Perfect Sugar Cookie Recipe is really just that- PERFECT. These sugar cookies come together quickly with only 6 ingredients; butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, flour and baking powder. The cookies keep shape while baking, are soft and chewy, plus there is NO chilling! This Sugar Cookie recipe is PERFECTION!
Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
Everyone needs a good staple sugar cookie recipe. Trust me, this is THEE sugar cookie recipe for you!
Sugar Cookies are my husband’s favorite, I have been making them for years! I’ve tweaked this recipe little by little until it became absolute perfection.. I haven’t messed with this recipe the past 3 years now because it is THAT good.
Even better news? This is 100% beginner friendly. It is nearly impossible to mess this recipe up! It is so forgiving!
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe Ingredients
- 1 cup butter (I usually just use salted butter, because that is what I always keep on hand!)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
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! If it does’t come together, you can add water to the dough 1 tsp at a time. The dough should be the same consistency as play-doh. If it is too dry, add some water. If it is too wet, add some flour. This dough is SO forgiving.
How to roll and cut Sugar Cookie Dough
For this recipe, what you cut is what you get. (Hallelujah, right?) They will not spread, they will not rise. 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.
The key for 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!
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. 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.
For ‘long-term’ storing, store in an air tight container, preferably without stacking, for 3-4 days.
Can I freeze this Sugar Cookies recipe?
Yes. My sister freezes her sugar cookies all the time! They never last that long at my house. 😉 She freezes them with the frosting on in separate zip top bags and then let’s them sit on the counter for 15 or so minutes before eating.
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.
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!
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Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer for a full 3 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.
- Turn out onto a floured surface. Use a rolling pin and roll until about 1/4 inch thick. (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 a silicone lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 6-8 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 Sugar Cookie Frosting and Enjoy!