Classic Sugar Cookies
Our super soft Classic Sugar Cookies are always the hit of the holidays! This is our best and favorite of all sugar cookie recipes for being super easy to mix up, easy to work with when rolling and cutting out shapes, and holding their shape when baked! All of these qualities combine to make them our number one choice for rolled and cut out sugar cookies!!
That’s a big deal around here, even though I am no professional sugar cookie decorator (by any means!) I have been baking and decorating my sugar cookies for over 30 years. I have used this recipe, even though I have tried many others, and found it to be the best and most consistent no matter what I do to the recipe. I can add whatever flavors I want, scale the recipe up or down for small batches of sugar cookies or huge amounts of cookies. Anything I do to my classic sugar cookie recipe, whatever adjustments I make, it will always work!
And because the sugar cookies that I bake are our holiday cookies, shared with friends and family, taste is a big concern. These sugar cookies are simply the best in all categories. The best flavor, in my opinion, comes from adding some citrus extract but you can’t go wrong with these cookies…even when sticking with your basic vanilla extract.
I like to roll and cut my sugar cookies to be a bit thicker than 1/4 inch in thickness, and that will result in a super soft cookie. Keep all of the edges from browning when baking, by sticking to a 6-9 minute baking time (no more than 8-9 minutes in the oven). Your baked cookies may look really white, but they do continue to bake on the baking sheet for about 5-6 minutes.
*For me, a 6 minute baking time at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) is pretty perfect timing wise. It means that whatever batch I have cooling on one sheet, needs to be transferred to a wire cooling rack to cool completely when the next batch of cookies comes out of the oven.
Once all of my sugar cookies have been rolled, cut out into shapes, baked and cooled, I like to let my cookies set up overnight before decorating with royal icing. If you are using a frosting, like our sugar cookie frosting (that hardens), the set up time can be skipped. The liquid content of royal icing can seep into your baked sugar cookies, and it is a personal preference for me to let my cookies rest a bit longer. I feel that they form a ‘skin’ of sorts that does not let the royal icing soak into my already super soft cookies…which would make them too soft and crumbly.
The video walk through shared here shows how to make the cookies and my rolling technique. Remember that all of your scraps can be peeled away from your cut out shapes and then combined with some fresh cookie dough to roll out again. The flavor will hold up better using this method, than just re-rolling the scraps. If you re-roll your scraps without mixing with the fresh dough, your cookies will start to taste more of flour.
This is my best sugar cookie recipe for cut out sugar cookies and this has always been a tradition in our family, one that we always do with the kids. We hope that you enjoy this tradition with your kids and loved ones as much as we do!
Last Updated: February 14th, 2018
Classic Sugar Cookies
Our Classic Sugar Cookies recipe is the best ever at holding their shape and being super easy to roll out for perfect cut out sugar cookies!
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks at room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or extract of your choice)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (use 1 tsp salt with unsalted butter)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt and combine thoroughly.
Add the flour and stir until all of the flour has been incorporated into your sugar cookie dough. If you are going to roll your cookies out soon, you can place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
If it is going to be a while (up to 3 days) before you will be rolling out your dough, wrap the dough in cling film to refrigerate and chill.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
After your dough has chilled, work with small portions of the dough on a floured surface. Roll out until 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 6-9 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Remove your cookies from the oven before getting golden around the bottom edges. Allow them to remain on the baking sheet for 5-6 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
*Your dough can also be frozen, double wrapped in cling film and then placed into an airtight freezer bag or container. The dough will keep frozen for up to 6 months.