Easy Sugar Cookies


This easy Sugar Cookie recipe is the perfect year-round holiday cookie!

A simple mixture of butter, sugar, and flour with a few additions, these sugar cookies bake up perfectly every time. They hold their shape, are the perfect texture, and have a delicious buttery vanilla taste.

Pair them with our favorite sugar cookie icing to make festive cookies for any occasion!

iced sugar cookies with sprinklesiced sugar cookies with sprinkles

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies

Simple ingredients, a soft and chewy texture, and great flavor make this the best sugar cookie recipe.

  • Sugar – This sugar cookie recipe uses regular granulated sugar for sweetness and texture.
  • Butter – I almost always use unsalted butter in baking and add my own salt to get the best flavor.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour brings everything together.
  • Egg – Egg helps bind everything together.
  • Other – Vanilla adds flavor, while baking powder helps achieve the perfect texture. Add ½ teaspoon of almond extract if you’d like.

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How to Make Sugar Cookies

I skip the parchment paper or silicone mat for this recipe. I find they hold their shape best on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Really, really good sugar cookies are ones that are uniformly mixed, shaped, and baked.

  1. Combine butter and sugar until fluffy per the recipe below.
  2. Mix in an egg. Add dry ingredients and mix, scraping the sides as needed.
  3. Chill dough for a few hours. Roll and cut with cookie cutters to match the occasion!

Sugar cookies look best when they are baked just until very lightly browned on the edges.

sugar cookie dough in a discsugar cookie dough in a disc

Chill Out For a Bit!

Don’t skip chilling the sugar cookie dough. This allows for the butter to firm up a bit which will keep the cookies from spreading too much and looking flat. Chilling helps them to keep their shape.

raw sugar cookies on a baking sheet raw sugar cookies on a baking sheet

Tips for The Best Sugar Cookies

  • Ingredients should be at room temperature (including the butter and the egg) before beginning.
  • It is IMPORTANT to flour is measured correctly. Avoid using a measuring cup to scoop the flour or it can pack the flour resulting in a dry dough. Instead, lightly spoon the flour into the measuring up and use the straight edge of the back of a knife to level it.
  • Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thickness.  When rolling the dough, if it gets too soft, put it in the fridge for a few minutes. Don’t add too much flour when rolling the dough.
  • Don’t skip chilling the dough or the cookies will spread and not hold their shape.
  • If baking in batches, do not place new batches on a warm cookie sheet. This will cause the dough to spread.
  • If the dough seems powdery or isn’t holding together, it is not mixed enough. Continue mixing (for up to 5 minutes more), and the dough will hold together. Image below.

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How to Decorate Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are one of the most popular cookie recipes for decorating. Feel free to have fun with cookie cutters, stamped rolling pins or simply cut them into circles.

To make Christmas sugar cookies, or any time of year cut-out cookies, ensure they’re completely cooled on a wire rack before decorating (or the icing will melt).

You can decorate with soft frostings like buttercream and embellishments, but our favorite is to use a simple sugar cookie icing that finishes shiny and firm.

Another option is to melt chocolate chips and dip half of each cookie.

Once decorated, store cookies in an airtight container.

a stack of sugar cookiesa stack of sugar cookies

More Cookie Recipes We Love

Homemade sugar cookies are perfect Christmas cookies and here are some of our other favorites!

Browse All Christmas Cookie Recipes iced sugar cookies with sprinklesiced sugar cookies with sprinkles 4.80 from 58 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Sugar Cookies

Nothing says year-round holiday fun like baking easy sugar cookies and decorating them with family and friends.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 9 minutes

Chill Time 4 hours

Total Time 4 hours 24 minutes

  • Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.

  • Place butter and sugar in a bowl and mix with a handmixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

  • Add egg and vanilla. Mix until well combined and smooth.

  • Add the flour mixture, a little bit at a time, with the mixer on low until the flour is incorporated. Continue mixing until the dough holds together, up to 5 minutes.

  • Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a 5-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill the dough for 2 hours or overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. While the oven is preheating, remove the dough from the fridge (if it has been in the fridge overnight, it may need to sit out 15 minutes before rolling).

  • Sprinkle the surface with a light dusting of powdered sugar or flour to keep the dough from sticking. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to ¼” thickness (you don’t want it to be too thin) and cut shapes with cookie cutters.

  • Place the sugar cookies 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or just until cookies begin to brown on the edges.

  • Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, transfer to a cooling rack, and cool completely before decorating.

  • Once cooled, decorate with sugar cookie icing.

TROUBLESHOOTING: If the dough seems to be powdery or not holding together, continue mixing it. If using a stand mixer, ensure you are using the paddles (and not the wire whisk attachment). As you continue beating, the mixture will hold together and form a dough. 

  • Ingredients should be at room temperature (including the butter and the egg) before beginning.
  • It is IMPORTANT to measure the flour correctly. Avoid using a measuring cup to scoop the flour. Instead, lightly spoon the flour into the measuring up and use the straight edge of the back of a knife to level it.
  • Roll the dough to 1/4″ thickness, so it bakes properly.  When rolling the dough, if it gets too soft, put it in the fridge for a few minutes. Don’t add too much flour when rolling the dough.
  • Don’t skip chilling the dough, or the cookies will spread and not hold their shape.
  • If baking in batches, do not place new batches on a warm cookie sheet. This will cause the dough to spread.
  • If the dough seems powdery or isn’t holding together, it is not mixed enough. Continue mixing (for up to 5 minutes more), and the dough will hold together. 

Calories: 80 | Carbohydrates: 10g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 21mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cookies, Dessert Cuisine American

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