Holiday Recipe: Citrus Christmas Cutout Cookies

Stephanie Gordon poses with her twist on a long-standing family Christmas cookie recipe.

Home for the Holidays Series: This year, local reporters and editors are using Thanksgiving week to share our favorite holiday traditions and recipes with you, our readers.

Christmas cutout cookies are a seasonal classic, but these citrus cutouts are a tradition for my family — it’s just not Christmas without them!

With the addition of orange and lemon peel and freshly grated nutmeg, these cookies set themselves apart. This recipe originated from my husband’s grandmother, but I changed some of the ingredients to fit our lifestyle by omitting grains, gluten and soy.

Don’t let this hinder you from trying a new twist this holiday season. The cookies are bright, soft, slightly crunchy and topped with a traditional cookie frosting that complements the citrus and spice. You can find many of the ingredients at your local grocery store, health food store or Amazon.

I hope your family loves them as much as mine!



  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon palm shortening or butter
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup or honey
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Arrowroot flour, for dusting


  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • ½ cup palm shortening
  • 3 tablespoons dairy free milk (regular will work, too)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Natural food coloring
Stephanie Gordon's twist on classic Christmas cookies


  • Add cookie ingredients to a mixing bowl and combine until a dough ball forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Dust cutout surface and rolling pin with arrowroot flour. The dough will feel slightly wet. I like to sprinkle it with arrowroot flour. Don’t be afraid to add more arrowroot, if needed. 
  • Roll the dough out to a ¼ inch thickness.
  • Take cookie cutters and dip the edges in arrowroot. Cut your cookies!
  • Place cutouts on the baking sheet. Don’t worry about spacing them out too much.
  • Bake cookies 8-10 minutes until slightly golden (time will vary between ovens).
  • While cookies cool, mix frosting ingredients and add desired food coloring.
  • Frost cooled cookies and let frosting dry, uncovered, for a few hours.
  • Cookies can sit at room temperature for seven days.

Makes about 20 cookies, depending on cookie cutter size.

— Stephanie Gordon is a blogger residing in Hillsdale, her hometown, with her husband, Matt, and three children.


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