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
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.
How to Make Sugar Cookies
- 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 until a dough forms.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.
More Sugar Cookie Recipes!
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Scoop and bake Sugar Cookies (no rolling or cutting!)
- Bakery-Style Soft Sugar Cookies
- Chewy Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies
The Best Sugar Cookies Ever
- 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.