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This Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie Recipe is easy to cut out, holds its shape after baking, yields soft and chewy sugar cookies and has the best flavor. Perfect for Christmas, Easter, Halloween, or any party, especially when paired with this simple buttercream frosting or my Royal icing. It really is the best sugar cookie recipe!
Vanilla Bean Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
These Vanilla Bean Cookies are amazing!!! Over the years this has always been my go-to sugar cookies recipe because it’s reliable and always turns out perfectly. Whether it’s for the holidays, birthdays or just getting a craving for really good sugar cookies, this should be your go-to recipe. You don’t need to plan ahead to soften butter, you don’t need to refrigerate the dough overnight and they always bake up soft and chewy every time. And the vanilla flavor is out of this world.
Love vanilla bean? Try my Vanilla Bean Cheesecake (Cheesecake Factory Copycat) recipe.
Main Ingredients Needed
The best sugar cookie recipe starts out with the right ingredients. Here is everything you’ll need to make delicious and soft cut-out cookies.
- Salted Butter – cold and cubed! The salt in this helps balance all the other flavors.
- Granulated Sugar – to sweeten, this IS a sugar cookie recipe after all. You can also use vanilla sugar here.
- Egg – this is used for texture and structure.
- Vanilla Bean – this is what makes these super delicious. You can of course sub out PURE vanilla extract if needed.
- Almond Extract – once again, pure extract. If you can’t stand almond extract, leave this ingredient out and consider doubling up on the vanilla.
- All-Purpose Flour – unbleached, this is used to fill out the rest of the cookie and help bring all the ingredients together.
- Baking Powder – this is used for leavening.
How to Make Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
For all the nitty-gritty details on how to make Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, see the recipe card down below 🙂
Step 1: Preheat + Prep
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Step 2: Make Dough
Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, vanilla beans and extract. In a small bowl stir flour and baking powder together. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients until a dough forms.
Step 3: Roll Out + Cut
Form the sugar cookie dough into a smooth ball then roll it out onto the floured surface to be just over 1/4″ thick. Cut cookies out using cookie cutters and place them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Step 4: Freeze, Bake + Cool
Freeze 5-7 minutes, then bake 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms have lightly browned but edges are still light in color. Cool 3 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to wire racks.
Step 5: Decorate!
Decorate as desired. More info on that below!
How do I remove Vanilla Bean seeds?
First, you want to split the bean down the center with a paring knife. Working with one side at a time, and holding one end of the pod against the cutting board, you want to use the dull side of the paring knife (or butter knife, or a cheese board knife like I used) to scrape the seeds out. You’ll scrape the entire length of the pod. Then repeat with the other side. Usually the amount of seeds you get from a pod is the equivalent to 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
When you’re looking for vanilla beans at the grocery store, you want to look for ones that are more plump and full looking and have a glossy sheen. Wait to scrape the seeds out until you’re ready to add them to your recipe. Here’s the brand I purchase often and they are great quality. Although the whole vanilla bean is packed with flavor, it’s the coveted seeds inside that we want for this recipe.
Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Frosting Tips
Decorating cut-out sugar cookies is such a fun activity to do with your kids – it’s one of my favorite things! Here are a couple of things to consider before delving into frosting mode.
Type of Frosting? I have a ton of frosting recipes here on the blog, but the ones that I found that are the best to decorate sugar cookies are my Buttercream Frosting Recipe and Easiest Royal Icing Recipe.
Coloring. With either of these recipes, you can add different food coloring to make your cookies pop.
Flavoring. Another thing to consider is flavoring your icing. Make it chocolate, or mint. Maybe even lemon!
Best Way to Frost? For my buttercream frosting, grab yourself some spoons and butter knives. It’s a thicker frosting so piping might not be the best option. On the other hand, my royal icing recipe is perfect for piping. If you have younger kids, I’d stay away from the royal icing and opt for spreadable buttercream.
Sprinkles. Sprinkles are another great way to make your sugar cookies stand out. Plus kids tend to go bananas over them.
Storing Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
This cut-out sugar cookie recipe will stay soft and tasty for up to 5 days when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. To lengthen their shelf life, cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
OR consider freezing these cookies to make them ahead of time (baked or unbaked)! Here’s how to do both:
Freezing the Dough
Make the cut-out sugar cookie recipe as written below. Form prepared dough into one or two thick discs and place into a large food storage bag or wrap well in plastic wrap and then foil. As long as the dough is wrapped well, it should be good in the freezer up to two months. To defrost, place at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until soft. Cut out and bake cookies as desired.
Freezing Baked Sugar Cookies
Completely cool your baked cookies and transfer to plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Containers will help prevent baked sugar cookies from breaking. Freeze for up to three months. To defrost, set at room temperature for about an hour. Decorate as desired.
Yes, you can use 1-3 tsp of either vanilla extract per vanilla bean or follow the directions on your vanilla paste jar as those can vary.
More Sugar Cookie Recipes!
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Copycat Swig Sugar Cookies
- Soft Sugar Cookies
- Sugar Cookie Blossoms
- Classic Sugar Cookies (scoop and bake)
The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂
Vanilla Bean Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, vanilla beans and extract. In a small bowl stir flour and baking powder together. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients.
- Roll dough out onto the floured surface to be just over 1/4" thick. Cut cookies out using cookie cutters and place onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze 5-7 minutes, then bake 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms have lightly browned but edges are still light in color. Cool 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to cooling racks. Decorate as desired.