These Sugar Cookies are soft, buttery, and perfect for decorating. Learn all the tips for perfect cut out cookies every time!
Everyone loves sugar cookies, and today I’m sharing my favorite rolled sugar cookie recipe. They’re soft and buttery, and perfect for cutting into fun shapes for holidays and special occasions. Instead of forming the dough into balls, it’s rolled and cut out with cookie cutters. As a result and best of all – the cookies keep their shape without spreading as they bake. Finally, decorate with yummy Sugar Cookie Icing.
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I love a good sugar cookie all year round, but they remind me of the holidays. I always make a big batch of sugar cookies during Christmas, and we spend the afternoon listening to Christmas music, decorating cookies, and drinking hot chocolate. I love the process just as much as the delicious cookies, and everyone has fun decorating cookies together. I usually make a big batch for Valentine’s Day and birthdays too – and no matter what time of year – these cookies always disappear quickly.
Finding the perfect cut out sugar cookie recipe can be a little tricky though. Consequently, some recipes taste bland, and some methods don’t work well for using cookie cutters. I wanted to achieve the perfect sugar cookie recipe best used for cutting into shapes without the cookies spreading. These cut out sugar cookies have a delicious buttery vanilla flavor and hold their shape as they bake. They’re thinner than Lofthouse style cookies and perfect for decorating.
How to make Sugar Cookies
- Use real butter. It should be softened but not melted.
- Vanilla extract and a little almond extract add tons of flavor. If you don’t have almond extract on hand the cookies will still be great.
- Adding cornstarch to the batter keeps the cookies soft and makes the dough a lot easier to work with.
- Always chill the dough before rolling it out. This step is 100% mandatory. Otherwise, the dough is way too sticky to work with and the cookies won’t hold their shape. After making the dough, divide it into 2. Form each piece into a flat, round disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Make sure your work surface and rolling pin are very well floured.
- Don’t over handle the dough. Re-rolling the dough makes the cookies tough. I typically roll out 1/2 of each disc at a time to avoid re-rolling the dough as many times.
- Make sure to line your cookie sheets with parchment paper before baking.
- If you’re using intricate cookie cutters and want very clean edges with absolutely no spreading, cut the dough in shapes and place the cookies on your lined cookie sheet. Then pop the cookie sheet back in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking.
- Watch the cookies carefully as they bake – sugar cookies can go from perfectly golden to burnt quite quickly.
How to Freeze Sugar Cookies
To freeze sugar cookie dough, make the dough first. Then divide it in 2 pieces, form each into a flat round disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place each piece into a freezer bag and zipper close. Freeze the dough for up to 2 months, then thaw in the fridge.
Baked cookies can also be frozen. I recommend freezing unfrosted sugar cookies. After baking the cookies, cool them completely. Then put them in a freezer bag, remove excess air from the bag, and pop them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge first, bring them up to room temperature before decorating.
Looking for more sugar cookie recipes? Try these other favorites
- Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies
- Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
- Molasses Sugar Cookies
- Brown Sugar Cookie Bars
- Spritz Cookies
- More cookie recipes…
Tools used to make Sugar Cookies
Mixer: I don’t know what I’d do without my stand mixer. I use it for just about everything…and I mean everything! Cakes, cookies, mashed potatoes, and shredding chicken!
Cookie Sheet: A nice big baking sheet is a must-have for any kitchen. This half pan sheet is large than a regular cookie and works great for anything you’re baking.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until fluffy - about 2 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract, and almond extract, then mix in the eggs one at a time.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder & salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture about 1/2 at a time.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each part into a round, flat disc shape and wrap each in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Take one disc of dough out of the fridge and let warm up for 10 minutes.
- Flour a clean work surface, and flour your rolling pin. Unwrap the dough and lightly dust both sides with flour.
- Roll out the dough to about 3-5mm thick, or about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters and carefully transfer to the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes on the middle rack, or until the tops look just set. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
If you don’t have enough time to make cut-out sugar cookies, try these sugar cookie bars!