Cutout Sugar Cookies Recipe

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This easy cutout sugar cookie recipe is the best! It makes soft cookies with lightly crisp edges. The perfect sugar cookie for decorating!

Sugar cookies are such versatile cookies – there’s one for every occasion! This recipe makes amazing sugar cookies for decorating. You can also try Brown Sugar Cookies and these Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies for more ways to enjoy this classic cookie!

Sugar Cookies: A Classic Holiday Cookie Tradition!

Decorating sugar cookies was a holiday tradition for my family growing up. My mom is not a baker but every Christmas she’d get things ready to make Christmas cookies with my brother and I. These caramel clusters were made very year, along with cutout sugar cookies. We’d actually ice the cookies with a traditional buttercream, but I decided to use royal icing this time around.

My mom actually gave me the cookie cutters we used to use a few years ago, figuring I’d get more use out of them now. I used those cookie cutters for these cookies. 🙂

Decorated Christmas tree sugar cookie

Why I Love These Cut Out Sugar Cookies

I also used the same recipe we’d use – with a few modifications. The original recipe actually spread quite a bit. Not really ideal for cutout cookies.

So I did some playing around with the recipe and got them just right! I’m not going to lie, they spread juuuusssst a tad. It’s really more that they rise a bit. I considered making them a touch thicker so they didn’t spread/rise at all, but honestly I love them just the way they are. Too thick and you end up with a less than appetizing, dry cookie. The spread really isn’t much and as you continue to work with the dough and re-roll it, more flour mixes in and by the time you’re done, there’s no spread at all. The cookies hold their shape great, even when they spread a tad.

You will want to make sure to accurately measure your ingredients for these cookies. The amounts of ingredients – especially the flour – really do need to be correct to ensure your cookies turn out correctly. Too much flour and you’ll have some hard cookies. Too little and they’ll spread too much.

Decorated Christmas sugar cookies

To help with that potential problem, I’ve included weight measurements for those who have a scale. It really is more accurate.

If you’re using a scoop, just be sure not to pack in the flour. I pour my flour into a canister and then scoop it out of there, so it isn’t densely packed but is loose.

How to Make Cutout Sugar Cookies for Decorating

Make the Cookie Dough

To make the dough, start by creaming the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes. You should notice the color of the mixture actually get lighter in color and it should get fluffy in texture. Then you’ll mix in the egg and vanilla, then the dry ingredients. It’s a very simple and straightforward recipe as far as the ingredients and method.

Bowl with sugar cookie dough and spatula
Stainless steel bowl with sugar cookie dough

The dough will actually be quite thick, even a little crumbly at first. If it doesn’t completely come together with the mixer, use your spatula or hands to press it into a ball.

These Are No Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies

You can definitely refrigerate this cookie dough and make it a few days ahead if you want, but it isn’t required. You can start rolling our cookies as soon as it’s ready.

Shape Your Cut Out Cookies

Sprinkle a little flour onto your surface (I used our countertops). Grab some of the dough – I start with about 1/3 of the dough – and roll it out. If you find your rolling pin sticks to the dough, sprinkle a touch of flour onto it. You’ll want the dough to be 1/8 to a 1/4 inch thick after being rolled out.

Floured counter with sugar cookie dough
Rolled out sugar cookie dough on floured counter

Cut out your cookies, making the most of the dough and squeezing in as many cookies as you can. My cookie cutters were fairly big, so I didn’t get quite as many cookies per roll out. Remove the excess dough and lift the cookies with a lightly floured spatula, then place them on a lined cookie sheet. I like to use my silicone baking mat, but parchment paper would work well too.

Cookie cutters on rolled out dough
Shaped sugar cookie dough on floured counter

Bake the Cookies

The cookies bake for 7-9 minutes. You can wait until the edges are just starting to get golden, or remove them a touch sooner. The time might vary a bit between ovens, but 8 minutes was just right for me. Well baked, but not browned. I like mine a little softer.

Once you remove the cookies from the oven, you’ll want to let them sit for 4-5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. They will be fairly soft until they firm up a bit as they cool, so it’ll be easier to move them once they’ve cooled a bit.

Stack of Christmas tree sugar cookies

Decorate Your Sugar Cookies

Once the cookies are completely cool, it’s time to ice them with royal icing. It’s really not as scary as it seems, it just takes a little time and you need the right tools. I liked these cutout sugar cookies best once I had the royal icing on them. The icing softens the cookie up a bit from the moisture and results in a seriously perfect decorated sugar cookie.

In fact, I took one with me to Chicago right after I made them so that my friend Julianne from Beyond Frosting could try one. She said it was the best royal icing cookie she’s had! A big compliment. 🙂

If you’re wanting to decorate your cookies with royal icing when they’re ready, check out my post on how to make, color and pipe with royal icing. There’s even a video!

Stacks of holiday sugar cookies in various shapes

Watch How To Make Them

Read Transcript

You might also like these cookie recipes:

Best Gingerbread Cookies (Soft and Chewy Cutouts)
Christmas Tree Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Coconut Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
No Bake Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons
Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Icing
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

My favorite tools for making these cookies:
Silicone baking mat
Scale, for weighing ingredients
Parchment paper
Rolling pin

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Using festive cookie cutters to cut out sugar cookies.

Cutout Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: About 20 Large Cutout Cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This easy cutout sugar cookie recipe is the best! It makes soft cookies with lightly crisp edges. The perfect sugar cookie for decorating!


  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (293g) all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Dough will be very thick. You might need to use a spatula or your hands to help it all come together.
  5. On a lightly floured surface and using smaller amounts of dough at a time, roll out dough to about 1/8 to a 1/4 inch. IF you roll them out too thickly, they might spread a little bit. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. See my notes about rolling out the cookie dough below.
  6. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookies, then transfer to cookie sheet. (If you want to be completely sure that they don’t spread even a little, put them on parchment paper and freeze them for 7-8 minutes before baking them.)
  7. Bake cookies 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven just before they start to brown on the edges.
  8. Allow cookies to cool for 4-5 minutes, then move to cooling rack to finish cooling.


The best way to measure the dry ingredients for this recipe to ensure your cookie dough isn’t dry is to measure them by weight. If you don’t have a scale though, be sure not to pack the flour into your measuring cup. I usually store my flour in a separate container from the bag I bought it in, then prior to measuring I use a spoon or other utensil to loosen the flour. I use a scoop to scoop out the flour, then level it with the flat side of a knife. Don’t tap the scoop to settle the flour or pack in the flour.

Rather than rolling the dough out onto a floured surface, you can also roll it out right onto parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then you don’t have to transfer them and move them around after cutting. I’ve started doing this, and also putting parchment paper over the cookie dough when I roll it out so I’m not flouring the dough several times or the rolling pin.

If you’d like to use it, here is my royal icing recipe for decorating the cookies.


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 136
  • Sugar: 10.1 g
  • Sodium: 121.5 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.1 g
  • Protein: 1.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 21.5 mg



This post contains affiliate links.

Cutout Sugar Cookies Collage

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

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  1. Francie Mann

    I have made these several times over the last 8 years since I first found the recipe, and they are a big hit. Weighing the flour is a good idea and the dough may seem crumbly but it comes together with a little effort and hands. Everything said in the recipe is accurate for me. I do not frost them, just use colored sugar and I bake them 8-9 minutes. I love them crisp. I add 1 tsp of almond extract and the vanilla, which makes them extra delicious!

  2. Kimberly

    Finally! My kids and I have tried several different recipes for cutout sugar cookies and nothing has worked until now. So good!

  3. Katie

    Great tasting! Used conversions due to being in the uk, and the results were fab! Our two boys loved decorating the biscuits. Thanks so much!

    1. Lindsay

      I suppose you could. I’ve never done that before. It would brown them a bit and the sprinkles may melt, depending on the sprinkles you use.

  4. Hannah

    Sorry but this recipe is a flop, I used all correct measurements and it was dry and crumbly unable to be used with cookie cutters

    1. Lindsay

      Most cutout cookie dough can seem a little crumbly at first, but usually comes together if you use a spatula at the end, or even your hands. If it won’t come together, then you likely added too much flour.

  5. JSim

    The winning recipe! I have been baking sugar cookie for years (at Christmas) but only recently started using royal icing to decorate them. I was trying to find a cookie that tasted as good as the local specialty cookie shop that I sometimes use for special events. And after numerous different recipes, this was the winning formula per my (now grown) daughter (and cookie connoisseur). And when my specialty shop did not have a moose cookie that I needed for a party I was hosting, I had to make my own cookies. I used this recipe and my coworkers thought the cookie came from a professional bakery! I have not experienced “crumbly” issues like other people who have commented but I live in a high humidity location so that may be the difference.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, just store them in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag, and then thaw them in the fridge when you are ready to use them.

  6. Mimi

    I don’t understand the negative comments at all. My granddaughter and I made these and they were so soft on the inside and just a tad crispy (how I like them ) on the outside. They were fun, easy, and so good. We made Easter eggs, ducks, flowers and ice cream cones. Wish I could post a picture.

  7. V

    This is a terrible cut out cookie recipe. Easy but horrible. The texture is not crisp the flavor is bland and I would never make this again. I m very surprised these got a 5 star review.

  8. Tiffany

    The cookies tasted so good! Everyone loves them. My dough was crumbly at first, but I added a small amount of milk and formed the perfect dough. Thanks!

  9. Shari L Kalous

    OMG! This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!
    They are a little moist and a little crunchy! PERFECT COOKIE! Ty so much for sharing this! I did add 1 Tbls. of milk and 2 Tbls. of additional butter. I am also high altitude for anyone who needs that adjustment. I love these cookies and this will be my go-to for sugar cookies from now on! TY TY TY!

  10. Trinity smith

    So I did this recipe exact and my dough was crumbly? I used 1 stick of butter and it was way to dry and crumbly and then I added another stick and formed to dough…but now it’s way too buttery

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I imagine a whole other stick of butter probably was too much. My guess is that you over measured your flour a bit. With cookies like these, even a little bit can make a difference. We are trying to get a thick dough that won’t spread, without having too much flour. Next time, I would recommend adding a teaspoon of milk to help it all come together.

      You could also try this cutout cookie recipe, which you may find a little more forgiving.

      How to measure flour accurately

    2. Mirella Lema

      Trinity mine was totally crumbs as well but I was certain that I measured correctly so I dumped the crumb mixture out on the counter and with my hands just started working it and it came together perfectly! I was pretty worried when I saw how dry and crumbly it was but they turned out great!

    1. Lindsay

      If you go ahead and add icing on top, they will stay fresh for at least a week. The icing insulates them pretty well and keeps them soft. You could also try these cutout cookies. You can bake them thicker so they may stay softer for a touch longer.

    1. Lindsay

      The problem with icing them before freezing them is that the colors in the icing can bleed when they thaw and moisture hits them. I would recommend freezing un-iced.

  11. Andrea

    Sugar cookies are always too soft and plain. The texture of these was great, slightly chewy and firm, but not hard.

      1. Kassi

        So something came up and I wasnt able to bake the cookies directly after mixing the ingredients so I stored them in the refrigerator for approx. 7-8 hours but now they are rock hard, do I need them to get to room temperature before rling the dough? Help, I dont want to start over.

      2. Lindsay

        I would let it come to room temperature and then roll the cookies. They should be just fine.

  12. Leanne

    This recipe was super easy to use, my cookies turned out pretty good. I have a electric stove so I ended up baking these for 12-14 min. About 1/4″ thick..they do spread a little.. I added 1tsp of pumpkin pie spice to the flour mixture and the flavor was perfect.. I used all measuring cups and spoons for this recipe and turned out pretty good.. for an ADHDer it was perfect!!

  13. Julie

    Thank you- I have found my new sugar cookie recipe! I made 1 batch with vegan butter for my allergy kiddo & another as written. Both turned out great. I put each tray in the freezer while the previous one baked & had no spreading.

  14. Liz

    So easy and delicious, rolled out perfectly after I formed it in my hands! My new go-to sugar cookie recipe. Thank you!!

  15. Mallory Haldeman

    If I roll them a bit thicker will that result in a softer cookie? I prefer soft/chewy cookies to crunchy but I still want to do a rolled/cookie cutter cookie. I don’t really plan on using royal icing, maybe some colored sugar before baking.

  16. Jamie

    The problem with the recipe is if you follow the measurements with measuring cups, youll end up with sandy flour and it won’t work. But if follow with a scale, you’ll be okay. I used just UNDER 2 cups of flour for this recipe when I used my scale.

  17. Chrissie

    I was reading thru reviews before making this, i saw crumbly, maybe too much flour so i added dry mixture but left a tad out so i could mix n add in after so long as wasnt crumbly especially since i doubled recipe, it came out perfect, i cant believe i found a dough i dont have to refridgerate first. MERRY CHRISTMAS TY FOR SHARING THIS AMAZING RECIPE!

  18. Samantha1990

    Wasted my ingredients on this one … the “dough” turned out like the crumbs at the bottom of the cereal box … tried adding milk, AND chilling the dough before rolling it … did nothing to help. Still just a pile of crumbs.

    1. Lindsay

      It sounds like you probably over measured the flour. Too much flour is going to create a crumbly and dry dough.

  19. Dee

    What brand of parchment paper do you use when you roll the dough out on the parchment paper and then slide it on the baking sheet for baking? Did that make sense? I’m undercaffeineated this morning.

  20. Brittany

    I love this recipe and have used for nearly 3 years now! I was wondering how the cookies freeze and whether or not you ice them prior to freezing or after? I have a birthday party and I would love to knock these out ahead of time.

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you enjoy them! I would freeze prior to icing. Condensation from thawing them could cause icing colors to bleed.

    1. Lindsay

      I would add a teaspoon of milk at a time until it all comes together. You don’t want to add too much liquid or the cookies will spread.

  21. Amanda


    Two questions:
    1. Have you ever used powdered sugar for rolling the dough out, instead of flour? 🙂
    2. I have powdered vanilla. Should I add a tsp of water along with the tsp of powdered vanilla?

    (I also love how your mom had commented years ago, and her comment name was “mom”😄)

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried powdered sugar before. I’m not sure if that’d work as well or not. And yes, you could probably add a touch of water. And LOL about my mom, love her!

      1. Amanda

        I made the dough today (getting ready to roll and cut out!). It definitely needed the little bit of extra water, to make up from the powdered vanilla. 🙂 it tastes amazing….I can’t wait to try a baked cookie!

  22. Cheryl

    My daughter and I had fun making this cookie recipe and royal icing and even more fun decorating them! Your decorating video was helpful.

    I will say I had my doubts when mixing the cookie dough, it indeed was crumbly like many have said. However, we switched to hand mixing and it came together nicely!

    I am wondering how we should store them?

  23. Royce

    I can’t find my previous post. I want to decorate these great cookies with colored sugar – but with no icing! Do you have suggestions for this?

    Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Well without some kind of icing for them to stick to, the only way I can think of to make them stick is to add the sprinkles prior to baking and press them lightly into the cookies.

  24. Royce J Davis

    Great recipe – it helps if you follow the instructions! I put all the dry ingredients in a bowl – then tried to dig the sugar out from under the flour! At 68, you would think I would read more carefully! They were still very good! I would like to decorate my cookies with sugar, but no icing. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you in advance!

  25. Chrisy Tingle

    Hi Lindsay, I love all your recipes and wanted to try a chocolate cut out sugar cookie recipe, but couldn’t seem to find one.
    Have any recommendations?
    Chrisy’s Creations

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoy the recipes! Unfortunately I don’t have a chocolate cut out cookie recipe and it’s hard for me to advise without testing it. Sorry!

  26. Donna

    I rarely ever make comments on cooking sites, but I just had to write on this one. I was skeptical because not only do I hate making sugar cookies (or any rolled cookies for that matter), but reading all the comments made me nervous.  Glad I went ahead and tried anyway. They were the easiest sugar cookies I’ve ever made and I whipped up a batch in no time at all, even though it was just for kicks and I didn’t have any real reason to ( except that I have these adorable Halloween cookie cutters that were calling me 😊). I can’t wait for Christmas to be with my grandkids and do them again – they’re THAT easy and forgiving! 

      1. Lindsay

        Oh wait, I’m sorry. I got confused about which recipe. These hold up well when frosting for at least a week, if not a little longer. The royal icing helps seal in the moisture of the cookie.

    1. Lindsay

      In theory, yes. The easiest way would be to swap out the vanilla extract for another. If you’re thinking about something that isn’t an extract, it would depend on how much liquid you’re adding. Since you don’t want these cookies to spread, adding too much liquid flavoring would cause more spreading.

  27. Becca

    This was perfect!! It was my first time making sugar cut out cookies and you made it so easy and fun. My boys were eating them with and without frosting 🙂

  28. Susana Martinez

    My dough came out thick but sticky. VERY sticky. I had to add quite a bit of flour and I could tell it was too much but the dough was STILL sticky.

  29. Louise Dickson

    Dear Lindsay

    You are a godsend…you made my day. What a perfect recipe for .sugar cookies. It was o easy and fun to make and bake. Thank you. This recipe will be used forever and passed down to my two girls as the go to for sugar cookies.

    I wanted to notch up the flavor so did a half vanilla/half almond extract combo. Yum.

    Thank you once again for sharing ❤

  30. Leanne

    Hi Lindsay,

    I know the recipe says it’s okay to make the dough a few days before. I need to make base these cookies on Tuesday (it’s currently Saturday), is making the dough three days in advance okay? Should I roll it up kind of tube style in plastic wrap and store in the fridge? And would you recommend letting it warm to room temp. when ready to use or it’s okay to handle and put in the oven a little colder?

    1. Lindsay

      That should be fine. As for the temperature to work with it, it’s totally fine if the cookie dough is cool when you roll it and cut it and bake it. They will actually probably do even better in the oven if it’s cooler, since cooler cookie dough helps prevent spreading.

  31. Amanda

    I’m not one to leave comments, but I made this batch twice this evening, and I will never make them again.

    I followed the recipe to a T, and the dough was beyond crumbly each time… I attempted to salvage the first dough, with no luck. So, I threw it out and tried again, thinking maybe I used a wrong ingredient, but nope.. After the second attempt, I had the same result – crumbly, dry as dust, ‘dough’.

    Now, not only do I have (another) unusable dough, but i also am out of double the ingredients listed above – what a waste.

  32. Brenda Milcetic

    Hi Lindsay,
    Just wondering why this recipe only calls for 1/2 cup butter. I have seen the same recipes but they all seem to ask for 1 cup of butter. I am new to baking sugar cookies so I need your help. Thank you,

    1. Lindsay

      All recipes are different. I don’t know what other recipes you’re looking at, but this one only needs 1/2 a cup of butter. Other recipes with one cup of butter more than likely also use more flour and other ingredients as well.

  33. Caitlin

    This recipe was so easy and amazing!
    I did have to add 1 teaspoon of milk (1/2 teaspoon at a time) to help it come together into a dough!

    When I rolled it, I found that it broke a bit (or started to crack) so what worked best for me was to have the bit of dough in a ball and to squash it down with your hands a bit before rolling!

    The cookies hold their shape amazingly and are so easy to decorate!
    I did mine as part of valentines gifts this year and I hope everyone likes them! I naturally dyed the icing pink using raspberries and then when it dried a bit once on the cookies, stamped it with these letters I have (you can use them on fondant too, they are specifically for baking purposes) depending on who I was giving it too!

    I was wondering if there was a way that we could share our creations with you , how do we send the photos?

    If I ever need a roll out recipe again, I will use this one!

  34. Gail Snyder

    After mixing the dough it was a crumbly texture.  I added one egg yolk.  Worked perfectly.  Tasted delicious

  35. Julia

    Awesome recipe! They are super soft and taste amazing! My only issue was that the dough was a little dry and crumbly so I added a bit of milk and that pulled it all together. 

    1. Emily Downing

      I had the same problem. I added heavy cream, a little at a time until it came together. I will try only using 2 cups of flour next time and see if that helps. Also, after cutting them out I chilled in freezer for 15-30 minutes so they held their shape when cooking and cooked for 10-11 minutes. Turned out great. Can’t wait to make more sugar cookies!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried it before to be able to say for sure. I think the condensation from the cookie thawing would mess up the icing though.

  36. Amy

    Hi! These are our favorite cookies to make when I feel like making “fancy” cookies…any thoughts on editing this recipe a bottle use as a pie crust? Thanks!

  37. Aubrey

    Are you able to freeze these cookies after they are baked?  I want to make them ahead and decorate the day before the party!  

  38. Chef Paul

    Way too much flour for the amount of butter, you need to double the butter or half the flour. way Too crumbly

    1. Kelly

      Did you knead it?  I initially was worried about the crumbly look of it but with a bit of gentle kneading it worked beautifully 

  39. Michelle

    These are delicious and so easy! The only difference I found is I only got about 12 cookies out of the batch using 4 inch cutters  and I had to increase the baking time to 15 minutes ( and they still weren’t really brown on the edges). Now on to make 100 for my son’s class Mardi Gras party! 

  40. Claire

    I made these cookies and they didn’t turn out as i had hoped. They were very crumbly and were not easy to roll. i will not be making these cookies again!! Would not recommend to anybody wanting a fun and easy recipe. Hopefully i will be able to find a better recipe since this one wasn’t good at all.

      1. Lindsay

        I find that sweetness is a preference. I think they’re just sweet enough, but that doesn’t mean you’ll agree with me. You can reduce the amount of sugar, but keep in mind that sugar also has moisture to things so your cookies might end up a little more dry.

    1. Lindsay

      No, there’s no water or oil. Did you weight the flour or measure by cups? It’s possible a touch too much flour was added. That said, sometimes you need to use your hands to help it all come together. If that doesn’t work you could add a touch of water to help it come together.

  41. Naya

    My toddler and I made these today. I didn’t read the note about measuring by weight until it was too late so the dough was super crumbly. I added an extra egg and another 1/4c of butter which worked perfectly( I’ll definitely pull out my scale next time though!). We added food coloring to make various colors as well. Really nice to have a recipe where you can skip chilling and still retain the shape of the cutouts.

  42. Mandi Nero

    I LOOOOVE this recipe. Seriously. Foolproof. This is the easiest dough to roll out. Other recipes I’ve had issues with re-rolling and the cookies becoming too tough or deformed while baking. I got four re-rolls out of this and each cookies came out perfectly. I also used your royal icing recipe and tips on different consistencies. Made my first time decorating so much fun!

  43. Laura

    We made these cookies last year for an event at our church and everyone loved them.  This year we will be making 200 cookies. I wonder if I can bake the cookies in a convection oven?

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you loved them! I’ve never tried a convection oven, but I imagine it might change the way they bake a bit.

  44. Candy walton

    I always roll my sugar cookies between wax paper w a sprinkle of flour, will this recipe be good w that??

  45. Mariana

    HI! I dont know if somebody ask this before, but I want to know if I can make this in advance, how much time before is recommended and how can I preserve the cookies till the day I will use them? Thanks!

      1. Lindsay

        The baked cookies with royal icing already on them should be fine for a week or so. The icing helps keep the cookies soft for longer.

  46. Alyssa

    This recipe is absolutely AMAZING.  I can’t tell you how many I have tried & disliked.  Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  47. Sarah

    We have made these 4 times in the past 2 weeks! They are the BEST!!! Our new favorite cookie! Perfect royal icing! Thanks for sharing!
    Merry Christmas
    The Oliver Family – Louisiana

  48. Brandy Hood

    What do you suggest if the dough is too sticky to try to pick up ? I’m scared to try more flour since you said to be sure to use what ingredients call for, lol. Maybe refrigerate a lil bit?

    1. Lindsay

      Where the ingredients weighed? Or did you use cups? If you used cups, it’s possible that you need a touch more flour.

  49. Jaren @ Diary of a Recipe Collector

    Lindsay, we’ve made these cookies the last two years and love them! This dough is so easy to make and I love that you don’t have to chill it!! Perfect recipe! Merry Christmas!!

  50. Lauren

    How cute! I wish my sugar cookies came out like this. How did you make your icing? Recipe Please? 🙂 thank you for sharing!! 

  51. Jennifer

    I came across your royal icing tutorial on Pinterest, and decided to use your sugar cookie recipe as well! They came out just perfect! They have a slightly crisp bottom but the cookie itself has a soft but toothsome bite. I really appreciate that you added the weight of the ingredients! It helped keep all four batches consistent. Great recipe, thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear you used the weight measurements – always turns out best! So glad you enjoyed them! 🙂

  52. Judy

    Merry Christmas! I have to tell you ,this is my new favorite sugar cookie recipe! so easy and I love that the dough doesn’t have to chill and that the cookies keep their shape. such a time saver! I also have to share with you and your readers that I used Truvia baking blend (Stevia) instead of sugar- and it still turned out perfect! thank you for sharing this recipe! Happy New Year 🙂

  53. Lynn Bylor

    As an experienced baker I thought I would try your was a little skeptical that there was only 1/2 cup butter to 2 cups flour. However, I follwed yoyr recipe and found myself with not a dough but fliyr meal. So I added another 1/2 cup shortening and the recipe turned out fine. 
    My biggest pet peeve is trying recipes on pinterest that are not accurate ir that ingredients have been omitted.

    1. Lindsay

      Hi Lynn. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as expected. The reason for that ratio is that these cookies don’t spread when baked so they maintain their shape. Adding additional butter (or shortening) would likely result in cookies that spread. The ingredients are accurate and nothing has been omitted, so there was likely some other issue. Thanks.

    2. Sonja

      I was just comparing recipes and this one has the same flour to butter ratio as the Martha Stewart sugar cookie recipe.

  54. Nat

    What a beautiful recipe and story!! I absolutely can’t wait to try this recipe!!!
    Just a quick question, while I have definitely flagged your royal icing recipe for future use, I was hoping to make something a little easier my first time. Your story mentioned that you used to use a buttercream frosting when you were younger. While obviously not as gorgeous as royal colored icing, any other cons to buttercream frosting? (Cookie doesn’t last as long?)

    1. Lindsay

      As I’m sure you can guess, it’s really more of an appearance thing. Certainly as a kid, buttercream was easier to work with. The buttercream won’t be quite a firm as a royal icing, but that might not be an issue. I’d think the cookies would last a similar amount of time. Royal icing does typically hold better for longer, but the cookie might be even softer over a weeks time with buttercream because of the moisture. I hope that helps!

    1. Lindsay

      Honestly, the cookie would dry out if made too much ahead. Once frosted, they’ll last a little longer. It depends a little on your tolerance for a crispy cookie. 🙂 I’d say 3-4 days is best, but up to a week or so should be ok.

  55. Danielle

    I loved this recipe, I was very nervous when the dough wasn’t coming together, but if you mix it with your hands it works perfectly. I rolled them into balls since I didn’t have cookie cutters. Then, I rolled the balls in cinnamon and sugar. That made them taste even better! I flattened the balls with a fork and pooped them in the oven! I will totally use this recipe again!

  56. Dristi

    Hey, can you please upload the recipe for the frosting as well? I’ve tried some methods but didn’t find one that I like. It’d be really helpful. 🙂
    PS thank you for this recipe. I’ll definitely try this one out soon. 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      The link is within the blog post, but I just added it to the recipe card so it’s easier to find. I hope you enjoy the cookies!

  57. Shelby Nelson

    Just made these today and they’re probably the best sugar cookies I’ve ever made. I really appreciate you putting in the weight for the sugar and flour too. One question, how do you get them to be so smooth on top. I had a few that seemed to bubble and and get bumps after baking, but they looked fine after rolling and cutting. The only thing different from your method was that I used parchment instead of a silpat.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I’m not sure about the bubbling. It sounds like some extra air got trapped in some of the cookies. Was it a later batch after re-rolling the dough? Perhaps some air got in the dough that way?

      1. Jade

        Mine were smooth on top. And surprisingly flat. They must have raised a little but not much. But they were flat and not puffy and not rounded on the top. And perfect texture inside. I just had such a good experience my first time with this recipe yesterday! 

  58. Elaine

    This seems like a really great recipe! I was wondering if I could double the recipe with the weight measurements for a bigger batch. Would that cause any problems?

    1. Jade

      I doubled the recipe, using measuring cups and not a scale, and everything came out perfectly. I use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients and do the loose flour “scoop up the flour, scrape the excess off with a flat knife” when measuring my flour, method. Everything worked out perfectly. I followed the ingredients and methods she listed as is. Rolled 1/8 to 1/4 inches and even the thinner cookies were still soft and chewy. Wonderful recipe. <3

  59. Kamilia

    this is wonderful  ! i would like to try them but  i’d to know if i may baked all evenly  at max amount (enough  to fit my  3 tiered rack in the oven ) do i use convection or just normal setting ? i get confuse every time on  trying to get a well baked or an even bake sugar cookies.. 🙁 

      1. Kamilia

        oh dear, im sorry for the confusion! i wanted to know if we should bake with only 1 tray in the middle at a time  ? or is it safe for me to baked 3 trays at one  time ?  because i have tried  baking before with 3 trays at 1 shot, using convection setting  but it did not bake so well ;( Thus im wondering how do u normally bake your sugar cookies . 🙂 

      2. Lindsay

        Oh I see. 🙂 Sorry! Yes, I’d recommend regular bake setting with one tray at a time. The heat should distribute more evenly that way.

  60. Lindsay

    Have you ever tried freezing this dough? Was thinking about making a small batch and freezing the remainder. Thoughts?

    1. Jenna

      I have made very similar doughs and they freeze well. Nigella Lawson makes a sugar cookies that’s almost the same and she encourages freezing.

  61. Kelsey

    Hello!  I’ve made this recipe twice now, the cookies are just delicious.  They definitely spread, so I wouldn’t recommend using this recipe with intricate cookie cutters (which I did the first time).  But the second time I did a basic heart and flower shape for Valentine’s Day and they turned out great.  One small note I would like to make; when I doubled the recipe I found it just a tad salty with 1/2 tsp of salt.  So next next if I double the recipe I’ll keep the salt at 1/4 tsp.  But with the icing I put on top  they were still perfect.  Thanks for sharing!

    1. Caitlin

      The recipe only calls for 1/8th of a teaspoon

      Mine may taste a tad salty too as I accidentally put extra salt in it (in my defence, I forgot to check if my butter was unsalted or salted

      If you use salted butter, you don’t need the salt called for in the recipe itself

  62. Jennifer

    Tried your recipes this weekend for the Super Bowl.  Cookies turned out great.  One batch with salted butter and no added salt and one batch with unsalted butter.  Both excellent!  What I really enjoyed was that the cookies didn’t spread!!  

  63. Nicole

    Great cookies! I made these tonight for a decorating party tomorrow and easily got 6 dozen 2-2.5″ cookies. I loved that I didn’t need to chill them and they taste wonderful!

    1. Kelly

      Fabulous recipe! Thanks so much! I made the icing too and love it.  Think I used a little too much water so will use a little less next time but I’m so pleased to have a reliable recipe and look forward to trying your other recipes 🙂

  64. Barbara

    Hi..I want to thank you for sharing your recipie..I am so not a cookie baker..but your way was soooo only challenge now is the decorating piece. Thanks again!

  65. Jeannie

    Do you really add 1-1/2 tsp baking powder? Does that much make the cookies spread or puff up? I’m new to your site but enjoying reading. Thanks for the recipes and baking tips.

  66. Tanisha

    I’ve tried a few different sugar cookie recipes this month…this is by far the easiest/quickest…my favorite part? No dough chilling! That always keeps me from making cutout sugar cookies, and now I have a go-to recipe! Soft, yummy and sturdy, so great for decorating! Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas!


      It’s all purpose flour. I haven’t tried whole wheat flour, but am quite certain it would not work in this recipe.

      1. Jade

        Just made these for a birthday party yesterday. They were perfect. Followed the recipe, even learned from that picture in article about what that attachment for my kitchenaid mixer was used for. They rolled out easily. Didn’t raise when baked- they stayed pretty close to what I rolled out, and then didn’t burn or crisp. I cooked mine 7 min and pulled them out and let cool. They are very vanilla-ey in a goid way. And soft and chewy. Everyone loved them at the party and the next day, my sister had taken a few plain ones home without icing, said, “Those sugar cookies were perfect Jade.” I agree. I think it’s in the methodology because I have made other sugar cookies many years in a row but never creamed the butter and sugar for 4 minutes until this one. But there must be science happening because these were perfect. <3 Also, everyone in my family loves your vanilla cake recipe that I’ve been making now for birthday parties and I just made the mini cheesecakes and they turned out great too! And now these sugar cookies! I can’t wait to try other recipes on this site!

  67. Cassandra

    Made these today and they are AWESOME. I used salted butter and it was delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!


      Yes, I have used salted. If you use salted, just be sure to leave out the addition salt listed.

  68. Halie S

    I’m not really sure what I did wrong 🙁 The dough was pulling apart quite a bit and had a tough time combining. After they were baked, they were beautiful and looked soft with lightly crisp edges. But when I bit into them they were dense and very crumbly, not soft. I followed the directions to a T, or so I thought. Any idea where I might have gone wrong?


      It sounds like there may have been too much flour. With cookies like these, a little bit more or less can make a big difference which is why I added weight measurements in addition to cups, which can be less accurate since everyone measures cups a little differently. You might be able to save them though. Try icing one of them and letting it sit for a few hours. The moisture from the icing will often times soften cookies up and they might still be ok.

      1. Nicole Martini

        I’m having the same issue right now. I haven’t rolled them out yet cuz I can’t get the dough to hold together enough to do it. It’s all crumbly. What can I do to save it?


        Hmm, you could try adding a touch more butter. You’ll want it to be soft so that it’ll incorporate well. Try 1/2 tbsp at a time. I’d hope 1/2 tbsp would be enough. The other option is to try adding 1 tsp of milk at a time, but I’d think butter would be the better option.

      3. Linda

        I read on the internet you can use Confectionary Sugar to roll out the dough instead of flour. What do you think Lindsay?Thank You!


        I haven’t tried it, so I’m not sure. Definitely seems like it’d be worth trying.


      No, you can use salted butter, just don’t add the salt listed in the recipe if you use salted butter.


      I got about 20 large cookies. If you are using smaller cutters, you might be able to get 35-40.

  69. Anty

    Hi, I’m just wondering if the baking powder doesn’t make the cookies puff up too much. Can I opt it or will it interfere in the baking process?
    Thank you.

    1. Alice

      Hi left out the baking powder to make puzzle cookies and they were fine… only difference is crisper cookies which I loved the same way….

  70. Mir

    These are gorgeous. I want to figure out how to do a Chanukah version, but my decorating skills are not as amazing as yours. These are, quite literally, perfect!

  71. Jean |

    Lindsay, like *all* of your baked goods, these are simply gorgeous! I’d like to have one right now to go with my cup of tea.

  72. Mom

    OMG….not at all what our cookies looked like years ago! Thanks for the memory! Hope you saved me some! They are adorable and I KNOW they will taste great!


      Haha! I know right? I actually made more this week, so I’ve got a bunch of them for you tonight. 🙂


      Yes, definitely. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear. Just mix it in with the rest of the dough and re-roll. I’d suggest trying to get as many cookies out of each roll though so you don’t add too much flour with each re-roll.

      1. Aunnie

        Love this recipe! I love how these cookies came out. They are exactly as promised, crispy on the edges with a softer center.
        I enjoyed making them with my chicks and bunnies Easter cookie cutters, then decorated for a wonderful finish. I will be using this recipe for all the holidays, so easy and so goos!!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29