Make Jesus Cookies with a Nativity Bake Set

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Baking and decorating Jesus Cookies is one of my kids’ most favorite things to do every year.

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Jesus Cookies are a highlight of Christmas for my kids. My mom bought us a Nativity Bake Set about ten years ago, and it seriously has been one of the best parts of our holidays — every year. Not only do my kids get to decorate cookies, but they get to do it while reviewing The Christmas Story.

For us it is a wonderfully easy and natural way to keep Jesus in the midst of our celebrations.

Some years, we’ve made the cookies with gingerbread cookie dough. And once we even went all out and used the cookies for a nativity display in place of a traditional gingerbread house.

Make Jesus Cookies with a Nativity Bake Set

The house smelled amazingly good that year as the spices from the homebaked cookies drifted throughout. Yum! This year my gingerbread was a major fail. More on that later….

So, we opted for Sugar Cookies. This recipe is one that my mom made for me and my siblings when we were children. I made it egg white-free this year by using two egg yolks instead of the whole egg. I also omitted the almond extract that she normally used in order to keep it nut free.

FishChick4 loved it when I said yes to her request to roll and cut the dough herself. I was hesitant, believe me. Efficient Mom and Yes Mom had a battle. Thankfully, the Yes Mom won — at least for one round of dough.

This is the bake set we’ve used for the past ten years. I was stunned to find it on Amazon. Yeah! I thought they had stopped making them. Our set looks like it’s from the dark ages. I’m tempted to buy six sets so that my grandchildren can someday make their own Jesus cookies.

As I’ve mentioned before, “painting” your cookies with pastry brushes is the best way to let your little people decorate. However, I dumped those during this summer’s Great Mouse Invasion and haven’t yet replaced them. So, we used knives and very thick powdered sugar icing. And lots of sprinkles.

My kids had a blast decorating Jesus Cookies this year. Here’s my mom’s cookie recipe, adapted to be nut and eggwhite free.

decorated jesus cookies for easter
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5 from 1 vote

Cinnamon Sugar Jesus Cookies

Celebrate Easter with cookies that represent Jesus’ life and resurrection. These Cinnamon Sugar Cookies are super fun to make to celebrate the Easter holiday.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon sugar cookies, cookies, jesus cookies, sugar cookies
Servings: 24
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Powdered sugar glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with enough milk to make a thin glaze.


  • In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon and blend until well combined.
  • Chill for several hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 °. Line several baking sheets with parchment or silpat mats.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out. Cut with shapes.
  • Bake the cookies on the prepared sheets for 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely on racks before glazing with powdered sugar glaze.
  • Place the cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Nutritional values will vary based on the shapes and sizes of the cookie cutters you use as well as how much frosting you add.


Calories: 100kcal

What special cookie shapes do YOU use at the holidays?

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  1. If I were to keep the egg white in how many eggs would I use? Thanks so much love the set and just got it!

  2. I bought this set about 3 years ago… and then I had two babies, and it just didn’t happen. This is the year! Thanks for reminding me! =)

  3. awesome.. Let me see if can get this here in India somewhere.. Right now, stars are our only holiday shaped cookies:-)

  4. I LOVE that set!! I think one of your readers bought Amazon out- I just tried to buy the set and they are out of stock!! I have a Czech nativity cutter set that has SUPER complicated decorating- I’ve made it once. It’s the kind of scene that has many European characters in it- a goose lady, a bread man, a monk, etc. I love it!

  5. What a neat set! The kids like cookie cutting and sugar sprinkling although we normally wait until Christimas Eve to set them loose with making cookies for Santa. Meanwhile I take each kid in one by one to wrap their gifts for the others. The older ones love having secrets. Nothing more fun then telling your siblings “I know what you’re getting for Christmas” dontcha know!

  6. thanks for reminding me that i have a set like this! we are going to decorate sugar cookies this weekend, and now i know exactly what shapes we’ll be using.

  7. Thank you for being honest about Efficient mom and Yes mom. As much as I love your recipes and posts I truly love your transparency as a wife and mom. We decorated cookies with my 2 yo and I had to put perfectionist mom away and let fun mom out for awhile.

    And I also think you should get 6 sets of cookie cutters and put them back for the kiddos. I am sure it will bring them years of happy memories.

  8. What a great idea to keep the real meaning of Christmas as part of family celebrations. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime…I should be able to get a set in time for Christmas! I like the idea of giving the bake sets for gifts too!

  9. We’ll be making our family’s cutout Christmas cookies this weekend — my mom, my daughter, and I. And, as my sister says, in our family, how can it be Christmas without cookie pigs and tractors?

  10. Looks like a lot of fun. I need to bring Yes Mom out to play, and have Efficient Mom and Tidy Mom nap for awhile.

  11. These are great! As soon as I read this post I looked the cookie cutters up on Amazon and called my mom. Together we ended up ordering 12 to give away as gifts to young families next year. What a fun gift and tradition to start with kids! I think you should pick up 6 sets and give them to the child when they move out of the house – great memory to pass on!

  12. I would buy 6 sets and store them away as a 1st Christmas presents for them as newlyweds….I think it is a tradition worth passing down.

  13. Thanks for sharing! As we were cutting out Christmas cookies yesterday I was thinking how it would be so neat to have symbols of the Bible story on our cookie tray. I didn’t know this cookie set existed. I put in on my wish list!

  14. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be rounding up our baking things shortly and believe-you-me Efficient Mom, Perfectionist Mom and Neat-&-Tidy Mom will all be battling with Yes Mom & Fun Mom. We will see how this turns out 🙂