The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever

4.92 from 23 votes

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This Sugar Cookie Recipe is made with cold butter, is easy to cut out, holds its shape after baking and yields soft and chewy sugar cookies. Perfect for Christmas, Easter, Halloween or any party, especially when paired with this simple buttercream frosting. It really is the best sugar cookie recipe!

This Sugar Cookie Recipe is amazing!!! I got the original recipe from Bridget over at Bake at 350 and I’ve adapted slightly over the years, but beyond that, this has always been my go-to recipe for sugar cookies 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.

sugar cookie recipe

Sugar Cookie Recipe

The best sugar cookie recipe starts out with the right ingredients. Here is everything you’ll need to make delicious, soft and chewy sugar 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 Extract – look for pure vanilla extract here, not the imitation kind.
  • Vanilla Bean – this is optional but is super delicious.
  • Almond Extract – once again, pure extract. If you can’t stand almond extract, leave this ingredient out and consider doubling up on the vanilla extract.
  • 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.

sugar cookie ingredients

 

How to Make Sugar Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, extracts, and vanilla bean. In a small bowl stir flour and baking powder together. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients until a dough forms.
  3. Form dough into a smooth ball then roll the 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Decorate as desired.

If you LOVE sugar cookies, check out these other recipes: Soft Pumpkin Sugar CookiesXO Valentine Sugar CookiesPomegranate White Chocolate Sugar Cookies.

how to make sugar cookies

Freezing

How to Freeze Sugar Cookie Dough

Make the 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 as desired.

How to Freeze Baked Sugar Cookies

Once your sugar cookies have been baked, cool completely 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.

sugar cookies

Sugar Cookie Frosting Tips

Decorating sugar cookies is such a fun activity to do with your kids, so 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.

sugar cookie recipe

Storing

This sugar cookie recipe will stay soft and tasty for up to 5 days when stored at room temperature, covered. To lengthen their shelf life, cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.

sugar cookies

More Sugar Cookie Recipes!

4.92 from 23 votes

The Best Sugar Cookies Ever

These Sugar Cookies are buttery, soft, chewy and are the perfect cut out sugar cookie recipe! It even holds its shape after baking!
servings 24 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter 2( sticks) cold & cut into chunks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (or vanilla sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, extracts, and vanilla bean. 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.

Notes

Nutritional information is for plain, unfrosted sugar cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make sugar cookies, sugar cookie recipe, sugar cookies

 

Polaroid photo of granola bars

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Recipe Rating




80 Responses
  1. Sara

    Yum! I think I’ll have to try these! I already have my absolute fave sugar cookie recipe, but I’d really like to try out a vanilla bean recipe too. Adorable pics!

  2. Megan Pence

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous. You’re adorable baby just made my fever break – baby-fever has struck. Ahhh!!! Too cute for words.

  3. From Valerie's Kitchen

    Lauren, your daughter is an absolute doll! So that’s what it’s like to have a daughter huh??? 🙂 I’m just about to embark on some sugar cookie baking for donations next week and this recipe looks like a good one.

  4. Melissa // thefauxmartha

    I love that sugar cookie recipe too! It’s my fave. The cookies look beautiful and so does your little one—just like her momma!

  5. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    these are absolutely beautiful Lauren! I would happily devour 2 dozen of them 🙂 And I love that your cute little munchkin got to help out too.

  6. Amy @ A Little Nosh

    I just put the mixing bowl cover in my Amazon cart. I can’t believe I didn’t think to get one sooner. I make a MESS when I bake and this would totally help. And help my son be able to assist me. Thanks!

  7. Esther @ Esther Eats!

    Whaaaaaa these sound delicious! As I mentioned on the other post, I love sugar cookies, so these are getting made PRONTO!

  8. Michelle Slater

    Is there anyway to get the full recipe? The one you’ve posted does not give the amount of flour, almond extract, vanilla extract, or eggs to use. I have been searching forever for a sugar cookie recipe that doesn’t turn crispy the way mine usually do. I would love to try this one out!!! Thanks!!!

    1. Linda Underwood

      Did you ever get the full recipe? I’ve requested it three times without a resonse, just wondering if you had better luck and if so could you send it to me. Linda

    2. Shani

      5 stars
      Vanilla Bean Christmas Sugar Cookies
      YIELD 2-3 DOZEN COOKIES
      INGREDIENTS

      3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
      2 tsp baking powder
      1 c vanilla sugar {or regular sugar}
      2 sticks butter, cold & cut into chunks
      1 egg
      3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
      1/2 tsp pure almond extract
      1 vanilla bean, scraped
      INSTRUCTIONS

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      In a small bowl stir flour and baking powder together. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, extracts and vanilla bean. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients. Roll dough out onto 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. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to cooling racks. Decorate as you like.

      1. Milleah Espino

        5 stars
        I have made this recipe a couple of times and I LOVE this cookie recipe, and my family does as well 🙂 It’s so easy and so yummy, and they hold their shape perfectly. They turn out so beatiful that they can be given as gifts during the holiday season! Thank you for posting!

  9. Veronica Miller

    5 stars
    I was one of the lucky recipients of these delicious, most beautimous cookies! Thank you so much–they are wonderful! I did take a photo and feature it at the bottom of my own cookie recipe today. Love the pics of your little helper! 🙂

  10. Anna

    5 stars
    I knew your cookies would be awesome!! I think our daughters are about the same age and I love that they’re actually HELPFUL now, so fun to pass on the passion!!

  11. Megan's Cookin'

    5 stars
    I’ve been using this same recipe for many years and they are always perfect! Love how you decorated them, especially that mitten! 🙂

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  15. Kellie

    5 stars
    This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe I have ever tried. I made them on Sunday. They are still soft 5 days later. They have great flavor and hold a great shape, everything I have always looked for in a sugar cookie!!! I have tried many, many recipes and nothing is even close to this. My family raved about them and everyone wanted the recipe. Thanks for sharing this!

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  18. Msbellabree

    3 stars
    I actually tried the recipe you posted. The dough was a crumbly, dry mess. It never came together and I had to throw it out. Huge waste!

  19. Melissa

    5 stars
    I found this recipe years ago and have never used another. Everyone loves these cookies and always ask for the recipe, is it bad I keep it to myself? ????

  20. Katherine

    5 stars
    My son and I made these and they’re so yummy… Light and flavorful,. They melt in your mouth! The cookies are soft and have a lovely texture.I enjoy them unfrosted with my coffee.
    We used regular sugar, but the vanilla bean is probably what makes them so siimply flavorful. It’s pricey @$20 from our grocery in CA. but worth it.!!

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