Every blogger claims to have the "best" sugar cookie recipe on their blog. You know what? Every single one of them is right! We all have found recipes that work for us, which is why we want to share them! I hope are are willing to give my sugar cookie recipe a try, especially if soft and not-too-sweet sugar cookies are your thing! These cut-out sugar cookies are especially nice because they actually maintain their shape when baked.
Reminiscing on These Sugar Cookies From Years Past
This recipe reminds me of home and many fond childhood memories. As far as my memory dates back, I can remember decorating (and eating!) these sugar cookies every year during the holidays with my siblings and cousins. Thankfully, my baking skills have evolved with years of practice and guidance from my talented mother since that time! Here’s a pic from those days; weren’t we cute?! I'm at the top of the stairs on the far left. Sorry to Olivia and Tommy; they were not born yet. These cookies are great year-round though and can be used for other holidays, bridal or baby showers, or even birthdays!
About the Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
The true elegance in these cookies lies in their simplicity. These cookies are buttery and sweet—but not-too-sweet—with a pleasant hint of vanilla. When baked, there is a crispness around the edges but the insides are tender and soft.
For decorating, you have several options. If frosting isn’t your thing, sprinkle colored sanding sugars on the tops of the cookies before baking for a colorful, fuss-free cookie. If you want frosted cookies, use your favorite icing recipe. I have included my favorite buttercream recipe below, but you could also use royal icing. Decorating cookies is an enjoyable activity for all ages! After all, what’s better than time well spent with loved ones AND homemade cookies?!
Yes! The base recipe uses vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, but you could also add or substitute almond extract if desired. If adding almond extract, start with ¼ teaspoon since it is stronger than vanilla extract.
Before baking the dough, it is best to chill it for at least 4 hours but overnight is best. This makes the dough less sticky and much easier to work with. The dough may also be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to roll out the chilled dough, I recommend using a mix of equal parts powdered sugar and flour. This will prevent the dough from sticking while adding a little extra sweetness to the exterior. It also keeps the outside from becoming floury. You can also roll the dough out on parchment paper to help prevent the dough from sticking.
If you make these cookies, please leave a rating and and comment below! Our family Christmas wouldn’t be complete without them! These cookies are a tried-and-true family recipe loved by all generations and Santa. Don't forget the milk!
Classic Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookie Ingredients
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- Approximately 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons milk
Sugar Cookie Instructions
- Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixture until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla or vanilla bean paste.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture. Mix until combined. You may need to finish mixing with wooden spoon by hand since the dough is very thick.
- For easier handling, cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Dough may be prepared up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 375° F. Roll out half of the dough to ¼ inch thickness. Use a a mixture of equal parts powdered sugar and flour to roll out the cookie dough. This helps make the dough easy to roll out without making the cookies from becoming floury. The powdered sugar also adds a little sweetness.
- Cut the cookies using shapes of your choice and sprinkle with colored sanding sugar, if desired. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are barely golden.
- If decorating, let cool completely before frosting. Buttercream recipe is included.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
- Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla, 2 Tablespoons milk, and the remaining powdered sugar. Mix on medium-speed until combined. If mixture seems to thick, add additional milk. If the frosting seems to thin, add additional powdered sugar.
- Mix on medium-high speed until fluffy for another minute or two. If coloring the frosting, divide into small bowls and add food coloring of your choice.
- Pipe or spread on cooled cookies.
If you are looking for another type of sugar cookie recipe, I highly recommend these no roll sugar cookies. The recipe is here.
More Process Photos
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