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Updated on 11/1/2023
If you’re looking for a simple, NO CHILL, NO SPREAD Sugar Cookie Recipe that stays soft and chewy.. You’ve officially found it! Made by literal MILLIONS every single year, this Sugar Cookie has it all.
The Best Sugar Cookies
This Sugar Cookie Recipe is not only a staple at my house, but the same is true for kitchens WORLD WIDE!! This cookie recipe is quick, easy to follow and only includes 6 staple ingredients. I have made these cookies myself hundreds (if not thousands, if I’m being honest) over the last 8 years and I know this will become your go-to Sugar Cookie Recipe, too.
I know, cut out cookies can seem a little intimidating, but trust me, this is 100% beginner friendly. It is nearly impossible to mess this recipe up- it is so forgiving! Before you know it, you’ll be making Sugar Cookies for every possible occasion- the possibilities are endless!
Easy Sugar Cookie Ingredients
- Butter– I always use salted butter, because who wants to buy a secondary kind of butter just for cookies and baked goods? If you typically use unsalted and that is what you plan on using, add a pinch or two of salt to the cookie dough. 🙂
- Granulated Sugar– Granulated sugar is all you need for this recipe.
- Egg– just one egg.
- Vanilla– I LOOOOOVE vanilla so that is what I typically flavor my cookies with. Feel free to get creative here, though. Almond extract, cake batter, peppermint.. possibilities are endless.
- All-purpose Flour– No special flour needed! Just good ol’ all-purpose. I haven’t tested it myself, but readers have let me know that this recipe works great with King Arthur’s 1:1 GF Flour!
- Baking powder– The baking powder will give the cookies the slightest rise and puff while baking while keeping them super soft.
Yes, that is it!! Only 6 ingredients that I bet you have on hand right now!
How to make Sugar Cookies
- The first step is to cream the butter and sugar together for a full 2 minutes. You want this extremely light and fluffy!
- Next, scrape sides and add in your egg and vanilla.
- Finally, add in your flour and baking powder. The dough will look dry, just keep mixing. Mix, mix, mix and it will come together! The dough should be the same consistency as play-doh. If it is too dry, add some water (1 tsp at a time). If it is too wet, add some flour (1 tsp at a time). This dough is SO forgiving.
- Roll and cut your dough into your desired shape and size.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350° F until the cookies are no longer wet and glossy on top and have puffed up ever so slightly. The exact timing will depend on how large the cookies are that you are baking- generally it is somewhere in the 7-11 minute range.
How to roll and cut Sugar Cookie Dough
My favorite way to roll the cookie dough is on a silicone baking mat, that way you don’t have to flour your surface. If you don’t have a large silicone baking mat, dust your countertop with flour and then use a rolling pin to roll your dough out.
For this recipe, what you cut is what you get. They will not spread, they will just ‘puff’ every so slightly during the baking process. If the cookies are smaller, I will roll a little thinner, about 1/4 of an inch. If I am making large, 4-inch round cookies (like pictured here) I roll them out closer to 1/2 inch thick.
Use your desired cookie cutter to cut out your shapes and arrange them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
How to bake a soft Sugar Cookie
The key to making soft sugar cookies is this- do not over bake them! This recipe will yield a very soft and chewy cookie as long as they are not over baked. Keep a close eye on the cookies, you’ll want to pull them out of the oven when the tops are no longer glossy and they have puffed up. If you wait until the edges start turning golden brown, they are overcooked and will be dry.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
Decorating Homemade Sugar Cookies
Decorating sugar cookies is the best part! This is really where they take on personality. Sometimes I just frost them, sometimes I add sprinkles. Pretty piped flowers happen a lot, too. Sometimes I go really overboard, though. Like on holidays. Holidays are meant for overboard cookies, right?
Check out some fun holiday inspired sugar cookie decorations below!
What frosting should I use with this Sugar Cookies Recipe?
I always, always, always frost my sugar cookies with a crusting vanilla buttercream. This cookie will hold up to Royal Icing if that is what you prefer to use. I like buttercream because, to me, it tastes better and it is so much faster and easier!
Easy Sugar Cookies storage
Store un-frosted sugar cookies in an air tight container until ready to frost. They can be stacked and just placed in a zip top bag. They will stay fresh while waiting for their frosting for 2-3 days. If you want to keep them longer than that, I would freeze them. They can be frozen for up to 3 months!
If you want to store frosted sugar cookies just overnight until you are ready to serve them, I usually just leave them on my counter and put plastic wrap over the cookies and try to seal it onto the counter.
Can I freeze Sugar Cookies?
Yes. They can be frozen with or without frosting. Either way, I suggest freezing in a single layer on a cookie sheet for about 1 hour and then at that point the cookies can be stacked and frozen without the cookies sticking to each other. I usually just store in freezer zip top bags, but occasionally I will vacuum seal them.
Sugar Cookie FAQs
A sugar cookie is a cookie that only uses granulated sugar to sweeten the cookie. Frequently, sugar cookies are also rolled out with a rolling pin and cut into shapes using cookie cutters prior to baking.
This depends on the recipe you are following and what you want your desired outcome to be. Personally, I like my sugar cookies to be soft and chewy. Following this recipe you will yield a soft and chewy sugar cookie.
This has a lot to do with the ingredients that are in the recipe you are using. With this recipe, your cookies will hold shape and not spread while baking.
The combination of ingredients and the temperature of the oven along with the bake time. Fats (like butter) and liquids will affect the texture of the cookie.
Flat cookies is a result of excessive butter or sugar, over mixing the dough or baking at too low of a temperature.
If by ‘regular’ cookie, you mean a chocolate chip cookie, the difference is mainly in the sugar. Sugar cookies only use granulated sugar while most ‘regular’ cookies use both granulated and brown sugar while also including mix ins like chocolate chips
the texture and flavor profile of butter cookies is much different than sugar cookies.
Butter gives a richer flavor and a thick and chewy texture. I personally think butter is better for sugar cookies.
They are called sugar cookies because all of the granulated sugar in the dough gives the cookie it’s signature light color and sweetness of the cookie.
More Favorite Recipes to Enjoy!
More like these Easy Sugar Cookies:
No-Fail Easy Sugar Cookies (Perfect Shapes Every Time!)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. (180°C)
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer for a full 2 minutes.
- Scrape sides and add in vanilla and egg. Mix until combined.
- Add flour and baking powder to the bowl. Mix slowly at first gradually getting faster until the dough comes together. The texture should be like Playdoh. Add a little flour or water if needed to get it to a soft, pliable consistency.
- Use a rolling pin and roll the dough onto a floured surface until 1/4-1/2 inch thick, depending on the size of your cookie cutter. (The cookies will not rise while baking, they will not get thinner while baking. Roll out to your desired FINISHED thickness.)
- Use cookie cutters and cut out desired shapes. Transfer the cookies to an un-greased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 7-11 minutes or until the centers are puffy and no longer glossy. Pull the cookies out of the oven BEFORE they start turning brown. If they turn brown, the cookie will be dry and 'crackery' instead of soft and chewy.
- Frost with your favorite Sugar Cookie Frosting and Enjoy!
Homemade Sugar Cookies recap
Here is a little recap of why this recipe is the recipe you need. Why it is, indeed, perfect and the best!
- The dough is super simple. Now that I have the recipe memorized, I can throw the dough together in 5 minutes flat.
- NO CHILLING THE DOUGH. I can’t be the only one who never has patience for dough chilling.. right?
- You want a horse sugar cookie? After these bake, you’ll still have a horse cookie. Not some lumpy unicorn looking thing. 😉 These cookies keep their shape!
- Soft, soft, soft, soft, SOFT. Oh, and chewy.
- They are still sturdy, even though they are soft & chewy.
- The cookies are an amazing base for some serious frosting work. Here is my absolute favorite Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe!