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Decorated 3D Christmas Tree Cookies

3D Christmas tree cookies have been around for a long time. Usually, these arresting 3D cookies are constructed with the help of star-nesting cutters. However, I’ll show you how to make this popular classic design using snowflake cookies.

Tree made from stacked decorated cookies in front of a blurry background.

updated from 2012


Join me, and let’s decorate and build festive Christmas Tree Cookie centerpiece together, with step-by-step tutorial.

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Stacked sugar cookies on a cake stand.


I used my classic sugar cookie recipe to make snowflake cookies. What are your favorite cut-out cookies? You can use any cut-out cookies.

To break it down, I baked 11 cookies per Christmas Tree. I used five cookie cutters of the same snowflake shape but different sizes, and I baked 2 of each shape, plus one extra small snowflake for the top of the tree. You can use any of these cookie-decorating icing recipes to decorate. Today I’m going to work with royal icing.

Stacked sugar cookies on a baking sheet lined with a perforated baking mat.


  • White icing: 15-second consistency, to flood the cookies.
  • Grayish Blue: piping consistency; I used royal blue gel color to tint the icing and then I mixed in a minuscule amount (tip of a toothpick) of black gel food color. Use this color to pipe details on top of the white icing.


Outline and flood the cookie with white icing (15-second consistency). Use a scribe to smooth and distribute the icing (steps 1-8). Let the icing for 6-8 hours.

Snowflake sugar cookies decorated with white icing.

Now, decorate the top of the iced snowflake cookie with piping consistency livid icing (blueish gray). I used a piping bag fitted with PME Piping #1.5 (steps 1-6). Immediately, dust the livid icing design with white sanding sugar (steps 7-8).

Snowflake sugar cookies decorated with white icing and blue details.

Repeat decorating the top of the snowflake cookies with livid (blue-gray) icing (steps 1-4). Lastly, decorate the top snowflake cookie with a small silver dragee. Glue the silver dragee onto the middle of the cookie (steps 5-8). Let the icing dry for a couple of hours, and then assemble the tree.

PME piping tip piping small lines onto cookies decorated with white icing.
A group of cookies decorated with royal icing.


To build the Christmas tree, glue the cookies on top of each other. Start with the 2 largest snowflakes, stagger and glue them with little bit of icing ( steps 1-2). Continue with the remaining 8 cookies (steps 3-8).

Gluing cookies on top of each other.


Decorate snowflakes’ ends with a silver dragees. Pipe icing into a loop decoration and attach silver dragee using tweezers (steps 1-5).

Tweezers holding small silver dragees.

Lastly, attach the top snowflake vertically on top of the assembled 3D Christmas Tree Cookie. Pipe icing on the bottom of 2 arms and glue it on the top (steps 1-3).

Gluing a small cookie on top of the stacked cookies.
Close up of small snowflake cookie.


Decorated cookies, stacked on top of each other.

Did you make these Decorated Cookies? Tag @hanielas on Instagram and hashtag it #hanielas

This post was originally published on November 27, 2012. On August 2, 2023 I updated this post with new step-by-step pictures and written instructions.

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One Comment

  1. What an amazing project! Your centerpiece really captures the feel of the season. Gorgeous!

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