The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

This Sugar Cookie Recipe is the only cut out cookie recipe I use. I have been baking these sugar cookies for years and have found it be the most delicious and foolproof cut out cookie recipe ever!

Star shaped sugar cookies with icing

This Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe is my FAVORITE!

I am CRAZY excited about today! I showing you how to make sugar cookies from scratch!

One of the most common questions I get from readers on social media and my email is, “Do you have a perfect sugar cookie recipe?”

And the answer is YES! This cut out sugar cookie recipe is the one I have been using for 14 years. I haven’t deviated from this recipe since I started making it so many years ago because it’s perfection. The flavor is buttery and delicious, the dough doesn’t need to be chilled before rolling and cutting out shapes, and they hold crisp edges when baked, so they’re great for all cookie cutters! The edges are crisp and sweet, and the centers are soft and chewy.

Have I convinced you yet? Once you try my recipe, you’ll agree that these are the best sugar cookies ever!

Stack of undecorated sugar cookies

Tips for the Best Sugar Cookies

The beauty of this recipe is that there are very few ingredients, so following a few simple steps is all it takes!

  • Use quality ingredients! When you’re making sugar cookies, you want them to taste good, right? So make sure you’re  high quality butter and vanilla especially. These are the two flavors that really shine through, so use fresh butter and good vanilla!
  • Don’t substitute margarine or butter flavored shortening for this recipe! I even splurge on a fancy European butter when making these sugar cookies, because there is a higher fat content, and while it’s not great for your thighs, it does help produce a more delicious cookie!
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment is great for this recipe. You can use a hand mixer if you prefer, but making these cookies without a mixer is difficult because you want to cream your butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. AND there is a lot of flour in these, and the dough can get hard to mix by hand.

Recipe Ingredients

Like I said above, with a recipe so simple with minimal ingredients, focusing on quality really makes a difference. But here’s a quick list to make sure you have everything. (See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for specific amounts.)

  1. Butter. I use salted butter, but that’s a personal preference. If you prefer unsalted, or that’s all you have absolutely use that!
  2. Vanilla. I always recommend using pure vanilla extract. And in a recipe with such simple ingredients I like to believe that quality matters!
  3. Granulated Sugar
  4. Eggs
  5. Baking Powder
  6. Kosher Salt. If you don’t have kosher you can use table salt, but I would recommend cutting back on the amount by half so you don’t over salt your cookies. Table salt is a finer grain than kosher, so you will end up with more.
  7. All Purpose Flour
Rolled out sugar cookie dough with star shape cut outs.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

This sugar cookie recipe is super simple. Here’s how to make it:

  • Prep your tools. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of bowl as necessary.
  • Add the flour. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing until the dough comes together.
  • Divide the dough into 3 sections. On a floured working surface roll the dough to 1/3 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes of the dough with your desired cutter(s) and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet 1½ inches apart. If you are baking in batches, keep the unused dough in the refrigerator until ready to use to prevent dough from getting too warm.
  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Do I Need to Chill the Sugar Cookie Dough?

Ok, let’s talk. Chilling cookie dough is annoying. I get it. SO, this cookie recipe requires ZERO chilling. Are you excited? Let’s talk about what that means…

  • Use cold butter: To make the cookie dough slightly chilled right when its made. Just cube the cold butter when you mix it with your sugar and it will be fine! You mix the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes, so everything will be mixed. Just make sure to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl as necessary so everything is combined evenly.
  • Can I chill the dough if I want to? If you are prepping your holiday baking in advance and would prefer to chill the dough so you have things made ahead you ABSOLUTELY can. It isn’t going to hurt the dough to chill it, you just don’t have to!
  • What about complex cookie shapes? Does chilling help? What if you are using a VERY intricate cookie cutter and want to make sure you have precise edges? If I am using a very detailed cutter what I will do is make the dough, roll it out, cut out my cookie and pop it in the fridge to chill for 30 or so minutes. This isn’t necessary, but if you’re concerned, it’s a step that can’t hurt!
Close up of sugar cookie dough cut into stars.

Baking Sheets Matter! (Or, How to Make Sure your Cookies Aren’t Too Dark)

Ok, this is one of the most common things that cause cookies to not “turn out like the picture”. I use THIS dark baking sheet almost exclusively. I almost never use light colored or thick baking sheets.

Lighter colored baking sheets tend to make your cookies spread a bit more and they don’t give a golden edge as easily, especially with cut out cookies.

A darker colored, thin baking sheet will give you a golden edge, and your cookies won’t spread nearly as much, giving you precise edges! I do always bake on parchment paper for easy clean up and an even bake. Parchment paper also helps the cookies from browning too fast and also aids in more even baking.

Can I Freeze Sugar Cookies?

YES!! You can absolutely freeze sugar cookies (or the dough)! Here’s how…

  • To freeze baked cookies with tupperware: If you want to bake your cookies and freeze them to decorate later first allow the cookies to cool completely. Next package them up in a flat tupperware-style container, separating the layers with pieces of parchment paper. Make sure they are sealed, air-tight, in the container to prevent any freezer tastes from absorbing into the cookies.
  • To freeze baked cookies with ziploc bags: Alternately you can use a zip-top bag to store the cookies. Just lay the bags flat in the freezer and make sure there is nothing placed on top. I tend to only use this method if I am freezing very sturdy shapes. If you have delicate shapes, you will certainly want to store them in a container to prevent breaking.
  • You can also freeze the dough! Once you’ve made the cookie dough, you can package it in a zip-top bag, then double bag it for extra protection. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, allow it to come up to almost room temperature and roll it out!
  • How long do frozen sugar cookies last? Either the frozen dough or frozen baked cookies will be good for 30 days in your freezer.
Decorated cut out sugar cookies with icing and sugar.

Decorating Sugar Cookies is Easy!

I actually prefer to decorate my sugar cookies with my buttercream frosting. I used to have all the patience to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing, but I’ve decided that is not my calling in life. So bring on the buttercream and sprinkles.

BUT since I know everyone isn’t on the buttercream bandwagon like me I am also sharing an easy sugar cookie icing with the cookie recipe in the recipe card. It’s a simple icing that is great for beginner decorators who aren’t worried about precise decorating. Plus, in my opinion it tastes way better than royal icing!

Icing Ingredients

You only need 3 ingredients to make a simple icing perfect for decorating cookies. See the recipe card at the end of this post for specific amounts.

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Water
  • Light Corn Syrup

To Make the Icing

You really just need to mix everything together in a bowl to make the icing. See, easy right?

In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water, and corn syrup until smooth.

Spread or pipe onto cooled cookies. You can use a drop of food coloring to achieve different colors. Allow the icing to set up completely before storing.

Looking for other sugar cookie frosting & icing options? Try these:

I hope this will be your go-to Sugar Cookie Recipe from now on!

Print

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield Yield: 24 large cookies 1x
  • Category Category: Cookies
  • Method Method: Oven
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert

Description:

This Sugar Cookie Recipe is the only cut out cookie recipe I use. I have been baking these cookies for years and have found it be the most delicious and foolproof cut out cookie recipe ever!


Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) cold butter, cubed
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups all purpose flour

Sugar Cookie Icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Instructions

To Make the Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add in the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt and continue mixing until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of bowl as necessary.

Add the flour. Turn the mixer speed to low and add in the flour, mixing until the dough comes together.

Divide the dough into 3 sections and on a floured working surface roll the dough to 1/3 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes of the dough with your desired cutter(s) and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet 1½ inches apart. If you are baking in batches, keep the unused dough in the refrigerator until ready to use to prevent dough from getting too warm.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sugar Cookie Icing

In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water, and corn syrup until smooth. Spread or pipe onto cooled cookies. You can use a drop of food coloring to achieve different colors. Allow the icing to set up completely before storing.


Notes:

You can chill the dough if desired, before or after cutting the cookies out. See tips in the post for all the details.

Store airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Keywords:: sugar cookie recipe, sugar cookies, easy, frosted, how to make sugar cookies, best, christmas sugar cookies, homemade, sugar cookie icing, cut out cookies

Want To Save This Recipe?

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

You might also like...

Share Your Comments

Want to share a photo of what you’ve made? Be sure to register or log in and then click the camera icon located at the bottom of the comment form.

99 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
yucky
October 29, 2020 4:51 pm

hi help me plis

Naomi
October 28, 2020 11:39 pm

Hi I would love to use this recipe to make about 40 cookies, 3″ in diameter, would this ingredient measurement work for that, or should i double it?

Naomi
October 29, 2020 1:18 pm
Reply to  Shelly

Ok thank you so much

Ronda
October 25, 2020 1:16 am

These are way too good to share

Caitland
September 21, 2020 12:33 am

Please help! What have I done wrong? My dough is way too soft!

Cheryl A Erlandson
September 1, 2020 4:03 pm

Something to consider when posting a recipe is how many pages it will take to print it out. It is always handy if you can get a recipe on one page–that saves ink and paper and you don’t have to flip the recipe over when making it. A lot more recipe authors are doing this now and I, as a consumer, really appreciate it.

Hanna
August 21, 2020 12:20 am

These turned out really well. I’ve never made sugar cookies before so was worried I’d ruin them but they were perfect! My mixer kinda struggled with all the cold butter. At the end I had to take it out and knead the dough by hand to get all the flour to mix in. I was feeling really nervous about it all but they tasted great and held their shape perfectly. I’m still kinda shocked at how good they look! Great recipe plus I had heaps of dough leftover which I froze so next time will be super easy.

Weird Pisces
August 11, 2020 5:32 pm

Flawless cookies. So delicious and buttery.

Annamarie
July 13, 2020 12:51 pm

Just wants to know 1 stick of butter = how many grams of butter

Karishma
June 9, 2020 1:44 pm

An awesome recipe….cookies held their shape and are buttery and delish!

Robin
April 22, 2020 3:14 pm

Thank you very much for the recipe! It was a real hit with my little boys. I’ve wanted to incorporate weekly baking into our Covid-19 Homeschooling routine, and I started off today with your delicious cookies. We used alphabet cookie cutters and spelled out words. 🙂

I halved the recipe, but it came out crumbly. I added the second egg anyway, and it worked perfectly.

Will definitely make this again at Christmas.

Audra
April 16, 2020 4:04 pm

These cookies tasted great but my dough was so crumbly that i couldn’t even roll them out to cookie cut them,,,, i ended up taking bits and pieces and smashing them into the cutter to keep a good design,,,, but to be fair i have never found a non crumbly non chill sugar cookie recipe,,,, makes me hate making them even tho i love to eat them and so does my son and husband,,,,, i fallowed the recipe step by step made no difference.

Melina
April 12, 2020 10:26 pm

Loved the recipe… as usual im a last minute baker and these cookies turned out great!! The cookies are so yum… my little man has just sat and eaten them all for breakie ?

Cheri Craft
April 5, 2020 2:15 pm

Hi, made the sugar cookies today with my grandson. They were awesome!!! I used cold butter and you are right it works out great.

Juliana
February 26, 2020 11:15 am

So soft and buttery! My new favorite recipe. Tastes amazing with royal icing!

Debby
February 4, 2020 1:12 pm

i know you say only use butter, but is there any appropriate substitute for someone allergic to dairy?

Kaya
August 26, 2020 2:07 pm
Reply to  Debby

I’ve just been using flora and it works perfectly! I’ve also been making them gluten free and vegan using a flax egg substitute for my house mate and it works great every time! 🙂 best sugar cookie recipe.

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

Tips for Baking Success!

Cookies and Cups Newsletter Get 5 Baking Secrets That Will Change Your Life!

Delivered Straight to Your Inbox, For Free:

Recipes You’ll Love

This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn a small fee by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Ad Blocker Detected!

Advertisements fund this website. Please disable your adblocking software or whitelist our website.
Thank You!