. Repeat with the other colours.
  9. Allow the edge icing to set for 15 mins. Then, to ‘flood’ the centre, use a teaspoon to gently pour a little of the icing into the centre of the outlined shape. Spread to reach the edges. Allow this to set for about 20 mins.
  10. Finally, using your piping bags, create festive shapes and designs as you wish.

Tip: While you’re waiting for your icing to set, make sure to keep your icing bowls covered with a wet cloth so they don’t dry out.

Tip: To make Christmas decorations, use a skewer to make a small hole in the top of the biscuit shapes before you bake them. Cook as in the method; when the biscuits are iced and set, use a ribbon to thread through the hole.

See more Easy Christmas baking ideas

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