How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (2024)

So this is the day I’ve been having… I didn’t bother icing this batch of our perfect sugar cookies because they taste amazing all on their own. But my4 year old LOVES her sweets and she insisted on having icing on hers (they’re deliciouswith and without icing!).

We have a small kitchen, so I keep all the leftover icing tubes from other treats we’ve made in a box upstairs in my office. So every day after school this week while I’m trying to squeeze in just 10 more minutes of work, my middle daughter has been bringing me a cookie, choosing a tube of icing from the box and asking me to decorate it for her.

Yesterday she chose the bright red glitter gel icing that I used on the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heartsway back when. That stuff is RED (and sparkly…). I iced a beautiful little snowflake on the cookie she brought me. She was so excited watching me decorate that cookie, and (just saying…) I was actually pretty impressed with my quick, free-handed icing skills too! When I was done, I handed the cookie back to her, and I said, “Now sweetie, this icing is really messy, so whatever you do, do NOT drop the cookie!”

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (1)

And before I could even finish the sentence, her little fingers fumbled and she dropped her pretty little snowflake cookie just covered in wet gel icing on the floor. No no… Not face down. That little cookie rolled about 2 feet along the carpet leaving a straight line of bright red icing and THEN it landed face down on the carpet.

My poor daughter stared at the cookie on the floor and just kept apologizing. She had the biggest look of disappointment on her face and her bottom lip was puffing out. She was so excited to eat her delicious snowflake cookie, and it was ruined. She looked like she was going to cry from the disappointment. And of course she was nervous to see how I’d react to the GIANT, bright red stain on the carpet… Normally I’d be angry, but how could I get mad when it was clearly an accident and she was already so sad!?

*sigh* So for the moment, I’m stuck with a big red patch of carpet on the floor right next to my officechair! If you know how to get red gel icing stains out of carpet, please feel free to leave me some tips in the comments below!!

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies

When it comes to baking, I am definitely NOT an expert. So when I tell you that this recipe makes the best, most perfect sugar cookies, you can truly believe me. Because if I can make perfect sugar cookies with this recipe,I promise, you can make perfect sugar cookies too!

You don’t need any special tools, and you definitely don’t need to chill the dough. I’m not going to claim to know why you need to chill the dough in some recipes (I’m sure there’s a reason for it in other recipes??), but I’m lazy. And when I’m baking with the kids, they just want to get those cookies in the oven! So I’d rather not take a giant pause in the middleof our kitchen fun.

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (2)

I used my hand held mixer to combine all the ingredients. When it gets to this clumpy stage where all the ingredients are mixed together, you’ll have to start using your hands to knead the dough.

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (3)

Knead the dough until it forms a consistent ball. It’s easier to roll the dough out in smaller batches, so at this point, you’ll want to split your big dough ball into 2 or 3 smaller balls.

I recommend covering the bowlwith plastic wrap to keep the dough from drying out while you’re rolling out each ball.

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (4)

Take one of the balls and carefully roll it out onto a floured surface. I did mine right on the counter. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough as well to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough.

Roll the dough by starting in the center and rolling out to the edges, changing the angle each time you roll until it has an even thickness throughout (about 1/4 inch thick). There are lots of tools available to make the rolling process easier, but I would much rather stick with a simple rolling pin. If it was good enough for my grandma, it’s good enough for me!

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (5)

I don’t know why, but this is always my favourite part! Choose your favourite cookie cutters and cut out your shapes!

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (6)

Lift them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet using a thin metal spatula.

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The baking time will depend on your desired level of doneness. I baked the ones I made last year for 8 minutes but they looked kind of bleached (you can check them out here). The less time they bake, the softer their texture will be along with a lighter colour.

For the super cuteteddy bear cookies I made, I wanted them to be a little more golden, so I cooked them for 10 to 11 minutes. Cooking them longer gives them a firmer texture with golden edges.

These particular cookies in this batch here I cooked for just over 9 minutes. Ovens will vary of course, so you’ll have to keep an eye on them near the end and take them out when they’re ready.

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These cookies have wonderful, even edges, they have a lovely smooth surface, and they taste delicious both with and without icing!

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They have a delicious slightly soft texture, not that super crunchy texture you get from store bought cookies.

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (10)

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (11)

Print Recipe

4.75 from 20 votes

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies

This is truly the only sugar cookie recipe you'll ever need!

Prep Time30 minutes mins

Cook Time10 minutes mins

Total Time40 minutes mins

Servings: 30 to 40



  • Preheat the oven to 350F.

  • Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer until smooth.

  • Beat in the vanilla extract and egg.

  • In another bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder and mix together.

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time and continue using the mixer until everything is combined and the mixture is crumbly.

  • Wet your hands and knead it by hand. Separate it into 2 or 3 dough balls. Cover the remaining dough balls with plastic wrap while you are rolling. (Don't chill the dough)

  • Place the dough on a floured surface, sprinkle a small amount of flour on top to keep the rolling pin from sticking and roll it out until it's about 1/4" thick.

  • Using your favourite cookie cutters, cut out the shapes, then use a metal spatula to transfer the shapes to a parchment lined cookie sheet.

  • Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes.


1. If your dough is too "crumbly" it might mean your butter wasn't softened enough. But no worries! Add 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of water to the dough and kneed it in until it sticks together properly. You might need to add more water when you are rolling the scraps a second time.
2. Cooking for 8 minutes will result in a softer cookie with a lighter colour. Cooking for 10 or 11 minutes will result in a firmer texture with a more golden colour. Ovens will vary, so keep an eye on yours, but I cooked these cookies for just over 9 minutes.

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (12)

This is truly the only sugar cookie recipe you’ll ever need!They keep their shape, they have perfect edges every time and they taste AMAZING!

My kids know I don’t bake a whole lot, so when they came home from school and saw these and LOVED them – and said they’d be perfect to leave out for Santa– Ifelt like I had accomplished something. 🙂

And just in case you need a recipe for sugar cookie icing, check out our gorgeous Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree Cookies. I LOVE that fir tree texture!!

How to Make Perfect Sugar Cookies | The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe (2024)


What is are some key tips in ensuring a successful sugar cookie? ›

Sugar Cookie Tips for the Best-Ever Treats
  • Add an Egg Yolk. This is one of those sugar cookie tips you may have heard of before: Add an extra egg yolk to your cookies. ...
  • Use Brown Sugar. ...
  • Chill the Dough. ...
  • Add a Secret Ingredient. ...
  • Keep an Eye on the Clock. ...
  • Store Cookies the Right Way.
Jun 20, 2018

How to make perfect cookies every time? ›

The key is to always use top-quality ingredients as they'll result in a better cookie; it really is that simple.
  1. Always use butter.
  2. Choose the right sugar.
  3. Choose the right flour.
  4. Check your flour is in date.
  5. Choose the right kind of chocolate.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar.
  7. Beat in the eggs.
  8. Fold in the flour.

Do you need to chill sugar cookie dough before baking? ›

Chilling the dough is a key step in making sugar cookies, especially when you're making cut-outs. Even if you're tight on time, make sure to get the dough in the fridge, or even the freezer, even if it's only for a little while. Skip this step, and the dough will be sticky, and much harder to work with.

How do you get sugar to stay on sugar cookies? ›

Decorate After Baking

In order to add colored sugar to baked cookies, the sugar needs something to adhere to. Icing is the perfect choice. Bake and cool the cookies as directed by the recipe.

What is the secret to making good cookies? ›

The biggest secret is to not over bake them. Cookies will set once they are out of the oven. Take them out of the oven when they look slightly under baked. Second, depending on the recipe, chilling the dough can make it easier to work with.

What is the secret to making cookies soft? ›

Baking cookies quickly in a hot oven – at 375 degrees F as opposed to a lower temperature – will make for soft results. They'll bake fast instead of sitting and drying out in the oven's hot air. Ever so slightly underbaking your cookies will give you softer results than cooking them the full amount the recipe says.

What are 4 tips to keep in mind while making cookies? ›

My tips are:
  1. weigh your ingredients.
  2. use chopped chocolate bars instead of chips.
  3. make 1 cookie right away and 1 after overnight refrigeration to see how much cold affects spread; depending on the outcome, I leave the dough out a couple hours before baking.
Nov 7, 2020

What makes a cookie perfect? ›

The best cookies have layers of texture. A slightly crisp outer shell that holds up to some heat with an inner core that's soft and chewy. Premium cookies taste great at room temperature, straight out of the fridge or slightly heated. Creating cookies in small batches is key.

How long should sugar cookie dough sit out before rolling? ›

As a general rule of thumb, you should refrigerate cookie dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. More than that, and you won't see a noticeable difference in the final product. Once the dough has chilled, let it warm up at room temperature until it's just pliable (about 5 to 10 minutes).

What happens if you don t refrigerate sugar cookie dough before baking? ›

Popping your dough in the fridge allows the fats to cool. As a result, the cookies will expand more slowly, holding onto their texture. If you skip the chilling step, you're more likely to wind up with flat, sad disks instead of lovely, chewy cookies. Cookies made from chilled dough are also much more flavorful.

Can you leave sugar cookie dough overnight? ›

Most cookie dough can be refrigerated, well-wrapped, for 3-5 days before baking. If you want to make it farther in advance, freeze the dough. You can either freeze the entire brick of dough or divide it into portions for quick baking.

What keeps sugar cookies from spreading? ›

Chill the Cookie Dough

Chilling your cookie dough is the single biggest piece of advice I give people to stop their sugar cookies spreading too much. By allowing your cookie dough to chill and rest in the fridge for between 24-72 hours allows the fat in your cookies, to solidify.

How do you keep sugar cookies flat when baking? ›

Do you have a tried and true sugar cookie recipe that you love, but the cookies come out a little too domed? Try reducing the leavener (such as baking powder) by a half to a quarter and see what happens. It should definitely help!

How long do you leave sugar cookies out? ›

The best way to store sugar cookies is in an airtight container at room temperature, with a layer of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer of cookies. Sugar cookies can last for up to two weeks at room temperature, up to a month in the refrigerator, and up to three months in the freezer.

What is the most important thing in cookies? ›

Fat is a very important ingredient in cookies – it tenderizes, crisps and browns, adds color and a wonderful flavor that is impossible to duplicate. Butter, our fat of choice, ensures good baking results and adds the most desirable taste, texture and appearance.

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