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The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookies

cutting out cookie dough

This is the best cut out sugar cookie recipe out there! The sugar cookies hold their shape, are soft and taste great! Decorate with frosting or icing.

Whether it be a holiday, a birthday, or just because, this should be your go-to cut out sugar cookie recipe! They are easy to cut out and are so reliable. No need to soften your butter, chill overnight or worry about overspreading!

cut out sugar cookies

Ingredients for Cut Out Sugar Cookies

You only need 8 ingredients to make these amazing cut out sugar cookies! Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Salted Butter – this needs to be cold and cut into cubes, which helps the dough comes together. I use salted butter because the salt helps balance out all of the other flavors.
  • Granulated Sugar – you could also use vanilla sugar here for a tad bit more flavor. This is to sweeten, of course!
  • Egg – used for texture and structure.
  • Vanilla Extract – you’re going to want the pure vanilla extract, not imitation, for the best flavor.
  • Vanilla Bean – this is an optional but delicious and gorgeous ingredient.
  • Almond Extract – once more, use pure extract here instead of imitation. If you don’t like almond extract, replace it with more vanilla extract.
  • All-Purpose Flour – to fill out the rest of the cookies and to bind all of the other ingredients together.
  • Baking Powder – this is used for leavening!
ingredients

Variations

This sugar cookie recipe is a basic one that has notes of vanilla and almond extract. However you can add other flavors to suite your needs. Here are a couple of different ideas!

  • Extracts: Switch out the almond extract with another type of extract. Such as maple, coconut, lemon or peppermint extracts.
  • Spices: Or you can add a teaspoon of spices such as pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon!

How to Make Sugar Cookies

With these simple step by step instructions you’ll have perfect sugar cookies in no time! For full details see the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Then add in egg, extracts and vanilla bean. In a separate bowl stir together baking powder and flour. Then combine the dry ingredients into the wet until a dough forms.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and roll out onto a floured surface. Cut out with cookie cutters and place onto the baking sheet.
  4. Freeze for a couple of minutes then bake until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes then remove to cool completely on a baking rack.
  5. Decorate as desired (I have some tips below!)
cutting out cookie dough

How Thick Do I Roll Sugar Cookies?

I roll my sugar cookies out to be 1/3 of an inch thick! This is a little on the thicker side but I love these chewy soft cookies.

Decorating Tips and Tricks

Before you jump into decorating, consider these tips and tricks. Especially if you’re decorating with kids!

  • Frosting or Icing. I’ve developed the perfect frosting for this sugar cookie recipe! Spreadable and super versatile. Another one that I’ve found to be great for decorating sugar cookies is this royal icing recipe.
  • Best Way to Frost with Kids. If you are going to be decorating these cookies with kids, definitely use frosting instead of icing. Icing is pipable but messy while frosting can be spread with a butter knife or spoon (aka kid-friendly).
  • Coloring. You can color both frosting and icing. To maintain the consistency of both use food gel coloring instead of liquid.
  • Flavoring. You can also flavor either frosting. Just be sure that the frosting flavor and cookie flavor compliment each other. When in doubt, keep it simple and just flavor either the cookie OR the frosting. Vanilla goes with anything!
  • Sprinkles. Another kid-friendly decorating idea is to use sprinkles. My kids go crazy for sprinkles and it’s another great way to customize your cookies.
baked sugar cookies

Storing This Sugar Cookie Recipe

Sugar Cookies will stay good, stored at room temperature, covered, for up to 5 days!

Want to keep them good for even longer? Pop those suckers in the fridge for an additional 5 days of freshness (10 days total).

Freezing Instructions

One of the many reasons why this sugar cookie recipe is the best is because you can make it ahead of time (baked or unbaked) by freezing it! Here’s how:

Freezing Cookie Dough

Make cookies as directed, stopping after you form two thick discs of sugar cookie dough. Wrap these discs tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. If it’s wrapped well the dough should last for up to 2 months in the freezer.

To thaw place at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Roll, cut, bake then decorate as desired!

Freezing Baked Cookies

After baking the sugar cookies as directed, allow to cool completely. Without decorating, transfer the cookies to an airtight container (preferably Tupperware). Freeze for up to 3 months!

To thaw, allow to come to room temperature (about an hour) then decorate as desired.

cut out sugar cookies

More Cookie Recipes to Try!

cutting out cookie dough

The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookies

This is the best cut out sugar cookie recipe out there! The sugar cookies hold their shape, are soft and taste great! Decorate with frosting or icing.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Cool Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 167 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks) cold & cut into chunks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Then add in egg, extracts and vanilla bean. In a separate bowl stir together baking powder and flour. Then combine the dry ingredients into the wet until a dough forms.
  • Form the dough into a ball and roll out onto a floured surface. Roll cookies out to be just over 1/4" thick. Cut out with cookie cutters and place onto the baking sheet.
  • Freeze for 5-7 minutes then bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes then remove to cool completely on a baking rack.
  • Decorate as desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 106mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 246IUCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cut out sugar cookie recipe, sugar cookie recipe, sugar cookies
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