This is the classic Christmas cutout cookie recipe. I am also sharing the royal icing recipe, so you don’t have to look for that either. Both recipes in one place. Our family tradition is to make these each year. The kids help cut out and decorate the cookies. It is fun to make these with kids and family of all ages. Christmas isn’t Christmas at our house without these cookies.

Christmas Cutout Cookies


1 1/2 cups of butter that is softened

5 cups of all purpose flour

2 cups of white sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Mix in a large bowl the butter and sugar until it is smooth. Make sure it doesn’t have any lumps before going to the next step. Next, mix in the eggs and vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until completely blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least one hour. You can refrigerate overnight, if so desired.

After it is refrigerated you can form it into a large ball and roll out the dough. Use flour on countertop and your rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. It will be sticky, so repeat use of flour sprinkled as needed. Try not to overuse the flour or your dough will become too dry. Roll to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness and cutout using cookie cutters.

Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets one inch apart. Use a flat spatula to move the cookies more easily. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow to cool before moving from cookie sheets to prevent the cookies from tearing apart. Once they are completely cooled you can decorate with royal icing.

Royal Icing


4 cups of white powdered sugar

3 tablespoons of meringue powder

1/2 cup of room temperature water

Food coloring


Combine all ingredients and mix using a hand mixer on medium to high speed for 5 minutes. It must be mixed for 5 minutes to make the icing firm enough to ice the cookies. You can always add more water if it is too firm or add more powdered sugar if it is too thin.

Divide into separate bowls and mix in food coloring as desired for your cookie decorating.

Icing will begin to dry, so use immediately. We typically use ours all up within an hour and do not have any issues with it drying too much in that hour.

You can use piping bags and tips to apply the frosting. Our family goes old school simple using spoons. We use the back of a regular spoon to spread the icing over each cookie and then add sprinkles.

For more tips on making royal icing, you can go to Sally’s Baking Addiction: