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The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

This easy sugar cookie recipe is the perfect holiday cookie!

A simple mixture of butter, sugar, and flour with a few additions, these sugar cookies bake up perfectly and hold their shape. 

They’re perfect for any holiday, easy to make, and they freeze beautifully!

Easy Sugar Cookies with icing
  • These easy cookies use simple ingredients. Our family things this is the best sugar cookie recipe since they’re soft and have a delicious buttery vanilla taste.
  • Pair them with our favorite sugar cookie icing to make festive cookies for any occasion!

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies

  • Sugar – This sugar cookie recipe uses regular granulated sugar for sweetness and texture.
  • Butter – The amount of salt in salted butter can vary, so use unsalted butter and add salt for the best flavor.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour brings everything together.
  • Egg – Egg helps bind everything together.
  • Other Vanilla adds flavor while baking powder helps achieve the perfect texture. Add ½ teaspoon of almond extract if you’d like.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

  1. In the stand mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar together per the recipe below.
  2. Mix in an egg. Add dry ingredients and mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Chill dough for a few hours. Roll and cut with cookie cutters to match the occasion!

Sugar cookies are best when baked just until lightly browned on the edges.

sugar cookie dough in a disc

Don’t skip chilling the sugar cookie dough. This allows the butter to firm up a bit, keeping the cookies from spreading too much and looking flat. Chilling in the refrigerator helps them to keep their shape as they bake.

raw sugar cookies on a baking sheet
  • No parchment – Skip the parchment paper or silicone mat for this recipe. They hold their shape best on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Room temp ingredients – Ensure butter and egg are at room temperature.
  • Measure flour correctly – It is important to measure flour correctly. Avoid scooping the flour with a measuring cup, or it can pack the flour, resulting in a dry dough. Instead, lightly spoon the flour into the measuring up and use the straight edge of the back of a knife to level it.
  • Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thickness. When rolling the dough, if it gets too soft, put it in the fridge for a few minutes. Don’t add too much flour when rolling the dough.
  • Don’t skip chilling the dough or the cookies will spread and not hold their shape.
  • If baking in batches, do not place new batches on a warm cookie sheet. This will cause the dough to spread.
  • If the dough seems powdery or isn’t holding together, it is not mixed enough. Continue mixing with a paddle attachment (for up to 5 minutes more), and the dough will hold together. Image below.

If the dough seems powdery or isn’t holding together, it has not mixed long enough. Continue mixing with a paddle attachment (for up to 5 minutes more), and the dough will hold together. Image below.

How to Decorate Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are one of the most popular cookie recipes for decorating. Feel free to have fun with cookie cutters, stamped rolling pins, or simply cut them into circles.

To make Christmas sugar cookies, or any time of year cut-out cookies, ensure they’re completely cooled on a wire rack before decorating (or the icing will melt).

You can decorate the baked cookies with soft frostings like buttercream frosting and embellishments, but our favorite is to use a simple sugar cookie icing or royal icing that finishes shiny and firm. Tip! Use gel food coloring for the best colors.

Another option is to melt chocolate chips and dip half of each cookie.

Once decorated, store cookies in an airtight container. These chewy sugar cookies also freeze well. Keep in freezer for up to 3 months.

a stack of sugar cookies

More Easy Cookie Recipes

These sugar cookies are a favorite all year long! We enjoy them as Christmas cookies but cut them into any shape for other occasions. Here are some more of our favorites!

iced sugar cookies with sprinkles

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Sugar Cookie Recipe

Nothing says year-round holiday fun like baking easy sugar cookies and decorating them with family and friends.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 9 minutes

Chill Time 4 hours

Total Time 4 hours 24 minutes

  • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder.

  • In the bowl of stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, add the butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until fluffy.

  • Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.

  • Gradually add the flour mixture with the mixer on low. Continue adding until all of the flour is and let mix until the dough holds together, up to 5 minutes. If the dough is powdery or not holding together, mix it longer.

  • Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a flat 5-inch disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or up to 4 days.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. While the oven is preheating, remove the dough from the fridge. If it has been in the fridge longer than 3 hours, it may need to sit out 15 minutes before rolling as the butter will be very firm.

  • Sprinkle the work surface with a light dusting of flour (or powdered sugar) to keep the dough from sticking. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness.

  • Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. The scraps and be re-rolled, chill them in the fridge if they soften too much.

  • Place the sugar cookies 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or just until cookies begin to brown on the edges.

  • Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, transfer to a cooling rack, and cool completely before decorating.

  • Once cooled, decorate with sugar cookie icing.
TROUBLESHOOTING: If the dough is powdery or not holding together, continue mixing it. If using a stand mixer, ensure you use the paddle attachments (not the wire whisk ). As you continue beating, the mixture will hold together and form a dough, it can take up to 5 minutes. 

  • Ingredients, including egg & butter, should be at room temperature.
  • Avoid using a measuring cup to scoop the flour. Instead, lightly spoon the flour into the measuring up and use the straight edge of the back of a knife to level it.
  • Roll the dough to 1/4″ thickness.  If the dough becomes too soft,  wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it.  Don’t add too much flour when rolling the dough.
  • Don’t skip chilling the dough, or the cookies will spread and not hold their shape.
  • Do not place new batches of cookies on a warm pan if or the dough will spread.

Calories: 80 | Carbohydrates: 10g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 21mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Easy Sugar Cookies with icing and sprinkles and writing
stack of Easy Sugar Cookies with a title
Easy Sugar Cookies with sprinkles and a title
Easy Sugar Cookies in a stack and plated with sprinkles and a title




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