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Cute winter themed sugar cookies, simply flooded with a royal icing base, then decorated with easy three dimension trees and snowmen, using star and round piping tips. This simple Christmas cookie design requires little experience with royal icing to complete from start to finish!

Winter Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

  • Author: Posh Little Designs
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 dozen+ 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Sugar Cookies
  • Cuisine: Dessert


Cute winter themed cut out sugar cookies decorated with three dimension trees and snowmen, on a bed of royal icing. Dusted with powdered sugar and finished with gold dragees! 


Units Scale

Sugar Cookies:

  • 3/4 cups vegan butter (or real butter softened)
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Royal Icing:

  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Green, brown, black, pink and orange gel food coloring
  • Tipless piping bags
  • Star piping tips: 4B & 32 & round tip 12


Sugar Cookies:
  1. Pour measured flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix until combined. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar together for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the edges of the bowl.
  4. Beat the eggs and vanilla extract into the butter and sugars until smooth and fully combined.
  5. Pour dry flour mixture into the butter, egg and sugar on mixing medium.
  6. Mix until the the cookie dough forms and attaches to the paddle, leaving the mixing bowl clean.
  7. The mixing bowl should be mostly clean when the dough is ready to roll out.
  8. No chilling required.
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Lightly flour a rolling pin and a sheet of parchment paper.
  11. Roll out the sugar cookie dough to about 1/4 ” thick.
  12. Cut the dough into circle shapes using a cookie or biscuit cutter, a glass will also work.
  13. Leave about 1″ between each cut cookie.
  14. Remove the excess dough surrounding each cut shape, then transfer the cookies on parchment to a baking sheet and place in the oven.
  15. Bake in the middle rack for just under 5 minutes. 6 minutes if you prefer a crisper cookie.
  16. Remove from oven and cool completely before decorating with royal icing.
  17. Repeat steps for remaining dough.
  18. Cookies are over-baked with the edges or bottoms are brown.


  1. Combine the water and meringue powder in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer.
  2. Whisk on medium high for about 3 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy and forms very soft peaks.
  3. Then switch to a paddle attachment and pour in the powdered sugar. Mix on medium for another 1-2 minutes until the icing is thick like toothpaste. Add additional warm water a few drops at a time until the icing is a thick piping consistency and still holds its form.
  4. Mix in vanilla or extract of choice.
  5. Scoop the piping icing into 5 bowls putting most in the first two bowls and the remaining icing divided between the 3 leftover bowls.
  6. Transfer a small portion of the thick white icing to a tipless piping bag. This will be used for details. Then transfer a 1/3 of the remaining white icing to a piping bag fitted with round tip 12 for the snowmen, sealing closed. Lastly, thin the remaining white icing with warm water, a few drops at a time to flood consistency. I like to use the 5 second rule: Run a spoon through the icing and any lines will disappear in 5 seconds. That’s how you know when the icing is ready. Transfer flood white icing to a tipless piping bag and seal closed.
  7. Color remaining icing with 3-4 drops of green gel coloring and a few drops of brown to create the forest green hue. Mix until combined. Divide between two piping bags fitted with tips 4B and 32 and seal closed.
  8. Color remaining bowls of icing with orange, pink and black gel coloring until desired colors are achieved. Transfer each to tipless bags and seal closed.

Winter icing decorations:

  1. Start by using the white piping icing and pipe a border along the outside edge of each of cookie.
  2. Then use the thinned white icing to fill or flood the cookies, blending in any imperfections with a scribe or toothpick.
  3. Set the cookies aside for one hour to set.
  4. Once the flood icing has set, create the 3 tier trees by piping 1 green star onto the cookie, followed by an additional star on top of the first star. Then switch to piping bag 32 to pipe the tops of the trees for the 3 dimension effect. Complete the tree designs by piping additional stars of green icing in placement of choice onto the base of the cookies.
  5. To create the snowmen, use the white icing with round tip 12 to create the base of the snowman. Top with two additional dollops of white icing.
  6. Use the black icing to pipe the eyes and buttons onto each snowman, the orange icing for the nose and the pink icing for the scarves.
  7. Lastly decorate the cookies with gold dragees and dust with powdered sugar for the finished wintery look!
  8. Repeat steps for all cookies piping the trees and snowmen in varying places and sizes so each cookie is unique.
  9. Set aside to dry for at least one hours.
  10. Enjoy!


The cookies can be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 months.

Keywords: Christmas Sugar Cookies, Decorated Sugar Cookies, Winter Cookies, Holiday cookie ideas, 3d sugar cookies, royal icing recipe, easy sugar cookies, Christmas Cookie recipes, Christmas cookie ideas