Recipe: Butter Cut-Out Snowflake Cookies


I love the elegance and simplicity of a decorated snowflake cookie. It’s one of those uncomplicated things that I do at Christmas for my family and friends that is forever a crowd pleaser. What I love more about this particular recipe is that it is delicious and versatile and I use it for just about every cookie that I make throughout the year.


It has been made into all the numbers and letters, Minions, Elmo, and most recently I made them into favors for an 80th birthday celebration. It transcends age and its goodness is discernible to even the most picky of palettes.

The recipe originally comes from Nigella Lawson’s book, How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I was gifted this fine treasure trove of recipes on my 21st birthday from a much loved aunt, who knows me well enough to know that on that milestone day I would’ve much preferred this book to anything else.


It’s the dough that I keep a stash of in the freezer for those odd 11 p.m. realizations that it’s one of the boys’ turns for snack day at nursery school the next day. The dough thaws perfectly overnight and can be cut into whatever shape strikes your fancy and can be thrown into the oven and beautifully baked on a moments notice.

As for decorating them, I prefer my own royal icing recipe that I fell in love with a few years back. When it comes to real snowflakes, no two are alike, but when it comes to butter cookie snowflakes, all it takes is a few repeated patterns and some silver dragees and everyone can make them beautiful. The key is to try for at least three different styles to show diversity and if all else fails, throw some extra dragees on top to hide your mistakes like I do.

I hope these cookies bring happiness to your holidays and this recipe lasts the whole year through.

Butter Cut-Out Cookies



  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 2/3 cup cake flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time to combine to the butter mixture, adding the vanilla as well.
  4. Add the dry mixture in heaping spoonfuls until combined, but be careful not to overmix.
  5. Form dough into two disks on a floured surface. Wrap each individually and set in fridge for 12 hours.
  6. Roll out to approximately ¼ inch thick and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 12-16 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown.

Royal Icing


  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup water


  1. Mix the meringue powder with the powdered sugar.
  2. Slowly add the water, while whipping the mixture.
  3. Turn up the speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Pop it in a pastry bag to pipe with your favorite tip and voila!