The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

The best no spread, no fail cut out sugar cookie recipe! These cookies are soft and buttery and always hold their shape! Switch out the flavors to make this recipe work for any occasion or holiday.
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 12 cookies
close up of heart shaped cut out sugar cookies

This is the BEST cut out sugar cookie recipe! These cookies always hold their shape perfectly, bake up nice and soft, and have a delicious buttery and crisp edge. Perfect for decoring with my smooth royal icing. close up of heart shaped cut out sugar cookies

You can adapt this sugar cookie recipe to any holiday by switching out the vanilla and spices for other flavors like orange, almond, lemon, strawberry, etc. The options are endless! I’ve switched out 1/4 of flour for cocoa powder to make them into chocolate sugar cookies!

This dough can easily be colored with regular food coloring to make fun Christmas cookies. Make a double batch and freeze your cookies to be decorated later!

How to Make Cut Out Sugar Cookies Step-by-Step

Remember to bring your butter and eggs to room temperature so your dough does not split. Your butter should be soft enough that you can press your finger into it but not melted. I place my eggs in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes to bring them to room temp.

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, place your butter, salt, and granulated sugar. adding butter to a mixing bowl
  2. Cream the butter and sugar on low using the paddle attachment. Creamed butter should be fluffy and pale yellow in color. close up of creamed butter and sugar
  3. Next, add the room temperature egg and mix it on medium speed (speed 2 on a Bosch, speed 4 on KitchenAid mixer) until it is fully incorporated. Scrape the bowl when necessary to make sure the egg incorporates.pouring an egg into sugar cookie ingredients
  4. Then, add in the vanilla extract and mix it until it’s just incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk your dry ingredients (AP flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg) together. dry ingredients in a glass bowl
  6. Add in 1/3 of your dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape the bowl as needed to fully incorporate the ingredients. Continue adding the flour mixture in thirds until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.adding flour into the bowl of a stand mixer
  7. Then, once the flour is fully incorporated you will add the milk. Continue to mix it on low until the dough becomes a solid mass. close up of sugar cookie dough
  8. Scrape out the mixer bowl and then wrap up your sugar cookie dough in plastic wrap. sugar cookie dough on plastic wrap
  9. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This gives the time for the flour to absorb the moisture which prevents your cookies from spreading. Chilling is the secret! You can even make this dough a day in advance if you want. wrapped sugar cookie dough
  10. Remove the dough from the fridge and give it a quick knead to soften it.
  11. Roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thick using a rolling pin and a dusting of flour.
  12. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut out uniform shapes. close up of hand picking up a heart cut out sugar cookie
  13. Place the cookies on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper.
  14. Next, put the cookie sheet back in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow the dough to chill again. Chilled cookie dough will keep their shape in the oven and not expand or warp.
  15. Bake the chilled cookies at (350ºF 177ºC) for 10-14 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. Cookies will be done once they are slightly golden brown on the edge. close up of cut out sugar cookies
stacked heart shaped sugar cookies

Ready to decorate your sugar cookies? Check out my blog post on how to make the perfect royal icing for decorating cookies.

photo of sugar cookies with royal icing

FAQ

Can I substitute ingredients?

You can, but it’s the results will be different. Here’s some advice:

When you make substitutions in your cookie recipe, you always have to remember that not all ingredients contain the same amount of moisture.

First, you have to consider if what you’re replacing has the same properties. Because brown sugar has more moisture in it than white sugar, if you take out the brown and replace it with white, you might end up with a crunchier cookie.

How do I make my sugar cookies light and puffy?

If you’re going for a light, puffy cookie you can try to use shortening or even margarine but cut back on the amount of fat you use. Add an extra egg and cut back on the sugar.

Another tip for a more puffy cookie is to use cake flour or pastry flour and use baking powder instead of baking soda.

Also, you’ll want to refrigerate your dough before baking your cookies.

What is the function of baking powder in cookies?

Baking powder is a two-in-one chemical leavening that combines a powdered alkali with a powdered acid. Since baking powder combines both of these, it eliminates the need for extra ingredients in your dough such as buttermilk, sour cream, or an acidic addition since no activation is needed when using baking powder. When it is added to a dough or batter, a chemical reaction takes place that produces carbon dioxide gas, inflating cookies.

If you forget the baking powder you’ll probably end up with some very flat, hard cookies.

Why do my sugar cookies spread out so much?

Make sure your chill your dough for two hours before cutting out your sugar cookies and then chill your cut out cookies on the sheet pan before baking. This keeps the butter nice and cold and helps the cookies to keep their shape.

How long do sugar cookies last?

Sugar cookies are great to store if you keep them in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry. Make sure these locations are away from sinks, stoves, and ovens though. They will keep for about three weeks. You can freeze them for up to three months. Just make sure you have a seal that is secure, you can even vacuum pack a few cookies per bag. No one likes the taste of freezer burn on his or her cookies.

How do you keep homemade cookies soft?

Here is a little home tip for you that I do. I take a piece of bread (white is best because it doesn’t transfer its taste to your cookies) and then place it in a container. Use one piece of bread per dozen cookies. The cookies will absorb moisture from the bread, therefore, keep them from drying out. This will keep your cookies soft much longer.

Marbled Valentines Day Sugar Cookies

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

Easy M&M Cookies

Copycat Lofthouse Cookies

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
close up of heart shaped cut out sugar cookies

The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

The best no spread, no fail cut out sugar cookie recipe! These cookies are soft and buttery and always hold their shape! Switch out the flavors to make this recipe work for any occasion or holiday.
4.92 from 37 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
chilling: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 12 cookies
Calories: 322kcal

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (227 g) Unsalted butter Room temperature
  • 8 ounces (227 g) Granulated sugar
  • 1 large (1 large) Egg
  • 1 teaspoon (1 tsp) Vanilla extract
  • 18 ounces (510 g) AP flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (1 1/2 tsp) Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 tsp) Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon (1 tsp) Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 tsp) Cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

Simple Sugar Cookie Instructions

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, place your room temperature butter and granulated sugar.
  • Cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment and mix it on low until it’s smooth. Creamed butter should be fluffy and pale yellow in color.
  • Next, add an egg and mix it on medium speed (speed 2 on a Bosch, speed 4 on KitchenAid mixer) until it is fully incorporated. Scrape the bowl when necessary to make sure the egg incorporates.
  • Then, add in the vanilla extract and mix it until it’s just incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk your dry ingredients (AP flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and baking powder) together. 
  • Add the dry ingredients into stand mixer about 1/3 of total dry ingredients at a time using a scoop. Mix it until it’s fully incorporated. Start the speed on slow until the flour starts to incorporate, then turn up the speed to a medium speed setting. Scrape the bowl as needed to fully incorporate the ingredients.
  • Then, once the flour is fully incorporated you will add the milk. Continue to mix it on slow until the dough becomes a solid mass. 
  • Scrape out the mixer bowl and then wrap up your sugar cookie dough in plastic wrap.
  • Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 
  • Knead the cookie dough, and then roll it until it is thin enough to cut cookie shapes.
  • Use your desired cookie cutter to cut out uniform shapes.
  • Place the cookies on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper.
  • Next, put the cookie sheet back in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow the dough to chill again. Chilled cookie dough will keep it’s shape in the oven and not expand or warp.
  • Bake the chilled cookies at (350ºF 177ºC) for 10-14 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. Cookies will be done once they are slightly golden brown on the edge.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients to avoid cookie failure. Using a kitchen scale for baking is super easy and gives you the best results every single time. 
  • Practice Mise en Place (everything in its place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
  • After you prepare your cookie dough, ensure you wrap it up in some plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 
  • Chilled cookie dough will keep its shape in the oven and not expand or warp.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 322kcal (16%) | Carbohydrates: 40g (13%) | Protein: 3g (6%) | Fat: 16g (25%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (45%) | Cholesterol: 56mg (19%) | Sodium: 142mg (6%) | Potassium: 106mg (3%) | Sugar: 16g (18%) | Vitamin A: 495IU (10%) | Calcium: 39mg (4%) | Iron: 1.6mg (9%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

36 comments on “The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

  1. 5 stars
    This is very much like a recipe I used to make. It was hubby’s favorite! I switched to a cookie recipe that yielded more cookies but he won’t eat them. I am going to switch back and try this recipe (probably doubling it most of the time.) My secret: I actually roll the dough, fresh from mixer, between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper and chill. I then take out one “slab” of cookie dough and cut my shapes and put them onto parchment lined cookie sheet then directly into oven. They are usually still cold and bake up very nicely. I’m excited to try this recipe. HAPPY BAKING

  2. Hi, just wanted to let you know that the title on the video says, “East Peazy” instead of Easy Peazy! ?

  3. Hi.

    Is it possible to omit the egg in the recipe? I wanted to make this for my nephew, but he’s allergic to eggs.

    Thanks!!!

    1. You can use an egg replacer just like in cakes, but know they won’t rise the same just like when used in cakes.

  4. This looks great and just what I’m after, I’m hoping to make honey flavoured cookies but can’t quite work out what to do so that I don’t mess up the moisture balance as they really need to keep their shape!

    1. Honey is REALLY hard to bake with because it’s an invert sugar. I’ve even tried to make a honey flavored cake with no success.

  5. The printed recipe says unsalted butter, but the video says use salted butter or add salt. Also, the printed recipe says to add baking powder, but this was not mentioned in the video. It was mentioned to eliminate leavening agents like baking powder to keep cookies from spreading. Soooo, a bit confused as to what the actual recipe should be.

    1. Follow the written recipe. Sometimes in my early videos I would forget to mention every single ingredient. I should definitely re-do this video if it’s too confusing.

  6. Hi! I love your videos. So this is my first time making anything here and I thought this would be a great recipe to try. Problem is, my dough doesn’t stick together like what is shown in the video. It just makes slabs with a lot of crumbly stuff in the bottom. I added an extra tsp of milk, but it still never formed a proper ball until I mushed it in the wrap. Any thoughts? I’m not at a high elevation (about 1700) and I weighed my flour. Thank you!

    1. Sounds normal 🙂 I get some dry flour in the bottom sometimes. You can always mix a bit more if you have to, no need to add more milk.

  7. How long can you store unused dough? Should you store it in the fridge or freezer?

  8. 5 stars
    How do the cutouts keep their shape with baking powder in the dough?

  9. Are the measurents for the dry ingredients in weights. Is 8 oz of sugar one cup? Thanks

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe.i tried it and loved it …it worked great !!!! Love your show

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Liz! With butter in short supply for us right now, can these be made with shortening instead?

    Thanks!

  12. Can the nutmeg be omitted from the recipe and substituted with another flavor? I’m not a big fan of nutmeg.

  13. Great recipe, how long can I store the dough in the fridge? Can I make the dough a day in advance and chill it longer than the suggested two hours, And how long can I store it in the freezer? Thanks

    1. Leaving it in the fridge for 24 hours is no problem, any longer than that and I would freeze it, up to 6 months.

  14. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I made Halloween cookies and aside from me having trouble making these all the same thickness they tasted amazing. The whole family devoted them. I plan to play around with the spices and flavors but this is a great recipe for fail proof cookies!

  15. Is it okay to have them frosted and freeze? Then leave out a day before serving?

  16. If it feels too dry and breaks when i spread it out, do i just add more milk?

  17. If I freeze the dough for later use, how do I thaw it when I’m ready to make cookies? Thank you!

  18. 5 stars
    I live by your recipes 🙂 THANK YOU!!

  19. 5 stars
    Hi Liz,
    I made 150 of these cookies last week and they were a hit! I just got an order for sprinkled or funfetti sugar cookies and I was wondering if it was possible to use this recipe without any adjustments other than of course adding sprinkles? If this recipe would work, when do you suggest I add the sprinkles? Should I fold them into the dough before I wrap it in plastic and chill in the fridge for 2 hours? If you don’t think this recipe would work with adding sprinkles, do you happen to have a recipe for sugar cookies that would work with sprinkles inside? I still need to be able to cut the dough into shapes and I love that this recipe does not spread at all! Also, do you recommend a specific kind of sprinkles to use? I know nonparils can sometimes bleed and I wasn’t sure if standard sprinkles, confetti sprinkles or if you have something else that would work. Sorry for all the questions. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thanks!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating