Christmas Tree Stack Cookies

Published Date: December 4, 2021

Looking for the world’s cutest Christmas cookie? You can make these adorable Christmas Tree Stack cookies with a simple and delicious shortbread recipe and assemble them with homemade buttercream frosting to wow your kiddos, friends and family this holiday season!

Christmas Tree Stacked Cookie with neon green frosting and sprinkles.
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This is a great Christmas sugar cookie option when you want to do something just a little bit different. Stack up your different size cookies and layer delicious buttercream frosting (I’m going to give you that recipe too!) to create beautiful little trees. You can make the frosting whatever colors you want to match your Christmas decor or theme, and add the little sprinkle and candied decorations you like. This is another great sugar cookie to make with the kids because they are easy and fun, there’s really no right or wrong way to make them and they don’t have to be perfect.

If you like Christmas sugar cookies and want another tree to decorate (cookies, we have enough to do setting up and decorating one Christmas Tree for the home right?!) you can look at my Christmas Tree Cookie post, it’s another super easy sugar cookie with buttercream frosting and it is just as easy as this one.

Why You’ll Love These Christmas Tree Stack Cookies

  • I use an easy cookie recipe and you don’t have to cut them out or make them perfect
  • You get delicious cookies and buttercream recipes to make this recipe, so it’s really two for the work of one!
  • You can make these adorable little cookie stacks and bag them up to give as gifts
Christmas Tree Cookies with a glass of milk
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Ingredients:

  • Salted butter – you can use unsalted if that is what you have and add half a teaspoon of salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg 
  • Vanilla
  • Flour – you will need to use all-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk – I think whole milk is best when baking and making frosting or icing
  • Green Food coloring You can use light neon, kelly green or both!

See the recipe card for quantities.

Ingredients for Christmas Tree Stacks
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How to Make Christmast Tree Stack Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until fluffy.  
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.  Then add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended.
  4. Next, we will shape the dough into 3 different sizes of cookies.  (Each cookie will be rolled into a ball.)Use a rounded 1 teaspoon of dough to make 1 small ball.  Then you will use 2 rounded teaspoons of dough to make a middle size ball.  And 3 rounded teaspoons of dough to make a large ball.  You want to have the same number of each size of ball.  You should be able to make at least 15 balls of each size.  
  5. Place the small balls onto 1 parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Use a glass to gently flatten them a little.  Place the medium size balls on another sheet and again press them down gently.  And place the large balls on a separate sheet and press them down slightly.  (The different sizes of cookies should bake on different sheets as they will not bake at the same rate.)
  6. Bake until the bottoms are just golden.  Small cookies will take 4-6 minutes.  Medium will take 6-8 minutes.  Large will take 8-10 minutes.  
  7. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and allow them to cool completely on wire racks.  
  8. Prepare the frosting while the cookies are cooling.
  9. In a medium bowl, beat together powdered sugar, and butter.  When this is well creamed together, beat in the milk and vanilla (and food coloring if desired).
  10. Use the frosting to “glue” together the 3 cookies (largest on the bottom, then middle sized, then the smallest on top) to make a christmas tree or snowman. Pipe (or spread) icing onto the top of the largest size cookie and place the middle size cookie on top.  Pipe (or spread) icing on the top of the middle size cookie and place the small size cookie on top.  Then continue decorating with the icing.  

Substitutions

  • You can use canned frosting if you don’t want to make your own frosting, but once you try making buttercream (this is the easiest recipe for it) you will never want canned frosting again!

Variations

  • These are basically buttercream sandwich cookies, just using three cookies instead of two. If you want to change this up for other seasons or add different flavors you could easily.
  • You can also add coloring to the cookies if you wanted them to be green as well.

Equipment

  • Electric mixer – you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer for these recipes
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cooling rack
  • Piping bag – I like to use throw away bags with piping tips and couplers if I can
Close up of the frosting and Christmas Tree's sprinkles
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Storage

You may store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.  Or, they will freeze for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Recipe:

I don’t have vanilla extract – what else will work?

 I find that almond extract tastes delicious in these cookies as well. 

I find the cookies really dry – did I do something wrong?

Please be careful how you measure your flour.  Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then use a flat edge like a knife to scrape the top and make it level.  If you scoop the flour with your measuring cup you may get too much flour. 

My frosting is too thick/thin – how can I fix it?

The easiest way to fix too-thick buttercream is to add milk, just a teaspoon at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency. If your buttercream is too thin, add powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time.  

Can these cookies be made ahead of time?

Yes.  I would recommend that you make all of the cookies and freeze them in freezer bags.  Then, when you are ready to serve them, allow the cookies to come to room temperature and then assemble them with the buttercream.   This way your decorations will still look fresh.

I seem to remember cookies like this but they had nuts in them – will that work?

Yes, you could add up to ¼  cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.  

Top Tip!

Don’t overmix anything, both the cookies and the frosting will change quickly and you don’t want to overmix them at all.

Christmas Tree Stack Cookies
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Christmas Tree Stack Cookies

Make these adorable Christmas Tree Stack cookies with a simple and delicious shortbread recipe and a homemade buttercream frosting!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 15
Calories: 401kcal

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp food coloring green
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Then add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended.
  • Next, we will shape the dough into 3 different sizes of cookies.  (Each cookie will be rolled into a ball.)Use a rounded 1 teaspoon of dough to make 1 small ball.  Then you will use 2 rounded teaspoons of dough to make a middle size ball.  And 3 rounded teaspoons of dough to make a large ball.  You want to have the same number of each size of ball.  You should be able to make at least 15 balls of each size. 
  • Place the small balls onto 1 parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a glass to gently flatten them a little. Place the medium size balls on another sheet and again press them down gently. And place the large balls on a separate sheet and press them down slightly. (The different sizes of cookies should bake on different sheets as they will not bake at the same rate.)
  • Bake until the bottoms are just golden. Small cookies will take 4-6 minutes. Medium will take 6-8 minutes. Large will take 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and allow them to cool completely on wire racks. 
  • Prepare the frosting while the cookies are cooling.
  • In a medium bowl, beat together powdered sugar, and butter. When this is well creamed together, beat in the milk and vanilla (and food coloring if desired).
  • Use the frosting to “glue” together the 3 cookies (largest on the bottom, then middle sized, then the smallest on top) to make a christmas tree or snowman. Pipe (or spread) icing onto the top of the largest size cookie and place the middle size cookie on top. Pipe (or spread) icing on the top of the middle size cookie and place the small size cookie on top. Then continue decorating with the icing.

Notes

Storage Instructions:
  • You may store these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.  Or, they will freeze for up to 3 months.
Other FAQ suggestions: 
  1. I don’t have vanilla extract – what else will work?  I find that almond extract tastes delicious in these cookies as well. 
  2. I find the cookies really dry – did I do something wrong?  Please be careful how you measure your flour.  Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then use a flat edge like a knife to scrape the top and make it level.  If you scoop the flour with your measuring cup you may get too much flour.  
  3. My frosting is too thick/thin – how can I fix it?  The easiest way to fix too-thick buttercream is to add milk, just a teaspoon at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency. If your buttercream is too thin, add powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time.  
  4. Can these cookies be made ahead of time?  Yes.  I would recommend that you make all of the cookies and freeze them in freezer bags.  Then, when you are ready to serve them, allow the cookies to come to room temperature and then assemble them with the buttercream.   This way your decorations will still look fresh.
  5. I seem to remember cookies like this but they had nuts in them – will that work?  Yes, you could add up to ¼  cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.  
 

Nutrition

Serving: 15g | Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 588IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweettea_and_sprinkles or tag #sweetteaandsprinkles
Nutritional Disclaimer

Food safety

  • Don’t eat raw cookie dough
  • Storing buttercream at room temp is perfectly safe becasue of the sugar content, so these cookies don’t need to be refrigerated

See more guidelines at USDA.gov.

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