Sugar Cookies Recipe

24 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Sugar Cookies are the ultimate holiday cookie and so fun to decorate! They bake quickly and you can make them either soft or crunchy!

Everyone loves baked cookies. And this is the perfect recipe for delicious, chewy, buttery Sugar Cookies. They’re perfect to bake for the holidays and enjoy a fun night of decorating them with the whole family. These cookies come together quickly with simple ingredients and are sure to become your go-to Sugar Cookie recipe every Christmas. The holidays are always the perfect time to make your favorite Cookie Recipes. Add these classic Sugar Cookies to your list along with Ginger Cookies, Chocolate Cookies, and Brown Sugar Cookies.

Sugar Cookies are great to have around the house, serve at holiday parties, and give as gifts next to other yummy Holiday Recipes. To make sure you have enough Sugar Cookies for the entire season try making a double batch. You can put some out right away and freeze the rest to enjoy later in the month. 

Video: How to Make Easy Sugar Cookies

Sabrina’s Sugar Cookies Recipe

Perfect for the holidays, homemade Sugar Cookies are a timeless treat, combining a yummy consistency with a buttery vanilla flavor, making them a favorite for those with a sweet tooth. You’ll need basic pantry ingredients: unsalted butter, sugar, an egg, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

The secret to perfect Sugar Cookies lies in the perfect balance of these basic ingredients, resulting in cookies that are soft on the inside with crispy edges on the outside. The process is straightforward: cream together butter and sugar, mix in the egg and vanilla extract, and combine with the flour mixture. Shape the dough into balls, place them on a baking sheet, and bake until golden. What sets this recipe for Sugar Cookies apart is its adaptability; you can adjust the baking time for either soft or crispy cookies.

Can These Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make this cookie recipe ahead of time. Refrigerate the dough for up to 2-3 days or freeze it for longer storage. To refrigerate, shape the batter into balls of dough, cover, and bake when needed after allowing it to reach room temperature. For freezing, solidify the dough on a baking sheet and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag. You can bake cookies directly from frozen, with a slight increase in baking time.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter: The butter’s richness forms the foundation of these cookies, lending a sumptuous flavor and tender texture. Substituting with salted butter is possible, but adjust the added salt accordingly.
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar: Sugar sweetens the cookies, creating that irresistible sweetness. We are using white sugar. If desired, you can try granulated sugar or brown sugar.
  • 1 large Egg: The egg acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the dough together and provide structure to the cookies. 
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract introduces a delightful aroma and flavor to the cookies. Experiment with other extracts like a teaspoon almond extract or lemon extract for unique variations. 
  • 2 ¾ cups Flour: Flour is the bulk of the dough, contributing to the cookies’ structure. We are using all-purpose flour in this recipe. 
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda: Baking soda aids in leavening, creating a subtle rise in the cookies. It’s vital for achieving that perfect balance of softness and crispiness.
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder: Baking powder further assists in leavening, ensuring the cookies have a tender, airy texture. Be mindful of freshness for optimal results.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Stand Mixer: A stand or electric mixer with a paddle attachment is ideal for effortlessly creaming the butter and sugar to achieve that light and fluffy texture in the sugar cookie dough. However, you can also use a hand mixer or even mix by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon.
  • Baking Sheet: You’ll need a cookie sheet to place the cookie dough balls. Line the sheet with parchment paper or wax for easy cleanup and to prevent sticking.
  • Sifter: A sifter comes in handy for combining and aerating the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder) to ensure a uniform cookie dough.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial, so use measuring cups for dry ingredients and measuring spoons. Don’t forget a medium bowl!
  • Cookie Scoop or Teaspoon: A cookie scoop ensures consistent cookie sizes. If you don’t have one, a teaspoon can work; just aim for uniform portions.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

Time needed: 20 minutes.

  1. Step 1: Preheat Oven

    Start by preheating your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Step 2: Mix Butter and Sugar

    In a stand mixer, blend 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1 ½ cups of sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.mixing butter and sugar

  3. Step 3: Add Egg and Vanilla

    Incorporate 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract into the butter-sugar mixture until well combined.add egg and vanilla

  4. Step 4: Sift Dry Ingredients

    In a separate bowl, sift together 2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and ½ teaspoon of baking powder.sift dry ingredients

  5. Step 5: Combine Wet ingredients with the Dry

    Mix the sifted dry ingredients into the butter mixture until just combined.Combining wet and dry ingredients in electric mixer

  6. Step 6: Shape Dough

    Use a heaping teaspoon of dough per cookie to form balls on the prepared baking sheet, keeping them 2 inches apart.balls of cookie dough on baking sheet

  7. Step 7: Bake

    Bake the cookies for 8 minutes for a soft texture or 10 minutes for a crunchier one.sugar cookies baking on sheet

  8. Step 8: Cool and Enjoy

    Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Once fully cool, enjoy!

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 172 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 50mg2%
Potassium 29mg1%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 248IU5%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure the butter is softened before starting the recipe. This will make sure it can properly cream with the sugar for a fluffy mixture that combines well with the rest of the ingredients going forward. 
  • Continue mixing the sugar and butter on medium speed until it reaches the desired fluffy consistency. This should only take about 2 minutes. 
  • When you add in the dry ingredient don’t over-mix the dough. Just keep the stand mixer on until the dough is just combined. 
  • Put the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on the cookie tray so that they have room to spread while baking. 
  • You can decide if you prefer your sugar cookies more chewy or crunchy.
    • For chewy Sugar Cookies only bake them for 8 minutes.
    • For more crunchy cookies up that to 10 minutes. If you take them out at 8 minutes they’ll look underdone. Still, take them out, and let them sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to keep them soft and chewy. They’ll finish up a little more while sitting and be baked to perfection. 
stack of sugar cookies

How to Decorate Sugar Cookies

Baking cookies is so much fun! When it comes to making baked Sugar Cookies, decorating them is probably the best part. Slathering on the frosting, and sprinkles is a great way you can involve younger kids in holiday baking. They can add as many different colors, shapes, and sparkles as you want! Here are some of our favorite ways to finish off Sugar Cookies.

  • Frosting: For those who love cookies with icing, you can use Sugar Cookie Frosting or Buttercream Frosting. Royal Icing is also popular. Once you’ve made it divide the frosting into smaller containers and add different gel food coloring to them. If you’re not a fan of Royal Icing or plain frosting, you can also try making some Chocolate Frosting or Easy Mint Frosting made with real peppermint extract to change things up.
  • Sprinkles: Get as many different kinds of sprinkles, sanding sugar, colored sugar, and powdered sugar as you can find to choose from.
  • More toppings: For some more creative toppings try crushed peppermints, red hots, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, M&Ms, or toffee bits. You could also drizzle some melted chocolate over the top.

Storing Leftovers

How to Store Leftover Sugar Cookies

For storing leftover Sugar Cookies, place them in single layers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. To extend freshness, refrigerate them for up to five days. Ensure the container is tightly sealed to prevent moisture loss, which can lead to hardened cookies.

Freezing Sugar Cookies

For longer-term storage, freeze Sugar Cookies individually wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, then store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. This prevents freezer burn and preserves their taste. When frozen, Sugar Cookies can retain their quality for up to three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter in the recipe?

Yes, you can use salted butter, but be mindful of the additional salt it contains. Reduce the added salt in the recipe by about ¼ teaspoon to balance the flavors.

Can I substitute the egg with something else for a vegan version?

Absolutely! For a vegan alternative, consider using a flaxseed or chia seed “egg.” Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds with 2.5 tablespoons of water, let it sit for a few minutes until it thickens, and use it as a replacement for one egg.

What can I do if my cookies turned out too soft or too crunchy?

If your cookies are too soft, reduce the baking time slightly next time. For cookies with crisp edges, increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. The texture can vary based on personal preference and oven performance.

Can I add mix-ins like chocolate chips or nuts to the dough?

Certainly! Feel free to customize your Sugar Cookies by adding your favorite mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits. Gently fold them into the dough after combining the wet and dry ingredients, just before shaping the dough into balls.

Can I use whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Yes, you can experiment with whole wheat or gluten-free flour. Keep in mind that these flours may yield slightly different textures and flavors.  

stack of sugar cookies with a bite taken out

Recipe Card

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies are the ultimate holiday cookie and so fun to decorate! They bake quickly and you can make them either soft or crunchy!
Yield 24 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Add a heaping teaspoon of rolled cookie dough per cookie to the sheet, 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 8 minutes for soft cookies or 10 minutes for crunchy cookies.
  • Let cool 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

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Variations on Sugar Cookies

  • Spices: For some delicious seasonal flavor additions try mixing in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
  • Gluten-free: To make gluten-free Sugar Cookies, you can replace the all-purpose flour with almond flour, oat flour, or arrowroot flour.
  • Mix-ins: For some tasty additions try mixing in nuts, like pecans, pistachios, almonds, or walnuts. You could also fold in dried fruit like cherries or cranberries.
  • Shapes: Feel free to use cookie cutters to make cut-out Sugar Cookies. You can use a silicone baking mat without harming the mat. Be sure to bake larger cookies to accommodate all the shapes!

More Easy Cookies

Sugar Cookies Pin

Photos from a previous version of this post:

Sugar Cookies collage
Sugar Cookie steps for making dough
Sugar Cookies before and after baking

tray of cooked sugar cookies
sugar cookie dough on baking sheet

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I was searching fir a quick cookie recipe and saw these. Took very few ingredients ans little time to make. very good flavor. Will keep some in the freezer when craving fir something sweet. Good recipe.