Icebox Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting


Icebox (Refrigerator) or Slice and Bake cookies are little cookies that are typically a lot like basic shortbread biscuits but now days the varieties available at the market are endless. When my husband and I were first married, we bought A LOT of cookie dough, and from the very get go, old school sugar cookies were a staple in our house during the holidays.


While now days I do typically try to really make all of our foods (even desserts) fairly nutrient dense, sometimes it’s nice to have a wicked awesome treat. When I first started making these for my tiny, but growing family I was a bit of a kid myself, so these are just a tad sentimental for me. I suppose I make them, well … just because?


I’ll go out on a limb and admit that … now days these really sugary cookies and sweets kind of make my teeth (and face) burn, but the kids seem to really, really, really adore these soft and chewy, cloyingly sweet cookies. It’s a traditional holiday cookie must have. These cookies freeze incredibly well, and they are actually better when the dough is made in advance. (Hence the name, Icebox cookie. The dough is easiest to manage once it has rested in the fridge overnight.)


This reliable, sugar cookie recipe is only slightly “healthier” than usual sugar cookie recipes but it doesn’t contain GMO oils, “artificial flavors” or preservatives, and/or miscellaneous additives. I add cardamom and a bit of sprouted flour to my sugar cookies for that special, uniquely Mama taste and a teensy tiny smidgen of “health.” You can mix pistachio’s and cranberries into the dough for a festive red and green color, you can use dye’s to color the dough, instead of cardamom try using extracts such as mint, orange or almond, try vanilla bean paste, sweetened coconut, whatever you like. It’s really a sweet holiday, blank canvas for you to color with your own traditions. For softer, chewier cookies substitute some regular sugar for dark brown sugar or simply add a few teaspoons of molasses to your batter. The amount of cardamom varies not only on tastes but on how old your spices are. I have a tendency to buy a $10 jar of cardamom and letting it hang out longer than I should. If you are using really fresh or freshly ground cardamom you may need as little as 1 1/2 teaspoons. For older more sophisticated cardamom go full on 3 teaspoons.

Icebox Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting 

  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) Softened Organic Butter, Salted
  • 2 Cups Organic Sugar (Substitute up to 1/2 cup brown sugar for softer cookies)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Sprouted Wheat, Spelt or Kamut Flour
  • 2 Cups Un-Bleached Organic All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2-3 Teaspoons Ground Cardamom

Cream Cheese Frosting & Decorations as Desired (Optional) 

  • 4 Ounces Organic Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Organic Butter, Salted
  • 2 Cups Organic Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  1. In a large mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (2-3 minutes)
  2. Add eggs one at a time until each has thoroughly combined.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and beat the batter together just until it is combined. (You can whisk dry ingredients together if you’d like.)
  4. Divide the dough into two portions and wrap tightly into wax paper, parchment or plastic wrap. You will want to shape the dough into logs that are approximately 2″ in diameter. (Square or round, or anywhere in between.)
  5. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 3 months in advance.

To Bake- Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookies or roll dough between your hands into walnut shaped balls. Bake on silicone or parchment lined pans at least 2″ apart. For walnut sized cookies the baking time is approximately 8-10 minutes. For icebox cookie slices that are approximately 2″ in diameter and 1/4″ thick the time will be 10-13 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting- Beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. (Approximately 2-3 minutes) Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time beating to combine after each addition. Whip the frosting until it is light and fluffy. Divide into portions and color with dyes as desired.

Schmear each cookie with frosting and sprinkle with bobbles and gems as desired. 

Need More Holiday Cookie Inspiration? Check out my other Cookie Recipes!