Iced Christmas Biscuits are an easy and fun activity for the whole family to do together!
We show you how to make and bake a basic vanilla-flavoured biscuit suitable for making cookie cutter-shaped cutouts.
Children will love to help you decorate the Santa, Elf, Reindeer and Gingerbread Man Xmas cookies with royal icing.
Furthermore, these make the best homemade gift ideas for the kids to pass on to relatives and friends. UK and US measurements are given.
How to make Iced Christmas Cutout Biscuits?
Check out the step-by-step video slideshow to see how easy it is before you get started.
Now you can carry on reading the blog post for a comprehensive guide or jump straight to the recipe card to get biscuit baking straight away!Christmas cut-out biscuit recipe card
How to make a basic biscuit mixture suitable for cookie cutters?
Making a basic biscuit mixture suitable for use with cookie cutters is quick and easy. The ingredients are everyday ingredients you will probably already have.
What ingredients are used for cut-out cookies?
The amounts needed are in the recipe card below, but the ingredients you will need are butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract baking powder and flour.
You need to mix the ingredients correctly to get the texture right for perfect cookie-cutter cutouts.
Make sure to use room temperature butter; do not melt the butter, it will ruin the texture you need for biscuits.
What order to mix biscuit ingredients?
Cream the room-temperature butter and sugar together with a mixer for at least 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
What tools do I need to mix my biscuits?
The quickest and easiest way is to use a kitchen stand mixer, but not everyone has one of these!
If you have not got a proper stand mixer, then a handheld mixer will do the job just as well!
Failing that, you can still make this recipe but will just need a bit more patience and stamina using your arm power to mix the biscuit mixture!
Once the butter and sugar are creamed together add the egg and vanilla extract. Continue to whisk for 2 minutes until well combined.
Next, add the dry ingredients, baking powder and add half the flour.
We find it easier to use a spoon to mix the flour in. Not only does it prevent a flour shower, but you can also keep an eye on the texture whilst adding the remaining flour.
What texture should the biscuit dough be for cutouts?
Biscuit dough for cutouts should have a similar texture to Play-Doh.
Test by rolling a small ball out, if it is sticking to the pin and parchment paper, then add some more flour to the mixture.
On the other hand, if it is too dry and cracking when rolled, you will need to add a little moisture back in, and add splashes of cold water until it is not so dry.
Split the mixture into three equal balls.
In this case, each ball will be enough for 12, 8cm shaped cookie cutters.
Should I chill biscuit dough before using cookie cutters?
I suggest putting the biscuit dough in the fridge for about 25 minutes or, for quicker chilling, use the freezer for 10 minutes at this point.
Not only does chilling help firm the dough back up, but it makes it easier to roll. But also will help the biscuits hold their shape better in the oven.
This will give you time to tidy up before starting the rolling and cookie-cutting steps!
Can I make Christmas biscuits for cutout dough in advance?
Of course, you could choose at this point to save the biscuit dough you made for baking another day. Or bake one batch of the three balls the mixture made?
Place the biscuit dough in a sealed zip-lock bag. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you want to keep longer, the biscuit dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Remember to defrost overnight in the refrigerator the night before the day you want to use it.
How to roll biscuit dough for cookie cutters?
Firstly, I suggest rolling the chilled biscuit dough out onto Parchment Paper.
This prevents it from sticking to the table and makes it easy to transfer to a baking tray before using the cookie cutters.
How thick should biscuit dough be for cutout shapes?
This does depend on the cookie cutters you are using, but should be around 1 cm or ¼ of an inch thick.
How to use cookie cutters to cut out Christmas Biscuits?
This prevents it from sticking to the table and is easy to transfer to a baking tray before using the cookie cutters to make your Elf, Santa, Reindeer and Gingerbread Men.
I also found this cute family of Gingerbread cutters too which I will be buying next time I make my Iced Christmas Biscuits!
How to use Joie Christmas Cookie Cutters?
These Joie cutters are so cute and look great even before icing the Christmas Cookies!
We found it best to use the handle end of a fork to help gently push the cookie shapes out of the cookie cutters without distorting the shape.
Make sure to cut out the shapes on the baking tray to avoid extra handling.
You can use this simple recipe for cutouts, not just Christmas Biscuits!
How to Bake Cut-Out Christmas Biscuits?
When cooking these Christmas biscuits, preheat a fan oven to 160℃ /180°C fan oven/ 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
Depending on the thickness, they will only need 7-9 minutes in the oven!
A common mistake with biscuits is over-baking them. These biscuits should be pale, so do not make the common mistake of waiting for them to turn golden!!
They will certainly be overcooked if they are golden!
Instead of looking at the colour, look for tiny cracks forming on the biscuits' surface. This is when they are ready!
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Do not worry that they are still soft to the touch whilst warm. They will firm up during cooling.
The smell of freshly baked Christmas biscuits got too much for our Bruno at this point. He even got off the sofa to investigate!
Leave the biscuits to cool (away from children's prying hands and dogs' drooling mouths!) whilst you make up some Royal Icing.
What icing to use for decorating cutout biscuits?
We will go through every step of making your royal icing, which is perfect for decorating these Iced Christmas Biscuits.
Royal icing will go on runny but dry hard, making it the perfect icing
What is royal icing made from?
Royal icing is made using icing sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar.
Is royal icing safe if it has raw egg whites in it?
You must use pasteurized egg whites! Do not crack open a normal egg and use the white from that...... you will put yourself at risk of salmonella.
Instead, there are a few options you can use, such as this pasteurised egg white by two chicks, available to buy in most supermarkets
Otherwise, you can pick up Egg White powder or meringue powder, which will work in the same way.
Any of the above products will work equally well for this recipe without the risk of Salmonella!
Why add cream of tartar to Royal Icing?
We always add cream of tartar to our recipe to help stabilise the egg white.
Cream of tartar stops the icing powder from separating from the egg white and gives a firm consistency, making it easier to pipe.
Adding flavour to Royal Icing?
You don't have to add flavour to the icing, but we always do! Use any flavouring you like. We use ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
How to mix royal icing?
Simply use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip up the royal icing ingredients together. You can do it by hand, too!
What consistency is royal icing for piping on Christmas biscuits?
So, this is the important bit now: creating the correct texture for icing your Christmas biscuits. You need it to be firm but spreadable.
The best way of checking is by running a knife through the royal icing and counting down how many seconds it takes for the divide you created with the knife to blend back together.
It should take about 15 seconds to blend back in.
Any longer than 15 seconds, the royal icing it is too thick. Add teaspoon of water at a time to make it runnier.
If quicker then 15 seconds the royal icing is too runny, add and mix more icing sugar in to thicken,
This is a good starting point for the icing consistency.
We separated the royal icing into four small bowls and added different food gel colouring.
We chose Christmas colours, leaving one as it is for white royal icing.
Add food colouring for Black, Red and Green royal icing to the other 3 bowls.
How to pipe royal icing onto Christmas biscuits?
Ready for piping the royal icing on the biscuits? Make sure the biscuits have completely cooled first.
So remember, this is meant to be fun with the kids; don't get too serious with it!!
It looks easy, but trust us, it's much harder than you think, so no tantrums! Practice makes perfect.
We used plastic disposable piping bags to pipe on the biscuits.
Spoon-fill four piping bags with some of each colour's royal icing.
Leave some icing behind in each bowl, to which you can add some water to make it a thinner consistency icing, which is better for filling larger areas.
Fill this thinner consistency royal icing into piping bags, too.
So, I ended up with eight bags of royal icing. For each colour, I have one thick for piping lines and one used for filling in larger areas, aka flooding.
Cut a small hole in the end, and you are ready to go!
Try making an outline with the thicker icing before adding the thinner icing, which will spread out nice and smooth.
You can also use a toothpick to help spread the thin icing to where you want on the Christmas biscuits.
We all had fun decorating these Iced Christmas Biscuits in our unique ways!
Try using sprinkles, small chunks of chocolate or fudge and use the royal icing to help it stick.
How to store royal icing?
If you want to take a break from icing, seal the bags of royal icing and keep them in the fridge to prevent them from going hard! It will keep ok in the fridge for 3 days.
So you don't need to rush the decorating!
How long does royal icing take to set?
Once you have finished piping the Christmas biscuits, they will be touch dry in about 30 minutes.
Do not be tempted to start stacking them up yet.... they will need a couple of hours to set properly.
How to store Iced Christmas biscuits?
Once the royal icing on the Christmas Biscuits is all dry, you can store them stacked on top of each other in a biscuit tin or other airtight container or in zip-lock bags
How long will iced biscuits keep?
These iced biscuits can be kept in an airtight container for a week. If they last that long!!
Once all the biscuit decorating was done, it was quite a late night for us.
So we made up some delicious spiced Masala Tea and munched down on a few Iced Christmas Biscuits before calling it a night!
The kids enjoyed sharing the biscuits they made with their friends and relatives for a special homemade gift.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Iced Christmas Biscuits - How to Cut Out Shapes and Decorate Cookies
Christmas Cookie Cutter Biscuits
- 200 g butter take out of the fridge at least 1 hr before use
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 1 Egg beaten
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 400 gram flour you may need little more to get to playdough consistency
- 350 g Icing sugar
- 2 Pasteurised egg whites or egg white powder see blog post for more info, do not use raw egg white.
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Food Colouring Gel Your choice of colours
- sprinkles/sparkles/ balls/ little fudge bits for decorating
Christmas Cookie Cutter Biscuits
- Bring 200 g butter to room temperature Place in a bowl with 200 g granulated sugar and use electric whisk or cake stand mixer for 2 minutes to beat until light and fluffy. WIll take longer if beating by hand.
- Add 1 Egg and 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, mix in for 1 minute.
- Add 2 teaspoon Baking Powder & half of the 400 gram flour, use a spoon to mix in.
- Add the remaining ½ of the flour, bit by bit, it will get stiffer to stir. Check consistency. It should be like Play-Doh. Keep adding more flour until its right, if it gets too stiff add a bit of water.
- Divide the mixture into 3 equal-sized balls. Each ball will make approx 12 biscuits measuring 8cm.Put the three biscuit dough balls in a ziplock bag in the fridge for about 25 minutes or for quicker chilling, use the freezer for 10 minutes at this point.Tip! If you want, you can store in the fridge or freezer to make more biscuits for another day. Check the blog post for details.
- Preheat oven to 160℃ /180°C fan oven/ 350°F / Gas Mark 4Place a sheet of parchment paper down and roll the biscuit dough out. Until it is around 1 cm or ¼ of an inch thick.
- Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.Use cutters to cut into desired shapes.
- Reroll what is left and continue on a new sheet of parchment paper, until there is no dough left.
- Bake on 160℃ /180°C fan oven/ 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 7-9 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven before they change colour! Look for tiny cracks to appear on the surface to know when they are ready.
- They will still be soft when you remove them, don't worry. Once they cool they will firm up!
How to make Royal Icing
- Mix 350 g Icing sugar, ½ teaspoon cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 Pasteurised egg whites together in a bowl.
- Use a mixer on low setting until icing is smooth. You want it to be a thick consistency to pipe without running off the biscuit, add more icing if needed? Check the blog post for more info on consistany
- Put royal icing into separate bowls for each colour and we used 4 colours. Plain white, red, green and black.
- Use Food Colouring Gel to colour each bowl of icing.
- Place a spoonful of each into its own piping bag. Add some water to the remaining icing left in bowls to make a thinner icing to fill in larger areas on the biscuits.
- Make sure biscuits are cooled before piping.Pipe the outlines on the biscuits with the thick icing.
- The remaining icing in bowls, add a bit of water, to make it runnier and put in more piping bags.Use to fill larger areas outlined with the thick icing. A toothpick can help spread the thin royal icing. Add some sprinkles/sparkles/ balls/ little fudge bits as desired.
- The royal icing will be touch dry within 30 minutes. However, allow them to fully dry for a couple of hours before storing.
- Once fully dried they can be stored on top of each other in an airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to a week.
This Christmas Biscuit recipe post was updated on 17th November 2023 with an improved recipe card, a correction on oven temperature conversions and more Christmas recipe ideas.
More Christmas recipe ideas
That's the kids sorted, why not try treating the adults to some of our Steamed Christmas Pudding or these amazing easy shortbread recipe by Becky at Family Budget. A great traditional Christmas biscuit made with only three ingredients!
Please do leave us some love in the comments, letting us know how you got on.