Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies : Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

I’m so excited to be sharing my favorite sugar cookie recipe with you today, on the second day of Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies, an online cookie swap hosted by Dominique of Gusto and Grace! Go check out her Salted Chocolate Pretzel Bark from yesterday, and follow along with us as we share Twelve Days of Cookies!

12 Days of Christmas Cookies Schedule:

The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is an old fashioned recipe that’s been in my family as long as I can remember. These sugar cookies are so soft and delicious, with a simple buttercream icing. I love making them every year, they’re always a hit. While it may be a little bit time consuming, this really is an easy recipe, and so worth it. Nothing beats homemade sugar cookies at Christmas time!

Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

The buttercream icing slightly hardens on the outside, while still staying soft.

Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

Don’t have the time or the energy to ice cookies? Sprinkle cookie dough cut-outs with colored sugar before baking!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies                     makes 2 ½ dozen cookies

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature but not melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add butter and use a mixer to blend ingredients until butter is in small pieces.

In a different bowl beat eggs. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Add into first mixture. Mix until all wet and dry ingredients are well combined. Use your hands to form dough into a a cohesive ball. Dough is easiest to work with if you chill it before rolling and cutting.

Work with a small amount of dough at a time, so the dough doesn’t get over-worked. Flour surface before rolling dough out. I roll the dough to just over 1/4″ thick, for thick, cake-y cookies. Cut out cookies and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 375° for 6 to 8 minutes or until bottom’s of cookies are lightly golden brown.

Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

Buttercream Sugar Cookie Icing

Icing recipe

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • gel food coloring
  • sprinkles, jimmies, sugar pearls, colored sugar

Beat all ingredients, except food coloring and sprinkles, together with a mixer. Separate frosting into bowls so that you can create a variety of icing colors. I like to use gel food coloring because it gives excellent coloring without altering the consistency of the frosting.

More water or powdered sugar can be added if icing becomes too thick or thin.

Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. I love classic soft sugar cookies like this (especially the frosting. I’m a frosting addict.) In my family we always add a little lemon and a little lime zest to our cookie dough for just a hint of freshness. SO good.


    1. I love the flavors of lime and lemon in baked goods but have never thought about adding citrus to cookie dough… sounds so good! Thanks for the idea!


      1. My pleasure! Glad to pass on my festive tricks to others who appreciate them.


  2. Boomdeeadda says:

    Those are very cute, love your icing. I’m baking this weekend but I bought pre-made sugar cookie dough and will be making mittens. I plan on decorating them too. Thanks for the inspiration


    1. Thank you! I’m still trying to expand my cookie cutter collection, I need to find a mitten cutter!


  3. Lauren says:

    Does the icing get hard enough to stack the cookies? I like that about royal icing, but I’m not a huge fan of royal icing.


    1. If you follow the recipe exactly (and don’t thin it out with extra water) the corn syrup should make the icing set up really well… let cookies lay flat and dry for several hours. I usually wait and stack cookies on plates right before heading out to a gathering. In a pinch, small sheets of waxed paper, between layers of cookies, will keep everything safe!


  4. Lauren says:

    Thank you!


  5. Allison says:

    Just made these and they were perfect! Thank you!


    1. So glad that you tried them! Thanks for commenting!


  6. Alba says:

    Does this frosting pipe well? I am looking for an alternative to royal icing because I don’t like the flavor but I want to be able to pipe.



    1. I’ve honestly never tried to pipe with this frosting and I’m not sure that it would be quite the right consistency for piping. It stays somewhat soft, so intricate work may end up getting smushed. If you’re interested in playing around with it, try making the recipe with a little less water for a thicker consistency, it may hold up a little bit better.


  7. Yuliya says:

    Just made some they are delicious!!! :) Thanks for sharing the recipe. I baked them a little longer so they were brown and crispy. They are so addicting you can’t eat just one…or five… lol :)


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