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 AMAZING. This is that recipe! I have made dozens of sugar cookie recipes in my life and none taste as good as this one. It even won Best Sugar Cookie from the LA Times! So now that you know that flavor is amazing, let’s talk about the other amazing aspects.

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-out’s 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 cookies decorating. It pipes beautifully, accepts food color wonderfully, and crusts ever so slightly after a couple 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 or baking powder is expired it can affect how your cookies rise or spread.


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 into in 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.)

4.93 from 27 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 Video

Recipe Notes

Helpful Hint: Place your cookie sheet in the freezer between uses. This will help ensure your cookies back evenly!



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  • michelle says:

    Hooray for you! I have been looking for someone who doesn’t use royal frosting to ice her cookies! I know that royal frosting lasts a long time but the taste of that nasty powdered egg stuff grosses me out. So glad to see you use glaze instead. Gives me confidence. Love your site- especially the servant part.
    Blessings to you,
    Michelle in Central CA

  • Britni says:

    These cookies got RAVE reviews! They took some time, but the process was easy, and now I have sent multiple people to your site. I think its the extracts that make it…and the butter doesn’t hurt =)

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you and YAY you!!

  • jocelyn says:

    OMG these cookies are amazing!! made them and everybody loved! well, I made them again…the dough…havent baked yet, but I mistakenly used salted butter, not unsalted. I dont think it’ll make much of a difference…I hope…just added less salt…. what do you think?

  • Tiffany says:

    How many cookies (guestimate, since cookie size vary, lets say a medium square) will the recipe make? Thanks

  • Jennie says:

    I’m really sorry if this is a stupid question but is it a half cup of butter or one and a half cups of butter?

    Thanks! I love your recipes (even though mine NEVER look as good as yours LOL)

    • Brenda Workman says:

      It is 1 and 1/2 cup. (3 sticks) (3/4 pound)

  • Megan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe…its a family favorite!
    Question…..can I bake ahead and freeze unfrosted? I want to get a jumpstart on my daughters birthday party and that seemed like a logical way to save time.

  • Linda Billingsley says:

    Do you have any valentine day decorated cookies or for breast cancer? Thank you linda

  • B says:

    These really are the best Christmas cookies ever. They are amazing! Not only do they taste delicious but the dough is super easy to work with. I’ve never had my cookies come out so perfectly.

  • Jane says:

    Hi what is the amount of butter in grams?

    • Karen says:

      a cup of butter = 454 g
      1/2 cup = 227 g
      1/4 cup = 113 g

  • Jane says:

    Can I leave out the almond extract? Would I need to add extra vanilla? My husband dont care much for it. Thank you!

  • ali says:

    My favorite Christmas/Holiday cookie is a cookie recipe I grew up making with my aunt! They simply were chocolate covered Oreo pops which we decorated with sprinkles! I’ve continued this tradition with my little cousins and kids I nanny!!

  • Kathleen says:

    I made these cookies yesterday and they are delicious! When cooked, they spread a little more than I expected. Any ideas as to what could’ve caused them to flatten?

  • Lucy says:

    Hi. Can this recipe be cut in half and still turn out properly? Thanks!

  • ROSE says:


  • Jessica says:

    Can I use salted butter

  • Joyce says:

    I love seeing all the beautiful displays of your hard work. I am amazed how you are able to make it look effortless. I love the videos. My question is at the end of the recipe there is the word print. When I try to print the recipe I can see it when I preview it but then the page will change and be blank and no matter what I do the recipe cannot be printed. Why does this happen? If I am not allowed to print recipe why does it say PRINT. Thank you for responding to this email.

    • Amanda says:

      I will look into it!

  • Sharon says:

    How long can the prepared dough be kept in the fridge?

  • Rose Piatt says:

    I unsubscribed from ur site for I thought I had to paid for these.One lady told me I didn’t have to pay Is this true?

  • Larry Gaines says:

    I like to use food coloring, Corn syrup and egg yokes for the icing

  • Jean says:

    Where is the icing recipe for the sugar cookies?

  • Bernadette says:

    Sugar cookie recipie

  • Don't Pass on Dessert!