Grandma Lucy’s Christmas Sugar Cookies

These soft Christmas sugar cookies are easy to make, hold their shape and are perfect for holiday decorating! This is my Grandma Lucy’s formerly secret recipe and it’s one we’ve been enjoying for years. Decorate these cookies with sanding sugar or frosting with sprinkles!

Looking for more Christmas cookies? Try these soft gingerbread cookies, or these amazing chocolate chip cookies!

Grandma Lucy's Sugar Cookies

Grandma Lucy’s Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies

There are very few things that Thomas pulls the “but they aren’t like my mom’s” card when it comes to my cooking, but sugar cookies is one of those recipes. My mother-in-law Lucy makes the BEST sugar cookies. I’m so excited to share her recipe with you today because it’s one she’s been making for years and years and we all love it best.

Grandma Lucy sugar cookies are the stuff childhood memories are made of. They are thick, puffy, super soft, and keep their shape perfectly. Bonus: you don’t have to chill the dough before rolling them out BUT you can if you want to make the dough ahead of time (win-win!). These aren’t just Christmas sugar cookies in our world either, Grandma makes them for most major holidays and invites all the grandkids over to decorate them with her. You’ve never seen such a mess!

What Makes These the Best Christmas Sugar Cookies?

The secret to the very best soft and chewy cookies is a combination of three things when it comes to Lucy’s sugar cookie recipe. Lots of eggs makes the dough tender but hold together well. A generous amount of baking powder helps them to be light and fluffy. The third secret is using butter-flavored shortening. There are very, very few things I make with shortening, but this recipe is one of them. Using shortening helps the cookies to keep their shape while baking (because it doesn’t melt like butter) and it helps them to be very tender.

Soft and tender Christmas sugar cookies that are sweet and keep their shape very well and are perfect for decorating; Grandma Lucy's secret recipe!

Tips and Tricks for Making Christmas Sugar Cookies:

  • You cake make the dough in advance: If you want to make the dough and let it sit in the fridge a few hours or overnight until you are ready to bake them, that works great.
  • How to add sprinkles that stick to the cookies: You can press sprinkles or colored sugars into the uncooked cut cookies before baking and then bake as directed. This is a simple way to add a few decorations without much work on your part.
  • Our favorite cookie cutters: Because we make this cookie recipe all year long, we LOVE this 101 Cookie Cutter set. It has it all! Plus, you can’t beat the price (around $10). It makes a fun gift idea, too.
  • Flavor variations: Want to change up the flavor just a bit? I love to add 1 teaspoon vanilla and then add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract. Delicious!
  • How to roll the dough without it sticking to the rolling pin: Make sure you get a little flour on the rolling pin and flour the surface before rolling out the dough.
  • How to cut the dough without it sticking to the cutter: Press straight down firmly with the cookie cutter, and pick it straight back up. Don’t wiggle or move it around much. If you find the dough is sticking, press the cutter into some flour so it becomes more nonstick. You can also put your cookie cutters in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill them and make the surface less sticky.
  • How to transfer the cut dough without breaking the shape: Use a thin and sturdy spatula (like a metal spatula) to safely transfer cookie dough shapes to the baking sheet.
  • How to tell if the cookies are done baking: They’re done when the cookies are golden-brown in the center, about 10 minutes.
  • How to make thinner/crispier cookies vs. thicker/softer cookies: For thicker and softer cookies, roll the dough out into a 1/2 inch thickness. For thinner cookies that are crispier, roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness.

How do you store soft sugar cookies?

Because these are extra fluffy and soft, it’s best to store them in/on something like a baking sheet or a baking dish. Then cover the dish well with a lid or plastic wrap. They can be stacked, but not more than 2 high. If you need to stack more than 2 cookies, you’ll want to place a piece of parchment paper in between. These cookies also freeze well. Store and freeze before adding icing for best results. Thaw and ice right before eating, gifting, or sharing these cookies.


Soft and tender Christmas sugar cookies that are sweet and keep their shape very well and are perfect for decorating; Grandma Lucy's secret recipe!


Grandma Lucy’s Sugar Cookies for Christmas

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 dozen medium cookies 1x


These soft Christmas sugar cookies are easy to make, hold their shape and are perfect for holiday decorating! This is my Grandma Lucy’s formerly secret recipe and it’s one we’ve been enjoying for years.



  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 78 cups of all-purpose flour +1 more for rolling
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

For frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2.5-3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Cream shortening and sugar together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add your eggs and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and mix again.
  3. Add 3 cups of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and mix well to combine.
  4. Mix the milk and vinegar together and add it to the cookie dough mixture. Mix well to combine.
  5. Add the remaining 4 cups of flour and stir until well combined. The dough should be tacky but not gloopy. If you pick it up in your fingers it shouldn’t stick to them though it’s a very soft dough. Add up to 1 cup additional flour as needed.
  6. Working with ¼ of the dough at a time, roll it out on a well floured surface to ¼ to ½ inch thick. Be generous with your flour on the rolling surface since the dough is very tender, it will stick easily.
  7. Use cookie cutters to make shapes and transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough, gathering and re-rolling the scrap dough as you go along.
  10. Decorate cooled cookies with icing and sprinkles, the messier the better.
  11. To make the frosting: Add the butter and cream to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on medium speed with the whisk attachment, until the butter and cream combine.
  12. Increase the speed to high and mix for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides a time or two.
  13. Add the vanilla and 2.5 cups of the powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined, and then increase speed to medium and whip for 1 to 2 minutes.
  14. The consistency of the icing is important if you are going to ice sugar cookies with it. It should be a soft-medium consistency and firm, but soft enough to spread with a butter knife.
  15. If the icing is too thick, mix in a little cream. If it needs to be a little thicker, add a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and whip to combine until it’s sturdy enough.
  16. Use icing to frost around 2 dozen medium sugar cookies. It also pipes well, if you’d like to put it in piping bags with tips.


  • Grandma’s Notes: If you want to make the dough and let it sit in the fridge a few hours or overnight until you are ready to bake them, that works great.
  • These are super soft, puffy, and cakey cookies. If you are looking for a more traditional sugar cookie, this is my My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe.
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 72 SERVING SIZE: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84.9 Fat: 3.3g Cholesterol: 10.6mg Sodium: 56.1mg Carbohydrates: 12.7g Sugars: 5.8g Protein: 1.4g Vitamin A: 5.4µg Vitamin C: 0mg

Keywords: christmas cookies, easy cookie recipe, sugar cookie recipes, christmas sugar cookies, best christmas sugar cookies, easy christmas sugar cookies, how to make sugar cookies

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I took this picture just a few days ago while the grandkids were decorating cookies with Grandma Lucy! Isn’t she a cute grandma? We are so lucky to live right next door to her.

Soft and tender Christmas sugar cookies that are sweet and keep their shape very well and are perfect for decorating; Grandma Lucy's secret recipe!

Other great Christmas cookie recipes you might enjoy:

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Made these cookies for our neighbors this year for Christmas. They LOVED them! I’ve had several people ask me for the recipe since! Sure love that Grandma Lucy and those cute kiddos! So much fun! ❤️

Hi what tip did you use for the Christmas trees?

I just made the batter and mine is still really sticky and not firm at all. I’ve already added an extra 1 1/2 cups flour (for a total of 7 1/2 cups!) Should I just keep adding flour until they are a consistency that can be rolled out? Will chilling the dough help to firm it up?

I added 6 cups of flour, but the batter is still WAY too sticky to even think about rolling. I’ve added a bit of powdered sugar and more flour, but it’s still just crazy sticky. What am I doing wrong?

I made Grandma Lucy’s sugar cookies last night. I was skeptical because they seemed puffy and almost bready. But today, oh man! After sitting overnight with frosting on them, they are probably the BEST cookie I have ever had! I already have a recipe I love, but this one is amazing! Thank Grandma Lucy for me and thank you for sharing it! I just love your blog!

Can’t have too many great sugar cookie recipes! Thanks for sharing!

Can you use a half cup butter and a half cup shortening.?

Do you have a favorite recipe for icing that you use with these?

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.