Home Desserts Cookies 40 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

40 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

Looking for the best Christmas cookies that are also easy to make?

From classic sugar cookies to gingerbread men, these recipes make the holidays even sweeter.

Eggless Christmas Sugar Cookies
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30+ Easy Christmas Cookies For The Holidays

It’s the time of year to dust off the rolling pin and crank up the oven! 

Whether you’re baking for family and friends or making cookie boxes for the neighbors, these Christmas cookies are guaranteed to spread the holiday cheer.

So make one recipe or make them all. Either way, I know you’ll love them.

Christmas tree shaped shortbread cookies top with red and green sprinkles.
Source: Yummiestfood.com

1. Christmas Shortbread Cookies

No Christmas is complete without shortbread cookies! Start your holiday baking off with these adorable, delicious, tree-shaped cookies.

With just four ingredients, making these cookies is also the perfect activity for kids.

Plus, you’ll top them with red and green sprinkles. And it doesn’t get any more fun or festive than that!

Star and heart shaped cookies with glass candy in  the middle.
Source: Cakewhiz.com

2. Stained Glass Cookies

These cookies are so pretty and make incredible edible tree decorations. They also make beautiful gifts.

The trick is to use crushed rock candy like Jolly Ranchers or Life Savers. They melt right in the middle as the cookies bake and will set hard and shiny.

Cane shaped cookies.
Source: Cravingsjournal.com

3. Candy Cane Cookies

Here’s a fun holiday treat for the whole family! The baking process is a bit messy, but I promise it’s worth it.

Two long pieces of dough (one red and one white) get twisted to look like a real candy cane.

They’re perfect for Christmas parties and cookie exchanges.

Stack of butterscotch cookies on a concrete surface.

4. Butterscotch Cookies

I know everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, but butterscotch holds a special place in my heart.

When you bite into the sweet, soft, buttery goodness, I think you’ll agree. Every bite is full of rich butterscotch chip flavor.

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Coconut Macaroons on top of marble table.

5. 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons

When you’re making a million cookies, having a few super-fast recipes is a must. 

And this simple recipe is a sweet and slightly tropical delight you will happily add to the platter.

Soft and Chewy Fruitcake Cookies in a Plate

6. Fruitcake Cookies

Nothing screams Christmas like a fruitcake cookie! Full of candied fruit and a myriad of nuts, it’s like a classic fruitcake in cookie form.

These yummy treats are light, fluffy, and full of holiday cheer.

You can store them for up to 2 weeks, but they never last that long in my house!

Fudgy and Gooey Hot Chocolate Cookies

7. Hot Chocolate Cookies

Be warned: these hot chocolate cookies are dangerously delicious.

It turns out that adding cocoa powder to your cookies is an excellent idea.

These melt-in-your-mouth cookies are packed with gooey marshmallows and melted dark chocolate. Completely irresistible.

Christmas tree, star and cane shaped cutout sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.
Source: Sugarspunrun.com

8. Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Break out the Christmas cookie cutters! It’s time to decorate the sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.

It’s a fun activity for the kids and makes the perfect gift for family, friends, and neighbors.

Homemade Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Blossoms

9. Peanut Butter Blossoms

Trust me; you don’t want to sleep on these peanut butter blossoms. They aren’t just the perfect Christmas cookies. They’re perfect. Period. 

Each cookie combines peanut butter and brown sugar and has a chocolatey Hershey’s Kiss in its center. 

You can even jazz them up by adding unique Hershey’s kisses, like these adorable candy cane-striped ones from Amazon. 

Homemade Chewy Cinnamon Cookies

10. Cinnamon Cookies

Cinnamon is the king of holiday flavors, and rightfully so.

These holiday cookies are soft, sweet, and perfectly crispy around the edges. But, of course, the real star of the show is the cinnamon-sugar topping.


Cookies coated with green colored chocolate on a plate.
Source: Noshingwiththenolands.com

11. Easy No-Bake Grinch Cookies

No one does Christmas like the Grinch!

This recipe is perfect for kids. All you need is some almond bark (or white chocolate), coconut oil, Golden Oreos, green food coloring, and candy hearts!

Molasses cookies sprinkled with white sugar.
Source: Sallysbakingaddiction.com

12. Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies

These cookies are for those of us who love the dark flavors of the holidays. 

The molasses makes them ultra-chewy and gives a deep and rich caramel flavor. For a touch of sweetness, try throwing in some white chocolate chips. 

Bunch of gingerbread cookies.
Source: Sallybakingaddiction.com

13. Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are a classic holiday staple. But these are extra special. They have a lot going for them.

They’re soft in the center, crisp on the edges, and feature the perfect amount of holiday spice and brown sugar goodness.

Every bite is like a warm hug. Serve with hot chocolate for bonus points.

Stack of snickerdoodles cookies with cinnamon powder.

14. Snickerdoodles

You can make these soft, chewy Snickerdoodle cookies in just 30 minutes from beginning to end.

But what makes these cookies truly unique is that they are extra thick and soft! Oh, and each one is wrapped in plenty of cinnamon-sugar goodness.

Polar bear shaped white cookies laid on blue cloth on a wooden basket.
Source: Noshingwiththenolands.com

15. Polar Bear Cookies

These might just be too cute to eat.

Like the Grinch cookies, you’ll start with Oreos. (How easy is that?) Then, you’ll make the nose and ears with white chocolate wafers.

Finish them off by adding whatever color you like to the tip of the nose, and voila! Delicious and easy-to-make polar bear cookies!

Chocolate reindeer cookie pops on a cooling rack.
Source: Foodnessgracious.com

16. Chocolate Reindeer Cookie Pops

Speaking of too cute to eat! It doesn’t get much more adorable than these chocolate reindeer cookie pops.

Who knew all it took to make a reindeer were some pretzel antlers and candy eyes? Not me, but I’m so glad I know now.

These are totally tasty and perfect for classroom parties and other kid-themed Christmas events.

Different shaped spritz cookies drizzled and covered with chocolate.
Source: Amandascookin.com

17. Spritz Cookies

These five-ingredient holiday cookies are a wonderful holiday treat. But quite frankly, they taste great no matter the time of year.

They’re delightfully buttery and have a soft, almost creamy mouthfeel. And the little “spritz” of orange juice you’ll add to the batter dials their flavor up to 11!

Crinkle cookies on cooling rack.

18. Fudge Crinkle Cookies

Looking for a warm bite of chocolatey goodness? This recipe is for you!

Fudge crinkle cookies are a holiday must-have. They’re like brownies, but better because they melt in your mouth. 

Bunch of red velvet crinkle cookies.

19. Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Love the idea of crinkle cookies but need something a bit more festive? Try these vibrant red velvet crinkle cookies instead.

With their deep scarlet hue, they practically ooze holiday cheer! They also store well for up to a week, making them perfect for gift bags and stocking stuffers.

Bunch of Swedish butter cookies with butter cookies in plate.

20. Swedish Butter Cookies

Whether you’ve had them before or not, these Swedish butter cookies are about to blow your mind.

You’ll make these melt-in-your-mouth, uber-buttery cookies using the traditional Swedish recipe. They have phenomenal taste, texture, and appearance.

They’re just like the ones someone’s Swedish mormor used to make.

Homemade Soft and Chewy Amaretti Cookies

21. Italian Amaretti Cookies

These soft, cakey Italian Amaretti cookies are cozy, sugary, and just a little bit messy. Take your first bite, though, and you won’t mind the mess anymore.

They’re super easy to make and perfect for your next cookie exchange.

Ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie in a plate.

22. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are always a classic. But this recipe is packed with extra ooey-gooey goodness.

Make these bad boys, and you’re likely to be the most popular person at your next family get-together.

Bunch of soft and chewy peanut butter cookies

23. Peanut Butter Cookies

These classic holiday cookies are soft, chewy, and packed with peanut butter flavor!

They have that perfect combination of sweet and salty. Making it impossible to eat just one.

Bunch of  classic Linzer cookies in plate.

24. Linzer Cookies

In my opinion, Linzer cookies are perfect.

Tender, buttery shortbread packed with sweet and tart raspberry jam? I could eat the whole tray.

I like to bake mine just enough so they’re done, but I always pull the tray before they turn golden. This way, they are crumbly and soft. 

Thumbprint cookies with jam in the middle.
Source: Lifeloveandsugar.com

25. Jam Thumbprint Cookies

The truth is, these are essentially the same as Linzer cookies, just in a different shape. Here you get all that amazing flavor, with half the work. 

Top with a dollop of your favorite jam, and you’re all set!

Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

26. Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

These peanut butter cornflake cookies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

And chances are, you probably have an auntie (or two) who used to make them for you.

Luckily, you don’t need anyone’s help. They’re super easy and might just become your new holiday favorite.

Double chocolate peppermint bark cookies
Source: Lecremedelacrumb.com

27. Double Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

I love absolutely everything about these rich, indulgent cookies. They make your house smell amazing while they’re baking. That’s perk #1.

Perk #2 is simple: Just LOOK at them! Aren’t they some of the most gorgeous Christmas cookies you’ve ever seen?!

And perk #3? Well, they taste like a bit of chocolate and peppermint Heaven. Who can argue with that?

Bunch of cookies with green and red M&Ms and sprinkles served on a plate.
Source: Celebratingsweets.com

28. M&M Christmas Cookies

If you’re looking for a simple way to add some festive color to the cookie box, this recipe is for you.

These soft and chewy cookies are filled with red and green M&M’s, sprinkles, and holiday cheer!

Stack of cookies with cranberry and pistachio.
Source: Bakedbyrachel.com

29. Slice and Bake Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

I’m a big fan of icebox cookies, but these are some of my favorites. They’re colorful and festive and effortless to whip up.

You’ll need just ten ingredients and 20 minutes. It doesn’t get much simpler (or tastier) than that.

Sweet Homemade Butter Toffee Cookies with Milk

30. Homemade Butter Toffee Cookies

When given the choice, I typically pick thick, fluffy cookies over thin ones.

So imagine my surprise when I bit into these butter toffee cookies and nearly went weak in the knees. Yes, they’re THAT good.

I can’t even convey in words just HOW good, so try them for yourself. You’ll be amazed.

Chocolate cookies with cherries in the middle drizzled with chocolate.
Source: Smalltownwoman.com

31. Chocolate Cherry Cookies

It’s amazing how adding red cherries to chocolate chip cookies immediately makes them more festive.

The pop of color is all they need to fit right at home with the Grinch cookies and gorgeous stained glass ones.

I also love adding cherry juice to the cookie dough. It gives the cookies an extra boost of flavor you just can’t beat.

Bunch of eggnog cookies with frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon powder served on a plate.
Source: Cookingclassy.com

32. Melt-in-Your-Mouth Eggnog Cookies

I love eggnog around the holidays, but now you can have it in cookie form!

This Christmas cookie is soft and fluffy with a rich eggnog frosting.

Once you try them, you’ll be making them every year! It’s a family favorite that melts away in your mouth.

Feel free to leave out the rum if you want these kid-friendly.

Chocolate covered peanut butter balls in a plate.

33. Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Balls

Honestly, this recipe had me at peanut butter. Couple that with the fact that they’re covered in rich melted chocolate, and you can hang it up. 

These will automatically become my new favorite. 

Pro tip: I also sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of mine for the contrast. Oh. Em. Gee. You won’t believe how good they are.

Stack of Italian anisette cookies with white frosting an d sprinkles on top.
Source: Amandascookin.com

34. Italian Anisette Cookies

Do you enjoy the bold licorice flavor of anise? If so, these cookies are the ones for you. They’re truly unique and have an excellent texture to go with their taste.

If you don’t enjoy anise, try making them with vanilla or almond extract instead.

Bunch of ginger cookies in plate.

35. Chewy Ginger Cookies

I love the spicy, sometimes biting, flavor of ginger cookies. But as mentioned, I enjoy softer, chewier cookies — two things ginger cookies usually aren’t.

That’s not the case with these chewy ginger cookies, though.

They have all the rich, spiced flavor of “regular” ginger cookies but are much, much softer. I love them.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

36. Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin cookies are always a hit in the fall, but they work for Christmas, too! There’s a reason we often serve pumpkin pie and pumpkin rolls for Christmas.

People love them!

And they’ll appreciate these thick, melt-in-your-mouth cookies just as much. Especially after you cover them in decadent cream cheese frosting.

Sweet Homemade Macadamia White Chocolate Nut Cookies

37. White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Anyone who says chocolate chip cookies are the best has never tried these tasty treats.

How do I know? Because I was one of those people.

I was a chocolate chip cookie girl for most of my life. Until I tried a white chocolate macadamia cookie from — of all places — Subway.

They’ve been my go-to cookies ever since.

Christmas tree shaped meringue.
Source: Thewickednoodle.com

38. Meringue Christmas Tree Cookies

If, like me, you’ve always been terrified of homemade meringue, here’s your sign. Your sign to stop fearing the meringue and conquer it instead!

Homemade meringue cookies are so much easier to make than most people realize. (Myself included.) They require few ingredients and minimal work.

And you can make adorable shapes like these perfect little Christmas trees. Try it!!!

Gingersnap cookies on a cooling rack.
Source: Littlesunnykitchen.com

39. Gingersnap Cookies

You can’t have a list of holiday cookies without including traditional gingersnaps. So, here you go, gingersnap lovers!

The perfect gingersnap cookie recipe with a festive, colorful twist.

Pinwheel cookies coated with colorful sprinkles served on a Christmas themed red plate.
Source: Houseofnasheats.com

40. Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

I always like to go out with a bang, and today’s no different. These may not be the best cookies on the list (though an argument could be made!)

However, they’re certainly the most colorful!

The gorgeous swirls of red, green, and white are just the beginning. You’ll also cover them in bright holiday sprinkles! What’s not to love?!

40 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

Ready to start your holiday baking? Why not start with these delicious Christmas sugar cookies? They make everything sweeter!


  • For the Sugar Cookies
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

  • For the Royal Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder

  • water, as needed (may substitute lemon juice for flavor)

  • (optional) food coloring


  • For the Sugar Cookies
  • Use a whisk to mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix gently but well. 
  • Use a second large bowl to cream the butter and sugar together. Continue until the mixture is fluffy and light. 
  • Add the egg to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat to combine. 
  • Add the original flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture slowly and carefully. Add a little at a time, mixing it in before adding more. Beat well until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl. 
  • Separate the dough into two equal halves, wrapping each in wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 
  • Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Dust a clean working surface with powdered sugar. Rub powdered sugar over the rolling pin, as well. (These steps will prevent your dough from sticking.) 
  • Roll the dough out on the surface until it’s approximately 1/4 inch thick. 
  • Cut out the cookies with cookie cutters. Transfer the cut cookies to the prepared baking sheet. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. 
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 2 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. 
  • For the Royal Icing
  • Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder in a mixing bowl. 
  • Slowly add the water (or juice) to the mixture. Use an electric mixer on low speed to combine. Mix for 7 to 10 minutes or until the icing loses its shine and starts forming peaks. 
  • If desired, separate the icing into different bowls and add different food coloring to each. Mix well until each bowl of icing is uniformly colored. 
  • Decorate the fully cooled cookies with the icing as desired. Then, leave the cookies alone for at least 2 to 3 hours so the icing can set. 
  • Serve and enjoy! 


  • As written, this recipe yields about two dozen cookies. Each cookie contains approximately 160 calories.
  • These cookies also make excellent holiday gifts and are perfect for cookie swaps!
Christmas Cookies

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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