You don’t need to be a professional baker to make these delicious shortbread Christmas cookies. In fact, these cut out cookies are so simple that even beginners can make them. Plus, they’re extra festive with colorful sprinkles and Christmas shapes!
Shortbread cookies are one of those Christmas traditions that everyone seems to love.
They’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious, so it’s not hard to see why.
Even better? They’re really not that hard to make.
They only require a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, only need one mixing bowl and take only a few minutes to bake.
And with this recipe, you can use cookie cutters to make them into festive shapes that look really pretty on a cookie platter or cookie exchange party table.
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This recipe makes about 24 2″ cookies. But the exact number will depend on how thick you roll the dough and how big your cookie cutters are.
Here’s your shopping list:
- dairy: 1 cup salted butter
- baking supplies: 1½ cups flour (plus a little extra to use for rolling the cookie dough), ½ cup corn starch
- sugar: ½ cup icing (or confectioners) sugar
- flavoring: 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- seasoning: ¼ teaspoon salt
- decorations: Christmas sprinkles
- You can use unsalted butter instead of salted by increasing the amount of salt to ½ teaspoon.
How to make Christmas shortbread cookies
Take the butter out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of time so it has time to soften.
Preheat the oven to 375℉.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Make the cookie dough
In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer on high speed to beat the butter until it is light and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes).
Add in the flour, sugar, corn starch, vanilla and salt.
Continue to beat on medium speed until the dough forms a soft ball. Don’t overmix as it will make the cookies tough.
Roll and cut the cookies
Sprinkle a little flour on your rolling pin and on a large cutting board, marble cookie board or your counter.
Place the dough on the floured surface and roll it out until it is about ¼ inch thick.
Cut out some shapes in the dough using Christmas cookie cutters. If the dough sticks to the cookie cutters, dip them into flour as well.
Place the cut out cookies onto the parchment-covered baking sheet about ½ inch apart.
Add some sprinkles to the tops of the cookies.
Form any leftover dough into a ball. Then repeat the rolling and cutting process to get more cookies.
If you find that the dough is too soft and the cut out cookies won’t hold their shape, roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper.
Then put the parchment paper and rolled out dough into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. The butter in the cookies will harden making the dough much stiffer.
Remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut the cookie shapes.
Then remove the bottom layer of parchment paper (you may need to use a thin spatula or cake knife to do this), and you should be able to easily move the cookies to the baking sheet.
Bake the cookies
To make sure that they hold their shape, put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before putting them in the oven.
Then bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottom edges are slightly brown (but not too brown).
Let the baking sheet cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the cookies. They are very soft when they are warm so be careful not to break them.
These shortbread Christmas cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Other Christmas cookies you might like
- Whipped shortbread cookies
- Old fashioned cherry winks
- Lemon cream cheese cookies
- White chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies
- Snowflake sugar cookies
Or browse all of our Christmas cookie recipes.
Shortbread Christmas Cookies With Sprinkles
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 hand-held or electric stand mixer with whisk attachment
- 1 rolling pin
- Christmas cookie cutters
- cookie sheet
- parchment paper
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar (also known as icing or confectioners sugar)
- ½ cup corn starch
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Christmas sprinkles for decorating
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large-sized bowl, cream the butter on high speed.
- Add in the flour, sugar, corn starch, vanilla and salt. Continue to beat on medium speed until the dough forms a ball.
- Place the dough on a floured, flat surface and roll it out until it is about ¼ inch thick.
- Cut out some shapes using cookie cutters.
- Place the shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about ½-inch apart.
- Roll out any remaining dough and cut more cookies.
- Add sprinkles to the cookies.
- To help the cookies hold their shape, refrigerate them on the baking sheet for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown.
- Let the cookies cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- If the cookies won’t hold their shape, try rolling the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. Then put the parchment paper and dough into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (until the dough hardens). Remove the parchment paper and cut out the cookies. You should be able to move them easily to the cookie sheet.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.