Sugar cookies just hit the spot. They always have! This recipe keeps it simple and yields the best sugar cookies each and every time.
This is the ultimate sugar cookies recipe! It requires no chilling and the cookies keep their shape when baking.
Sugar cookies are sweet, simple and perfect for holiday baking. In under 15 minutes of prep time, you will have a dough that you can rely on for all that holiday baking you have to do.
Whether you are creating fun shapes or making a classic round cookies, sugar cookies are the most versatile cookies out there. You can dip them in chocolate and cover them in nuts, decorate them into snowmen or eat them plain. Whatever you do, be prepared to free your inner child!
There is rarely an occasion that sugar cookies don’t fit seamlessly into. It is so important to have the perfect sugar cookies recipe in your back pocket. I love this recipe because it’s easy, reliable and so darn tasty.
With Christmas right around the corner, you are probably planning on hosting or attending a party. Take the guesswork out of what to bring and make a batch of sugar cookies! Everyone loves them and you can get super festive and decorate them according to the season. Read on for my best tips and tricks for making this classic cookie!
How Sugar Cookies are Made
- Prepare your ingredients and make sure your butter is softened at room temperature. In a small pan, combine the flour and baking powder.
- Beat butter with sugar until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla extract and whip until combined.
- Stir in flour mixture to butter mixture in small parts.
- Beat until the dough turns crumbly.
- Divide dough into small portions and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut your favorite shapes.
- Bake cookies at 350°F for about 8 minutes.
- Let cookies cool to a room temperature. Decorate and enjoy!
Tips for Making Sugar Cookies
- Use real butter. Do not use any kinds of substitutes like margarine, vegan butter or spreadable stuff. Only real butter works in this recipe!
- Fully mix batter. Be sure that the dough is full incorporated and smooth. You don’t want any lumps of flour or butter!
- Use room temperature butter. For a smooth and consistent dough, allow your butter to reach room temperature before you mix up you batter.
- Don’t over bake your cookies. It might seem short, but only bake your cookies for 8 minutes. They may look underbaked, but trust me, they will harden as they cool and reach room temperature.
- Allow your dough to reach room temperature prior to baking. If you plan on refrigerating your dough for later use, make sure you bring it to room temperature before baking. If you don’t, the cold dough will be shocked by the heat of the oven, causing uneven baking and burning.
- If your dough is too crumbly, knead it with wet hands. If your dough is crumbly and falling apart, knead the dough with wet hands until it is nice and smooth.
Freezing Sugar Cookies
There are two ways to freeze sugar cookies: baked or unbaked. I prefer freezing the unbaked dough because you will preserve that freshbaked flavor. But, you can definitely freeze baked cookies as well. Here’s how to do both:
First, bake your cookies according to the instructions. Then, allow them to cool completely. Store cookies between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container. You can freeze cookies for up to 2 months. Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to eat them.
To freeze your dough, simply roll it into a ball or a log. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. Freeze the dough for up to 2 months. When you are ready to bake, allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, make sure it reaches room temperature before you shape your cookies and bake them.
What thickness should sugar cookies be?
Roll your sugar cookies to about 1/4-inch thickness. Keep in mind that the thicker you roll them, the longer they will take to bake. Add a couple minutes and keep a close eye for when they turn slightly golden.
What do sugar cookies mean?
Sugar cookies are classic, standard cookies made with a sweet and neutral dough. They are perfect eaten plain or decorated with frosting and sprinkles.
Why are my sugar cookies puffy?
Adding too much sugar and butter can cause your cookies to spread and lose their shape. This creates a puffy texture that can result in a cookie that’s hard to decorate.
How long in advance can I make sugar cookies?
See instructions above for freezing your dough ahead of time. Always try to bake your cookies day-of for the freshest flavor. However, the day before will be just fine too.
Other Amazing Cookies You Will Love
- Meringue Sugar Cookies With Jam
- Sweet Cheese Cookies
- Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies
- Nutella Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3 cup all-purpose flour
- Prepare all ingredients. Be sure to use butter that is softened in a room temperature. In a small pan, combine the flour and baking powder.
- Beat together butter with sugar, until the mixture is smooth. To the mixture, add in the egg and vanilla extract. Whip everything together until it's well combined.
- Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture, adding it in small parts. The dough will be a bit crumbly, but that is OK.
- Divide the dough into small parts and roll it out into a 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out your favorite shapes.
- Bake cookies at 350°F on a lined baking sheet for about 8 minutes. Cookie time depends on the size of the cookies.
- Let cookies cool to a room temperature and they are yours to enjoy!
How long do they stay soft?
Hi Dina, if you are wanting to make these cookies in advance, I recommend making the dough and freezing it and then baking the actual cookie the day of. They will stay fresh in an air tight container in the fridge for a couple days. Mine don't usually stick around long enough for me to find out how long they stay soft.
Are thes cookies soft or are they hard?
Hi Nancy, Thank you for the question. These cookies turn out on the softer side. I state in the recipe to only bake them for 8 minutes because you don't want to have a very crunchy cookie. Happy holidays!
we made this when it was snowing and we love the recipe
How fun, Dasha! Did you decorate the cookies in any particular way?
What's the icing you used?
We made our own, we have a recipe for the icing in the ebook: https://ebooks.momsdish.com/m…
These turned out so great. The step by step photos were very helpful!
I'm glad you enjoyed the cookies!
Looks so good! Can't wait to try this one.
Katie, thank you! 🙂
These came out perfect! Thanks for the tip about allowing the dough to come to room temperature before baking.
Jen, I'm so glad you enjoyed these cookies. I'm glad you found the tips helpful!
Thanks for sharing this recipe. Amazing recipe!! Tried for the first time and had no difficulties. Made this recipe gluten free and they came out so delicious, could not tell they were gluten free. Super soft and super delicious, would recommend!! Thanks for share this recipe
Lynda. Do you mind sharing what kind of flour did you use for gluten free cookies? 🤔 Thank [email protected]
Thank you for leaving such a kind comment. I'm glad you could make them gluten-free and that you enjoyed them!
Hello Natalya Drozhzhin,
Thanks for your great reply.
Very easy and delicious!
Thank you Наташа !!
Hey, I am so happy you loved the recipe! Thank you!
The dough was extremely crumbly even though i followed the recipe , i even put less flour! It was impossible to roll out , are the proportions correct?
Yes, they are. I made this recipe many times. What flour did you use?
The recipe for icing: for around 80 cookies, if making few, do half of the reciepe.
2lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar ( can be omited, but better with it)
5 large egg whites
Beat it together, until thick. You can add flavor, such as lemon, vanilla, etc.. To make it thinner, add water. You can add any color to it.
Ok finally I found a sugar cookie recipe, doing cookie decoration tomorrow with kids, do you have a recipe of icing to use for decorating?
I dont have any recipe, typically we just use sprinkles.
Great recipe! Thank You for sharing!
Hi Yana, no problem at all. I enjoy sharing, well the recipe I mean 😉
Hi should it be 1tsp of baking powder not 1tablespoon or it should be that much?
It should be one tablespoon of powder. It is a pretty large portion of cookies.
Love love love this recipe. I pit a picture of how my family and I decorated them 🙂
So perfect! Thanks for sharing your photo. I am happy you loved the recipe.
Do you have a recipe for the icing? I know there's tons of ricipes out there but thought I'd try yours 🙂 Thanks
We don't make icing but if I find a recipe I like, I will share it with you!
Thanks for easy recipe! ?
We had fun making and decorating this cookies with kids!
They couldn't wait for them to dry up to start eating it ??..
Oh wow! You have a talent for art! Thank you for sharing your pic!!
How many degrees? Thanks!
350F, thanks for catching that 😉
These are my favorite cookies! So easy to make, too!
Hey Mira, I agree with you, so easy. It really helps when you have a pair of kid eyes staring at you. 🙂
I love how thin and crispy these look! They remind me of these ginger cut out cookies my grandma bought every Christmas. Pinned!
Hey Jen, they are crispy. I know what you are talking about, I love those ginger cookies. Thanks for Pinning btw!