Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies. These cookies bake up soft and hold their shape perfectly! Add some sprinkles or frosting to complete and enjoy! Perfect for Christmas, the holidays, or any day of the week!

Sugar cookie with Christmas sprinkles on a baking sheet.

Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are a favorite tradition in our home! I have been making sugar cookies with my kids since they were born. I make the dough, the kids get to cut the shapes and do the most important job of adding the sprinkles. This is the sugar cookie recipe that I got from my own mom, and it’s the recipe that she has been using since I was a little one.

These cookies are sure to become your favorite also! They are buttery, soft, and they hold their shape like no other! 

Cutting out a star from sugar cookie dough.

Ingredients Needed:

The ingredients for these cookies are simple. And more than likely you have them on hand already.

  • Flour. I use All Purpose flour for making these cookies. If you use a self rising flour you would need to adjust the baking powder needed in the recipe. B
  • Baking Powder- use just enough to make the cookies soft, but not enough to create any real rise to disturb the shape of the cookie.
  • Salt- this balances all of the sweetness with the cookies.
  • Butter- I always use unsalted butter when baking to allow me to control the saltiness of the recipe. Room temperature butter is what the recipe calls for, set the butter out several hours before baking.
  • Sugar- regular white granulated sugar. This cookie recipe is designed to have additional sweetness added to the top of the cookie, either in sprinkles or frosting. Therefore, if you don’t have either of those on the cookie, it may not seem sweet enough. Just a warning.
  • Eggs- I always use large eggs in my recipes.
  • Vanilla– a hefty dose of my favorite vanilla (affiliate).

Shapes cut out of sugar cookie dough.

Tips and Tricks to make the BEST Sugar Cookies:

  • Don’t Over Mix: Giving the dough a workout by kneading it will make it strong and tough!  And not in a good way!  Keep the dough out of the gym to help the cookies  stay nice and soft.  Do your best to knead and mix the dough as little as possible once the flour is added.
  • Divide the dough: this recipe makes a big batch of cookies, dividing the dough into 3 portions, makes it easier to roll and work with. 
  • Chill: chilling the dough works magic and helps to ensure our cookies will hold their shape. I found it easiest to roll it out before chilling. Warm dough=easier to roll. Cold dough= better cookies.  So roll first, then chill.
  • Thickness: Keep those cookies thick! If the dough is too thin then the cookies will be hard, brittle, and sad. Keep the dough about 1/4 inch thick. This makes for fluffy, soft, and happy cookies.
  • Baking time is KEY: if the edges are turning golden brown then it’s already been too long! This was a shocking revelation for me, I always used to bake them til the edges were slightly golden. You guys! They are so much better when baked correctly! 

Detailed ingredient measurements/instructions in the full recipe box below.

Sugar cookies being decorated with sprinkles ready to bake.

How to decorate Sugar Cookies:

Sprinkles: Use either a sanding sugar sprinkle, or a fun sprinkle to help you celebrate whatever holiday/event you are making these cookies for. 

Frosting: You can use any frosting that you prefer, although my favorite frosting ever is a cream cheese frosting like I use on these Carrot Cake Cupcakes. 

Icing: Royal Icing is typically what is used when decorating cookies. My favorite method is to make this EASY Icing recipe using powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. You can make different consistencies to get an outline and to fill the shape.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips:

Baked sugar cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 5-7 days. If you have chosen to frost/ice your cookies layer the cookies between sheets of wax or parchment paper and stack carefully to help preserve the look.

If you are making the cookies ahead of time and will be frosting/icing the cookies, wait to decorate them until you will be serving them. Ice the cookies the night before serving so that they can dry completely. Frost them the day of to ensure freshness. Sprinkles will always be applied prior to baking.

Want to make this cookie dough ahead of time? Store the rolled out cookie dough in the refrigerator, sealed, for up to 5 days. Dough can be frozen, sealed, for up to 3 months.

To freeze cookie dough:

  • Place cookie dough on parchment paper in a large round. This full recipe can be dived into 3 portions.
  • Place cookie dough in freezer bags and place in freezer.
  • Can be frozen for up to 3 months
  • Remove to refrigerator overnight to thaw.
  • Bring dough to room temperature, roll out, then chill the dough in refrigerator, cut and bake.

Sugar cookies sprinkled with sanding sugar.

Useful Tools for this recipe:

  • Large Baking Sheets: These large half sheet baking sheets are my #1 kitchen item. 
  • Silicone Baking Mats: these silicone mats prevent your cookies from sticking to the tray without using baking spray or parchment paper. 
  • Hand mixer/Stand mixer: either of these options make mixing doughs or batters quick and easy. 
  • Wire rack: easily cool cookies. Plus these racks fit perfectly in the large baking sheets if you need to bake something on a rack. 

More Cookie Recipes you may enjoy:

Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies. These cookies bake up soft and hold their shape perfectly! Add some sprinkles or frosting to complete and enjoy! Perfect for Christmas, the holidays, or any day of the week!

Ingredients

  • 5 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon  vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Line large baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
  • In large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In large mixing bowl with paddle attachment cream the butter, add the sugar cream together until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time mixing in between. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mix on low until dough is mostly formed. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on floured counter or non stick surface. Work dough together with hands. Be sure not to over work the dough.
  • Separate the dough into three equal amounts. Using a rolling pin covered in flour roll the dough out until it is 1/4 inches thick. Place the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and onto a cookie sheet.
  • Continue with the remaining dough, and stack the rolled out cookie dough on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Set the cookie sheet with all of the dough in the refrigerator to allow the dough to chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Remove the cookie dough one section at a time. Cut with cookie cutters, and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies if desired.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Remove from oven prior to any edges turning golden.
  • Allow the cookies to sit for about 2-3 minutes then remove from the baking sheet to allow to cool on wire cooling rack.

Video

Notes

Total Time includes chilling time.
If decorating with icing, you can use my Easy Cookie Icing recipe and instructions. 
Freezing Instructions: Place cookie dough on parchment paper in a large round. This full recipe can be dived into 3 portions. Place cookie dough in freezer bags and place in freezer. Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove to refrigerator overnight to thaw. Bring dough to room temperature, roll out, then chill the dough in refrigerator, cut and bake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 140kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 130mg, Sugar: 9g
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