This Sugar Cookie Recipe is buttery and soft with crisp edges but soft inside. They hold their shape so this is a great recipe for cut-out cookies that can be decorated. Top with buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. This is the best sugar cookie recipe and will be your tried and true recipe for Valentine’s or Christmas cookies.

sugar cookies with sprinkles

RECIPE FOR SUGAR COOKIES

I have numerous sugar cookie recipes on this blog but this is the one that I use over and over. I explain the differences between them all in my Sugar Cookie Showdown.

sugar cookies

INGREDIENTS IN SUGAR COOKIE

  • UNSALTED BUTTER – I like to be able to control the salt in my recipes but if you use salted butter just cut back on the salt.
  • SUGAR – Granulated sugar is the main component of a sugar cookie.
  • VANILLA EXTRACT – Never use imitation vanilla. You can add other flavorings like lemon or almond extract.
  • EGGS – You want a large egg here so that you have enough moisture. If your egg is at room temperature it helps the egg incorporate into the mixture better.
  • ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR – Nothing fancy here. All-purpose serves its purpose here. Make sure to spoon your flour into your measuring cup and not scoop it which leads to too much flour and crumbly dough.
  • BAKING POWDER – This is our leavening agent and gives us soft sugar cookies.
  • SALT – Just a small amount of salt brings out all the flavors.

SOFT CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE

The two times a year I make sugar cookies always are Christmas and Valentines. These cookies make the best cut-out cookies because they hold their shape while still being soft.

cookie dough cut out

ROLLING OUT THE DOUGH

A trick I learned a long time ago is to separate my dough into two discs. I like to roll out my dough between two pieces of parchment paper then chill the dough. 

WHY DO I HAVE TO CHILL THE DOUGH

Chilling the dough allows the fats in the dough to cool and prevents the cookies from spreading out in the oven. If you use a higher fat butter like Kerrygold, this is a must.sugar cookie dough in a heart

HOW TO KEEP YOUR COOKIES FROM SPREADING

  • Chill the dough. As mentioned above the cooler the fats in your dough the more they will not spread. As you roll the dough more it will start getting warmer so do it in batches.
  • Bake on parchment paper. I’m a firm believer in this.
  • Calibrate your oven. Every oven is different and I think you would be surprised to see if your oven had a true temperature. cookie next to a ruler

HOW TO GET SOFT COOKIES VS CRISP COOKIES

It’s all about how thick you roll out your dough. For a soft cookie, roll out a thicker cookie. For a buttery crisp cookie, make your cookie thinner.

FREEZING SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH

You can freeze sugar cookie dough for up to 3 months. To bake, let dough thaw in the fridge for 24 hours and roll and bake as directed.

FREEZING BAKED COOKIES

The best way to freeze baked cookies is to lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for one hour. Then you can stack them in a bag. frosted sugar cookies

FROSTING

Some people like royal icing on their sugar cookies. I have never been a fan. I like to use either buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting (cream cheese is my go-to).

OTHER COOKIES RECIPE

 
sugar cookies with sprinkles
Print
4.8 from 10 votes

Sugar Cookie Recipe

This Sugar Cookie Recipe is buttery and soft with crisp edges but soft inside. They hold their shape so this is a great recipe for cut-out cookies that can be decorated. Top with buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. This is the best sugar cookie recipe and will be your tried and true recipe for Valentine's or Christmas cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (you can replace one of these with almond extract if desired)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, Cream together butter and sugar with a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. You can also use a hand mixer.
  2. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in dry ingredients on low speed until combined with the wet ingredients.. Mixture may seem dry at first but will come together in a ball after a while.
  4. Divide dough in half and shape each portion into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Chill dough in the fridge for at least one hour. This helps the cookies hold their shape when baked.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Remove dough from fridge and let rest for 5 minutes at room temperature to soften making it easier to roll.

  8. Roll each disc out with a rolling pin on a floured surface or parchment paper to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. The thicker your cookie the softer it will be. If you like a crisp edge, make your cookies thinner.
  9. Cut out with cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheet 2" apart.
  10. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until cookies are not glossy and edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Cooking time will vary with your oven and the thickness of your cookie. Remove from the oven and let sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
  11. Frost cooled cookies with buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

You can also roll out each disc of dough in between two sheets of parchment paper.

sugar cookies