Holiday Sugar Sprinkled Butter Cookies

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Butter cookies are a very underrated cookie. When people think of a holiday cookie they think of decorated sugar cookies. These Sugar Sprinkled Butter Cookies are melt in your mouth delicious.

Soft on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. They are sure to become your new favorite cookie.

Pin Holiday Sugar Sprinkle Butter Cookies to make later. 

 Four Sugar Sprinkled Butter Cookies on a Christmas plate.

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What ingredients do I need to make Sugar Sprinkled Butter Cookies?

An at-a-glance list to see if you have the ingredients on hand. Use any color sanding sugar you have.

  • Butter – I always go with unsalted here because there’s such a small amount of salt in this recipe.
  • Sugar – The recipe calls for granulated sugar.
  • Egg – One large egg.
  • Flour – All purpose is what the recipe calls for.
  • Baking Powder – NOT baking soda.
  • Salt – I used table salt. You don’t want a coarse salt like Kosher because these cookies are so delicate.
  • Colored Sugar and/ or Sprinkles – I used colored sugars in Christmas colors and our school colors. Use colored sugar, nonpareils, or jimmies.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Once you make these sugar-sprinkled butter cookies you’ll understand just how much there is to love about them. Here are just some of the highlights.

  • It’s easy. You make it in one bowl. No need to mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • You can customize them by using any color sprinkle or sugar combination.
  • The texture is perfect. A bit crispy on the edge and soft in the middle.
  • A pretty addition to a holiday cookie tray.
A Christmas butter cookie with red and green sugar crystals being held.

What is the difference between a butter cookie and a sugar cookie?

Both butter and sugar cookies are popular though I personally think butter cookies are better. Butter cookies are delicate and melt in your mouth. Sugar cookies are heartier and often have a crisp sound when you bite into them.

Both sugar and butter cookies contain the basic ingredients of sugar, butter, and flour. The main difference is the proportions used and the baking temperature.

Sugar cookies typically have more flour making them better for cutout cookies. There are recipes for cutout butter cookies but most often a sugar cookie recipe is used.

Butter cookies are usually baked in a slightly hotter oven than sugar cookies.

Pro Tip: Use a cookie scoop to get cookies that are all the same size. They will bake evenly and be consistent.

Four sugar sprinkled butter cookies with blue sugars on a Christmas plate.

What do butter cookies taste like?

My sugar-sprinkled butter cookies are rich and buttery with a slight sweetness from the colored sugars. 

They are slightly crisp on the outside with a soft, almost pillowy, center. 

Tips and Tricks

These butter cookies are super easy to make. I use a small cookie scoop for even cookies.

I roll them into a ball and just dip the tops in the sugar crystals, placing them on the silicone mat lined baking sheet. Use parchment paper if you don’t have the mats.

Cookie dough balls on a baking sheet ready for the oven.

How do you serve butter cookies?

I like to serve and enjoy these butter cookies with a cup of coffee or tea. They are perfect after a heavy meal because they are lighter cookies.

Kids will enjoy them with a mug of hot chocolate or a cold glass of milk.

The inside of a butter cookie being held.

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Holiday Sugar Sprinkled Butter Cookies

A delicious butter cookie dressed up for the holidays.
5 from 20 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Desserts and Sweets
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Colored sprinkles or decorator sugar for dipping


  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Combine 1 cup of sugar and ¾ cup of butter in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until creamy.
  • Add egg and continue beating until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined.
  • Place colored sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls using a cookie scoop. Dip the top of each dough ball in sugar.
  • Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

  • I used decorator sugars but sprinkles will work well too.
  • Nonpareils and jimmies will work too.
  • Customized these butter cookies for special events by using school colors, brand logo colors, and more.
  • Use different color sugars for different holidays.

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  1. These Holiday Sugar Butter Cookies look cute and perfect for the festive season. I think we all need a few recipes like this up our sleeve for this time of year. Thanks!

5 from 20 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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