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.)

4.94 from 31 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!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Mary says:

    I lost this recipe so glad to see it.My kids loved these sugar cookies.I am not sure about icing.

    • Ange says:

      Where is a icing recipe? Sorry I might missed it but been looking for a icing recipe for sugar cookies. Want a soft one. One I tried got hard after awhile and got a different taste. Love the soft icing that bakery use. Could you please help. Thank you so much.

    • Robin says:

      You need to click on the words “glaze icing recipe” in the text, it is a link and will take you to the actual recipe 🙂

  • Kym Christy says:

    Where is icing glaz recipe? Did I miss it?

  • Christine says:

    Where can I find the icing recipe for the cookies these look amazing!! And can’t wait to bake some with my daughter

  • Elize says:

    Hi I can’t find the glazing recipe. Did I miss that somehow? Keen to make this year! Thanks

  • Anne Hadley says:

    Made these with my grandkids. They are so tasty and we will keep this recipe. This is one I have been looking for.

  • Margret Mitchell says:

    How long will these cookies last once they are cooked.
    I was thinking of making them this weekend for my grand daughters birthday next week.

    • Amanda says:

      If you bake the cookie AND decorate them (as in, at least ad a layer of the glaze icing, royal icing, or buttercream icing) to the cookie and then store in an airtight container with a few pieces of bread in the fridge… they will definitely keep for a week! But, it might be hard to not snack throughout the week lol

  • Nicole says:

    This recipe is now completely different from the original one I’ve been using for years, and there doesn’t seem to be any mention of the change or where to find the original recipe. What happened and where did the original one go?

    • Amanda says:

      I think this is the recipe you are looking for.

      • Nicole says:

        Yes, that’s the one, but it used to be linked from this page, and simply called the sugar cookie recipe, that is why it’s confusing. I’ve had this page bookmarked for ages and then the recipe suddenly just changed.

  • Deb MM says:

    I saved this link and I’ve made the cookies twice but I feel like the recipe was different. I thought that I had used three sticks of butter and two eggs and two egg yolks am I losing my mind?

  • audrey lisik says:

    Amanda, I don’t have a stand mixer just a hand held one. Is this going to make a really big difference in the mixing of the cookie dough recipe?

    • Amanda says:

      Nope! You can definitely use your hand-held mixer. 🙂

  • Stacey says:

    Hi Amanda! How does this recipe differ from your Ugly Sweater cookies? Taste and texture wise.

    • Amanda says:

      This recipe is a bit easier as it doesn’t require chilling… but I love the flavor of the Ugly Sweater recipe better! It melts in your mouth. <3

      • Lisa says:

        Hi Amanda, I see that the Sugar cookie recipe yields about 24 cookies. Do you about how many cookies the Ugly sweater cookie recipe will yield? I’m planning on using 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 cookie cutters. I can’t decide which recipe to use :/ haven’t tried either.

  • Lizzie says:

    These look amazing. I can’t wait to try them.

    Can I leave the almond extract out?

    Family allergies 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      You can. 🙂

  • Anna says:

    Very good!! Love the almond extract in these, excellent flavor. Also, it’s nice to not have to refrigerate. I made two batches, one I refrigerated for several hours and the other I cut and baked right away, and they turned out the same! They are softer/fluffier as opposed to flakier/crispier. Love the tip about the parchment paper too- I always use dark pans and this is the first time the bottom of the cookie didn’t get light brown. My husband said these were the best Christmas sugar cookie he’s ever had. Will make again! And again. 😉

    • Amanda says:

      Wonderful to hear Anna!!

  • Asma says:

    Hey sweet Amanda,,
    Its an amazing cookies recipe but I need the icing recipe please.
    Thank you.

  • Macayla D Fick says:

    I love christmas Cookies and i love to bake

  • Kathy. Dishner says:

    What is the recipe for the glaze?

  • Hannah Saville says:

    Can the dough be frozen for future use if needed?
    I don’t want to make 24 cookies but concerned about halfing or quartering the recipe due to only 1 egg

  • Angela. Britt says:

    I love watching you bake.

  • Carole says:

    I can’t locate “glaze icing recipe” in the text. It would be nice after all the years of baking, not to have a rock hard icing.

  • Gail Murray says:

    Merry Christmas Amanda! I love Christmas and baking cookies. Its unanimous from all family members…..your sugar cookie recipe is the best recipe ever! Now I don’t have to try different recipes ever again! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  • DAvid says:

    Hi Amanda, how do you stick edible glitter to the cookes?

  • Kendra says:

    My husband and I made these for work along with the glaze. Were very good but tasted more like a shortbread cookie in terms of flavor. It really wasn’t sweet at all like typical sugar cookies. Is this typical? They turned out awesome for our cutters and looked beautiful but just weren’t sweet. Just want to know if this is what they’re supposed to taste like?

    • Amanda says:

      Well, how they taste is a very personal thing. Some folks grew up with less sweet cookies, some VERY sweet. (I was in the very sweet category!) So yes, this cookie is not as sweet as some others. If you want my favorite TASTING sugar cookie recipe I recommend this one!

  • Cam says:

    Help! This link used to take me to your old sugar cookie recipe which I loved, that called for an egg yolk? It was my favorite recipe! Please reply with that recipe, I would so appreciate it!

  • Sharon Patterson says:

    can I add a small amount of ground ginger or ground cinnamon to this recipe

    • Amanda says:

      Of course!

  • Elizabeth B says:

    Read all comments about how wonderful dough was . So what did I do wrong? Mine is a sticky blob and when cut, are impossible to lift for placement on baking sheet. Should I just toss dough in trash and go back to my old recipe? 😢
    Oh well, Merry Christmas anyway! 🎄

    • Amanda says:

      NOt sure what you did wrong, but you can always add a bit more flour so that you can work with your dough. These cookies are usually no-fail.

  • Holly says:

    I’m not much of a cook, is this recipe going to work without 1/2 tsp. almond extract i can’t find any.

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, you can omit the almond extract.

  • Don't Pass on Dessert!