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+ servings
Three Christmas Shortbread Cookies on a wooden plate
5 from 2 votes

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Buttery, almond flavored Christmas Shortbread Cookies are easy to make and decorate with icing and sprinkles. These are the BEST Christmas cutout cookies.
Prep Time1 hr
Active Time30 mins
Decorating Time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: decorating, holiday
Yield: 24 cookies
Calories: 225kcal
Author: The Cozy Plum | Callan Rowe


  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sharp paring knife or cookie cutter
  • Piping bags (or ziptop bags)
  • Offset spatula or butter knife


Shortbread Cookie

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature (226g)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour sifted (300g)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Almond Buttercream

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature (113g)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 360g
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream, milk, or water
  • Food coloring green, or color of choice
  • Edible sprinkles and stars optional


Shortbread Cookie

  • Cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium high speed for 2 minutes until lighter in color and fluffy. Add the almond and vanilla extracts and mix again, then scrape down the sides. Spoon in the sifted flour until the dough comes together.
  • Split the dough in half and form into discs. Wrap completely in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the fridge and allow the chill to come off for 10-15 minutes. Place on a floured surface and roll it out to ¼" thick (it can be any shape, just keep it even).
  • Use the template to carefully cut out the cookies with a sharp paring knife. Squish the scraps back together and roll out again, repeating the same process. Place the cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 325℉/163℃ for 12 minutes then rotate pan and continue cooking additional 10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown. If baking 2 pans, also switch racks at half.
  • Leave the cookies on the pans until completely cool. Moving them before cooled will cause them to crack.

Almond Buttercream

  • Beat the butter on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Sift the powdered sugar into a separate bowl.
  • Slowly add in the powdered sugar, then add in the vanilla and almond extracts and mix on medium high speed for about a minute.
  • On medium speed, drizzle in the cream/milk/water by tablespoon until the mixture becomes light, soft, and spreadable. If it feels too thick, add more liquid. If too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  • If coloring the buttercream, separate into bowls and mix in the coloring by hand to desired shades.
  • Transfer to piping bags or ziptop bags.

Decorating the Cookies

  • Starting with the darkest color, pipe 5 dollops at the base of the tree, then use an offset spatula to press halfway into each dollop and pull down to smear. Wipe off the icing and move on to the next row.
  • The next rows will be 4 dollops dark green, 3 dollops light green, 2 dollops light green, 1 dollop white.
  • Finish the decorating by adding edible stars and other sprinkles of choice.


Store the cookies uncovered at room temperature for 2 days. After that, store the cookies in the fridge. They should be eaten within 5 days.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg