This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe, melts in your mouth, cookies keep their shape when baked, perfect edges line, soft and flavorful, perfect for decorating.
This recipe makes a simple but versatile vanilla sugar cookie with only a few ingredients and no fancy techniques. The dough is easy to work with, you’ll be able to roll & cut with ease and they are bound to be the perfect ‘go-to’ cookie recipe for any holiday cookies.
This Sugar Cookie Recipe has been a crowd favorite for YEARS because it produces a consistent cookie with the perfect buttery flavor soft centers and perfect edges. It holds its shape beautifully when cut with cookie cutters also without any cutter and one of the best things is that you can choose to bake these sugar cookies soft and thick, or thin and crisp and both ways are phenomenal!
Have a cookie decorating party or gather the kids in the kitchen to bake and decorate Christmas cookies. No matter what the occasion, this sugar cookie dough is one you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again. It is not often that I eat a plain sugar cookie without any type of icing, and these were delicious in every way a sugar cookie should be. Soft, chewy, buttery, and sweet, these are the essence of what every sugar cookie aspires to become.
How To Make The Best Cutout Sugar Cookies? Watch it with us!
You’re going to fall in love with this sugar cookie recipe. It’s so much easier to cut shapes out with and when you bake them the cookies will not spread. Instead of rounded pillows that only slightly resemble the shape you cut them into, you’ll have super-sharp edged cookies PERFECT for decorating.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE?
For this recipe, I am using unsalted butter, If you’re going to use salted butter just reduce the quantity of salt from this recipe. Make sure your butter is at the right temperature. Room temperature can be a little misleading if your house is too warm or too cool. Your butter shouldn’t be so soft that your finger goes right through it if you press on it, but it should also be able to make an imprint. If it won’t, or it barely does, it’s likely too cold still.
In your standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and Icing sugar or powdered sugar together until light and fluffy about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. I know most of the recipes use regular sugar but trust me this powdered sugar gives a more compact and perfect shape to the cookies even after baked.
When butter and sugar are creams together add in one whole egg and flavoring of your choice. I added vanilla extract and mix it again for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes light and smooth.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. A very important note: It’s important to correctly measure your flour or you will end up with dry crumbly dough. Sift the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until completely combined. Your dough will first look crumbly but keep mixing with a stand mixer and it will quickly turn into a soft cohesive dough.
Don’t over mix the dough after you add the flour. It can overdevelop the gluten and cause the cookies to not spread as nicely or be tough.
Wrap the surface of cookie dough with cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. If the room temperature is warm, place the bowl in the refrigerator otherwise, you can let it rest on the counter surface.
Flatten the dough into a disk between the two parchment papers, it will help to not sticking to the surface and easily be rolled out. Roll the dough with a rolling pin around 1/4 or 1/8 inches thick in diameter and put it into the fridge for a few hours this will help prevent spreading.
This recipe requires chilling your dough, and yes I know, chilling is a pain…BUT rest assured that your patience will be paid off afterward. I found chilling my cookie dough before and after cutting really helps to prevent spreading during baking. It also makes your dough very easy to manage when it comes time to roll it out and to cut out with perfectly defined edges….so trust me when I tell you that it is well worth the wait!
When the dough is a bit firmer, take it out of the fridge and cut into desired shapes (lightly dust with flour if necessary). Place the cut-out cookie dough into a baking tray then put it into the fridge again for another 1-2 hours, this will also help prevent spreading.
Bake cookies at 180° Celsius for approx 10-15 minutes (times may vary slightly depending on your oven). Note: Each oven is different, I would recommend you get to know your oven and adjust the time accordingly. Baking time is a personal preference. Watch for the edges and tops to be set. If you like your cookies crisp on the edges, roll them thinner and bake until just golden brown. If you want thick, soft cookies, remove them from the oven before you see golden brown.
TIPS FOR SUGAR COOKIES :
If your butter isn’t room temp just cut the sticks into a few slices and microwave on 50% power in 5-second bursts. Flip the butter with every burst.
Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and then use a knife to level it off.
Scrape your bowl down a few times. If you have a glob or two of butter that doesn’t get mixed with the flour then it will lose shape and melt when baked.
Notice how I roll out the dough After chilling it in the refrigerator? That’s my trick for the perfect cutout cookies and you can see me doing it in the video tutorial above. Let me explain why I do this. To prevent the cookies from over-spreading, the cookie dough must chill in the refrigerator.
Roll out the cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thick or just under 1/4 inch thick. Yes, this is on the thicker side and yes, this produces extra thick and soft cookies!
I always let the cookies cool overnight or at least four hours if you have to decorate straight away.
I prefer waiting until they are a day old before decorating them to reduce the chance of oil from the cookie leaching into the icing and causing icing spots or butter bleeds.
How do I store Sugar Cookies?
If I’m making a large number of sugar cookies I will almost always make them ahead of time because sugar cookies freeze beautifully! Simply cool completely after baking and then layer between parchment in the freezer. When you are ready to frost, just pull them out of the freezer- you can even frost them while still frozen and let them come to room temperature on the counter. Alternately, you can simply place baked cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature.
How do I frost Sugar Cookies?
For straight-up flavor, we love our Classic Buttercream Frosting on sugar cookies. It’s the most traditional combination!
If you’d like something a little more fun and artistic, try our popular Royal Icing recipe.
IF YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE TRY THESE OUT!
- 175 grams or 1 ½ Cups icing sugar
- 225 grams or 2 Sticks or 1 Cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or any flavor you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 420 grams or 3 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
- Salt 1/4 teaspoon
- Cream together butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, add to the butter mixture little by little until well incorporated.
- Wait approximately 30 mins before working with the dough as it will firm up slightly. Put it in the refrigerator.
- Roll the dough between baking paper and put it into the fridge for a few hours this will help prevent spreading. When the dough is a bit firmer, take it out of the fridge and cut into desired shapes (lightly dust with flour if necessary).
- Place the cut-out cookie dough into a baking tray then put it into the fridge again for another 1-2 hours, this will also help prevent spreading.
- Bake cookies at 180° Celsius in a preheated oven for approx 10-15 minutes (times may vary slightly depending on your oven).