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Star shaped Christmas tree made with frosted sugar cookie, candy cane crushed around, white and gold props, surface, and linens

Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree

So easy and beautiful! I used sugar cookies and a very thick but simple powdered sugar icing. 

  • Total Time: 107 minutes
  • Yield: 2 trees 1x



For the cookies:

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, room tº
  • 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar
  • 1 egg (room tº)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • a few teaspoons lemon juice (or milk or water)


For the cookies:

  1. Beat butter with sugar until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
  2. Add egg and beat until incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix well.
  4. Sift dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt (I measure them and sift directly over the butter mixture). Add them in 2-3 times to the butter, mixing at low speed and only until combined and no dry spots remain.
  5. Divide the dough into two or three parts. Chill for half an hour.
  6. Place each portion of dough between sheets of parchment paper, roll about 1/4 inch thickness (add some flour if needed to prevent the rolling pin from sticking) and place on cookie sheets.
  7. Refrigerate them for another 15-20 minutes, or freeze for five minutes, or until they are very cold but not starting to crack.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  9. With cookie cutters cut dough into the shapes you want.
  10. Place the cut cookies on baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, until dry and just starting to color. If you want chewy centers underbake them for a minute or two.
  11. Careful as different sized cookies will have different baking times.
  12. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze:

  1. Mix confectioners’ sugar with a teaspoon lemon juice. Add drops until you have a thick and smooth consistency, similar to thick honey.

To assemble:

  1. Take the largest star cookie and glaze the top. Place on the serving plate and sprinkle the ends with colored sugar and crushed peppermint candy.
  2. Continue glazing and piling the other star cookies, from the largest to the smallest. Be sure to alternate pointed ends so you create a tree.
  3. Let the glaze set before you move the tree.
  4. Repeat if you made cookies for more than one tree.


Bake ahead: the cookies can be baked ahead and kept in airtight containers or tins for about a week. The dough can be frozen for up to a month.

I used 10 star cookie cutters from Sur La Table

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking + glazing
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: christmas cookie tree