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Making Sugar Cookies from scratch can be intimidating the first few times around. In this post you will find the perfect recipe for you and an answer to every question you could think of.

roll and cut sugar cookies, baked and stacked for photo

What is the BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe?

I have a post written with the perfect Sugar Cookie Recipe you can check out. I will also link to the recipe at the bottom of this post so you can read through all of this helpful info and then easily find the recipe. 

How to make Sugar Cookies

How to make The Dough

Making the dough shouldn’t be too difficult. I recommend using a stand mixer if you have one. If not, an electric hand mixer will suffice. 

Cream the room temperature butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add in your egg and vanilla. Once that is fully incorporated, the dry ingredients of flour and baking powder go in. Mixing until well combined.

The dough should be the same consistency as play-doh. Very easy to handle.

Why is my Sugar Cookie dough too sticky?

This just means that not enough flour was added. Even if you have added the amount instructed in the recipe, you may need to add a tad more. Humidity and sea level factor into how much flour is needed. If your dough is too wet, I would suggest adding flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough has reached play-doh like consistency. 

How to Fix Dry Sugar Cookie Dough

If your sugar cookie dough is too dry and not coming together, simply add water, 1 tsp at a time, until the dough comes together and has a play-doh like consistency. My Sugar Cookie recipe is very forgiving this way. 

How Thick should I roll the Cookie Dough?

Some sugar cookie recipes will rise, and thicken while baking. This is not the case with my sugar cookie recipe. With my recipe, what you cut is what you get. Depending on the size of the cookie cutter I am using, I roll out the dough anywhere from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. The larger the cookie cutter, the thicker the cookie. 

Tip: After you roll and cut out the first set of cookies and you are gathering the dough back up to cut out some more, a lot of extra flour is kneaded into the dough from the flour on the counter. To counter-balance this, I like to wet my hands slightly before kneading the dough back together. This helps even the last batch of cookies to be as soft and chewy as the first. 

sugar cookies being cut out

How Sugar Cookies Keep their shape

This has to do with the recipe and combination of ingredients you are using. I assure you that when made correctly, my sugar cookie recipe yields cookies that hold their shape!

Why did my Sugar Cookie Spread?

If you are using my recipe and your Sugar Cookies Spread, this means that not enough flour was used. As mentioned above, different climates and humidity levels can factor into how much flour is needed. We are looking for a play-doh like consistency. 

If your cookies spread, next time add 1/4 cup flour and try again.

Should I grease my cookie sheet when making Sugar Cookies?

For my recipe, no, you don’t have to grease your cookie sheet. I generally bake the cookies on parchment paper as a preference. However, you do not need to do that or grease the pan. 

sugar cookies, after they have been baked on the pan

How long to Sugar Cookies bake for?

This depends greatly on the size and shape of the cookie. My rule of thumb is to start checking around 7 minutes. They seem to take about 7-9 minutes. For large, thick cookies, however, it may take a few minutes longer. 

The cookies are done when the tops of the cookies puff up and no longer look wet. They tops will not be glossy anymore. When both of those things happen, it is time to pull them out of the oven. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. 

Are Sugar Cookies supposed to be soft?

There are recipes for both soft, chewy and hard, crunchy sugar cookies. I don’t know that there is a way they are supposed to be but I prefer soft and chewy sugar cookies, which is what my recipe will yield. 

How to Make Sugar Cookie Icing

I generally ice my sugar cookies with a Semi Crusting Buttercream Frosting. I do this for a few reasons. First, I don’t like the taste of royal icing so it never gets near my sugar cookies. 😉

Second, my recipe creates a semi crusting buttercream. This means that the outside of the frosting will crust and get hard, meaning you can cover the cookies with plastic wrap after the frosting crusts and it won’t be a complete mess like buttercream usually is. Underneath that top layer that hardens, is the nice soft buttercream we all know and love. 

If you are interested in that recipe, you can find it in my Sugar Cookie Frosting post. 

sugar cookies decorated for particular holidays like Christmas, valentines day and easter

How long will Sugar Cookies last?

If stored at room temperature in an air tight container or bag, the iced cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 days. If store in the fridge, they will stay fresh for up to 1 week. Allow the cookies to come up to room temperature before eating for best results. Iced cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

If dealing with un-iced sugar cookies, they will stay fresh on the counter, stored properly, for 2-3 days. They will keep frozen for up to 3 months. 

Can I freeze Frosted Sugar Cookies?

Yes, they will keep well for up to 3 months. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature before consuming for best results.

Can I make Sugar Cookie Dough ahead of time?

You can, but I suggest making the sugar cookie dough right before you bake them. The dough tends to dry out if it is stored in the refrigerator prior to rolling and baking. The cookie dough comes together in under 7 minutes so making the cookie dough ahead of time won’t save all that much time. 

If you are wanting to save some time, I would suggest making the un-iced sugar cookies ahead of time. Make the dough, bake the cookies and then freeze the cookies until needed. 

If I missed any questions you might have, comment below and I’d be happy to answer them! 

Sugar Cookie Recipe

About Karli Bitner

This blog is a little glimpse into my kitchen, family & life. I hope you’ll giggle the days away with me and enjoy the craziness that goes on at my house. If you are Cookie obsessed like I am, check out my Sister Site, Cookies for Days.

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