Frosted Christmas Tree Cookies are the perfect holiday treat. Homemade sugar cookies are stacked with green cream cheese frosting to create little “tree” desserts that will delight everyone who sees and eats them.
Cookies are the classic treat of the holiday season. From giving them as gifts to bringing them to holiday gatherings, cookies rank right up there with pie when it comes to the holidays. Seriously, when is the last time you were at a holiday gathering that didn’t have cookies?
This time of year, we make a lot of cookies, and these frosted Christmas tree cookies are one of our favorite recipes to make when we really want to wow a crowd. They’re so tasty and so pretty, they always impress.
Frosted Christmas Tree Cookies
These frosted Christmas tree cookies are absolutely adorable and so delicious. Three mini sugar cookies in descending sizes are stacked with green cream cheese frosting to create festive “trees” that are as yummy as they are beautiful. They’re perfect for holiday gatherings and potlucks, weeknight desserts, or simply to keep on hand as afternoon snacks. Every bite is overflowing with sweet, holiday goodness.
Frosted Christmas Tree Cookies Ingredients
Both the cookie recipe and the frosting recipe are very simple, so it only takes a few ingredients to make each of them. They’re all kitchen staples, as well, so you might not even have to go shopping for them.
For the Cookies
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
For the Frosting
- Room temperature butter
- Powdered sugar
- Cream cheese
- Green gel food coloring
**See the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.
Just like the ingredient list, the process of making these Christmas tree cookies is very easy. This is a straightforward recipe that anyone can make.
Step 1: Make the Cookie Dough
Melt the butter on low heat in a small pan. Then, add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a bowl and mix. Next, beat the eggs and pour the cooled melted butter into them. Mix and then add them to the dry ingredients.
Mix the ingredients until a soft dough forms. It should be easy to work with and not sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for 20 – 30 minutes.
Step 2: Cut Out and Bake the Cookies
Roll the chilled dough out into a semi-thin layer and cut out cookies in three different sizes. Put the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them for 10 – 12 minutes.
Step 3: Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat the softened butter and cream cheese together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar to the mixture and beat together for another minute until combined. Add milk to thin out the frosting if needed. Add green gel food coloring to the frosting as you beat it. Beat until smooth.
Step 4: Assemble the Cookies
Frost a large cookie. We use a star tip for this but you can use anything you like. Then, place a medium cookie on top of the frosting and add more frosting to it. Finally, place the smallest cookie on top, frost it, and decorate the frosting layers with your favorite sprinkles.
Hint: It usually only takes about 3 drops of food coloring to achieve the perfect Christmas tree green color.
These cookies will keep well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for about 3 days. You can’t store them at room temperature, and the frosting won’t stand up to freezing.
Although this is an extremely easy recipe, there are a few things to know to ensure that you make the most delicious and prettiest frosted Christmas tree cookies possible.
Softened Butter and Cream Cheese – When making the frosting, be sure you fully soften your butter and cream cheese to achieve the perfect frosting texture.
Room Temperature Eggs – When making any baked good, it’s important to bring your eggs to room temperature. They’ll incorporate more easily and help the baked goods cook properly.
Be Gentle – When constructing your cookies, be gentle with your stacking. Only use enough pressure when placing your cookies on top of the frosting to make sure they stick. You want to keep the frosting texture intact. Don’t squish the layers!
More Christmas Recipes
If you love making Christmas treats, we have some recipes that we think you’re going to love.
Frosted Christmas Tree Cookies FAQ
If you have questions about these frosted Christmas tree cookies, then we have answers. This FAQ covers all the most frequently asked questions about this recipe.
What kind of cookies are used in this recipe?
This recipe uses sugar cookies for each cookie layer.
Are butter cookies and sugar cookies the same thing?
No. Sugar cookies hold their shape. They’re rolled out thin and then cut with a cookie cutter. Butter cookies have a much softer dough that’s often piped onto a baking sheet.
How long are these cookies good?
They’ll keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
Why can’t I freeze these cookies?
The cream cheese frosting’s flavor and texture will change due to freezing.
Why is my frosting lumpy?
You probably didn’t fully soften your cream cheese and/or butter.
Help! My cookies are lopsided and awful looking!
Use a light touch when you construct these cookies. You need to put the cookie on the frosting with just a slight amount of pressure. You want the cookie to stick to the frosting, not squish it.
Try These Frosted Christmas Tree Cookies Today
These frosted Christmas tree cookies are delicious and they just scream “happy holidays”. With the combination of rich cream cheese frosting and sweet sugar cookies, this recipe is one that will have everyone coming back for more. Give them a try!
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Frosted Christmas Tree Cookies
For the Cookies:
- ⅔ cup Butter
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons Milk
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese at room temp
- 3 drops Gel Food Coloring, green
- Melt butter on low heat in a small pan.
- In a bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir to mix.
- Beat the eggs and pour in the cooled melted butter and mix. Add to dry ingredients.
- Mix until you have a soft dough. The dough should be easy to handle and not stick to your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out into a semi-thin layer. Cut circles in three different sizes of dough.
- Put the dough circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Add butter and cream cheese to a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese to the butter mixture.
- Add milk a little at a time if needed. Beat together for another minute until completely combined. While you're beating, add a few drops of green food coloring to the cream. Normally 3 drops of gel green food coloring does the trick.
- Start with a large cookie by covering it with some cream cheese frosting. We use a star tip. Add a medium size cookie on top and add more cream cheese frosting to that. Add the smallest cookie on top of that and add cream cheese frosting to that.
- Decorate with your favorite sprinkles!