Roly-Poly Santa Sugar Cookies are not only cute but incredibly delicious, with a hint of almond flavoring they taste like melt-in-your mouth shortbread cookies. They will definitely be the most popular cookies on your holiday dessert table or cookie tray! They're also simple to assemble (I promise). p.s. I made them with gluten free flour (you can use all purpose flour if you wish).
Looking for more Christmas cookies? I've got lots on my site! Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men and Christmas Lights Sugar Cookies are the two most popular holiday cookie recipes with my readers. Click here for lots more Christmas cookie ideas.
Make sure to print this recipe for your Christmas cookie file!
As I write this blog post, it's a few days past Christmas. I planned on making these Roly-Poly Santa Cookies for over a month but kept putting them off because I thought they were going to be difficult to make. Actually, I thought they were going to be a real pain in the rear. LOL.But they're so cute! And I really wanted to try them. Let me tell you, I can't believe how simple they were to assemble. Yes it's a bit time consuming to roll the dough into all the different sized balls in two different colors. I won't lie, that took a little while, but I had a helper. My 19 year old daughter was finally home from college and having her help me made it go so fast! Once you have the balls rolled out, it goes really fast.
These Roly-Poly Santa Sugar Cookies are SO DELICIOUS too! Perfect for your Christmas cookie tray!
Ingredients you need for roly poly santa cookies
Flour – You can use all purpose flour OR gluten free flour. I used King Arthur GF Flour.
Salt – Regular table salt is fine.
Butter – Use unsalted, room temperature butter.
Sugar – You'll need granulated sugar for this cookie recipe.
Milk - Whole milk or 2% (your choice). You may sub dairy free milk, if desired.
Vanilla Extract & Almond Flavoring - I used Spice Islands brand.
Red Food Coloring - I used Americolor food coloring gel.
Shortening - Such as Crisco, used for the frosting.
Powdered Sugar - Also for the frosting.
How to Make roly poly santa cookies
Note: This is just an overview, scroll down for full recipe.
- Make the cookie dough (recipe below), then divide. Take out 1 ⅔ cups of dough, tint red.
- Shape dough into 12 large red balls, 60 small red balls, 12 medium white balls and 48 small white balls (see recipe for specific sizes).
- To create Santa, place a large red ball on cookie sheet, add 4 small red balls for arms and legs then 4 white balls.
- Place a medium white ball on top of large red ball for the head. Then shape a small red ball into a hat.
- Bake cookies at 350°F. for 12- 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Decorate with white frosting, sanding sugar, Red Hot candies (for nose) and silver sugar pearls for eyes and buttons.
More holiday Cookies You’ll Love
Hope you enjoy this Santa Cookie Recipe. It’s a great little recipe if you want a fun baking project to make with the kids. Very kid friendly. If you’re looking for more Christmas baking recipes that aren’t cookies, check out these 15 Amazing Christmas Bundt Cake Recipes!
Happy Baking and Merry Christmas everyone!
Matthew 2:10 – When they saw the star, they were filled with JOY!
TOOLS FOR SUCCESS
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Roly-Poly Santa Sugar Cookies
For the cookies
- 2 ¼ cups flour (all purpose or gluten free)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened or two sticks
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond flavoring
- red paste food coloring
For the frosting
- ½ cup vegetable shortening I used Crisco
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ⅓ cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
For the decorations
- Sanding sugar, silver sugar pearls & Red Hot candies
For the cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Measure flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter for 3 minutes. Then gradually add sugar. Beat 3 minutes more. Add the milk, vanilla and almond flavoring; mix well. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Divide dough. Take out 1 ⅔ cups, tint red. Shape the white dough into 48 (½-inch) balls and 12 (¾-inch) balls. Shape the red dough into 60 (½-inch) balls and 12 (1 ¼-inch) balls.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the large red balls (6 per pan) for the Santa bodies. Attach the 12 (¾-inch) balls for heads. Attach four ½-inch red balls to each Santa for arms and legs. Attach the ½-inch white balls to the ends of arms and legs, lightly pressing together. Place remaining ½-inch red balls on heads and form into hats.
- Bake Santa cookies until set, 12-15 miutes. Let cool, then CAREFULLY remove to wire racks. (Cookies will be fragile.)
For the frosting
- Beat shortening in a large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
Decorating the cookies
- Using a pastry bag with #4 round tip, pipe a band of icing on hat and cuffs (hands and feet), and down the front and at bottom of jacket; while icing is still wet, sprinkle the sanding sugar over icing on brim of hat and cuffs. Using a #16 pastry tip, pipe swirls of icing for beard and tip of hat. Place Red Hots candy for nose, silver sugar pearls for eyes and buttons.
All text and images © Lise Ode for Mom Loves Baking. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate. This post may contain affiliate links.