Snowflake Sugar Cookies

These easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies are a dream to bake. Made with a recipe for a classic sugar cookie without baking powder, these pretty iced cookies are perfect for holiday parties, cookie trays or cookie exchanges!

Sugar cookies cut into the shape of snowflakes and decorated with blue and white icing

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Snowflake Sugar Cookies recipe

These snowflake sugar cookies are extra fun for the holiday season. They work as a Christmas cookie or just as an anytime winter cookie.

Cookie decorating is one of my absolute favorite holiday traditions that I’ve enjoyed with my family every year.

Last year, I decorated festive cookies with my best friend and her young daughter and we had a ball. I can’t wait to do it again this year, this time with her little sister who is now old enough to participate in the fun!

Kids especially love rolling out the dough, using different shapes of cookie cutters, adding food coloring to the frosting and adding lots (and lots and lots) of sprinkles.

Adults can enjoy a sugar cookie martini while they decorate, too. It’s also a good idea to make some edible sugar cookie dough so that no one gets sick eating the raw stuff!

Closeup of holiday sugar cookies and ornaments

Why you’ll love this recipe

Decorating sugar cookies is a delight at the holidays and isn’t as hard as it looks. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Sugar cookies are fun and easy for the whole family to make together.
  • Snowflakes are a great non-Christmas cookie shape (as opposed to Christmas trees, Santa Claus and reindeer shapes).
  • This recipe requires just a few ingredients (and no baking powder).

Because of the snowflake shapes and blue-and-white color, they are more winter-themed cookies than holiday cookies. Make them any time of year beyond the holiday season, say for a Frozen-themed birthday party or to make as a family on a snow day.

A recipe for a decadent white chocolate cake, perfect for any occasion. This delicious dessert is made with rich white chocolate and tender snowflake sugar cookies, creating a delightful combination of flavors in

Making sugar cookies is pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of fancy ingredients.

Please see the recipe card below for the measurements and full ingredient list!

  • all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • unsalted butter (make sure you bring it to room temperature to let it soften before baking)
  • superfine sugar (granulated sugar also works)
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract

If needed, you can make gluten-free sugar cookies with this frosting recipe.

A bowl of powdered sugar and a bowl of water, perfect for creating snowflake sugar cookies.

Royal icing ingredients

Cut-out sugar cookies work well with royal icing, which is made with egg whites. Here’s what you’ll need

Sometimes people use meringue powder instead of egg whites.

A bowl of flour with a sifter, a marble rolling pin and a baking slab on a white background.

Equipment

For sugar cookies, it helps to have a few things on hand.

An electric mixer such as a stand mixer or hand mixer comes in really handy for the cookie dough and icing. I like this cordless hand mixer.

You’ll want a quality rolling pin to roll out the dough. I like to put a silicone mat down for easier cleanup. You can also use a wooden board or marble slab.

Snowflakes come in unique shapes and sizes, so why not grab a set of mismatched snowflake cookie cutters?

Don’t forget to pick up some disposable piping bags and a set of tips. I recommend a #1 or #2 size tip, or you can use a pastry bag with just the very tip snipped off.

Sugar cookies might seem like a lot of steps, but they’re easier than you’d think. You definitely don’t need to be a pastry chef to pull off these pretty cookies!

In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Mix and set aside.

Cookie ingredients in a stainless steel mixing bowl before mixing

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping down the sides often, for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is light, fluffy and creamy.

Eggs are being folded into batter for cookies in a metal mixing bowl

Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well-incorporated.

A metal mixing bowl contains cookie batter with flour ready to be mixed in on a white background.

Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated and a dough is formed. Don’t overmix.

Sugar cookie dough in ceramic bowl on white surface

With floured hands, flatten the dough to form a disc and wrap it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

A marble rolling pin on rolled out dough next to a snowflake cookie cutter.

Once chilled, roll out the sugar cookie dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness and use a snowflake cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

A silver snowflake cookie cutter on a white background.

While the oven preheats, place the cut-outs on the prepared baking tray.

Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven.

Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Baked sugar cookies sit next to bowls of blue and white icing waiting to be frosted

How to make royal icing

Add the egg white to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high till it foams up. (You can also use a hand mixer.)

Add powdered sugar in batches and mix on low speed until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture looks shiny.

Turn the speed up to high and mix until thick and the mixture starts to hold stiff peaks when you lift out the beater.

Divide the icing into two parts. Leave one part as is — a white color — and tint the other part with blue gel food coloring. (Add a small dot first, then more until you get your desired color.)

Reserve a quarter of both the blue and white icings and set them aside for decorating the borders of the cookies.

Add 2 teaspoons of water to the larger portion of the remaining icing to make them a little thinner. (Add an additional teaspoon if needed.)

Add the four icings (thick and thin versions of blue and white) each to a different piping bag.

Blue and white frosted sugar cookies in the shape of snowflakes

How to ice sugar cookies

Outline the cookies with the thick icing first, keeping a little space on the edges of the cookies. Then flood the cookies with the thinner icing. Use a toothpick to spread the icing and to fill the corners and burst air bubbles so it’s evenly filled.

Let the icing set slightly before decorating further. If you don’t want them to be fancy, you can just add some sprinkles while the icing is wet and be done!

For more intricate cookies, you can decorate them with alternating color icing once the first layer is set. It doesn’t have to be perfect — remember that all snowflakes are unique, anyway!

Let icing set completely before serving, about 2 hours.

Cookie dough that has snowflake shapes cut out.

Tips & tricks

Make sure to set out your butter and eggs about an hour or two before baking so they are at the right temperature. It makes a big difference!

You can use almond extract instead of vanilla extract for a different flavor.

You can make the cookies ahead of time and decorate them later. They will keep in an airtight container for a few days. You can freeze the dough to bake later.

The number of cookies you will get will depend on how thick you roll the dough and the size of your cookie cutter.

Use the thicker icing to make the border around the cookies. Because it’s thick and no water has been added, it will hold its shape well. Fill in with thin icing to cover the cookies completely.

A sugar cookie has a bite taken out of it. Other snowflake cookies surround it.

How to store sugar cookies

You can store decorated sugar cookies in an airtight container for 1-2 days at room temperature or for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

How to freeze sugar cookies

Feel free to freeze all or half the dough to make later. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Let it thaw in the fridge for 1 day before rolling out into cookies.

If you want to make the cookies ahead of time, you can freeze fully-cooled baked cookies in an airtight, food-safe container for up to 4 weeks. Freeze them in one layer on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then add them to a freezer-safe container. Don’t forget to label them with the name and date you made them!

The sweetest season logo on a dark background.

ABOUT THE SWEETEST SEASON

This recipe is part of The Sweetest Season, an annual virtual cookie swap co-hosted by Erin of The Speckled Palate and myself. Every year, we get a big group of food bloggers together to share new holiday cookie recipes.

This year we are raising money for Cookies 4 Kids’ Cancer, which is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer.

This season, OXO will be matching every dollar raised through Dec. 31, 2023, up to $100,000. Whatever money we raise will automatically double on our fundraising page!

Festive blue and white sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes on a white background

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
These absolutely delicious snowflake sugar cookies are really easy to make and are so fun to ice and decorate. Cut them into snowflake shapes, whip up some royal icing and decorate them with a wintry theme.
5 from 8 votes
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ingredients

Cookies

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Royal Icing

  • 2 egg whites from 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • blue gel food color to color
  • sugar pearls for decoration

instructions

To make the cookies:

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Mix and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping down the sides often, for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is light, fluffy and creamy.
  • Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.
  • Add a third of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated and a dough is formed. Don’t overmix.
  • With floured hands, flatten the dough to form a disc and wrap it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Once chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness and cut out snowflake shapes.
  • While the oven preheats, place the cut-outs on the prepared baking tray and bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing:

  • Add the egg white to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high till it foams up. (You can also use a hand mixer.)
  • Add powdered sugar in batches and mix on low speed until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture looks shiny.
  • Turn the speed up to high and mix until thick and the mixture starts to hold peaks when you lift out the beater.
  • Divide the icing into two parts. Leave one part as is — a white color — and tint the other part with blue gel food coloring.
  • Reserve a quarter of both the blue and white icings and set aside for decorating the borders of the cookies.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of water to the larger portion of the remaining blue and white icing to make them a little thinner. (Add an additional teaspoon if needed.)
  • Add the four icings (thick and thin versions of blue and white) in different piping bags.
  • Outline the cookies with the thick icing first, keeping a little space on the edges of the cookies. Then flood the cookies with the thinner icing. Use a toothpick to spread the icing and to fill the corners and burst air bubbles so it’s evenly filled.
  • Let the icing set slightly before decorating further.
  • Decorate the snowflake cookies with alternating color icing. It doesn’t have to be perfect; you can create your own patterns, just let your creativity flow!
  • Let icing set completely before serving, about 2 hours.

notes

Storage: You can store sugar cookies in an airtight container for 1-2 days at room temperature or for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Make ahead: You can make the cookies ahead and decorate them later whenever you have time.
Yield: The number of cookies you will get from this batch will depend on how thick you roll the dough and the size of your cookie cutter.

Icing tips

  • You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the icing for extra flavor.
  • If you want a raised look on the cookies, wait for the base icing to dry up slightly before decorating the cookies with different colors because the colors will mix with each other and spread if the background is still wet. (You can still do this — it’s called wet-on-wet icing — but it creates a very different effect!)
  • If you are not into fancy decorating, then you can just make the blue/white background on the cookies and top with some Christmas sprinkles while the icing is wet.

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nutrition information

Yield: 24 cookies

amount per serving:

Serving: 1cookie Calories: 249kcal Carbohydrates: 41g Protein: 3g Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 34mg Sodium: 35mg Potassium: 35mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 25g Vitamin A: 257IU Calcium: 8mg Iron: 1mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!
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Comments

  1. Kathryn says

    Fun, delicious, and gorgeous! Can’t think of a prettier cookie! Can’t wait to make your recipe, they look incredible!

  2. Debi says

    These are beautiful! I have to tell you a story though. When we decorated cookies with Grandma, blue icing was ONLY allowed to be used on Santa’s eyes. These cookies would not have been allowed. It still makes me laugh today. And my mom is such a rebel that now all cookies have blue icing all over them! Thanks for the smile & the memory, as well as the cookies!

  3. Erin says

    Real talk: I am totally obsessed with these snowflake sugar cookies and their look! What a festive cookie to make and share this time of year. I know my girls will be OBSESSED, so I’ve added this to our to-bake list and have written down the ingredients!

  4. Sheila says

    Your cookies are so pretty! I can’t wait to bake a batch to decorate with my granddaughter when she’s in town for Christmas 🙂

  5. Molly Moon says

    Cutout sugar cookies are one of my personal favorite things to make during the holidays! I love, love, love the look of your snowflake cookies, too. So perfect for all winter long.

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