Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (2024)

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by Katrina Bahl

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This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe– no chilling the dough, cookies keep their shape when baked, soft and flavorful, perfect for decorating.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (1)

Every year millions of people print this Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER from In Katrina’s Kitchen. I have been using this recipe for over 25 years, and it has never failed me.

The texture is medium-soft, but you can bake them longer if you prefer a crisp cookie. This cookie is my absolute favorite, and I have spent many years perfecting it for friends and family.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (2)

Why is This the BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe?

The dough comes together quickly with simple pantry ingredients.

It does NOT need to be chilled.

The recipe can be doubled easily.

Cookies hold their shape with very little expanding when baked.

Baked cookies freeze well.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (3)

The recipe I am giving you makes a large batch of dough because I like to bake many cookies. Also, I like to roll and cut my cookies fairly thick…to hold a lot of frosting.

Incorporating the last cup of flour may look dry and look crumbly. Turn out the dough onto your countertop and work with wet hands and/or more flour until the dough is smooth and ready to roll.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (4)

Most asked Q and A about this Recipe

Butter questions

  • It is most important to note that the butter does not have to be at room temperature. We do not recommend rock-hard butter but allow the butter to sit on the countertop for 10-15 minutes while you assemble your ingredients.
  • If you can press your finger into the butter and you can easily make a deep indent then the butter is too soft.
  • You should be able to press the butter and make a small fingerprint.
  • A tip for mixing butter is to cut it into cubes (or just small pats) before creaming with the sugar.

The dough is sticky and/or crumbly. What can I do?

  • The final dough really comes together and has a texture close to Play-Doh. Wet your hands if you need to. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Don’t be afraid to use more flour and incorporate it in while you are “kneading” it into a smooth ball.
  • Forget everything you know about sugar cookie dough. Don’t be afraid of sprinklingmore flour as you roll it out. Use the scraps! Mix them back into the unused dough and keep going.

Can I chill the dough? I want to chill the dough. Actually, I need to make these 3 days in advance, is that okay?

  • If you need to make the dough in advance, you can chill it. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling and cutting. You may need to use more flour on the countertop.

The cookies look under-baked. Can I bake them longer?

  • I almost always suggest pulling out these cookies and the 8-9 minute mark for large cookie cutters, and 6-8 minutes for small cookie cutters. They will continue baking on the cookie sheet for a few minutes while they cool and set.
  • After cooling for about 5 minutes, I use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.

Can I omit the almond extract?

  • You can omit the almond extract.
  • If not using almond extract, replace it with an equal amount of pure vanilla extract.
  • You can use any of your favorite flavorings in this cookie. I have used peppermint, maple, and lemon with great success.

How Do I Make these Cookies Gluten-Free?

What is your favorite Christmas Cookie Frosting Recipe?

  • I’m happy you asked! I like a soft, sweet frosting. Here is my favorite Christmas Cookie Frosting.
  • Click here for my Small Batch Royal Icing recipe (it dries smooth and hard and is perfect for holding together gingerbread houses, too!).
  • You could also try ourThree Ingredient Chocolate Glaze

I hope you love this Best Sugar Cookie recipe as much as our family does! Merry Christmas!

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (6)

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: 36 cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 38 minutes mins

Soft cut out sugar cookie recipe that keeps its shape and dough does not need to be chilled before baking- perfect edges every time!

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Ingredients

  • 1 Cup unsalted butter, 226 grams
  • 1 Cup granulated white sugar, 200 grams
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, 360 grams

Instructions

  • PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

  • In the bowl of your mixer, CREAM butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes

  • BEAT in extracts and egg. (PLEASE NOTE there is 1 egg in this recipe.)

  • In a separate bowl, COMBINE baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If the dough looks crumbly keep mixing for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer.

  • If the dough still looks too dry or stiff for your mixer, turn out the dough onto a countertop surface, flour surface as needed. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.

  • DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches (2-3 chunks), roll out onto a floured surface, and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).

  • Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 59mg, Potassium: 14mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 164IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg

Keyword: best, christmas, cookie, frosting, sugar cookie

Original recipes and images © In Katrina's Kitchen

Did you make this recipe?Tag @katrinaskitchen on Instagram with the hashtag #katrinaskitchenrecipes

Troubleshooting Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Scooping and dumping your flour may be the problem! Even with level scooping measurements can vary. Try getting a digital kitchen scale and adding your ingredients by weight.

If your cookies seem to consistently need a longer or shorter baking time consider calibrating your oven with an oven thermometer.

Bake with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Invest in a small metal cookie spatula to transfer cookies.

If left on the counter top for about an hour your butter should be the right consistency- a finger pressed onto the butter will make a slight indent but not sink down into it. (Read more about room temperature butter in this post about XL Bakery Style Cookies.)

Whenever a recipe calls for room temperature butter you should use room temperature eggs. To take the chill off of eggs I place them in a shallow bowl of warm (not hot) water for 2-3 minutes. You can then crack them for use in your recipe.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (7)

Looking for more Christmas Cookies?

Try my Christmas Cookie archive for some of the most adorable and delicious Christmas cookies.

Some of my favorites areGrinch Cookies andUgly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars.

For something different, try Christmas Tree Meringue Cookies.

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All Recipes, Christmas, Christmas Cookie Tray Favorites, Cookies, Holidays, Popular

posted on December 29, 2011 — updated December 3, 2021 // 2,338 comments

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    2,338 Comments on “Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER”

  1. MiriamReply

    These cookies were perfect. I used this dough for Hamentashen – not too sweet, but sweet enough easy to work with, crisp on the out side, soft on the inside, held the filling perfectly and not too complicated to prep!!!!! (Sorry for my run-on – too many pros!)

    This is definitely going into my recipe box!

    Thank you Katrina!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (8)

  2. KathyReply

    I have a question. Can you add chocolate to make these chocolate sugar cookies?

    • Katrina Bahl

      Hi Kathy. I have a no-chill, no-spread chocolate cookie recipe that I would suggest you try. Thanks! https://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/best-chocolate-cut-out-cookie/

  3. AiynaReply

    I’ve never commented on a recipe before but I absolutely need to for this recipe! These are AMAZING!!! Everyone that tried them absolutely loves them and asks for more, I’ve made these so many times in just the past few months because people love them so much!
    Haven’t had eggs around the last couple times so I used an egg substitute
    (Water,oil,&baking powder-i don’t remember measurements) and I think I like it better this way. Too bad I’ll have to make them again to double check 😜 🤤😍Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (9)

  4. Victoria MartinezReply

    Since I found your recipe this is my go to. Perfect every time.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (10)

  5. RachelReply

    These cookies are perfect. Easy to make, no chilling required, great texture, and amazing flavor. A keeper!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (11)

  6. Melanie A CrouchReply

    These turned out fantastic ❣️ Made heart shaped cookies and they are delicious ❤️❤️💓

  7. Traci J SandersReply

    These are hands down the best sugar cookie ever! They taste and look like a professional made them. I don’t like almond extract so I double the vanilla and they are amazing! I have found that making a tad thicker cookie does work better. This will definitely be my #1 go to cookie for sure! My only question is, how long can you store them for? They don’t last long at home but I am going to make some to sell and want to make them a few days in advance.

  8. AMReply

    Made these for Christmas and they turned out perfect. My kids said they were the best sugar cookies they ever had.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (12)

  9. Mary Jane HearrellReply

    this is one of the easiest sugar cookie recipes I have ever made. The dough rolled out beautifully without being refigerated. And if I can lad the picture, you will see how pretty they turned out– even though they are not decorated. And I had to work hard to kerp the grandkids out of them. Everytime I turned around another cookie was gone, LOL!

  10. MadelineReply

    This recipe was super easy! I did have crumbly dough but just ended up kneading together. I did not get 36 cookies. I’m not sure if my cookie cutters are large, but I ended up with half, haha.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (13)

  11. CurtisReply

    I love this recipe! Can it be doubled?Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (14)

  12. Teresa Ines LUYO APOLAYAReply

    The cookies already baked, how long are they stored?

  13. KathushReply

    My sister sent me the link to this sugar cookie recipe as we were going to make the cookies together.
    My goodness! The ease of this recipe and the perfect way they came out, I was extremely pleased.
    Thank you so much for this recipe, everyone loved them and we had fun decorating them. A Christmas to remember.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (15)

  14. Adrienne RobertsReply

    These won a taste test with my family. Tested 3 recipes and these won hands down- unanimous.
    Taste, texture, right amount of firmness and softness. Thanks for a great recipe!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (16)

  15. LouiseReply

    Can this dough be frozen? The best sugar cookie I have found to date!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (17)

  16. lessaReply

    Perfect cookies, and dough robust enough for baking with young children. Thank you!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (18)

  17. AmandaReply

    I made these using gluten free flour and they were fantastic- the dough was so easy to work with and the taste/ texture were impressive. I’m looking forward to making them again with regular flour.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (19)

  18. MegReply

    I made these cookies for Christmas and they were delicious! I bought a cookie cutter to make cookies in the shape of a kidney (I have a good friend donating one of hers to a little girl) and the cookie cutter says it is for 5 mm thick dough. Would this recipe work for that and if so, how long do you think and should I alter the oven temperature? Thank you!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (20)

  19. Sally WhitchurchReply

    Made these on cookie day this year. Absolutely the best sugar cookie we’ve made. The almond extract makes all the difference. We rolled balls and used a cookie press and they were perfect. Thank you!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (21)

  20. LacyReply

    I tend to find a recipe when I need it, use it once and never make it again. This recipe is different and I will be using it for years to come! I know these are sugar cookies but they tasted almost identical to my favorite butter cookies that my grandmother used to make. I’ve struggled to find a recipe even close to her cookies so I will definitely be using this recipe again! The dough was easy to work with for our Christmas cookies this year!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (22)

  21. SusanReply

    Delicious

  22. Rhonda MichelsReply

    I love this recipe I have made it 2 times and perfect. Made them again today and they spread out while it cooked. Any tips?Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (23)

  23. Kathryn PerryReply

    What if I don’t have almond extract?

  24. Vanessa ShahReply

    Our favorite Christmas cookie recipe. We frost with white chocolate!

  25. Amy DReply

    This cookie recipe is SO GOOD! We have a popular cookie place near us and these cookies taste just as good as theirs!!!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (24)

  26. HopeReply

    Great recipe!!! Turned out amazing.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (25)

  27. JessReply

    super easy! they turned out perfect, great recipe. thanks!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (26)

  28. NicoleReply

    I went through all the work cutout cookies and took a bite of one that broke and all I rate is baking soda WHAT A WASTE OF TIME

    • Kim

      Because it said baking POWDER. I’ve done this before too in a recipe, and it’s so disappointing and frustrating, but not the recipe’s fault.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (27)

  29. Maricela SolisReply

    Best recipe Ever!! So easy to cut out the cookies .. been using this one for 3 years now my favorite!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (28)

  30. Madison yorkReply

    If it says anything about how consistently good these cookies are, I’ve been making them since I was in 8th grade, I’m 25 now and I make these with my kids!

  31. Beverly ShortReply

    We used this sugar cookie dough for our Cousins Cookie Exchange party. We baked cookies and exchanged them. The dough was a bit dry so we added a very small amount of milk and we added almond extract. Such a great flavor.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (29)

  32. Heather ShampReply

    this is not the perfect cut out recipe! It was the absolutely most frustrating though! If you get frustrated easily just find a chilled dough amd use that. that way at least you can keep rechilling it if you need to. This is so hard to work with.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (30)

    • Katrina Bahl

      So sorry this didn’t work for you!

  33. MeganReply

    These were not for me—dough was very crumbly despite following the recipe exactly and the tips for making it not so crumbly. It was just frustrating and we lost a lot of dough trying to make it even a little workable. And the flavor was just kind of bland after all that. I did like how they maintained their shape after baking but won’t use this recipe again.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (31)

    • Katrina Bahl

      Thanks for letting us know.

  34. Jos PeaReply

    OMG! So easy and very tasty sugar cookies!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (32)

  35. Jeanette A ToelkenReply

    any suggestions on keeping the dough pliable

  36. Shannon PassmoreReply

    This was the best and easiest sugar cookie recipe! I’ve been looking for this recipe for years. Thank you!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (33)

  37. SusanReply

    The best sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever made. This is the third year making this recipe for Christmas and it is perfect every time. Thank youBest Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (34)

  38. Laura A HintonReply

    Perfection. I found this recipe six years ago and it is always a hit, even my husband, a self-proclaimed cookie expert, can’t get enough. I decorate with icing and sprinkles and mail them to my family for Christmas, as well as other occasions. It is the almond flavoring that makes them stand apart from the rest. This is our family recipe now.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (35)

  39. ElisabethReply

    I have never left a recipe review- until today! These cookies are THAT good and THAT easy. Blown away! Immediately our Christmas cookie go-to recipe. Thank you for sharing the magic, Katrina!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (36)

  40. LoriReply

    I’ve used this recipe for 3 years and this time the dough was very crumbly and I couldn’t get it to roll out flat it would crumble and tare apart! Hmm wonder why, I love these cookiesBest Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (37)

    • Katrina Bahl

      So sorry! I have those kinds of days in the kitchen also. I feel ya!

  41. Carrie CallawayReply

    By far the best recipe for cut out cookies I’ve ever used!Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (38)

  42. JenReply

    These are so quick to make and they’re so delicious. My 3 year old son helped make them and he absolutely loves them! This recipe is a keeper!! We’re going to make these again to leave out for Santa and I can easily see these being part of a tradition for us.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (39)

  43. DanaReply

    Can this be cut in half? My problem is with the egg. I thought about trying just the yoke. This is my go to recipe and I don’t want to mess it up.Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (40)

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret to a good cookie? ›

The key is to always use top-quality ingredients as they'll result in a better cookie; it really is that simple.
  • Always use butter.
  • Choose the right sugar.
  • Choose the right flour.
  • Check your flour is in date.
  • Choose the right kind of chocolate.
  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Fold in the flour.

What is are some key tips in ensuring a successful sugar cookie? ›

Sugar Cookie Tips for the Best-Ever Treats
  • Add an Egg Yolk. This is one of those sugar cookie tips you may have heard of before: Add an extra egg yolk to your cookies. ...
  • Use Brown Sugar. ...
  • Chill the Dough. ...
  • Add a Secret Ingredient. ...
  • Keep an Eye on the Clock. ...
  • Store Cookies the Right Way.
Jun 20, 2018

How do you make sugar cookie dough taste better? ›

Almond Extract: For a twist on the traditional sugar cookie flavor, try adding a small amount of almond extract. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust according to your preference. Citrus Zest: Incorporate the zest of citrus fruits like lemon, orange, or lime into the dough. The zest adds a bright and refreshing flavor.

How to jazz up sugar cookies? ›

Take plain sugar cookies up a notch with exciting mix-ins like chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, toasted chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit or M&M's. Add these after blending your butter and egg into the sugar cookie mix.

What is the secret to moist cookies? ›

Cornstarch helps product soft and thick cookies. Using more brown sugar than white sugar results in a moister, softer cookie. An extra egg yolk increases chewiness. Rolling the cookie dough balls to be tall and lumpy instead of wide and smooth gives the cookies a bakery-style textured thickness.

How long should you chill sugar cookie dough? ›

Bake cookies on parchment paper: Sometimes greasing a baking sheet can cause sugar cookies to spread. Instead, use parchment paper to prevent sticking and help the cookies keep their shape. Don't let the dough get warm. Notice the dough needs to be chilled for at least 2 hours.

Can you over mix sugar cookie dough? ›

Over-working the dough yields a tough cookie, which is not at all what you want. The very best sugar cookies are soft and tender. → Follow this tip: One of the keys to great sugar cookies is mixing the dry ingredients only until they're just incorporated, and not a second longer.

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

Popping your dough in the fridge allows the fats to cool. As a result, the cookies will expand more slowly, holding onto their texture. If you skip the chilling step, you're more likely to wind up with flat, sad disks instead of lovely, chewy cookies. Cookies made from chilled dough are also much more flavorful.

Is it best to chill sugar cookie dough? ›

Chilling the dough also improves the way your cookies taste. "In terms of flavor, you'll notice more depth of flavor from the vanilla and the sugar will taste sweeter," says Haught Brown. "In terms of texture, chilled cookie dough produces a more evenly golden-brown cookie with a crisper edge and chewier center."

Should you let sugar cookie dough rest? ›

"This allows the dry ingredients time to soak up the wet ones, which results in a firmer dough. It leads to a marvelously chewy, chocolate-rich cookie." So yes, resting your cookie dough makes better cookies.

Should you rest sugar cookie dough? ›

Chilling the dough before baking solidifies the fat, so the cookies spread less in the oven. If you are rolling and cutting the dough into shapes, chilled dough will hold those shapes better when they go into the oven. If you're making drop cookies, they will stay rounder and chewier.

Can you roll out store bought sugar cookie dough? ›

Just roll the dough into one inch balls and then coat them in equal parts cinnamon and sugar. Then I press them gently with a glass before baking them according to the directions on the package. That's it!

What makes a cookie the best? ›

The best cookies have layers of texture. A slightly crisp outer shell that holds up to some heat with an inner core that's soft and chewy. Premium cookies taste great at room temperature, straight out of the fridge or slightly heated. Creating cookies in small batches is key.

What 3 tips would you give for making high quality cookies? ›

10 Tips for Baking Perfect Cookies
  1. Ingredients at room temperature.
  2. Cream butter and sugars.
  3. Do not overmix cookie dough.
  4. Use a cookie scoop for even cookies.
  5. Chill cookie dough before baking/Age your dough.
  6. Use silicone baking mats for easy release.
  7. Bake in the center of the oven.
  8. Do not overbake the cookies.
Dec 11, 2023

What makes cookies chewy and not hard? ›

If you enjoy your cookies soft and chewy, chances are likely the recipe contains a common ingredient that serves a very specific purpose. No, it's not granulated sugar, nor the butter. It's not the egg, all-purpose flour, or even the vanilla extract. The simple, yet oh-so-necessary component is cornstarch.

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