Make these EASY Rudolph cookies using a circle cookie cutter and M&M candies! No fancy Christmas cookie cutters or decorating needed! Includes step-by-step photos, a free printable instruction guide, and my favorite cut out sugar cookie recipe!
Why I Love These Easy Rudolph Cookies
- No special decorating supplies needed: You can decorate these adorable rudolph cookies with one color of frosting & M&M candies! No reindeer cookie cutter needed!
- Quick to make: Unlike fancy sugar cookies, you can whip these up and have them decorated in under an hour! You can even make these with premade dough from Pillsbury, if you’d like!
- Fun activity for kids: No intricate piping skills needed; simply spread on your frosting and allow the kids to top with M&M’s to create the adorable reindeer faces!
- Includes free printable: To help kids visualize the cookie, you can print off my free cookie instruction sheet which includes step by step illustrations!
Psst! For more cute Christmas cookies with M&M’s check out my 5 EASY Christmas Cookies for Kids!
What You Need to Make Reindeer Sugar Cookies
You don’t need much to make these simple DIY reindeer cookies with pretzels & M’M’s!
- Cut out sugar cookie dough (recipe below)
- White frosting (recipe & color formulas below)
- M&M candy
- Mini pretzels
- Circle cookie cutter or glass cup (approx. 2.5″ diameter)
- Bonus: Free printable instruction guide for kids!
Tip: I don’t recommend using “wet” icing like royal icing or glaze icing since the moisture will cause the M&M colors to bleed.
How to Make Rudolph Sugar Cookies
You can watch a quick video tutorial of me decorating these red nosed reindeer cookies over on my TikTok page!
Step 1: Make Circle Cookies
Roll out and cut each cookie into approximately 2.5″ circles. Bake and let cool.
Tip: If you don’t have a circle cookie cutter, you can use a glass cup (wine tumblers or wine glasses work well!).
Step 2: Color & Frost Cookie
Use a butter knife or spatula to spread frosting on the cookie. You can also use a piping bag for cleaner edges, but it’s definitely not necessary!
Tip: To make the brown frosting, add 4 drops of brown Wilton gel food coloring + 2 drops of Wilton yellow gel food coloring to the 2 cups of white frosting.
Step 3: Decorate Faces!
While the frosting is still “wet”, press on 2 brown M&M’s for the eyes, 1 red M&M for Rudolphs’ nose, and (optional) a 1/2 brown M&M for the mouth. Finish it off by pressing 2 mini pretzels on the top for the reindeer’s antlers!
Tip: Have an adult use a small pairing knife to carefully cut the brown M&M’s in half. You will break some in the process but a good method is to quickly press your knife into the candy (don’t saw it back and forth). These cookies are still cute without the mouth, if you don’t want to mess with cutting M&M’s in half!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What can I use instead of M&M’s?
You can also use chocolate chips or eyeball sprinkles to create the eyes! If you don’t have either of those, you can also dye a little bit of frosting black & red and pipe on the details (although this is definitely messier & more effort!).
How do I make brown frosting?
To 1 cup of white frosting, add 2 drops of brown gel food coloring & 1 drop of yellow gel food coloring.
Can I freeze these rudolph cookies?
Yes, you can freeze these frosted reindeer cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container. I suggest freezing them in one layer before stacking. After they’re frozen, you can place parchment paper in between each later to prevent them from sticking together.
Can I make these ahead?
To make these ahead, you can freeze the unfrosted cookies and then let them thaw to room temperature before decorating. This is a great option if you want to make them ahead for a cookie decorating party!
Do you have another unique Christmas cookie ideas using M&M’s?
For more easy sugar cookies using a round cookie cutter, check out my 5 EASY Christmas Cookies for Kids! You can also turn these into peanut butter reindeer cookies by using my thick & soft peanut butter cookie recipe & then “glue” the M&M’s on with a bit of melted chocolate.
Easy Rudolph Cookies
Make these EASY Rudolph cookies using a circle cookie cutter and M&M candies! No fancy Christmas cookie cutters or decorating needed! Makes 12 round sugar cookies (~2.5" in diameter) and 2 cups of buttercream frosting.
Sugar Cookie Dough
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter sotened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (nut allergy? you can substitute this with extra vanilla!)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1.5 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Gel food coloring
- M&M's candy
- Mini pretzels
- Circle cookie cutter 2.5-3" in diameter
Before you begin! If you make this, will you do me a huge favor and leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe? This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed for 20-30 seconds. Mix in egg, vanilla and almond extract. Add in baking powder, salt, and flour and mix until combined. Transfer to a flour-covered surface and use a rolling pin to roll dough 3/8" to 1/2" thick. Use a 2.5-3" circle cookie cutter or glass cup to cut out dough
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Depending on size of your cookie cutter and thickness of dough, you may need to bake for a few extra minutes. Allow to cool before decorating.
To make frosting: In a large mixing bowl, add butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Cream together on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until blended together. Mix in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until all is incorporated. Turn mixer to high speed, and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
To make the brown frosting: add 4 drops of brown Wilton gel food coloring + 2 drops of Wilton yellow gel food coloring to the 2 cups of white frosting.
Spread or pipe frosting on top of cooled sugar cookies and decorate with M&M's & pretzels as shown in the photos above.
Store in airtight container for 2-3 days or freeze for later.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe! This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
Substitutions for M&M’s: You can also use chocolate chips or eyeball sprinkles to create the eyes! If you don’t have either of those, you can also dye a little bit of frosting black & red and pipe on the details (although this is definitely messier & more effort!).
Storing: store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Freezing: you can freeze these frosted rudolph cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container. I suggest freezing them in one layer before stacking. After they’re frozen, you can place parchment paper in between each later to prevent them from sticking together.
Make Ahead: freeze the unfrosted cookies and then let them thaw to room temperature before decorating. This is a great option if you want to make them ahead for a cookie decorating party!
For more easy Christmas cookie ideas for kids:
If you make these easy rudolph cookies, be sure to leave a comment below and tag me on Instagram @designeatrepeat. I LOVE seeing what you made!
Very easy to make them, and they turned out super cute!! Would make these over and over
Adorable! I’m loving all your 12 days of cookies on Tiktok!