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 42 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. This will help ensure your cookies back evenly!



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  • Sunceraye says:

    I am going to try your sugar cookies recipe with icing thanls

  • Ginny Fox says:

    I don’t want to make cut out cookies, I just want to make round cookies to icing with my Grandson when he gets here for Christmas. Or do you think it would be more fun to make cut out cookies? He likes them thick and soft, are these cookies that way? He’s only 5 but I still love doing it with him. My Daughter is an excellent cook and Baker she has her own Cupcake Business, but I do the cookies with him. Can you give me some advice here please, Thank You!🙂

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, I do think this recipe will help you make the cookie you would like to make! 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    Baked 300 of these cookies over the weekend for a Mission trip. Taste so good!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Oh my word… 300?!?! You go girl!

  • Eileen WilsonKoops says:

    So many delicious cookies and only 15 days to make them all. Love your recipes. Thank you!

  • Wendy says:

    I wish bakers would say how to store their items and how long they last!
    With buttercream frosting how do you store them and how long do they last before going bad?

  • Bobbie says:

    Hi Amanda, made your sugar cookie recipe today, they turned out great, they are delicious!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

  • Joyce says:

    Cut back on the butter and add 8 Oz cream cheese and then you’ll have the perfect cut out cookies.

  • Theresa says:

    Can you omit the Almond extract and just use vanilla? I have a major nut allergy and can’t take any chances.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Imitation almond extract contains no nuts… so that is an option. But yes, you can leave it out, the cookies will taste a bit different.

  • Remah albakri says:

    Really Amanda has the easiest way to describe a recipe l will practice her recipes thank you Amanda

  • Elaine says:

    Hi! I have a question about your sugar cookie cutout recipe . In the list of ingredients, you don’t say if the flour should be sifted first, then measured or measured then sifted. You talk about sifting the dry ingredients in the blog of your recipe. Please clarify. Thanks.

  • Carrie DeCriscio says:

    Where is the icing recipe? For the sugar cookies?

  • Sherry says:

    Great tasting cookie and amazing dough to work with! I doubled the recipe and rolled it out for a thicker cookie, baking it for 10 minutes. Baked perfectly! A must have recipe. Thank you!!

  • Tim says:

    Are these crispy cookies or chewy? I prefer crispy.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      More chewy than crispy.

  • Bridgette says:

    This recipe was amazing. I’ve been using the same recipe for 30 years and decided to try this one at the last minute. I’m so glad I did. The consistency of the cookies was amazing and did not spread. I will be using it for now on!

  • Nicole Thomas says:

    Do you think this recipe would work good using an embossed rolling pin? I’m looking for a recipe that will not rise too much and lose the detail from the rolling pin.

    • Amanda Rettke says:


  • Kathyparsons says:

    This recipe rocks, love no chilling, rolls out perfect

  • Susan Senss says:

    Hi, I see the Buttercream recipe but not the Glaze icing recipe you were raving about. Is there another place to look for it or do you, maybe, have a link to it? Thank you.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Right here in the post there is a link to the glaze icing:
      “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.”

  • Barbara says:

    Going to try the sugar cookies

  • Tami says:

    Where is the icing recipe?

  • Teresa Lavender says:

    I love these cookies!!! They have a great taste.It is hard to eat just one. lol The best part about the cookies you don’t have to chill the dough. Who wants to wait 2 hour for the dough to chill. The dough is so easy to work with its almost like your working with play dough. My granddaughters love to help.

  • Bunny says:

    What is the recipe for the icing on the cookies

  • Alana Miller says:

    Looks delious! How can we make it vegan?

  • Angela says:

    How could I try this one with cocoa powder? My husband is a chocolate cookie person and I would like to try to make a chocolate version

  • Bindy says:

    I am not a baker, but would like to try this recipe. I am probably asking a stupid question but do you have to put in almond extract. I really don’t like it.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You do not have to add it.