Rolled Sugar Cookies

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies on Plate Garland

Festive sugar cookies in fun Christmas shapes are a must-have in our home, and we are really excited to share that these can be made easily with our Vanilla Cake Mix as the base (yup, our cake mixes can be used to make cookies!).

We have a few recipes for sugar cookies:

This recipe is top 14 allergen free, gluten free and vegan.

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies for Christmas

Growing up my Mom and I would make sugar cookies every Christmas, and occasionally in the Spring as well.  I always wondered why we didn’t make them year round though, as they really aren’t that difficult to make.  I guess they can be time consuming, as you’ll need to wait for the dough to chill prior to baking and as kids we did tend to make a mess of the cookie cutters and sugars- but that was part of the fun!

Using our vanilla cake mix for these makes it a little faster to prepare the dough, but you’re still going to want to chill it for an hour or more.

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies - Mix

The first step to making these is to gather all your ingredients and supplies.

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Makes up to 40 x 3 inch sized cookies

Tools Needed:

  • Mixing bowl(s)
  • Spatula
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cookie tray(s)
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients Needed: 

  • Kate’s Safe and Sweet Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 3 tbsp Tapioca Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cream of Tarter
  • 2/3 cup Shortening
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons your safe milk
  • Up to 4 additional tablespoons your safe milk
  • Sanding Sugars of your choice (read on for how to make your own)
  • Frosting (if you’d like to frost them)

(above ingredients are for making a full bag of mix, making approx 24-36 cookies depending on how thin and large you make them)

*We have been asked if you can use your safe vegan butter for these.  These cookies work much better with the shortening and will spread a bit more if you use vegan butter.  If you don’t need to be dairy free you can use regular butter (vs shortening) as a replacement.  You can try using half vegan butter and half shortening if you don’t mind them to spread as much.  We liked to use the half butter/half shortening for the sugar drop cookies found here.  If you do use full vegan butter for these they will spread a bit more.


  1. In a small bowl mix the baking powder and 2 tablespoons of milk and together.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or your stand mixer, beat the shortening for about 2-3 minutes to get it a little lighter.
  3. Add cake mix, tapioca flour, cream of tarter, milk and baking powder mixture and additional 2 tablespoons milk to bowl.
  4. Continue to beat about 4-5 minutes and until it starts to form a ball. Add up to 2 additional tablespoons of your milk. (I added one additional tablespoon of milk, so I used a total of 3 tablespoons). (Note: It may look crumbly when you start. Just keep beating. It will get there.)
  5. Divide dough into two parts. Wrap each in a ball in parchment paper. Place in fridge for an hour to chill.  Can keep in fridge up to about 5 days as well.

After dough has been chilled proceed to next steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. 
  2. Line your cookie tray(s) with parchment paper.
  3. Pull out one part of the dough and roll with a rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper. (Roll 1/8-1/4” thick depending if you want a thinner or thicker cookie.  The thinner cookie will be crunchier. Thicker will be softer in middle and better for frosting.  We do recommend for a softer “Lofthouse-like” cookie to use our drop recipe here. If you want to use this recipe to make cookies that you frost then use a round cookie cutter)
  4. Use cookie cutters to cut dough. Re-roll excess as needed. You should place the dough into the fridge if it gets to warm/soft and hard to roll. Just pull back out in 15-30 minutes and roll.
  5. Place cutouts onto tray. Keep 2” apart as they will spread a little.   Note: be sure to place cookies of the same thickness on the same tray. If you mix between thin and thicker they won’t bake evenly.
  6. We recommend topping the thinner cookies with sanding sugar. And keeping the thicker cookies plain to frost later.  You can check out photos of them here.


Thinner:  about 1/8” thick 8-10 minutes
Thicker: 1/4” (ones you’d frost) 10-12 minutes

    1. Remove baking trays from the oven when you see the edges getting lightly brown and allow to cool on tray for 10 minutes or so. Then cool on wire rack.
    2. If frosting make frosting per back if frosting bag and you can spread in with a spatula or pipe on. Top frosting with sprinkles!

As you can see we did a lot of different Christmas shapes with our cookies.  You can make any shapes you’d like.  Rolling these between parchment paper makes it much easier and requiring no flour for your surface.  If you’d like to roll out on your surface then use your safe flour to do so to assure the dough does not stick to your counter.  We also bake these on parchment paper as well.

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies On Full Baking Tray

Tip: Since this recipe makes a lot of cookies you will probably need 3-4 cookie trays.  You can use one of course it will just take longer and you’ll want to allow the tray to cool prior to reusing.

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies On Baking Tray 2

Here are the cookies out of the oven.  As you can see they will spread just a little, but nothing major.  If using vegan butter they will spread more.  Still super tasty either way!

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies Out of Oven

What is sanding sugar and what if I can’t find a safe one!  Sanding sugar is just a fancy name for colored sugar. You can purchase in the store typically where you would find the sprinkles and other baking supplies. Most of the time sanding sugars are a little more course with larger crystals than regular sugar but essentially it is the same thing.

  • Granulated Sugar – you can decide on how coarse of a sugar you want to use.
  • Food Coloring
  1. Pour your granulated sugar into a plastic baggie.
  2. Add in a few drops of food coloring.
    1. When adding food coloring remember to start small with one or two drops in at a time. It is easy to go overboard here and you can always add more color but you can not take it out.
  3. Seal bag.
  4. From the outside of the bag, mix the sugar and food coloring around until all the sugar is dyed.
  5. Repeat for how ever many colors you need.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

Sanding sugar has a long shelf life as long as it doesn’t get wet.

Here is a look at our beautiful cookies covered with sanding sugars.

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies on Plate

Making these cookies with our Vanilla Cake Mix was so easy to do and we were so excited to bring a family favorite cookie into our home this holiday with the use of our baking mixes.  These are so good and one can tell these are not made with gluten, wheat, eggs, or dairy!

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies Star

Kids love making these cookies.  I love to lay out all of our cookie cutters for them to choose their shapes and also an array of different colors of sanding sugars.  Sometimes they do tend to go overboard on the sugars – but really can you have too much of those pretty colors!?

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies Tree

We hope you enjoy this classic Christmas recipe adjusted and using our cake mix so that all can eat cookies this holiday!

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies - Reindeer & Stocking

p.s. Don’t forget to leave a tray out of Santa this year!

Kate's Safe and Sweet - Rolled Sugar Cookies on Plate Close

And don’t forget to check out our entire selection of recipes here.

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