How To Make Sugar Cookies | Best Sugar Cookies - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Christmas | Cookies | Dessert | Videos

How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

November 21st, 2016
4.75 from 4 votes
4.75 from 4 votes

How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies with time saving baking hacks and a full step-by-step video showing you how to get these gorgeous designs (without royal icing!).

Yield: 40 cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

How to make EASY snowflake sugar cookies with a bunch of baking hacks to save you time! Step-by-step video included too!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Just like sugar cookies from your favorite bakery! Texture: Light and soft yet still sturdy enough to hold their shape and transport safely. Ease: So much easier than traditional cut out sugar cookies and royal icing in my opinion! Pros: Fun and easy way to make festive cookies for a crowd. Cons: None! Would I make this again? Absolutely yes.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

How festive and pretty are these snowflake sugar cookies?! No one has to know (or will even believe) just how easy they are.

How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

In the past I had virtually no patience for cut-out cookies. Sure, they’re beautiful. But why should I have to chill and roll and cut and chill again when I could just make drop cookies and eliminate all those extra steps?

Well I’ve done some experimenting and have found a bunch of time saving tips to make cut-out cookies so much quicker and easier. Plus, you don’t need to deal with royal icing to achieve these pretty cookies.

This recipe also makes 40, so it’s perfect for any holiday party. You could even double it for a really big gathering, or easily halve it for a smaller group.

How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

These cookies actually make a star appearance in my recent post on How to Host a Cookie Exchange (there’s a mini set of free party printables in that post).

Sugar Cookie Tips

All the tips you need to become a sugar cookie expert are in this step-by-step video. I go over every detail I could think of to give you a solid understanding of how sugar cookies work and what the best time saving tricks are.

Virtually all cookie dough can be made ahead of time, and baked sugar cookies store particularly well (especially in the freezer). So if you want even more info on how to make these ahead of time be sure to download my free Make Ahead Baking Guide here.

How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

4.75 from 4 votes

How to make
Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies with time saving baking hacks and a full step-by-step video showing you how to get these gorgeous designs (without royal icing!).


For the cookies:

  • 3 sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 4 1/2 cups (572 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the icing:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons water or milk


Make the cookies:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined. On low speed, slowly add in the flour and baking powder and beat until incorporated.
  2. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place one dough portion between two sheets of parchment and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. Place the two sheets of dough on a baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, rerolling any scraps and cutting more shapes. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets.
  5. If the dough is warm, freeze for 15 minutes or until firmed again.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and begin to brown. Be careful not to over-bake. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Baked un-iced sugar cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Make the icing:

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable.
  2. Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip. Before you begin icing any cookies, take a few moments to practice on a piece of parchment paper to get the feel of the icing.
  3. Holding the bottle or bag tip directly over one corner of a cookie, create lines and dots to enhance the snowflake shape as seen in the photos. If desired, garnish with edible dragees, glitter, or sprinkles. Let the icing set before serving.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have almond extract, feel free to omit. It simply adds an extra element of sweet flavor to the recipe.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Dee — March 5, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Made these for my granddaughter’s 6th birthday (as every snowflake in nature has six sides 🙂 for her Winter wonderland party!
    I made them into favors with a few white chocolate mini snowflakes in bottom of bag.
    Also a platter of the same for the dessert table. They were a huge hit..and such a simple recipe! Beautiful supple dough that is easy to roll out and makes a perfect texture of cookie. THANK YOU!

  2. #
    Ann — December 2, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    I just made these for an event at work and got raving reviews! I wish I had thought to take a photo.

  3. #
    Heidi — August 17, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    I want my sugar cookies to be really light, high, and soft. Should I substitute AP flour for cake flour?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 18, 2022 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Heidi! We have not tried that with this recipe, but in our experience, using cake flour will make the cookies very, delicate, very soft, slightly cakier cookie. You could definitely experiment with this if you wish, but I recommend using just half cake flour, and half all-purpose flour. The cookie needs the extra protein from the all purpose flour to give it some structure. Alternatively, I would try adding a tablespoon of corn starch, which gives a light, soft cookie, and then also refrigerate the dough for at least hours, to keep the cookies nice and thick in the oven! Let us know how your experiments go! 🙂

  4. #
    Donna — December 14, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Could somebody please tell me the correct measurement for Almond Extract and Baking Powder in this recipe? The video has 1/4 tsp Almond Extract and the written recipe shows 1/2 tsp. The video has 1/2 tsp Baking Powder and the written recipe shows 1 tsp Baking Powder. I really want to make these cookies with the correct measurements. Thank You.

    • #
      Pam — March 31, 2023 at 7:42 pm

      Hi Tessa,
      Great video of snowflake sugar cookies but I have a question. Where do I get the same snowflake cutter that you used? I want my cookies to look like yours
      Thanks so much,

      • #
        Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — April 3, 2023 at 9:40 am

        Hi Pam! This is the set of snowflake cookie cutters Tessa has. It comes with five (5) cookie cutters, so you can pick whichever size you prefer, or make a mix of sizes! Let us know what you think of these cookies once you’ve given them a try! Happy baking 🙂

  5. #
    Melissa — October 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Kids Love these!

  6. #
    Donna G. — December 7, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Hi Tessa,
    I had left a comment on Dec. 3, 2018 on another recipe cite – Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies – that does not have a video, but seems to be the same recipe as this one here for Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies. My questions are the same as Allyson’s – what are the correct measurements for the almond extract and the baking powder? Please respond as I would really like to give this recipe a try. Thank You.

  7. #
    Allyson — November 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Hi, I will be making these cookies for the first time for the holidays and I had a small question about 2 of the ingredient mearsurements: in the video you add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder; however in the written recipe it calls for 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. This may or may not be a huge difference when it comes to making the dough but can you please tell me which way is better?

  8. #
    Jodie Ainsworth — May 31, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    i loved it Tessa your recipe is a life saver

  9. #
    Pam — January 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I didn’t see a link for the snowflake cookie cutter set you used.

  10. #
    Nancy — January 4, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Excellent! Easy to make–especially rolling the chilled dough between two pieces of parchment. Delicious flavor–both the cookie and the frosting. And thick enough to be firm for decorating and then stable for transporting. The icing sets up quickly. It really is like making bakery sugar cookies at home. I cut them out in snowflake shapes, baked them, and decorated them with the icing recipe, uncolored. The white on white look was very pretty and drew many compliments. This is my new ‘go-to’ sugar cookie recipe. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  11. #
    Karen Tate — December 30, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    How long does it take for the icing to set? I want to put these in plastic bags and use them as napkin decorations at a luncheon.

  12. #
    Tress — December 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Good recipe but the music in background over and over and over the same little ditty would make amyone nauseous…..
    Sorry but it is the truth…

  13. #
    melby — March 31, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Avec ta recette j’ai faits les biscuits de Pâques (lapin,œuf,papillon et tulipe ).Très bon et simple a faire . la prochaine fois je vais ajouter au mélange des flocons d’érables pour le temps des sucres et certain glacer avec le beurre d’érable .Miammm. 🙂 Merci .

  14. #
    Brandy — January 9, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I have been eyeing this recipe since you posted it. I finally got a chance to make the cookies and they are amazing! I’ve never made homemade cut out cookies and your video and tips made it so easy! Thanks so much, Tessa!

    • #
      Tessa — January 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      So glad to hear that, Brandy!

  15. #
    Claudia — December 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I just made these cookies, you’re right they are so easy to make, they were delicious! One question, will the icing set so it doesn’t get messy when putting away for Christmas??

  16. #
    Kristen — December 5, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Hi! I am also wondering about the almond extract. We have a nut allergy in our house, so wondering if we could substitute for something else or just leave out.

  17. #
    Marette simpson — December 1, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    I truly enjoyed this video and your recipes. . I have learned so much from you. Thank you so much!!!

  18. #
    Jim Barrett — November 28, 2016 at 9:59 am

    These are next on my to do list..after a successful thanksgiving where I was in charge of desserts, you are one of my new heroes! People like you make learning fun..God bless and thank you!

  19. #
    Charley — November 26, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Is there a substitute for the almond extract. Could I just add more vanilla extract to make up for the almond or would that be too much

  20. #
    Stu — November 23, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Enjoy your videos, you explain in very easy to understand directions. how would you feel if I posted one of your videos to my site from time to time?
    BTW my son and daughter in law are both red seal chefs so I know just how tough your profession is.

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Hi Stu, that’s totally fine! I have no problem with people embedding my videos 🙂 Thanks for asking!

  21. #
    Kristin — November 21, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    These cookies are beautiful and great video. Thanks!

  22. #
    Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats — November 21, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    These cookies look like winter wonderland! Love the recipe and that they can be made in advance 🙂 yum!!

  23. #
    Misha — November 21, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Do you have a link to a frosting recipe that could be used to do sugar cookies the “old” way? Like, I have a four-year-old daughter whom I want to let decorate cookies with me this year, and we’re going to need the kind she can use a knife or something to spread on. I plan to make this cookie recipe (because whenever I make cookies I use your recipes!), but think I’ll need something different for frosting.

    Different question: would waxed paper work for rolling out the dough instead of parchment paper? I don’t own the latter, since I use silicone baking mats I haven’t needed to but it.

  24. #
    Kelli — November 21, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I 2nd that motion, Next Food Network Star, though you’re already a STAR in your own right; an absolute natural. OR Great American Baking Challenge, you’d win hands down, no contest! Thank you for always sharing your easy tips, tricks, & fun/tasty recipes with everyone. You’re an inspiration Tessa (even got me to clean & organize a cupboard with your video). Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — November 22, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Thank you SO much, Kelli!! I truly appreciate your kind and encouraging comment! I’m so glad you’re enjoying everything I put it, it’s comments like these that keep me going 🙂

  25. #
    Amy — November 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love cut out sugar cookies and hate the hassle! I usually bake and make candy on Black Friday so I’ll be trying it soon!

    • #
      Tessa — November 22, 2016 at 11:08 am

      What a fun tradition! Happy Thanksgiving, Amy!

  26. #
    Catie — November 21, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Hi! I loved your video tutorial for the extra tips and your explanations are so clear and easy to follow 🙂

    Quick question for you:

    Your icing instructions mention food coloring (to not mix it with the rest of the icing ingredients), but the ingredient list doesn’t. If I wanted to use food coloring, would it be the liquid kind and how many drops? Also, when would the coloring be mixed in?

    Thank you!

  27. #
    Liz — November 21, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Always learn a TON when I watch your videos! You should try out for The Next Food Network Star!!!! You appear very comfortable in front of the camera and explain everything so clearly! Great tips, too!

    • #
      Tessa — November 21, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Awe, thank you so much Liz!! I really appreciate that. You’re too sweet 🙂

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed