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5 from 8 votes
Ugly Sweater Cookies are decorated with lights, christmas trees, snowmen, and candy canes and are scattered on a tray with gum drops and mini snowflake cookies.
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
Prep Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Resting Time
8 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 42 mins

Ugly sweaters have become as synonymous with Christmas as mistletoe and stockings. But it's even more fun to eat them (in gingerbread form) than wear them! So grab your piping bag, royal icing, and ugly sweater for inspiration and get to piping!

Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ugly sweater cookies
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 290 kcal
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 oz unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
Royal Icing
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar - SIFTED
  • ¼ cup meringue powder
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla
  • Red gel food coloring
Gingerbread Cookies
  1. Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

  2. In another bowl, cream the the butter and sugars together with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 mins.
  3. Add the egg and molasses and mix until well blended.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined.
  5. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap them in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper and cut out cookies using a 3 inch sweater cookie cutters. Gather and re-roll the scraps for remaining cookies.
  7. Place the cookies on baking trays lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for about 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are set, about 10-12 minutes (depending on the shape/size of the cookie). Cool on wire racks before icing.
Royal Icing
  1. Combine confectioners sugar, meringue powder and cream of tarter in large mixing bowl. Add water and clear vanilla and beat on high speed with paddle attachment until stiff peaks form, but the mixture is not dry. Add water to reach desired piping consistency (tsp or two at a time), mixing after each addition of water.

Decorate the Cookies
  1. Separate the icing into bowls (for flood and piping) and add drops of colored gel food coloring to the bowls to reach the desired color, but keep in mind the color will deepen and darken as the icing dries. Be sure to keep icing covered so it doesn't dry out.
  2. Fill piping bags fitted with round metal #2 tips and flood the cookies.
  3. Let completed cookies dry for several hours before piping ugly sweater designs and decorations. Store the cookies in an air-tight container. They will keep for several days stored at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

Special equipment: 3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter, piping bags and tips

  • Search for ugly sweater patterns online (or in your closet). Trace a sweater pattern on a sheet of paper and pencil in the design. Make sure it isn't too challenging for your piping skills.
  • Decide what colors you will need in advance, separate and color. Once you've reached your desired colors, separate some of the royal icing to thin with water for flood icing. I label each design with specific colors so I have enough of each.
  • Great news! These cookies can be made well in advance and keep for a good week or so in an air-tight container.
Nutrition Facts
Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 114mg5%
Potassium 168mg5%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 365IU7%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.