christmas light cookies featured image
Christmas Light Cookies are the easiest and cutest way to “light up” the holidays! This foolproof recipe is so simple because it starts with a cookie mix combined with only 2 ingredients (plus water) and ends with deliciously decorated Christmas confections.
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Table of Contents
  1. Cute and Easy Christmas Light Cookies - Best Christmas Cookie Recipe!
  2. Why We Love This Christmas Light Cookies Recipe
  3. Ingredients / Shopping List
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
  6. How to Make Christmas Light Cookies
  7. Tips
  8. Storage Tips
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes
  11. Christmas Light Cookies Recipe

Christmas Light Cookies may be the easiest and cutest way to “light up” the holidays! This foolproof recipe is so simple because it starts with a cookie mix combined with only 2 ingredients (plus water) and ends sweetly with a beautifully decorated Christmas cookie confection that looks delightfully festive in the most delicious way! You must make this for your cookie exchange this year!

christmas light cookies hero image

It is so quick and easy to bake a batch of Christmas Light Cookies because this recipe uses a mix to make the dough, a simple spread of white icing, and is garnished with a string of colorful lights.

With crisp edges, thick centers, and plenty of surface for decorating, who has time for complicated cookies when the holiday season is so hectic? While they taste completely homemade, they are prepared in a fraction of the time they normally would take if they were made from scratch. So delicious, no one will know the difference!

I love cookie crafts that involve my kids and get the whole family in the mood for the festive season. Little helping hands always have fun decorating these desserts. So bring on the candy, the sparkles, or the sprinkles because garnishing a twinkling Christmas cookie is the best way to keep the season merry and bright!

I say, if you can deck the halls, you can deck the Christmas cookies too!

Why We Love This Christmas Light Cookies Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Simple to bake with a package of cookie mix combined with 2 ingredients plus decorations.
  • Adorable and festive treats for the holiday season.
  • Easy to customize with your own unique designs.
  • Fun to make and decorate with kids.
  • Perfect for Christmas parties, cookie exchanges, or edible gifting.
bitten christmas light cookies

Ingredients / Shopping List

  • Snickerdoodle cookie mix: A sugar cookie mix is the most common used for this, but I love the extra flavor that comes from the snickerdoodle. You can use a homemade recipe for these as well. If you want more of a spiced cookie, feel free to roll the dough into the cinnamon sugar mix before baking. 
  • Salted butter, melted: You can switch this out for unsalted butter, but add a pinch of salt for flavor. 
  • Egg
  • Water
  • Tub white cookie icing or 2 (7 ounce) tubes white cooking icing: You can also use white frosting, but it can be a little more difficult to work with when it comes to decorating.
  • Tube black cookie icing: Feel free to switch this out for chocolate frosting if you prefer.
  • Mini M&Ms (red, blue, green, orange, and yellow): If you have sprinkles that could pass for lights, you could use those as well. 
  • Milk or water, optional

Substitutions and Additions

  • Customize Your Cookies: Christmas Light Cookies are so easy to customize according to your personal preferences. I have listed a few ideas to help you get creative:
    • Change The Cookie Mix: While I love the extra flavor that comes from the snickerdoodle, you can also use a sugar cookie mix, peanut butter cookie mix, gingersnap cookie mix, or shortbread mix.
    • Include Different Icing: Feel free to make your own royal icing, use melted white chocolate, or buttercream frosting. Just remember that different frosting may be more difficult when it comes time to decorate. 
    • Colorful Candy: Instead of M&Ms, try using Skittles, mini jelly beans, or any small colorful candies to create “bright” Christmas lights. Or you can skip the candy and pipe on the lights using colored frosting or writing gel. 
  • Homemade Icing: Use our recipe to make your own sugar cookie icing!
  • Cookie Cut-Outs: You can roll out your cookie dough and use a Christmas Tree cookie cutter to form trees. Once baked, decorate with the light strands.

SEE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW

How to Make Christmas Light Cookies

Christmas Light Cookies may be the easiest and cutest way to “light up” the holidays! This foolproof recipe is so simple because it starts with a cookie mix combined with only 2 ingredients (plus water) and ends sweetly with a beautifully decorated Christmas confection that looks delightfully festive in the most delicious way!

  1. Combine the cookie mix, butter, egg, and water.
    Pro Tip: You will not need the cinnamon sugar mix for this recipe–you can discard it.
    Combine the cookie mix, butter, egg, and water
  2. Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet.
    Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet
  3. Bake cookies according to the instructions on the package and let them cool completely.
    baked cookies on baking tray
  4. Spread white icing onto the top of each cookie.
    Pro Tip: To spread icing, use a wet knife, piping bag, or tube to create a smooth circle that nearly touches the edges of the cookie. For a glossier frosting finish, mix 1-2 Tablespoons of milk or water with the frosting. If you don’t want to water down your frosting with milk or water, wet your fingers or a knife with water and pat the icing together to smooth out the lines and create a smooth surface. I find it helpful to let the white icing dry before using black writing gel to draw the light strands.
    Spread white icing onto the top of each cookie
  5. Pipe connecting loops, swirls, or lines with black icing to create the Christmas light strand. 
    Pro-Tip: Once you’ve added the black cookie icing, place the M&Ms on immediately, and push into the gel so they stick.
    Pipe connecting loops, swirls, or lines with black icing to create the Christmas light strand. 
  6. Press mini M&Ms sideways onto the black lines to create the light bulbs.
    Press mini M&Ms sideways onto the black lines to create the light bulbs.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • I find it helpful to let the white icing dry before using black writing gel to draw the light strands.
  • Once you’ve added the black cookie icing, place the M&Ms on immediately, and push into the gel so they stick.
  • For a glossier frosting finish, mix 1-2 Tablespoons of milk or water with the frosting. 
  • If you don’t want to water down your frosting with milk or water, wet your fingers or a knife with water and pat the icing together to smooth out the lines and create a smooth surface.
  • For even easier Christmas cookies, you can skip the baking process and buy pre-packaged cookies to decorate instead.

Storage Tips

  • To Store: To store these cookies, place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature. They will stay fresh for a few days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze these cookies for up to six months if you individually wrap them and place them in a freezer-safe container. 
bitten christmas light cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to spread the icing on these cookies so they look smooth?

One of the trickiest things about decorating your baked goods is to get your icing to look nice. This is my favorite method: Place your icing in a piping bag with a narrow, circular piping tip, or in a sturdy small plastic baggie with a small hole cut out of the corner. Then, draw a circle on the cookie, going all the way towards the edge. Fill in the circle using a spiral pattern, filling in all the spaces. You can also wet your fingers or a knife with water and pat the icing together to smooth out the lines and create a smooth surface. 

Can I bake my cookies from scratch and then decorate them with the Christmas lights?

You can absolutely bake your sugar cookies from scratch and still follow my simple decorating instructions. This recipe uses a cookie mix for ease and simplicity.

How do you arrange a Christmas cookie tray?

Fill a large tray or platter with an assortment of colorful Christmas treats. I love to include a variety of cookies with different flavors and textures for the best party-pleasing platter. For a truly festive cookie tray, check out some of my other delicious and fun holiday recipes, like my Christmas Tree Mini Cookie Cups, Gingerbread Kiss Cookies, and Reindeer Pretzel Rods and add them to your dessert spread.

christmas light cookies in a bowl
5 from 1 vote
christmas light cookies featured image

Christmas Light Cookies

Serves — 12
Christmas Light Cookies are the easiest and cutest way to “light up” the holidays! This foolproof recipe is so simple because it starts with a cookie mix combined with only 2 ingredients (plus water) and ends with deliciously decorated Christmas confections.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients
  

Cookies:

  • 17.9 ounce bag Snickerdoodle cookie mix (discard cinnamon sugar mix)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water

Decorations:

  • 16 ounce tub white cookie icing or 2 (7 ounce) tubes white cooking icing
  • 7 ounce tube black cookie icing
  • 10.1 ounce package mini M&Ms (red, blue, green, orange, and yellow)
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or water optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to the temperature indicated on the cookie mix (mine was 375 degrees Fahrenheit) and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.
  • Use the cookie mix, salted butter, egg and water to prepare the snickerdoodle cookie mix according to instructions on the package. You will not need the cinnamon sugar mix for this recipe.
  • Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake cookies for the given time on the package (generally about 10-12 minutes or until the edges set) and then let cool completely.
  • Decorate the cookies by spreading the white cookie icing onto the tops of the cookies to act like a base. Use a wet knife, piping bag, or tube. Create a smooth circle that nearly touches the edges of the cookie. For a glossier frosting finish, mix 1-2 Tablespoons of milk or water with the frosting.
  • Use the black cookie icing to pipe connecting loops, swirls, or lines onto the cookies to act as a Christmas light strand.
  • Press the mini M&Ms sideways onto the black frosted lines to create the Christmas light bulbs.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: To store these cookies, place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature. They will stay fresh for a few days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze these cookies for up to six months if you individually wrap them and place them in a freezer-safe container. 
Tips:
  • I find it helpful to let the white icing dry before using black writing gel to draw the light strands.
  • Once you’ve added the black cookie icing, place the M&Ms on immediately, and push into the gel so they stick.
  • For a glossier frosting finish, mix 1-2 Tablespoons of milk or water with the frosting.
  • If you don’t want to water down your frosting with milk or water, wet your fingers or a knife with water and pat the icing together to smooth out the lines and create a smooth surface.
  • For even easier Christmas cookies, you can skip the baking process and buy pre-packaged cookies to decorate instead.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 69g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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