Classic Desserts/ Cookies/ Dessert/ Holiday

Ultimate Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

March 14, 2018

The perfect cut-out sugar cookies with neat edges, superb vanilla flavor, and a dreamy dough to work with.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Have you ever made sugar cookies that ended up spreading all over your cookie sheet? Then welcome to the club! One time I even placed the cookies so close to each other while baking that I ended up with one giant monster cookie. Not that I can really complain about that.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

This cut out sugar cookie recipe is a recipe my mom has been using forever, and because she’s had success with it all these years, I figured I would, too. The first time I tried it, though, I took a few shortcuts because I was too impatient – an issue I deal with quite frequently. Although the cookies looked quite messy, they were so delicious I ate them all to comfort myself. All I’m saying is just stick to the recipe and the chilling times, and you’ll end up with beautiful looking cookies that also taste amazing.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Pay attention to your dough at all times

The moment it gets warm or hard to work with, put it back in the fridge until it’s firm again, even if the recipe didn’t say to. Dough can get warm on a hot day or if you’ve played with it for a while. Try to work as quickly as possible, which is a good rule whenever you’re working with any kind of dough.

If you don’t have enough space to roll out a large piece of dough, once your dough is ready, divide it in half and make two discs instead of one. Then roll each disc separately, merge their scraps, and re-roll.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

With or without baking powder?

I usually make the recipe without adding any leaveners (i.e., baking powder/soda) and beat the butter and sugar just until they’re combined. If you prefer the texture of the cookies to be light and fluffy, add baking powder and beat the butter and sugar for longer (I’ll explain more in the recipe). The thing is, by beating too much air into the dough or adding baking powder, the cookies will be more prone to spreading. With that said, in both cases you should end up with super tasty cookies that hold their shape well.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

More Cookies:

4.7 from 3 reviews
Ultimate Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Yields: 2-3 dozen cookies (depending on your cookie cutter size)
  • 2½ cups (350g/12.5 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/227g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g/7 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: add ½ teaspoon baking powder if you prefer the cookies light and don’t mind them spreading slightly (for more information refer to the above post).
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder if using. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-low speed for 1 minute (for cookies that hold their shape the best), or 3-4 minutes (for light and fluffy cookies that will still hold their shape but not as well). Beat in egg and vanilla extract just until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Do not overmix or the cookies will be tough.
  3. Form dough into a ball, then flatten slightly to form a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until firm enough to roll.
  4. If you don’t want to use the dough right away, you can refrigerate it or for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month, then thaw it overnight in the fridge.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a lightly floured surface (or between 2 pieces of parchment paper), roll the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter and place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  6. If at any point the dough becomes too warm, place it back into the fridge for a few minutes. Re-roll the remaining scraps and repeat. Place sheets with cookies in the freezer or fridge for at least 15 minutes, until firm, so that they will be less prone to spreading.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes, or until cookies appear golden brown at the edges. Baking time will vary and may take longer depending on the size of the cookies. Allow cookies to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave on the counter, still covered, or overnight in the fridge.

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  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 5:45 am

    יאוווו כמה שהן נראות טוב העוגיות שלך!!
    עוגיות “פשוטות” אבל עם טעם נהדר, וטעם של ילדות, ואף פעם אי אפשר להפסיק לאכול אותן. אני אוהבת במיוחד עם כוס חלב

    התמונות שלך מהממות כרגיל!!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you so much Winnie! 🙂 I agree – you can’t stop eating them!

  • Reply
    Amanda Smit
    October 5, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Do we have to use baking powder / baking soda

    • Reply
      October 8, 2017 at 3:28 am

      You don’t have to use baking powder, it’s optional. You can read more about it in the recipe and above post.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    What if u only want to make a dozen what would the measures be ?!!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2017 at 7:55 am

      Use half a recipe for 12-18 cookies.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    It came out extremely wet and sticky both times. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I tried more flour and when it baked it tasted like bread. Please help, trying to make these for Christmas! ?

    • Reply
      December 20, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Jasnie! I know how frustrating it can be, I’ve been there! Sugar cookie dough is tricky and practice is key. My suggestion is to reduce the butter by 2 tablespoons (use 200g), and add a bit more flour if the dough is sticky. Do you use cups or weight measurements? If you use cups, then it’s less accurate, and you might need to add more flour. With that being said, adding too much flour can change the cookie texture and flavor. The dough shouldn’t be sticky, but it might be soft, so if it’s sticky add more flour, and if it’s soft, let it chill in the fridge until it’s easier to handle (you can place the mixer bowl with the dough in the fridge). It takes practice, but don’t give up!

      • Reply
        December 22, 2017 at 1:17 am

        Thank you so much!! I tried it out again to practice, came out much better. I need to fix my measurements a bit but other than that they’re beautiful! I really appreciate it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Meaghan fournier
    December 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

    This is amazing thanks so much for this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 18, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    These cookies came out amazing! They are so soft and delicious, one of my favorite recipes. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Jean Schiavo
    June 8, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I just made these! My first ever “did not just buy the break and bake” premade dough. I LOVE THEM! Reminded me of my favorite butter sugar cookies as a kid. Soft and delicious and maintained shape. As a beginner I was scared to make my own cookue dough but you boosted my confidence! I did not have baking soda or baking powder- that is how i found this recipe. Delightful! Thank you ♡

    • Reply
      June 10, 2018 at 8:20 am

      I’m so glad! Thank you Jean!

  • Reply
    June 21, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Do you grease the cookie sheet with non-stick oil before baking the cookies?

    • Reply
      June 24, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Hi Rylee, I use parchment paper to line the baking sheet, so there’s no need to grease it.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2018 at 5:41 am

    I can’t stop eating these!!the dough was a bit wet for me to transfer to the baking sheet (I used a spatula). I prefer to bake my cookies at 220c which may seem high but I love em crisp. They still spread in the oven even after chilling. Could I be because I used greased paper? Still delicious I finished a whole tray by myself , take them away from me!!!

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