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Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

Classic Christmas cookie, made elegant with one icing and one color. 

Nothing beats a classic decorated sugar cookie for Christmas. 

The quintessential Christmas cookie!!!

I’m all about Christmas trees this year. 

It’s so fun, festive and guess what? You don’t need impeccable decorating skills <—totally suits me. 


This cookie needs just one icing color and one bowl of basic royal icing.

You decorate the top part with basic white icing.

Add a hint of green and do the middle. 

Add a bit more green and finish the base. 

How easy was that? Yet, looks so pretty!! 

I loved the pastel green shade. You can go darker, if that’s more of your liking. 

15 Last Minute Christmas Baking Recipes <—- Cookies, candy, healthy treats and even no bake recipes!

Skill level – Intermediate

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies


Sugar cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Royal icing

3 cups confectioners sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder

6-8 tablespoons water (room temperature)

green icing color gel

Special materials needed

medium Ziplock bags



1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Place butter and sugar in a larger bowl, beat with a hand held electric beater for 2 minutes, until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla, for 30 seconds. Add whisked flour mixture and beat until just combined (start with low speed and build to high). 

3. Shape dough into a flat disc, place between two pieces of parchment paper and roll into slightly less than 1/4-inch thickness. Place dough (along with both parchments) on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm (at least 4 hours or up to 1 day). 

4. When ready to bake, pre heat oven to 350 degrees F with oven rack placed in the middle of the oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

5. Remove dough from refrigerator, peel off top parchment, cut cookies with christmas tree cookie cutter and transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet spacing one inch apart (cookies will only expand very slightly). 

6. Bake cookies for 14-20 minutes (depending on size of cookie), until edges are deep golden. Place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool completely. 

Royal icing 

1. Combine confectioners sugar, meringue powder and 6 tablespoons water in a large bowl, whisk well until very smooth. The consistency that we are looking for is “flood”. To check the consistency, using a teaspoon, place some icing on a plate. It should spread ever so slightly and have a smooth, shiny finish. Or, if you lift the whisk, it should fall back as a thick ribbon. Add more water as required to get the right consistency. If your icing has become thinner than you’d like, then stir in some confectioners sugar to thicken. 

To decorate. 

1. Spoon about a third of the icing into a ziplock bag, seal, snip a tiny part of a corner. Outline and flood the top third of cookie  and the stem end (refer pictures).  

2. To the remaining icing (squeeze any remaining icing from bag into the bowl), use a toothpick to add very small amount (or as much as you need) of  green icing gel. Stir well with a spoon along with few drops of water (not more), if the icing has thickened. Spoon about half into another ziplock bag, seal, snip a tiny part of a corner. Outline and flood the middle part of each cookie(refer pictures). 

3. To the remaining icing in the bowl (squeeze any remaining icing from bag into the bowl), use a toothpick to add very small amount of green icing gel (or as much as you need) to get a darker shade of green. Stir well with a spoon along with few drops (not more), if the icing has thickened. Spoon icing into another ziplock bag, seal, snip a tiny part of a corner. Outline and flood the last part of each cookie(refer pictures). 

4. Let icing dry until set (at least 3 hours). 

Cookies can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for several days. 

Makes 10-12 christmas trees (depending on size)


  • I used icing gel – its very thick and does not thin the icing. However, if you choose to use liquid food coloring, then reduce the water accordingly. 
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