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The Best Recipes for Cut Out Cookies

Thanks for sharing!

 It is always fun to have a cookie cut in a pretty shaped and decorated with frosting, but you aren’t limited to sugar cookies. There are lots of flavors and types of cookies you can roll and cut, here are a few of our favorite recipes.

collage of sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies and gingerbread cookies

    Tis the season for pretty cookies, though they don’t have to be limited to Christmas. Fun cookies are good all year long.  If you think sugar cookies are the only cookies you can cut and decorate, think again! There are endless flavor combinations and textures you can whip up.  These recipes are sure to make your cookie trays even more delicious this year!

    Cookies cut into fun shapes and decorated with royal icing or buttercream are a Christmastime must. We love spending a whole weekend baking and decorating, it is a tradition that Little Dude is looking forward to continuing this year.

    We don’t keep the cookies just to Christmas though.  We’ve been known to bake and distribute Valentine’s Day cookies as well.

    If you come to a birthday party at our house, there is a decent chance you will leave with a packet of themed cookies. Same with baby showers, bridal showers and more.

    Of course sugar cookies are a staple.  We made several batches throughout the year, but it is nice to have some options.

    Luckily there are plenty of them out there.  Let’s take a look at some tips to making great roll-out cookies and then we will dive into our favorite recipes.

Tips for making great roll and cut cookies

Start with chilled dough.  Making sure the dough has plenty of time in the refrigerator is key to successful rolling and the most tender cookies.

To keep sticking down, make sure your surface and rolling pin are dusted with flour. Use just enough to lightly coat everything.

If you are making chocolate cookies, try dusting your surfaces with cocoa powder or a mix of flour and cocoa powder. That way you won’t have a white dust on your chocolate cookies.

Don’t forget to dust your cookie cutters too.  Coating them with a little flour between cookies will help keep the little bits from sticking.

Roll out smaller pieces of dough.  It is tempting to take a giant chunk and try to make as many cookies at once as possible, but that isn’t ideal.

When you use smaller pieces of dough, the rest can stay in the fridge keeping cool. That chilled dough will be less sticky and require less flour.

Plus a smaller piece of dough makes it easier to roll it out uniformly. That way you have evenly baked cookies. 

If you can, bake your cookies the day before you decorated them.  That gives the butter a chance to full absorb back into the cookie and spreads out the work so you can be inspired and look forward to the frosting!

Be sure to give the icing plenty of time to dry.  Leave your cookies in a single layer until the frosting is completely set before you stack or you will have a big disappointment to deal with!

Our favorite recipes:

sugar cookies in Christmas shapes decorated with royal icing

Of course sugar cookies are the king in the roll and cut cookie arena.  This recipe for my go-to sugar cookies is the one I reach for the most. They are tender, tasty and super popular with everyone we share them with. 

black cookies cut in the shape of bees and decorated with yellow and white royal icing

These dark chocolate cutout cookies make a stunning statement. Not only do they have a deep black color that is perfect for so many cookies, the chocolate flavor tastes amazing. We used them for bees and sheep in addition to our normal Christmas shapes and they were a big hit!

sour cream cookies cut into hearts and decorated with buttercream

If you are looking for a softer more flaky finish, but want to stay pretty traditional, sour cream cut out cookies might be for you.  The crumb is softer and a bit more cakelike than sugar cookies, but they still have that that traditional vanilla taste. 

chocolate sour cream cookies decorated with buttercream flowers

If you like the idea of a sour cream cookie, but want to venture away from vanilla, I have you covered there too.  Chocolate sour cream cookies work well as a drop cookie or as a rolled and cut cookie. They have a mild chocolate flavor with that soft cookie finish. 

gingerbread men and reindeer decorated with royal icing

Gingerbread men are a holiday must have.  My family wasn’t big on gingerbread until we came upon this recipe for German gingerbread cookies.  Now we are fans! This recipe uses ingredients I always have on hand, no strange spices that I need to remember to buy. Plus the dough is a dream to work with. 

peanut butter cookies cut in Christmas shapes and decorated with royal icing

Peanut butter cut out cookies have to be one of my favorite non-traditional recipes. They have a great peanut butter flavor but cut and decorate just like your traditional sugar cookie. 

stacks of dark chocolate cookies with buttercream sandwiched between them and a pink chocolate bow on top

For a deep rich chocolate flavor and a crunchy finish, you could use the recipe we used for these chocolate cookie stacks. We cut them into circles and stacked them with buttercream, but there’s no reason you couldn’t cut them into any shape you’d like!

cinnamon brown sugar cookies cut in the shape of leaves and decorated with orange royal icing

For a nice warm flavor with a mild spice, try making cinnamon brown sugar cookies.  They make me think of fall, but would really be great any time of year!

toasted oatmeal cookies cut into Christmas shapes and decorated with royal icing

If you don’t mind your edges being not quite perfect, you may like toasted oatmeal cut out cookies.  I’ll be honest, the dough isn’t the easiest to work with. But the flavor makes it worth it!

To decorate our cookies, we almost always use royal icing as it sets hard and makes the cookies easier to stack.  Though sometimes we use a crusting buttercream because we love the way it tastes! 

Do you have a favorite cookie to bake and decorate?  I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!

It is always fun to have a cookie cut in a pretty shaped and decorated with frosting, but you aren't limited to sugar cookies. There are lots of flavors and types of cookies you can roll and cut, here are a few of our favorite recipes.

Thanks for sharing!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Saturday 19th of December 2020

I was still hoping to make Gingerbread cookies before Christmas, but now with your Cinnamon Brown Sugar cookies, I might have to rethink my plan!


Saturday 9th of January 2021

I need to make those again soon, they are so good and it has been too long.


Thursday 10th of December 2020

So many fun cut out cookie ideas. They all look fun, but the Chocolate Cookie Stacks are absolutely beautiful!


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Thank you, those were so much fun to make. We need to do that again soon!

Julie's Creative Lifestyle

Monday 7th of December 2020

All of those cookies look so pretty and I bet taste delicious. Thanks for the cookie recipes Carlee! Hope you have a nice week.


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Thank you, Julie! I hope you have a nice week as well!