Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe  (2024)

Everyone needs an Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe! These are literally melt-in-your-mouth delicious and our go-to sugar cookie dough. It is perfect for decorating Christmas sugar cookies.

We love festive holiday treats like melt-in-your-mouth Snowball Cookies, soft Chocolate Chip Cookies, and of course Baklava. These beautifully decorated sugar cookies are a beautiful addition to the Christmas cookie platter.

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe (1)

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My name is Natalya and I run a food blog Momsdish. I love simple dishes that use minimal ingredients. During the holidays, I love baking but I hate making messes. This recipe for sugar cookies gives me the best of both worlds — perfect cookies and an easy clean-up. I’m so excited to share this recipe with you!

Sugar Cookies

Whether you are planning a cookie making party for the holidays or whipping up a batch for a friend’s birthday, you need a sugar cookie recipe that you can rely on. These cookies taste amazing, keep their shape and are perfect for eating plain or decorated with frosting and sprinkles. Let’s get started!

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe (2)

Tips For The Best Sugar Cookies:

Sugar cookies may seem simple, but there are a lot of bad recipes out there! After much trial and error, I feel confident that I have mastered the art of the sugar cookie. Here are all the best tips and tricks I have gathered throughout the years:

Rolling Out Sugar Cookies Dough

Roll your dough out directly on a silicone baking mat or piece of parchment paper so you do not have to transfer your delicate shapes onto a baking sheet later. You can cut your shapes out right atop the mat and make your life a bit easier.

How Thick Should Sugar Cookies be Rolled Out?

Roll your dough out to about ¼-inch thick. This is the sweet spot. You’ll have cookies thick enough to keep their shape, while also thin enough to promote even baking.

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe (3)

Avoid Crumbly Dough

Crumbly dough makes for misshapen cookies that are prone to uneven baking. To prevent this, don’t overmix your dough. You want the dough to be as smooth as possible. However, if you do get a crumbly texture, add ½ tbsp of water, or milk to the batter and incorporate it until it remoistens the dough.

Avoid Overbaking

10 minutes might seem like a very short baking time for cookies. But, trust me, do not overbake them! At around 10 minutes, the edges of the cookies should just start to turn golden brown. This is the time to pull them! If you continue baking, you risk compromising that signature tenderness of a perfect sugar cookie.

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe (4)

Storing Sugar Cookies

The great part about this recipe is that it can be made a couple of days in advance and the cookies will still retain their freshness. Below, I will share how you should store them and also how you can freeze your dough or baked cookies for later munching!

Storing Cookies at Room Temperature:

Store baked sugar cookies on the counter in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week. Remember, if you have decorated your cookies, it is best to store them between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking and/or destroying your designs.

Freezing Baked Sugar Cookies:

To freeze baked sugar cookies, first, make sure that you allow them to cool completely. Then, stack the cookies in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper. Freeze cookies for up to 2 months. When you are ready to eat them, allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight.

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How to Freeze Sugar Cookie Dough:

To freeze your sugar cookie dough, roll it into a ball or a log. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag. The dough will keep for up to 2 months before you need to use it. When you are ready to bake, allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, make sure it reaches room temperature before you shape your cookies and bake them.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

  • First, you will combine your flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and set the dry mixture aside.
  • Using a stand-up or handheld mixer, beat your butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth and creamy.
  • Slowly beat flour into the butter mixer until it is fully incorporated.
  • Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll out each piece to ¼-inch thickness.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out your favorite shapes or freeze your dough for later use.
  • Bake the cookies and allow them to cool.
  • Decorate the cookies as you please or gobble them up plain!

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How to Decorate Sugar Cookies:

To decorate sugar cookies, you can make your own homemade royal icing which makes a great sugar cookie icing, add food coloring, then pipe it on with a squeeze bottle or little zip bags (handy and inexpensive for cookie decorating parties), or you can purchase an icing decorating kit with pre-made frostings in a variety of colors which makes it really easy. Don’t forget the Christmas sprinkles and crushed candy canes.

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe (7)

More Holiday Cookie Recipes

These are our best-loved (and reviewed) Christmas cookies to fill up your holiday cookie platters. These are well-loved by all ages and you’re sure to find some new favorites in this list. Looking for more Christmas recipes and inspiration? Check out our Christmas archives here.

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe

4.99 from 561 votes

Author: Natalya Drozhzhin

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe (9)

Everyone needs an Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe! These are literally melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I am positive these Christmas cookies will win you over.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes mins

Cook Time: 10 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

Ingredients

Servings: 40 cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, (large)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, (measured correctly)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F with a rack in the center. Whisk together flour with baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

  • Using a stand-up or handheld mixer, beat the butter together with sugar. To the mixture add vanilla extract and egg and beat to combine.

  • To the butter mixture, add flour in 3 parts until fully incorporated.

  • Divide the dough into two equal parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll into ¼-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out your favorite shapes.

  • Bake cookies on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet at 350˚F for 10 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden.

  • Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely and decorating with cookie icing.

Nutrition Per Serving

96kcal Calories12g Carbs1g Protein5g Fat3g Saturated Fat16mg Cholesterol17mg Sodium43mg Potassium1g Fiber5g Sugar148IU Vitamin A16mg Calcium1mg Iron

  • Full Nutrition Label
  • Nutrition Disclosure

Nutrition Facts

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe

Amount per Serving

Calories

96

% Daily Value*

Fat

5

g

8

%

Saturated Fat

3

g

19

%

Cholesterol

16

mg

5

%

Potassium

43

mg

1

%

Carbohydrates

12

g

4

%

Fiber

1

g

4

%

Sugar

5

g

6

%

Protein

1

g

2

%

Vitamin A

148

IU

3

%

Calcium

16

mg

2

%

Iron

1

mg

6

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: sugar cookies

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $

Calories: 96

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe  (2024)

FAQs

Do you need to chill sugar cookie dough before baking? ›

Chilling the dough is a key step in making sugar cookies, especially when you're making cut-outs. Even if you're tight on time, make sure to get the dough in the fridge, or even the freezer, even if it's only for a little while. Skip this step, and the dough will be sticky, and much harder to work with.

What is the secret to soft cookies? ›

Baking cookies quickly in a hot oven – at 375 degrees F as opposed to a lower temperature – will make for soft results. They'll bake fast instead of sitting and drying out in the oven's hot air. Ever so slightly underbaking your cookies will give you softer results than cooking them the full amount the recipe says.

Why put cream of tartar in sugar cookies? ›

Cream of tartar makes cookies chewy, as it precludes the sugar in the dough from crystalizing, which would lead to crispiness (ie: the opposite of chewiness).

What makes cookies hard instead of soft? ›

Soft cookies have a water concentration of 6% or higher – moisture being the variable in texture. To make cookies crispy, add less liquid or bake it in the oven for longer to dry out the dough. Generally bake around 13-15min at 180C for a crispy cookie.

How long should sugar cookie dough sit out before rolling? ›

As a general rule of thumb, you should refrigerate cookie dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. More than that, and you won't see a noticeable difference in the final product. Once the dough has chilled, let it warm up at room temperature until it's just pliable (about 5 to 10 minutes).

What happens if you don't let sugar cookie dough chill? ›

First, chilling the dough allows the butter, shortening, cream cheese, and other fats to solidify. Why is that important? Well, for the same reason that you want to keep your pie dough cool: If the fats melt too quickly, the dough will expand rapidly in the oven. That over-expanded dough loses its perfect texture.

Is it OK to use melted butter instead of softened? ›

Softened butter and melted butter are not the same. Using melted butter will change the texture of whatever you're baking. If you only want the butter to soften for spreading, microwave it on the Defrost setting (30%) in 5-second increments until it's softened as desired.

How do you make cookies chewy instead of crunchy? ›

How To Make Cookies Chewy Without Cornstarch
  1. Go heavy on brown sugar. It has more moisture than its granulated counterpart, which means the cookie comes out less crispy. ...
  2. Choose margarine or shortening instead of butter. ...
  3. Use baking powder instead of baking soda. ...
  4. Rest your dough. ...
  5. Shorten baking time.
May 14, 2023

Can you use oil in cookies instead of butter? ›

What about substituting oil for butter? Depending on the type of oil, it can add complex flavor and welcome moisture to your baked goods. A good rule of thumb is to replace about 3/4 of the butter in a recipe with olive, canola, or vegetable oil. (If the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use ¾ cup oil.)

Why use powdered sugar instead of granulated in cookies? ›

The powdered sugar in the recipe helps absorb moisture from other ingredients, giving the cookies a unique bumpy looking appearance and an extra tender and chewy texture.

How important is baking soda in sugar cookies? ›

Baking soda also serves another important purpose when it comes to cookies: It encourages spreading by raising the mixture's pH, which slows protein coagulation. This gives the dough more time to set before the eggs set, which results in a more evenly baked cookie.

What can I use if I don't have cream of tartar for sugar cookies? ›

The Best Substitute for Cream of Tartar

For every 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in the recipe, use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar. As an example, if your cookie recipe calls for 1 teaspoon baking soda, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice instead of the cream of tartar.

What happens if you don't chill cookie dough before baking? ›

Sure, you can skip the chilling step and bake the dough right away, but doing so runs the risk of flat disks with dry edges and a brittle texture; a far cry for the plush, chewy cookies with fudge-like centers we all crave.

How long to keep sugar cookie dough in fridge before baking? ›

Most cookie dough can be refrigerated, well-wrapped, for 3-5 days before baking. If you want to make it farther in advance, freeze the dough. You can either freeze the entire brick of dough or divide it into portions for quick baking.

How long should you refrigerate sugar cookie dough? ›

For best quality, freeze for two months. Homemade cookie dough should be stored in small containers in the refrigerator for two to four days or freeze for two months. Alternatively, small quantities of dough can be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator as needed.

How long does sugar cookie dough have to sit? ›

When ready to make, take the chilled cookie dough out and allow to sit on your kitchen counter at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes until the raw cookie dough is just soft enough to be rolled and cut into desired shapes. This timeframe ensures that the dough remains fresh and retains its optimal flavor and texture.

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