No cookie cutter or fancy decorating needed to make these adorable polar bear cookies using just using a circle! Simply decorate with M&M’s to create an adorable polar bear face. Includes a free printable instruction guide and my favorite cut out sugar cookie and buttercream frosting recipes!
Psst! For more easy Christmas cookie decorating ideas, check out my 12 EASY Circle Christmas Cookies!
Polar Bear Cookies made EASY!
Decorated Christmas cookies don’t have to be hard! I LOVE coming up with new round Christmas cookie ideas & these polar bear cookies couldn’t be easier to make (and is the perfect Christmas baking activity for kids!).
- No polar bear cookie cutter required! You can cut out these round polar bear cookies using a circle cookie cutter, glass cup, or even the top of a empty aluminum soup can!
- Easy to decorate: decorate these cute polar bear face cookies with one color of frosting & M&M candies!
- Use premade dough, if you’d like! While I love my thick cut out sugar cookies (recipe below), you can even make these with premade dough from Pillsbury, if you’d like! Or for a fluffier lofthouse style cookie, use my fluffy sugar cookie recipe.
- 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 sugar cookie decorating ideas check out my 5 EASY Christmas Cookies for Kids!
What You Need to Make Polar Bear Cookies
You don’t need much to make & decorate these adorable polar bear treats!
- Cut out sugar cookie dough (recipe below)
- White frosting (recipe & color formula below)
- M&M candy (I used a mix of both mini & regular sized)
- Circle cookie cutter or glass cup (approx. 2.5″ diameter)
- Bonus: Free printable instruction guide for kids!
Video: How to Make Polar Man Sugar Cookies
You can watch a quick video tutorial of me decorating these polar bear cookies over on my TikTok page! I made these as part of my 12 Days of Cookies series on Tiktok, where I came up with 12 designs using a round cookie cutter!
Step 1: Make Circle Cookies
Roll out and cut each cookie into approximately 2.5″ circles. Bake and let cool. My sugar cookie recipe is super soft & thick but you can also use a store-bought sugar cookie dough if you’d like! This recipe made 12 circle cookies but you can easily double it for more.
Tip: No circle cookie cutter? You can still make these round polar bear cookies without a cutter using a glass cup (wine tumblers or wine glasses work well!) or an empty aluminum soup can. That’s the beauty of making holiday circle cookies – so many options with just a round cookie!
Step 2: 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!
Optional: Immediately after spreading frosting, dip cookie into white sanding sugar if you have it! White sanding sugar is coarser & more sparkly than normal granulated sugar, but you can also sprinkle a bit of that on if you’d like!
Step 3: Decorate Faces!
Using a piping bag, pipe two small white dots for the ears and one large dot for the nose (you can also use mini marshmallows for the ears!). To decorate the face, press on (2) mini brown M&M’s for the eyes, 2 mini red M&M’s for the rosy cheeks, and a regular-sized brown M&M for the mouth. If you’d like, you can also just use all regular-sized M&M’s but I like the size variation so that the nose stands out!
Tip: Print off my free printable instruction guide to help you decorate! It’s a great way for older kids to decorate on their own.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What can I use instead of M&M’s?
You can also use mini or regular-sized 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 and pipe on the details (although this is definitely messier & more effort!). These would also be fun to turn into polar bear cupcakes or even to make with Oreos and white chocolate; follow the same steps but use all mini M&M’s!
You can also make polar bear paw cookies by placing 1 brown M&M in the center of the cookie, surrounded by 3 mini brown M&M’s!
Can I make these without a circle cookie cutter?
If you don’t have a round cookie cutter, you can cut these gingerbread cookies without a cutter using a glass cup or even the top of an empty aluminum soup can! Anything round works to make these easy circle cookies!
If you’re looking for more round Christmas cookie decorating ideas using M&M’s, be sure to check out my 5 EASY Christmas Cookies for Kids. You can make a whole family of M&M face sugar cookies!
Can I freeze these polar bear cookies?
Yes, you can freeze these frosted polar bear 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.
If you used sanding sugar, this also helps “protect” the frosting from getting messed up. So if you plan to stack or travel, I’d recommend adding the sanding sugar!
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 easy Christmas cookie decorating ideas using M&M’s?
I sure do! For more easy round cookies, check out my 12 EASY Circle Christmas Cookies! I love making & shaping cookies without cutters because there are so many ways you can turn round cookies into something magical! Making circle cookies for Christmas is my new secret weapon. Here are few other circle Christmas cookie ideas:
- Santa Face Sugar Cookies
- Circle Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies
- Easy Rudolph Cookies
- Easy Wreath Sugar Cookies
- 12 EASY Circle Christmas Cookies
Polar Bear Sugar Cookies
No cookie cutter or fancy decorating needed to make these adorable polar bear cookies using just using a circle! Simply decorate with M&M’s to create an adorable polar bear face.
Sugar Cookie Dough
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 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 (I used both mini & regular sized M&M's)
- 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 decorate: Reference the photos in the post above or print off my printable instruction PDF to decorate the polar bear faces.
1. Use a piping or ziploc bag to spread on white frosting. If desired, press wet cookie into white sanding sugar.
2. With your white frosting, pipe a large dot in the center for the nose and 2 smaller dots on the top for the ears.
3. Press on 2 mini brown M&M's for the eyes, 2 mini red M&M's for the cheeks, and one regular-sized brown M&M for the nose.
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 brown or black 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 polar bear 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:
- 5 EASY Christmas Cookies for Kids
- Easy Rudolph Cookies
- Easy Decorated Snowman Cookies
- Easy Wreath Sugar Cookies
These polar bear cookies are so cute on a holiday cookie platter paired snowflake or reindeer cookies! If you make these easy gingerbread man cookies, be sure to leave a comment below and tag me on Instagram @designeatrepeat. I LOVE seeing what you made!