These Old Fashioned Christmas Sugar Cookies are a classic Christmas treat. The cookie dough is made from scratch with a cream cheese base, giving it a creamy and delicious flavor. Topping them off with red and green sanding sugar makes these the perfect holiday cookie.

Old Fashioned Christmas Sugar Cookies on a white plate
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Grandma’s Christmas Cookies

I can’t be the only one planning out my holiday baking already, right? I get so excited to get in my kitchen and prepare fun and tasty treats for my family and friends every holiday season. Christmas sugar cookies are probably my all-time favorites and I make them every single year. I even get requests for them!

These cookies will take you right back to your Grandma’s kitchen. They are the old fashioned cookies that grandmas used to surprise you with every year. They are so creamy, they pretty much melt in your mouth. I’m convinced it’s because of the addition of cream cheese in the cookie dough. I like to finish off my sugar cookies with a dusting of red and green sugar sprinkles, but the beauty of these is that they are versatile and you can decorate them however you like.

If you are looking for an easy and delicious homemade Christmas gift to give this year, or if you simply need something to bring to your cookie exchange, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. These are the best classic Christmas cookies. Whether you plan to take them to a gathering or munch on them at home, they will be a hit for sure!

Why We Love These Cookies

  • Easy to make
  • Soft and Chewy
  • Can be decorated for any occasion (just change out the sprinkles!)
  • Make-ahead cookie dough
  • No rolling the dough required
  • Reminds me of grandma!

Ingredients / Shopping List

  • Salted butter, softened – If you use unsalted butter you may want to add in some extra salt.
  • Cream cheese, softened – This is the secret to a soft and chewy cookie!
  • Large eggs – I like to always have my eggs at room temperature
  • Vanilla extract & almond extract – That little bit of almond extract absolutely makes the recipe!
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch – Keeps them puffy!
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Red & Green Sanding Sugar
close up of Christmas cookies

Additions & Substitutions

Toppings: You can do a lot with this recipe for delicious Christmas sugar cookies. If you prefer, you can forego the sanding sugar and opt for frosting on some (or all) of your cookies. You can make a homemade icing recipe or use store bought frosting. Then, have fun decorating them however you like!

Butter: If you are using unsalted butter, you will want to add another ¼ tsp of salt to the recipe.

Cream cheese: I recommend using full-fat cream cheese in this cookie recipe, as it yields the best result because of the consistency it offers. However, if you prefer you could also use ⅓ fat cream cheese and it should still turn out just fine.


How to Make Our Old Fashioned Christmas Sugar Cookies

  1. MIX: Butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until light and fluffy.
  2. ADD: Flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix until soft dough forms.Mixing cookie dough in a bowl
  3. CHILL: Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.roll cookie dough into ball
  4. SCOOP: Place dough balls on the lined cookie sheet, 1 inch apart.cookie dough on a cookie sheet
  5. DECORATE: Use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern in each cookie and sprinkle cookies with sugar.sprinkle sugar on cookies
  6. BAKE: At 350 for 9-11 minutes.
  7. COOL: Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes and move to a wire rack.
baked cookies on a tray


Tip 1: Make sure that you do not overcook these cookies. They should not brown on the edges at all. You want them to be soft, and they should look just a little bit undercooked when you take them out of the oven.

Tip 2: One of the best things about a good sugar cookie dough is that it can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days before using it. So, if you’d like to make this dough in advance, go right ahead! You can even freeze it for up to 3 months.

Tip 3: The step of chilling your dough is a must in this recipe. This will help with making the dough easier to roll and shape.

Useful Tools

Here are some useful kitchen tools that will help make your baking life a lot easier! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cookie Scoop – this makes it much easier to get the perfect size scoop of the dough. This is a set of 3 so you always will have the right size!

Silicone Baking Mat: – This is a kitchen MUST HAVE! I use them for everything… making cookies, sheet pan dinners and so much more!

cookie with a bite

How to Store

Baked and decorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 5-7 days. You can keep them on the countertop at room temperature or place them in the refrigerator. Like most cookies, these sugar cookies can also be frozen. Place them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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5 from 4 votes
christmas cookies square

Old-Fashioned Christmas Sugar Cookies

Serves — 36
These Old Fashioned Christmas Sugar Cookies are a classic Christmas treat. Topping them off with red and green sanding sugar makes these the perfect holiday cookie.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 stick salted butter softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Red & Green Sanding Sugar


  • In a large bowl add butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Using a hand mixer beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour, cornstarch baking soda, and salt. Turn the hand mixer to a low speed and combine the ingredients until a soft dough forms.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Once the dough has been chilled for 2 hours remove from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the balls on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart.
  • Using a fork make a criss-cross pattern pressing down lightly into the cookie dough.
  • Sprinkle sugar with green or red sugar.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Make sure not to overcook these cookies – they should not brown on the edges at all. You want them to be soft, and they should look a bit undercooked when you pull them out of the oven.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Jenn’s Notes

Recipe adapted from The Salty Marshmallow


Nutrition Info

Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

It’s always fun to get into the holiday spirit, and what better way to do that than to make some delicious Christmas sugar cookie! This recipe will surprise you with how simple it is to make the ultimate, melt in your mouth, cookies. They make the perfect holiday snack to have around your home or to bring to a gathering.

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