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Making our Tuesday extra sweet with these Chai Spiced Santa Cookies. Chai spiced cookies made with butter, cream cheese, and warming holiday spices. Frost these Santa shaped cookies with a deliciously sweet white chocolate frosting and you’ll have yourself the most perfect Christmas cookie. Fun to bake, delicious to eat, and a great homemade gift too!

overhead photo of Chai Spiced Santa Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting

Tis the season for all things cookies, and I’m fully embracing every minute. December only comes around once a year, so I figure, if there was ever a time for cookies, it’s now.

The last week has been filled with busyness and the hustle and bustle that is December. It’s an amazing month, but it’s also a busy one! All the craziness, and a doctor’s appointment (promise, I am totally fine, I just have a major thing about doctor appointments) has left me filled to the brim with anxiousness. The only thing that’s helped slightly has been all the holiday recipe testing and photographing.

You may or may not have noticed, but I have basically thrown myself into holiday recipes. I’m working so hard to create nothing but the best to share with you guys this month. This major focus has been such a help in relieving some of my anxious thoughts. I know that might sound crazy, but rolling out cookie dough is truly a very stress relieving activity. I really have so much fun creating these recipes!

Long story short, it’s December, and if you’re feeling stressed…bake cookies! Specifically these Santa cookies! They’re extra cute, festive, and very fun to make. Oh, and SO GOOD!

Chai Spiced Santa Cookies before baking

I’ve said this before, but I have a bit of a pet peeve with sugar cookies. They tend to be bland and I can never, ever, make them look as cute as that photograph on Pinterest. Previous sugar cookie baking days have ended in tears. But over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks and have let go of trying to decorate the “perfect” looking Christmas cookies. Perfect is boring, and what really matters, is how the cookie tastes. Cookies need to be GOOD.

These cookies? These cookies are delicious. They’re down right, one of the best cookies I’ve ever made. They got rave reviews from Asher, the brothers + friends (must admit, not that hard). But Mom loved them too, and all were eaten within minutes.

My secrets?

One, using cream cheese in the cookie dough. Yes, cream cheese. It creates perfectly soft and fluffy sugar cookies that just melts in your mouth.

Two, chai spice. Also known as, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and all-spice. The best and most warming combination of spices, and so very holiday appropriate.

Trust me, this chai sugar cookie is so much better than those crunchy flavorless sugar cookies that we’re so often served this time of year. Hey, it’s true.

overhead close up photo of Chai Spiced Santa Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting

For the frosting, I knew I wanted to create something simple and sweet that would pair nicely with the chai spices, but not overpower them.

Enter the white chocolate frosting. It’s sweet, buttery, creamy, and has hints of vanilla. Perfection.

overhead photo of Chai Spiced Santa Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting

For decorating, I kept things simple, simple, simple (said in my best Eloise voice because that’s the mood I’m in).

I’m not a profession baker, and definitely not a cookie decorator. So I try to come up with easy ways to decorate cookies. I used red sanding sugar for Santa’s hat, mini chocolate chips for his eyes, and a red M&M for his nose. I had everything on hand at home. And while my first cookie was not perfect, my second was much cuter. And after that I had cookies decorated in no time.

So simple and easy, but still so cute!

Oh, and if you’d like the exact Santa cookie cutters I used, here’s the big one, and here’s the littler one. Both worked really well! And if you want to just do a one stop shop, here’s the red sanding sugar as well. Got to love Amazon!

If there was ever a cookie to make over the next couple of weeks leading up to Christmas, it’s this cookie. Hands down a favorite among everyone in my family (picky eaters included). And not only are these delicious, they’re cute too!

half eaten Chai Spiced Santa Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting

If you make these Santa cookies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Chai Spiced Santa Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 105 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

White Chocolate Frosting

Instructions

  • 1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and mix until evenly combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, all-spice, and salt, beat until combined and the dough forms a ball.
    2. Generously flour your work surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you're using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut out the cookies using a Santa cookie cutter or your favorite holiday shape. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place the sheet into the freezer, freeze until firm, about 15-20 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 10-12 minutes (for soft cookies) or until just lightly golden brown. Do not over bake. Cool on the baking sheet five minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
    4. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer) beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the melted white chocolate, and vanilla, beat until combined. 
    5. To decorate. Transfer half the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small tip or ziplock bag and snip a very small portion of the corner off the bag. Using a knife, frost Santa's hat (the top portion of the Santa cookie) and sprinkle with red sanding sugar. Using the piping bag, draw on the white rim of Santa's hat, and the white ball at the tip of the hat. Now draw on his white beard. Make 2 dots for his eyes, and one for his nose. Place 2 mini chocolate chips in for his eyes, and a red M&M for his nose (use above photos for visuals).
    6. Store cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 3 days. And of course you can decorate these however you'd like. This is just how I decorated  my cookies!
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love these cookies! If I want to make a batch for an event, what is the best way to prep them in advance? Freeze the dough? Cut out the cookies and leave these frozen? Or bake the cookies and freeze them (defrost and decorate?)?

    1. Hey Cindy,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback and making this recipe:) I love to hear that it was a winner! I would probably just freeze the cookies after you cut them out. Flash freeze the shapes on a baking sheet and then you can pop them all in a plastic bag once they held their shape. xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    These are delish!! Had so much fun making these and decorating. While making the frosting I think I added the white chocolate while it was still too warm and it completely melted all the butter and the frosting became mush. But don’t give up on that ghirardelli white chocolate…. I added some heavy cream and mixed for another 5 min or so and it was perfection all over again.

    1. Hey Jessie,
      Thank you so very much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Holidays!🎄🎁

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays!🎄 xx

    1. Hey Leigh,
      You bet, just store in an airtight container in the fridge. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious – my husbands favorite for the holidays! Quick Question – I’m using these in a cookie box for my neighbors – what would be the best way to add them? Parchment/ wax paper in between? Or skip/ change the icing? TIA!

    1. Hey Julia,
      Fantastic! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! I think wax paper in between would work well.❄️ xTieghan

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      It’s a like a firm soft icing for this cookie. Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  4. These sound amazing! Can you use a basic royal icing on these cookies? I don’t like the idea of having all that butter in the frosting and the cookies. Or do you have any other suggestions for icing or frosting for these cookies? Thank you!

    1. Hey Kristen,
      Sure, feel free to use any icing that you like. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Daria,
      I like to pop in the fridge. Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I hope you love it! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. HI! yes, you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 4 days. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and Merry Christmas! xTieghan

  5. 1 star
    This is hands down the WORST sugar cookie dough I’ve ever made. I was intrigued by the cream cheese and decided to go for it and make these as my holiday cookies this year. The dough is far too soft and too sticky to ever form a ball, and no amount of floured surface allows you to roll it out, much less to cut it into shapes, and if you get that far it took an amount of flour so high you wonder why it just wasnt in the recipe to begin with. I hope this comment saves anyone else mid recipe from wondering how much mixing will it take to form a ball (35 mins on high speed after the flour was fully added and blended and still nothing)

    I am currently rolling this into balls and dipping into cinnamon and sugar in hopes of making a new twist on a snickerdoodle. There is just no way this recipe is right as written it is way too sticky and definitely needs more flour.

    1. Hi Angela! I am really sorry to hear that this did not work for you. Is there anything that could have gone wrong? I would love to help you out! xTieghan

  6. Hello! Just finding these Gems! I’ve only recently found your blog and I’m in love! I was wondering if the tree cookies have the same frosting as the Santas? It looks different and I really want to make the tree cookies as well! Thanks for all you do and your beautiful blog and recipes ❤️

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Teighan, thanks so much for sharing this recipe! Mine turned out great 🙂 I had a lot of frosting left over though,, so I’m wondering if it’s possible to same it somehow to use for more cookies 😉 Thx!

    1. Hi! You can freeze the frosting for up to 3 months, then thaw and use for more cookies! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Annie! The cookies freeze great minus the frosting. I do it often! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am glad you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  8. Thanks for finally writing about >Chai Spiced Santa Cookies
    with White Chocolate Frosting. – Half Baked Harvest <Liked it!