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Homemade Sugar Cookies for Any Holiday

Updated on January 13, 2023
cygnetbrown profile image

Cygnet Brown is a high school and middle school substitute teacher. She is the author of fourteen books and a long-time gardener.

Sugar Cookies aren't just for Christmas

What would Christmas be like without sugar cookies cut into holiday designs, iced with gooey icing, and sprinkled with shiny sprinkled? Everyone loves a good home sugar cookie at Christmastime.

What I'd like to know is why we focus so much on Christmas when sugar cookies are good at any holiday throughout the year?

An Idea for Many Holidays

The fun of sugar cookies isn't just in eating them. It is also in the fun that goes into decorating them. Children especially love to decorate cookies on every holiday, not just at Christmas time.

  • On Valentine's Day, you can make hearts decorated with pink frosting and sprinkles.
  • On St. Patrick's Day, decorate four leaf clovers with green frosting with green sprinkles.
  • At Easter, they can decorate egg-shaped cookies and decorate in pastels and mini jellybeans, and coconut.
  • For the Fourth of July or Memorial day, you can cut out and bake stars to decorate or rectangles to be decorated into flags or at least cut round ones, ice with white frosting, and sprinkle with blue and red colored sugar.
  • For Halloween, cut out pumpkins, tombstones, moons, and bats to decorate with orange and black frosting and sprinkles.
  • Your child's birthday party can also be a time when kids can sit down and create edible creations that they can take home to eat. Pick your child's favorite colors, and sprinkles Let them have fun! Put the cookies into plastic bags and add the cookies to their goodie bag to take home.
  • And, of course on Christmas, the usual Christmas shapes can be decorated with the colors of Christmas.

Cookies--The Holiday Craft You Can Eat

If you have been looking for a craft for children to do during the holidays, there is nothing like decorated sugar cookies. Children love the decorating process and eating their creations afterward.

My twelve-year-old daughter is the only child I have at home, and I don't have any grandchildren, so we invited a friend's children over to decorate cookies.

I baked the cookies ahead of time so that the children did not have to wait for the cookies to bake before they could begin their artwork.


  • 1/2 cup soft shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1.4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. With a mixer, beat together shortening, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla
  2. Sift, then add flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. Chill dough for one hour
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease cookie sheets
  5. Roll dough out thinly and evenly on waxed paper
  6. Cut dough into desired shapes
  7. Place onto lightly greased cookie sheets
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.
Cookies ready to decorate
Cookies ready to decorate

Creating Eatable Art

Once the cookies are baked and cooled, they are ready for decorating. I made my cookies well ahead of the time the children were scheduled to decorate them so that the children wouldn't have to wait to begin their crafting.

I put the plate of cookies to be decorated on the table along with premade frosting. Some of the frostings was left white, but some I colored with food coloring. Also, I had cake decorating tubes with cake decorating tips available. I also had shaker containers filled with sprinkles to finish the cookies.

If you do not have cake decorating tubes, you can use plastic bags with a corner cut out of them and tips inserted into the corner. Fill the tube with frosting and squeeze as you would cake decorating tubes.

I had children sit around the table and allowed them to work on decorating their own cookies.

After they decorated the cookies and I allowed each of the children to eat their first piece of "art".

Because each child decorated more than one cookie, I allowed children to take cookies home to share with family members.

Did you like our recipe?

5 stars from 1 rating of Holiday Decorated Sugar Cookies

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 20 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 35 min
Yields: 2 dozen cookies

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Cygnet Brown


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