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.)

4.92 from 48 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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  • 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.

  • Melinda Newell says:

    Please give people a chance to email the recipes. I send one to myself and one to my daughter. I don’t have those other things.

  • Josie says:

    Made these delicious cookies today with my grandaughter. We kept eating them, even before we put icing on, lol.Recipe is a keeper!

  • Jeanie Rocha says:

    Such a great recipe, made for first time and very happy. Just need to work on my decorating lol but thank you for sharing!

  • JH says:

    Please please please bring back your old sugar cookie recipe. It was the best tasting sugar cookie I’ve ever had! This new one, while spreading less during baking, doesn’t come close to matching the taste. I find it dry and bland and was very sad to have wasted my time baking them.

  • Tania says:

    These tased amazing! It was my second try and my kids and even my mum want me to make more.

  • Kathy Hurry says:

    Outstanding sugar cookie recipe! Tastes wonderful and the dough was so easy to handle! Thank you!

  • Trish says:

    Made these cookies last night. I went with 1/4” thick. 6-8 minutes was not enough. Didn’t taste test until after second sheet so I didn’t realize they were under baked until I put in the third and last sheet😕Baked third sheet for 12 min and that was perfect. Nice flavor, I will probably add another 1/2 tsp of almond extract just because of personal preference. Cookies cut nicely, third roll was just as good as first (dough did not bake up tough). Keeper recipe-thanks! Making these for First Fridays After Five for an art gallery to serve.

  • Bette Dennison says:

    These are the best cutout cookies I have ever made. I love the flavor with the addition of the almond flavoring in addition to the vanilla. Made at Christmas and am making Valentine cookies right now.

  • Faith Smith says:

    I love this recipe and make it quite frequently as I practice decorating with royal icing. My Father-in-law recently found out he has celiac. I made this with GF red mill flour today and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

  • Kim says:

    Made this today with my four-year old granddaughter and it was super easy…and…we did t have to wait for refrigerating the dough! It rolled out so well even the four-year old could do it!

  • Michaela Tresler says:

    I personally don’t like eating sugar cookies but my husband loves them. This is the perfect recipe. Easy to make the dough, no chill time and they hold their shape for decorating.
    Thank you

  • Jennifer says:

    Made Valentine cookies with this recipe. I added a little bit more flour to make it more of a shortbread. Kids loved it!

  • Sierra says:

    Awesome recipe! I made them for Valentine’s Day for 24 kids in my class. The cookies are delicious! I bet all of my friends will like them.

  • Letitia says:

    I made these with my 4 and 3 year old boys today. We did two batches. We cut them into heart shapes and made a strawberry frosting. I took them into work (I work at a corporate restaurant and am new, about 1 week), on Valentines Day I worked my second solo shift. I had so many staff pull me aside asking if I bake professionally. The chefs were shocked and amazed, and my food came out perfect all night. Thank you so much for posting this. I made a great deal tonight in thanks to baking these cookies for our cooks. The head chef pulled me aside and asked if I worked at a bakery in my off time, I said I just do it for fun (true). The servers, cooks, and management were in such a great mood just because of these cookies on such a stressful day (Valentine’s Day).

    Thank you OP.

    You helped me establish myself and also helped so many people have a better evening. You are amazing.

    • Amanda says:

      Letitia- this is wonderful!! Sounds like not only did everyone see how talented you are, but you gave them a gift they will never forget! What a beautiful soul you are! <3

  • Sandy says:

    Thank you this sugar cookie recipe sounds yummy and easy to do.

  • Jenna says:

    So so very dry, so disappointed and we followed the recipe to the letter. Adding another egg to try to save the ingredients.

    • Amanda says:

      If your dough was dry, that could be a humidity issue. A sugar cookie dough should not be “moist” per se, as it needs to be rolled out and manipulated.

  • Beth Zell says:

    Why did you leave out salt and not chill dough

  • claire s says:

    turned out perfect! i ended up baking them for more like 12 minutes, but in the end they were so chewy and delicious!

  • Flo says:

    I would love to send this to my sailor in the U.S. military

  • Hayley Donaldson says:

    Can these be frozen?