The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

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This is the best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe for holiday baking! These easy cookies have amazingly buttery flavor, soft and chewy texture and hold their shape for decorating.

Stacked Sugar Cookies in a Christmas can

Quick & Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies

When it comes time for holiday baking, everyone has their go-to, easy cookie recipe that never falls short of perfection. And let me tell you: this one for delicious cut-out sugar cookies is a keeper!

These sugar cookies are so easy to make, hold their shape, and are perfect for all sorts of festive decorating ideas, from Christmas cookies and beyond using our perfect Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe.

Fair warning: this recipe makes a large batch of cookies! More to keep and more to give away, I always say. My best ever sugar cookies are great for getting little ones involved in baking, and make wonderful gifts for special occasions.

For more classic cookies, try my Gingerbread Cookies and German Spice Cookies.

Watch How It’s Made

See how easy these sugar cookies are to make in this short video below.

Why This Is The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

There are so many reasons why this sugar cookie recipe is simply the best you’ll ever make! Here are my personal highlights, to name a few:

  • Quick and easy The dough needs simple ingredients and comes together quickly. Plus, the dough requires very little chill time (or none at all!).
  • Ideal for cut out cookies. This sugar cookie recipe is perfect for cut-out cookies as they hold their shape when baking.
  • Easy to make ahead. These cookies and their dough freeze super well, perfect for making ahead! You can easily double the recipe to freeze some for later.

All in all, I just love how forgiving (not to mention delicious) this sugar cookie dough is. Perfect cookies, every time, is definitely something I can get behind!

Sugar Cookie Snowflake

What You’ll Need

You only need a few pantry ingredients to make this cut out sugar cookie recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Flour – All-purpose flour is best when it comes to consistent baking!
  • Baking Powder – Helps the cookies rise in the oven.
  • Butter – Be sure the butter is chilled to help the cookies keep their shape in the oven.
  • Almond Extract & Vanilla Extract – I love to use a combination of the two in my sugar cookie recipe for the perfect amount of flavor.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Salt – Helps to balance and enhance the other flavors.

How to Make Cut Out Sugar Cookies

We make loads of these cookies for all our special occasions. The kids love getting involved, as they’re so easy to bake and decorate. Scroll down to the recipe card for more detailed instructions.

  • Make the cookie dough. Cream together the butter and sugar along with the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder before slowly combining the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 
  • Chill the dough (optional). This part is optional, but chilling for a few minutes is a good way to guarantee these cookies hold their shape. Roll the dough into a ball and place it in the fridge while the oven preheats!
  • Cut into shapes. Roll the dough out to 1/4 thick then cut into shapes as desired. This recipe works great with my favorite cookie cutters: Christmas cookie cutters, Valentine cutters, Halloween cutters, and Easter cutters! Transfer the cut out cookies to a baking sheet.
  • Freeze. Place the cut out cookies into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. This step helps them set in order to bake into perfect shapes with clean lines.
  • Bake. Bake your cookies in a preheated oven until the edges are just golden.
  • Decorate. Once your cookies have completely cooled, use your favorite icing and cookie decorations and let creativity reign! See below for more decorating ideas.

Can I Make the Dough Ahead of Time?

Yes! You can make the sugar cookie dough up to three days in advance. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Let the dough come to room temperature or slightly chilled before rolling and cutting into shapes.

Stacked Snowflake sugar cookies

Tips for Success

This sugar cookie recipe couldn’t be easier – but there are still some things you’ll want to keep in mind as you make them.

  • Measure the flour correctly. The secret to perfect sugar cookies that hold their shape? Measuring the flour! Too much flour and you’ll have hard cookies. Too little flour and they’ll spread too much. The best way to make sure the measurement is accurate is to spoon the flour into measuring cups and level it off with a knife (compared to scooping the flour directly from the bag with your measuring cup).
  • What if my dough is too sticky or crumbly? The dough should come together into a texture similar to Play-Doh. You might need to wet your hands a bit if the dough is too crumbly, or you can add more flour when kneading dough that is too sticky. The cookie dough for this recipe is easy to work with!
  • Make the most of your cookie dough. Make sure to keep your cut-outs close together so you’re able to cut out as many cookies from the dough as possible. Re-roll out any dough scraps with a bit of flour each time to really maximize the number of cookies!
  • Make sure the cut out cookies are similar in size. Use cut-out molds that are roughly the same size to avoid smaller cookies that are over-baked and larger cookies that don’t bake enough.
  • Adjust the flavors. Cut the vanilla extract to 3/4 teaspoon, and add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond, lemon or another extract you prefer. You can also throw in a pinch of spice, like cinnamon, for extra flavor!

Decorating Ideas

Here are a few tips, tricks, and ideas for decorating this cut out sugar cookie recipe.

  • Go wild with your choice of cookie cutter shapes. Use trees, snowman, candy canes, stars, or any other cookie cutters desired. You can also freestyle it with a paring knife.
  • Use royal icing. Use a piping kit to decorate your cookies with Royal icing (or DIY your own piping bag by snipping the corner of a ziplock bag filled with icing!)
  • Try other frosting flavors. Make frosted sugar cookies with your favorite frosting flavors, from Peanut Butter Frosting to homemade Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Use gel food coloring. Invest in food coloring gel for the brightest, most festive colored icing or frosting.
  • Add sanding sugar. Give these cookies a dusting with sanding sugar or edible glitter.
  • Decorate your cookies with sprinkles or nonpareils. If you’re decorating unfrosted cookies, use a wash made of egg whites and water to get your sprinkles to stick to baked cookies!
  • Turn them into stained glass cookies. Cut out the centers and use this sugar cookie dough to make beautiful Stained Glass Cookies.
A cut out sugar cookie Christmas tree leaning against another stack of cookies

Storage Instructions

Store sugar cookies airtight and at room temperature somewhere away from direct sunlight, like a cupboard or pantry. If you’re storing them in layers, separate them with a sheet of parchment paper. They will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

These cookies are also great for storing in smaller airtight jars and tins for easy and delicious gifting!

Do These Sugar Cookies Freeze Well?

This sugar cookie recipe is perfect for freezing! You can make and bake your cookies, and then freeze them to serve or decorate later.  Both the raw cookie dough and baked cookies will keep for up to 30 days in the freezer.

  • To freeze baked sugar cookies: Allow the cookies to cool completely, and then store them in a freezer safe container. Place them in single layers with parchment paper in between to prevent the cookies from freezing to one another.
  • To freeze unbaked cookie dough: Store the dough tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Allow it to thaw before rolling, cutting, and baking.

More Homemade Cookies You Have to Try

Sugar Cookie Recipe stacked in a can
5 from 85 votes

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

This is the best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe for holiday baking! These easy cookies have amazingly buttery flavor, soft and chewy texture and hold their shape for decorating.
Servings: 24 cookies
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add in egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  •  In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add to the wet ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  • Roll dough in a ball and set aside. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes (optional). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll dough out on a well-floured surface until the dough is 1/4" thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you desire.
  • Transfer to cookie sheet.  Freeze 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer and bake for 7-8 minutes or until cookies start to turn lightly golden around the edges.
  • Let completely cool and decorate with our delicious icing recipe.

Last Step:

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Serving: 24g | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg


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48 comments on “The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    So i made a practice batch yesterday to test the recipe, its a fairly easy-to-use basically fool proof recipe and everyone LOVED them lol. The only problem i had (completely my fault) i miss read the tsp for TBSP so the baking powder made them incredibly salty to me lol. So if you follow the recipe CORRECTLY lol they are amazing.

    1. Hi Ashley. Using baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats works best.

    1. I haven’t tried anything for high altitude with this recipe but it may take some trial and error. I know there are things you can try, like increasing flour by a few tablespoons, decreasing the baking soda by up to half and decreasing the sugar a little. You’ll also want to watch the baking time. Let us know if you try something that works for you!

  2. 5 stars
    I like the easy recipe, and the tips you give …that helps me out alot…my health is declining but i said to my self, I can always make a cookie…..Thank you

  3. Good morning!
    I have a question regarding making the dough ahead. I am making some sugar cookies for my neice’s birthday (they will be puzzle pieces from a cut out and she LOVES to puzzle). I am a bit on a tight schedule though leading up to her birthday so I was hoping to make the dough the night before baking the actual cookies. Is this advisable? If so, would you keep the dough in the fridge overnight?

    Thanks for any thoughts 🙂

    1. Hey Savannah! Yes, that will work just fine to make the night before and store in the fridge until the next day or so.

  4. Have not made these yet, but am going to this week so when my sister and her family come for Christmas, my nieces and I can decorate them, they are 9 and 13 so they are starting to age out of toys

  5. 5 stars
    I made these today – they were very good and turned out really nice. Also made the icing it was good too. Definitely will make again – only thing I noticed was I had to leave them in the over a little longer but that could be maybe they were too cold or it was just my oven.