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 47 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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  • NanciLuann says:

    I had my doubts about not chilling the dough, but they turned out great. My neighbors love them! Thank you for the time saving recipe!

  • Ricci says:

    I am planning to try this recipe. I was wondering if you have any alternative for the almond extract? Thank you very much :).

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can omit. 🙂

  • Carolyn Miller says:

    Hello Amanda, I have made thousands of cookies in my life. I made your sugar cookie recipe (with 3 sticks, butter, 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks…) They came out perfectly at Christmastime. I made them for my son’s birthday to mail to him and is was a disaster. they melted in the oven and lost their shape. I even put the tray of unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. my baking powder was new. I first had the oven at 350 and then bumped 0t up to 375. I’m a chef by profession. I do know what I’m doing. my colleague at work said, some batches just do not come out:( and ideas?

  • Joshua Moreno says:

    Can you leave the Almond extract what do you recommend for substitute also are these soft a chewy?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, you can omit the almond extract. (but they are not as good!) And yes, they are definitely soft!

  • Carmen says:

    What’s the recipe for the glaze icing

  • Emma says:

    Thank you for giving measures in grams …so precise !
    Great recipes ….so generous of you to share your talent ! Wishing you the best !

  • Supriya says:

    Hi This recepie looks awesome but do u have any eggless recepie also , if yes then pl share , as my niece allergic to eggs n she loves to eat cookies . Thanks

  • Gail says:

    Yes, I would like your favorite glaze recipe, also!

  • Ann says:

    Do you have a recipe for the frosting for these yummy cookies?

  • Shirley says:

    Could I also have the glaze recipe for the awesome sugar cookies?

  • Dawn says:

    What kind of frosting do you use? May I have the recipe?

  • Sharon says:

    I cannot find the frosting recipe. Thank you

  • Lisa says:

    Good morning! Do you have the icing recipe that you use for these please?

  • Denise says:

    I do not like almond extract. Can I use lemon extract instead?

  • nicol says:

    My son is allergic to eggs, can I make them without eggs.

  • Sandra Webb says:

    Could not find the glaze icing recipe for the sugar cookies.

  • Pam says:

    Icing recipe can be found by clicking on words Buttercream frosting

  • Andrea says:

    Loved this recipe! The dough truly does not need to be refrigerated. I followed each direction precisely and it came out perfect. I love how the baking powder allowed to rise just a little bit, but still maintain the cookie cutter shape. And the flavor is excellent. Now onto the glaze!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yay!! Thrilled you like it!

  • Dianne Edwards says:

    I didn’t find the icing recipe. Did I miss it or can you add it plz?

  • Dawn says:

    Where is the icing Recipies for the icing? I’m not good with sugar cookies, but I’m going to try this one. Thanks

  • Andrea says:

    Good morning
    Do you share the cookie glaze icing recipe?
    Your cookies look so beautiful!

    Thank you

  • Kelly stewart says:

    I need the icing glaze recipe. Thanks

  • Michele says:

    My recipe calls fof some sour cream. They are very moist and not dry

  • Lisa says:

    I find this dough is always dry & hard to incorporate scraps

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Lisa! If the dough is too dry for you, you can try adding an additional egg yolk OR using a bit less flour. Different kitchens, temperatures, humidity levels, and egg sizes will produce different outcomes. The good thing is that is it an easy fix! 🙂

  • Silvia says:

    Excellent recipe. Easy to work with dough, cookies came out perfect, (even though I used salted butter, did not have any unsalted butter at home). Baked cookies for 12 minutes. Everybody loved the cookie.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So glad Silvia!