Buttercream Tree Cookies

Marian, Sweetopia

Readers of the Sweetopia blog will recognize Marian’s beautiful cookie designs. Today, she’s sharing one of her latest creations with us – a dreamy buttercream-frosted, tree-shaped sugar cookie in pretty pastels. Once your cookies and frosting are prepared, follow Marian’s step-by-step instructions for decorating.

Buttercream Tree Cookies
By Sweetopia
Makes 30 (3-inch diameter) cookies

2  cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt


Cream butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer on low to medium speed using paddle attachment.  Mix until thoroughly incorporated — for about 1 minute.  Scrape down sides of bowl with plastic spatula and mix again for few seconds more.

Add eggs slowly and mix.  Scrape down bowl with spatula at least once and mix again.

Add vanilla extract.  Stir briefly.

In separate bowl, sift flour and salt together.

Add flour mixture to bowl.  Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. When dough clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready.

Roll out dough between 2 large pieces of parchment paper to 1 centimeter diameter.  Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for minimum of 1 hour.

Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes.  Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Re-roll scraps and repeat.

Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again.  Cold dough allows cookies to hold their shapes better when baked.

Preheat oven to 350°F

Bake cookies 8-12 minutes or until edges become golden brown.  The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.

Cool cookies to room temperature and decorate!


Buttercream Frosting
Makes 4 cups frosting. Buttercream can be frozen for 3-6 months. Recipe can be easily halved or doubled.


2 pounds (about 5 cups) powdered sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk
3 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
Food gel coloring


Place powdered sugar, butter, milk and extract in bowl of electric mixer. Using paddle attachment, blend. Mix in food gel coloring until frosting reaches desired color.

Buttercream Tree Decoration

You will need:

Buttercream icing
Tree-shaped sugar cookies, cooled
Piping bag
Star piping tip #18
Sugar stars

Decorating Instructions:

Piping a Basic Shell:
Hold piping bat at 45-degree angle, at the 6:00 position, with tip slightly above surface of cookie. Squeeze icing out of piping bag, then relax pressure and pull piping tip toward surface of cookie. Let go of pressure completely, lift piping bag away and repeat.








Step 1:
Turn cookie so that the tip of the tree is closest to you. Using #18 star tip, start from the bottom of the tree and pipe a line of shells.










Step 2:
Pipe shells in rows, staggering each line similar to the pattern of a brick wall. Each new line of shells covers the tails of the line before it

Step 3:
Continue, covering the entire cookie.

Step 4:
Place sugar star on top.

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3 thoughts on “Buttercream Tree Cookies

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  1. janet richards said:

    Love to cook and bake.

  2. Carolyn Bogart said:

    these look so pretty..can’t wait to try making them..including the frosting..

    now does the buttercream set up a little stiff?