This cut-out sugar cookie recipe are a necessary addition to any celebration. Whip them up in under 25 minutes (no chilling required!), and decorate!

Sugar cookies with Christmas decorations

Whether you are creating fun shapes or making classic rounds, sugar cookies are the most versatile cookies. Dip them in chocolate and cover them in nuts, decorate them into snowmen, trees, mitts or candy canes with royal icing, or eat them plain. Be prepared to free your inner child!

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Video

How to Make Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are so simple to make and have an irresistible sweetness — the perfect holiday baking endeavor. Grab a friend or family member, a cup of hot chocolate, and make these cookies as part of your festivities!

  • Prep the ingredients: Portion out all the ingredients and ensure the butter is completely soft. In a medium bowl, combine the all purpose flour and baking powder.
  • Beat the wet ingredients: Beat the unsalted butter and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla extract, then beat until well combined.
  • Make the dough: Make the dough by slowly adding the dry ingredients to the butter mixture while stirring. The dough will be a bit crumbly.
  • Roll out the sugar cookie dough: Divide the dough into thirds and roll each part out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to about ¼ inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into your favorite shapes. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake: Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 350°F for about eight minutes, or until they turn a very slight golden brown.
  • Cool: Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature before decorating and eating!

Hot tip: Feel free to go all out with your decoration! Make this icing and pipe it onto your cookies. Add sprinkles or mini chocolate chips on top to go a step further.

Tips & Tricks for Making Sugar Cookies

There is rarely an occasion where sugar cookies won’t be loved. It is so important to have the perfect sugar cookie recipe in your back pocket, so here are our top tips and tricks to ensure you reach perfection.

  • Use room temperature butter and eggs: For a smooth and consistent dough, allow the butter and eggs to reach room temperature.
  • Avoid butter substitutes: Butter substitutes like margarine, vegan butter, or anything spreadable are no match for real butter in this recipe. The flavor of real butter is incomparable!
  • Fully mix the dough: Be sure to incorporate all the ingredients fully for a smooth dough. It’s crazy easy to do this with a standing mixer! However, be careful not to over-mix too much, or the cookies may turn out tough!
  • Knead crumbly dough with wet hands: If the dough texture is too crumbly and falling apart, knead it with wet hands until it is smooth.
  • Allow the dough to reach room temperature before baking: If refrigerating the dough for later use, 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.
  • Watch the timer: It may seem too brief, but bake the cookies for only eight minutes. They will appear underbaked, but they do continue cooking on the baking sheet after they’re out of the oven.
  • Cool the cookies: Before attempting to decorate the cookies, allow them to fully cool on a wire rack to ensure the icing sets properly.
Sugar cookies with royal icing.

Troubleshooting Cut-out Cookies

We’re confident this easy sugar cookie recipe yields fantastic cookies — but if yours turn out less than perfect, don’t fret. Let’s take a look at these common mistakes to “cut-out” any issues on your next go!

  • Misshapen: If your cookies are losing their shape, the reason may be overly softened butter. Avoid microwaving the butter to soften it, as this can cause it to melt. For best results, allow the butter to come to room temperature slowly — or in a pinch, cut it into small cubes to soften faster.
  • Tough: To avoid an overly tough cookie, work the dough just until the flour is completely incorporated, but not any more. Overworking the dough makes for tough cookies.
  • Fragile: If the cookies are too fragile, the culprit may be rolling them too thin. Roll out the cookes to ¼ inch thickness.
  • Hard/crunchy: Sugar cookies become too hard if they are overbaked. Take the cookies out of the oven when they just barely gain a slight golden color.

Storing Tips

There are two ways to store sugar cookies — as baked cookies or as raw dough. For the best flavor, we encourage storing baked cookies at room temperature and/or freezing the raw dough. But, feel free to choose what best fits your lifestyle.

Baked Cookies

Baked cookies are easily stored at room temperature or in the freezer, depending on how long you plan to keep them at arm’s reach. Make sure to always cool the cookies before stashing them away!

  • Room temperature: To store for up to two weeks, keep the cookies in an airtight container in a dry, cool area.
  • Freezer: To store for up to two months, place the cookies between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container. Allow the cookies to thaw in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to eat them.

Hot tip: Although baked cookies can be refrigerated, refrigeration tends to introduce extra moisture to the cookie, making it last shorter than if stored at room temperature.

Raw Dough

To have dough ready for fresh cookies anytime, store it in the freezer for up to two months. Roll the raw dough into a ball or a log, then wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap. Or, precut the dough into balls and store in an airtight container in the freezer.

When ready to bake, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Then, take it out and allow it to warm to room temperature before shaping the cookies and baking.

More Cookies You Will Love

About Author

Avatar photo

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.