This is the Cut Out Sugar Cookie recipe you have been looking for! This recipe for cut-out cookies produces tender, flavorful sugar cookies that hold their shape as they bake. Delicious plain or iced with Sugar Cookie Icing.
This simple Cut-Out Sugar Cookie recipe will beat ANY sugar cookie recipe you have ever used in the past.
The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- The best flavor. Sugar cookies tend to be bland. However, this recipe produces cookies that are rich and buttery and have notes of vanilla and almond. Even unfrosted, these cut-out cookies are delicious.
- The best texture. These sugar cookies are buttery and soft, just like you get at a bakery.
- These Cut-Out Cookies hold their shape perfectly when baked. You don't have to worry that these cookies will turn into unrecognizable shapes after baking. These cut-out cookies will retain their cut-out shape after being baked.
- The dough is forgiving. Even after rolling and re-rolling, and re-rolling some more, these roll-out sugar cookies turn out tender and perfectly baked.
- Rolled with powdered sugar, not flour. This is the secret that sets these cookies apart from all other cut-out cookies. Instead of rolling the dough using a dusting of flour, this recipe calls for using powdered sugar. Powdered sugar works just like flour in the way it helps keep the dough from sticking to surfaces, yet it melts into the cookie as it bakes, instead of leaving it coated in a dusting of flour.
- Make-Ahead Friendly. These sugar cookies can be made months in advance and frozen for future use. The perfect way to get a jump start on your holiday baking.
- Holiday Must-Make. Whether making Christmas tree Christmas Cookies or heart-shaped Valentine's Day cookies, these cut-out cookies are the perfect festive holiday cookie.
Notes on Ingredients
- Butter: Use unsalted butter so that you can control the level of salt in the cookie. And pure dairy butter is BEST. Do not substitute margarine or vegan butter.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is best for sugar cookies. You can use unbleached or bleached with the same results.
- Extracts: I use both almond and vanilla extract in this Cut Out Sugar Cookie recipe. I typically shy away from almond extract as it can be quite overpowering, but the tiny bit added to this cookie dough makes a world of difference in terms of delicate flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: While granulated sugar is used in the cookie dough, I use powdered sugar to roll out the sugar cookies. I know most recipes call for using flour to roll out cut-out cookies, but powdered sugar works just like flour in the way it helps keep the dough from sticking to surfaces and it gives the cookies a nice taste, instead of leaving notes of raw flour on your sugar cookies.
∗ important to remember ∗
Use room-temperature butter and eggs. Before you begin preparing these cookies, be sure to use room-temperature butter and eggs, as they will cream together easier allowing air to incorporate into your batter, which in turn creates a smooth batter and lighter cookie. You will know your butter is at room temperature when you push on it and it easily squishes.
Tips For the Best Cut-Out Cookies
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect cut-out sugar cookies. However, you will find the detailed instructions and ingredient amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Chill the Dough. Be sure your dough is well-chilled and re-chill your scraps after they get warm before cutting into more shapes. This will help the cut-out cookies hold their shapes.
- Use Powdered Sugar. I strongly suggest you use powdered sugar instead of flour for rolling out the sugar cookie dough. The powdered sugar works to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface just like flour, but the powdered sugar dissolves into the cookie when baked. Meaning, no raw flour taste or cookie coated in white dust.
- Roll the dough out evenly. To roll out sugar cookie dough, I think it is best to roll out your cookie dough before refrigerating, as it is MUCH EASIER to manage. To ensure the dough is even when rolled out, my tip is to use wooden spoons on either side of the cookie dough. These wooden handles work as a guide so that your dough will be rolled out to the same depth as the handle, about ¼ inch-evenly across the parchment paper or working surface.
- Do not be tempted to over-bake sugar cookies. They should be very blond in color and just set to the touch when you remove the cookies from the oven. Sugar cookies will go from perfectly cooked, to very crispy and browned in a matter of a minute or two and will lose the soft texture they are known for.
- Don't reroll scraps more than 3 times. After you cut out as many cookies as you can, place the scraps together to form a ball of dough roll out the sugar cookie dough again, and cut out additional cookies. After that process has been repeated, place the 2nd batch of scraps together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and roll out the sugar cookie dough one final time. That is a total of 3 times for rolling out sugar cookie dough. Any additional rolling after that will result in an overworked cookie that will be tough and burn easily.
- Let cool completely. Prior to serving or icing cut-out cookies with sugar cookie frosting be sure to let the cookies cool completely.
How to Store Cut-Out Cookies
Once the cut-out cookies have cooled completely, place them into an airtight container. If iced, store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. If uniced, store at room temperature for up to 5 days. It is important to note, that it is best to store cut-out cookies in an air-tight container, NOT a storage bag, as this will help protect the cookies from breaking.
How to Freeze Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
While possible to freeze both iced and uniced sugar cookies in the freezer, keep in mind that iced cookies will not retain their flavor as long when stored in the freezer as plain sugar cookies do.
- To freeze uniced cut-out cookies, bake as directed and allow the cookies to cool fully. Place the cookies into a freezer-safe container, separated by layers of parchment or wax paper, and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer and allow the cookies to come to room temperature before icing or eating.
- To freeze iced cut-out cookies, place the decorated cookies onto a cookie sheet and place them into the freezer. Freeze until solid and freeze until solid, about 1 hour. This will keep the icing from sticking to other cookies or parchment paper. Once the icing is hard to the touch, transfer cookies to a freezer-safe container, being sure to place a layer of parchment paper or wax paper in between layers of cookies. Iced cut-out cookies will last in the freezer for 4-6 weeks.
Whether you would like to get a head start on baking cookies for the holidays or just keep cookie dough on hand for when the craving strikes, you can refrigerate the prepared cookie dough for 3 days or freeze the sugar cookie dough for up to 3 months.
More Favorite Cookie Recipes
- Neiman Marcus Cookies
- Snowball Cookie Recipe
- Shortbread Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cookies
If you enjoyed these Cut Out Sugar Cookies I would love for you to leave a comment below and share your experience.
The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 1-½ cups unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar for rolling
- In a large mixing bowl (or your stand mixer), beat together the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time with the mixer running on low. Turn the mixer up to medium and beat until well combined for about 2-3 minutes. Add extracts as the mixer is still going
- Over a separate large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk to combine.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until just combined. While this dough is forgivable, use caution to not overmix the dough. This will help keep the cookies soft and tender.
- Place about 1 cup of the dough mixture onto parchment paper or wax paper that has been dusted with powdered sugar and cover with an additional sheet of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out to ¼ inch thickness and place in a sealed storage bag or large covered container. Repeat until all dough has been rolled out.
- Place the rolled dough into the refrigerator, sealed well, for 12 hours or overnight. (If you are not planning on using all the dough right away, freeze it in well-sealed storage bags in the freezer.)
- When ready to bake the cut out cookies, preheat the oven to 400℉
- Remove the dough sheets from the refrigerator. Lightly dust cookie cutters with powdered sugar and cut the dough as desired. Place the cut-out cookies onto a cookie sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. If adding sprinkles, do so now.
- Bake for 6-7 minutes. You want the cookies to look JUST set, not at all browned.
- Remove the cookies from the oven, place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack, and allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes to finish setting up. After 2-3 minutes, gently remove the cookies from the tray and allow them to cool fully before icing.
- Re-roll scraps up to 3 times to cut out more cookies to bake. If needed, refrigerate the dough in between baking if the dough becomes warm and squishy. This will help the cookies hold their shape.
This recipe was first published in November 2017 but was updated in November 2020 with more tips. The recipe remains the same.