Sugar Cookie Recipe {Cutout Cookies}

filed under: Sugar Cookies on November 27, 2018

Cut-out Sugar Cookies are THE cookie of winter! This Sugar Cookie Recipe is not only award-winning, but it is also the EASIEST you will ever use. Who doesn’t love baking and decorating these fabulous cookies with friends and family? No doubt, this is my favorite Christmas sugar cookie recipe of all time. It’s just plain delicious. (Want more Christmas Cookies? I’ve got you covered!)

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Sugar Cookie Christmas Wreath Recipe

Sugar Cookie Recipe

When you pick a sugar cookie recipe for your decorating, it’s important to find a recipe that not only holds up well when baked but that tastes great.

How to Make Christmas Wreath Cookies!


This Sugar Cookie Recipe:

  • Does not need to be refrigerated.
  • Can re-roll dough with no issues.
  • Creates sharp cut-outs that hold their shape.

It is practically a magic sugar cookie!

Making Cookie Dough for Christmas Wreath Cookies!

Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Icing

And not to be ignored, the best glaze icing recipe you will ever find paired with a sugar cookie. This recipe works the same as royal icing but tastes better (IMO) and pipes so beautifully, even for intricate design. When I started my baking blog back in 2009, this was the only recipe I used.

Why I love Glaze Icing for Sugar Cookies

  • It pipes beautifully.
  • It tastes amazing.
  • It hardens, but not as hard as royal icing. It gets just firm enough to stack the cookies but you won’t break a tooth!


The ORIGINAL Ugly Sweater Christmas Cookie!

Ugly Sweater Christmas Cookies (the ORIGINAL!)

Frosting for Sugar Cookies

This is my favorite buttercream recipe for sugar cookie decorating. It pipes beautifully, accepts food color wonderfully, and crusts ever so slightly after a couple of hours. Love that it holds its’ shape so well! (You can make it as stiff or as creamy as you want depending on how much liquid you add.)

Sugar Cookie Recipe Troubleshooting

Here are a few tricks that I hope will help ensure you have PERFECT Sugar Cookies, every time!

  • Use a strong, balanced recipe.  I happen to know that the recipe below is perfect every time!
  • Chill your dough. (If needed. The below recipe doesn’t.) If you run into your cookies spreading you can try this method: Roll out the dough, cut out shapes, then place on a cookie sheet.  Then place the cutout cookies in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  If you are doing lots of cookies its easy to just have them in a rotation.
  • Calibrate your oven.  I bought an oven thermometer at Target for under $5 and it has been fantastic.  Sometimes cookies can spread if your oven temperature is too low.
  • Bake on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Some people swear by silpat but I have found parchment works very well and is fairly inexpensive.  Not having to grease your cookie sheet also means less potential spreading. Make sure your pans are LIGHT in color, not dark. The dark the pan the more heat is absorbed and the faster your cookies will brown on the bottom and sides.
  • Use FRESH and a good quality baking powder and baking soda.  Both are inexpensive even when you buy the best quality.  If your baking soda is expired it can affect how your cookies rise or spread. I prefer double-acting baking powder, which is what is sold in most grocery stores. 


Perfect Sugar Cookie Recipe

Tips for Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Just a few reminders for best practices when making sugar cookies. 🙂

Sift Dry Ingredients – Sift dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and even cocoa powder to combine and aerate them helps make for fluffier cookies. To sift, simply combine your dry ingredients and pour them into a fine-mesh strainer. Tap or shake the strainer until everything’s in your bowl. (Feel free to throw away big or hard pieces.) You can also use a whisk in the dry ingredients for 30 seconds to fully combine.

Cream Butter and Sugar – Unlike stirring or mixing, creaming isn’t about combining ingredients, it’s about aerating them. Creaming creates air pockets that expand in the oven, making the dough tender. When you add sugar, that process is more effective. Sugar crystals are formed and the air is efficiently added to the butter and sugar mixture. Butter beats up fluffiest at room temperature, or when slightly softened.

Eggs – Eggs should be added at room temperature. They add moisture to the air pockets and flavor to the dough. To quickly warm eggs, place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. After the eggs have been added you should also add the vanilla extract or sometimes milk (also room temperature) if the recipe calls for it.

Rainbow Sugar Cookies

Colorful Sugar Cookie Dough

This sugar cookie dough can be whatever color you want! If you want to make one of those beautiful spiral Christmas cookies, just divide your cookie dough into 3 equal sections and tint one red, one green, and leave one. Roll out each layer flat and then stack on top of one another. Roll the layers into a log (like you would a cinnamon roll) and then slice and bake. So easy! (You may want to double the recipe below to make that cookie.)

4.91 from 53 votes
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins

Easy and delicious! These cookies do not require any chilling!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sugar cookie recipe, sugar cookies
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 127 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Add butter to the bowl of your stand mixer and cream on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, or until butter is smooth and lighter in color.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the sugar and the egg.
  4. Scrape the bowl with the mixer off.
  5. Turn mixer back on low and add in extracts.
  6. Allow all ingredients to combine fully.
  7. Add in the baking powder and then the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated.
  8. Remove bowl from mixer and drop dough onto a floured countertop. Roll out into a flat disc, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

  9. Cut out cookies in the desired shape and bake at 350°F for 6-8 minutes. (Keep an eye on them! You don't want burnt edges and every oven is different.)

  10. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

Helpful Hint: Place your cookie sheet in the freezer between uses.  



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  • Lillian Costa says:

    YOU Are the BEST..!!!

  • Valerie Davis says:

    This takes the secret magic away (I never have mastered that). Thank you for making sugar cookies attainable for me!

  • Deb says:

    These were perfect!! And so forgiving, especially when you have a 3 year old helping 😂

  • Judy Rush says:

    Hi Amanda – I love your recipes and have tried many of them. Everything I have made has turned out great. However on this recipe I would change one thing – there is no salt and it called for unsalted butter. Salt is necessary to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients to give foods that familiar taste. I would either use salted butter or add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of salt to make them taste even better. What do you think??

  • April Kofler says:

    Okay I’m going to have to try these again. I doubled the recipe which I normally do anywhere from 2 to 4 times the recipe and these cookies spread so much. So I’m guessing I did something wrong after reading all the reviews. The flavor is really good. Now it’s going to drive me nuts until I try it again to figure out what I did wrong. 😊

  • Susan says:

    I didn’t see the glaze recipe for the sugar cookie .
    Can you post or send it, please ?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Susan! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. I think this is the glaze recipe you are looking for. I hope this helps, and have a wonderful day!

  • Melissa Goebelbecker says:

    I love ALL of your recipes and was excited to try these. I have never made a sugar cookie that holds its shape like these do – this is the best recipe for that! I didn’t think they were the best tasting sugar cookie, though. They have a strong flour taste. Did I do something wrong?? I’m afraid to make any adjustments because I don’t want to compromise the ability to hold their shape. Help!!

  • Gail says:

    Great recipe.
    Reminds me of when I was a child, making cookies with my mom.

  • Sandra says:

    I’m a fantastic baker with everything else, but I can’t make a sugar cookie to save my life. I’m going to try these!

    Would I just double/triple all ingredients if I need to double/triple the recipe, or would you recommend doing a single batch at a time?

  • Gail says:

    How many does this recipe make?

  • Shelly Mccarthy says:

    Love this recipe, just made them and they were perfect can’t wait to decorate!

  • Kim says:

    I’m so excited to bake sugar cookies and decorate them with my granddaughter. Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  • Judy Hart says:

    Will try this recipe.

  • Sharna Unser says:

    Looking forward to trying this recipe

  • Christa Phillips Hall says:

    Best sugar cookie I have discovered in my 50 yrs of baking🎄

  • Debbie Ray says:

    My new go to sugar cookie recipe. Easy and delicious.

  • Lynda says:

    Awesome recipe!! Was great and fun to do. I did chill for a few minutes since I live in a hot weather area down in the Caribbean, also used the glaze icing and they were just amazing

  • Genevieve says:

    I make these with GF flour, and I love that I don’t need to chill the dough. Yum!!

  • Paul Ashway says:

    I’ve made this several times and has not failed me yet! I have wasted so much time and money on other recipes! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.