21+ Best Christmas Cookies

Collage of nine unique and traditional Christmas cookies. A text overlay reads, "Five-Star Christmas Cookies!"

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This Christmas cookie guide will feed Santa! You’ll find delicious recipes for traditional Christmas cookies, as well as more unique cookie recipes.

Nothing makes us happier than a beautiful tray of handmade holiday cookies! Not only are Christmas cookies a great treat for Santa, but they also make wonderful handmade gifts for teachers, neighbors, and loved ones!

We’ve pulled together our very best Christmas cookie recipes for you to have all in one spot. So preheat your oven, whip out the sprinkles, and let’s get baking!

When should I start baking Christmas cookies?

If you want to bake cookies fresh for a holiday party or Christmas Day, you’re going to get the best flavor and results baking them as close to the event as possible.

Wholefully Protip

The one exception to the “as close as possible” rule is shortbread. Shortbread cookies tend to improve in both flavor and texture with 2-3 days of resting time at room temperature in an airtight container.

But don’t get overwhelmed yet! The great thing about the vast majority of holiday cookies is that they freeze beautifully—both fully baked and in dough form. So you can start baking your holiday cookie recipes months in advance.

Overhead of iced and decorated Christmas cookies on a table.

How do you keep cookies fresh for Christmas?

We recommend clearing out some space in your freezer to make sure you have fresh cookies for Santa on Christmas. That way, you can space out your baking so you don’t get overwhelmed and your oven doesn’t get overloaded.

Bake one cookie recipe per week (or every few days) leading up to the big day, pop it in the freezer, and then when it’s time to assemble a tray for your holiday party or gifting, all you have to do is remove a few cookies from each batch in the freezer and assemble.

Wholefully Protip

Make sure to check each individual holiday cookie recipe for the best method for freezing and storing for that particular cookie.

Okay, let’s get on with the cookies!

Traditional Christmas Cookies

  • Cut-Out Sugar Cookies. Our rolled sugar cookie recipe gets tons of five star reviews every holiday season. The sugar cookie dough is lightly-flavored with vanilla, which makes for a delicate cookie that is addictive! Don’t miss our cookie icing recipe that makes for beautiful, stackable cookies.
  • Copycat Lofthouse Sugar Cookies. These cakey, fluffy sugar cookies are just like the ones you’d get at the grocery store. We highly recommend adding sprinkles for holiday flair!
  • The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. You can’t go wrong with a classic! Our secret ingredient makes these the best, most flavorful chocolate chip cookies ever! We’ll let you decide if you want to add nuts or not.

Monster Cookies

Small Batch Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Gooey Chocolate Candy Cane Butter Cookies

Clementine and Clove Spritz Cookies on a white plate with clementines and cloves nearby

A stack of three canadian nanaimo bars on a plate.

Close-up of a jam thumbprint cookie with a bite out of it sitting in front of another cookie and an open jar of jam.

  • Clementine and Cloves Spritz Cookies. This citrus-y sweet twist on the popular spritz cookies is full of holiday flavor and spice.
  • Nanaimo Bars. This Canadian classic is one that gets requested again and again every holiday season!
  • Thumbprint Cookies. With a buttery shortbread base and a fruity jam filling, these cookies are festive and easy to make.

Unique Christmas Cookies

  • Chewy Lemon Snowdrop Cookies. Hands down, these pillowy lemon cookies are one of our best Christmas cookies. They always make it onto my holiday cookie trays!
  • Nutella Crunch Cookies. I love recipes for easy Christmas cookies, and these chocolate hazelnut cookies definitely fit the bill!
  • Mint-Chocolate Marble Cookies. It’s not Christmas without some peppermint! Making these cookies is a combination of tasty baking and fun art project. If there is only one slice and bake cookie on your list, make it this one!

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Bourbon Bacon Brown Sugar Cookies

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Blondies

Ranger cookies are arranged in a circle on a grey plate.

  • Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies. These caramel-stuffed chocolate cookies are what chocolate dreams are made of.
  • Bourbon Chocolate Chip Blondies. Inspired by the classic Kentucky Derby dessert, these Bourbon Chocolate Chip Blondies are rich, decadent, and flavorful without any of the fuss or muss of a Derby Pie!
  • Ranger Cookies. Chewy and incredibly flavorful, these cookies will knock your socks off! Made with coconut, whole grains, and a secret crispy ingredient, this recipe is what I crave when I’m feeling nostalgic.

Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

Grain-Free Paleo Sugar Cookies with Coconut Butter Frosting and Christmas sprinkles on a white platter

Almond flour chocolate chip cookies cool on a wire baking rack.

A bowl filled with buckeye candy rests on a countertop alongside buckeye ingredients.

Cookie Gifts

Everybody loves a food gift! These cookie-themed homemade gifts will appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth.

A mason jar filled with even layers of dry ingredients for cookie mix in a jar, topped with fabric, a baking instructions tag, and baker's twine.

A small jar with a red lid and "Edible Cookie Dough" label is filled with chocolate chip cookie dough. A silver holiday-themed spoon is tied to the jar with red and white baker's twine.

  • M&M Cookie Mix Jars. These cookie mix jars are affordable and easy to make in bulk, so you can have a whole load of gifts ready in no time! The resulting m&m cookies are chewy, tender, and festive.
  • Edible Cookie Dough. Treat your loved ones with this eggless, eat-it-with-a-spoon edible cookie dough.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.
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