Sugar cookies are always a classic treat to make around the holiday season, and this cut out sugar cookie recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Not only will these heartwarming treats bring your family together for some quality bonding time in the kitchen but creating shapes with custom decorations adds an extra special homemade touch of warmth that everyone cannot resist.
It’s a good idea to make a few batches ahead of time and have them ready for decorating. If you plan ahead and make the icing and cookies before everyone shows up for the cookie decorating party, everyone will have so much more fun and there is much less to clean up.
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Make sure that you have plenty of containers to send the beautiful designs home in. Everyone will want to eat that special cookie or two. These are the perfect sugar cookies for each individual treasure.
If you’re looking for perfect cut-out Christmas cookies, ones that hold their shape and don’t spread in the oven, follow along with this tried and true recipe, and get creative with unique designs that represent you and your family.
It’s a Holiday tradition at our house.
Best Sugar Cookie Recipe for Decorating
This recipe was given to me by a chef friend of mine. He was teaching a cookie decorating class and he had made hundreds of these sugar cookies. Each cookie was baked perfectly, not too soft, yet not too crunchy either. Just fresh and delicious. He used large cookie cutters to make a wide variety of Holiday cookies for everyone to have fun decorating.
He uses this easy sugar cookies recipe as it is a fool proof recipe. This is one of those recipes where you can use up all the sugar cookie dough making your cut-out shapes. Just keep rolling and re-rolling the cookie dough until it is all used up and baked into scrumptious Sugar Cookies.
Make the perfect batch of festive sugar cookies every time.
Why This Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Recipe Works
This sugar cookie recipe has a delicious buttery flavor with a chewy and soft interior texture.
The cookies will hold their shape, they absolutely do not spread in the oven. You will end up with perfectly shaped cookies.
All the cookie dough can be used. Keep rolling out the dough until it is all used up. This recipe is one of the few that is very forgiving when rolling out dough multiple times.
Tips for Baking the Perfect Sugar Cookie
Use Pure Vanilla Extract.
It is amazing what a good-quality pure vanilla extract will do for flavor when baking. Since you are using such a small amount in recipes, it is important to get as much great flavor as possible.
Whisk the Dry Ingredients.
Combine the flour and other dry ingredients before adding to the wet ingredients. This makes sure that the other ingredients like baking powder and salt are incorporated throughout the flour rather than clumped into one place.
Chill the Cookie Dough.
It really does make a difference when rolling out your sugar cookies. The dough holds its shape better and the dough is easier to handle too. After mixing the cookie dough, shape it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chilling Time. It is a good practice to chill at least one hour, but preferably overnight for best results.
Lightly Flour Work Surface.
Use flour sparingly when rolling out your cookies. Too much flour can make the cookie dough drier and tough. Therefore, add just enough flour so the dough does not stick. Start with ½ cup and spread it around. I like to have a little on the side so I can add extra flour in areas needed as I roll out the dough. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Another option is to roll the cookie dough between two pieces of parchment paper. There will be less mess to clean up this way too.
Roll Cookie Dough to Desired Thickness.
The ideal thickness of sugar cookie cut outs is ¼-inch. However, if you prefer a thinner crispy cookie, roll dough to 1/8-inch. Prefer a thicker and softer cookie? Roll the dough to ½-inch thickness.
Cut Shapes Close Together.
When cutting out your sugar cookies cut the shapes out as close together in the dough is the best way to get the most shapes with each rolling of the dough. Remove the cut out shapes and place on the sheet of parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Then re-roll the remaining dough scraps. As you continue this process, each time you re-roll the dough, additional flour gets incorporated into the dough. Therefore, you will want to get as many shapes cut out with each roll.
Bake on Parchment Paper or a Non-Stick Silicone Mat.
Ditch the method of adding any extra oil by preparing the baking sheets so the cookies do not stick. Rather use parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat. Just place the cut out cookies on the lined baking sheet and bake. It is easy to slice the parchment off along with the cookies. No sticking and no mess.
Bake Same Size Cookies Together.
Baking about the same size cookies together assures that they will bake at the same rate. If you bake large and small shapes together, the small cookies will overbake and the larger cookies will be underbaked.
Don’t Over Bake.
The cookies should have hardly any color. They should just barely start to turn color on the edges. Don’t wait for the cookies to be golden grown as the cookies will be crisp and overbaked already.
What is the best thickness for sugar cookies?
¼-inch is the best thickness for sugar cookies.
However, if you are a fan of thicker sugar cookies, go ahead and roll out the dough to ½-inch thick.
Storing Decorated and Undecorated Cookies
Sugar cookies will keep at room temperature for up to ten days if stored in an airtight container.
You can freeze cookies with wax paper between the layers for up to 4 months.
When ready to enjoy, just thaw.
Easy Sugar Cookie Icing
In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
Divide into separate bowls and add food colorings to each as desired.
Dip cookies, paint them with a brush to decorate, spread the icing on with an offset spatula, or transfer the frosting to a piping bag.
Allow frosting to harden before enjoying, stacking, or storing. Let sit in a single layer until the frosting has hardened.
Other Holiday Recipes
If you Prefer Soft Sugar Cookies that hold their shape, this recipe made with sour cream tastes great and are soft and chewy.
The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 1 Pound Butter softened
- 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 4 Large Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 6 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
Sugar Cookie Icing
- 1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Milk
- 2 Teaspoons Light Corn Syrup
- ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract
- Assorted Gel Food Coloring
- In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, and room temperature butter. Mix until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and blend until mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Add the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt and mix just until the mixture comes together.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough overnight.
- While the cookie dough is still cool, roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut cookie dough into shapes.
- Bake cookies for 7 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until cookie is starting to brown on the edges.
- Cool on a wire rack as this will allow the cookie to cool on the top and bottom at the same time. Frost as desired.
- In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
- Divide into separate bowls and add food colorings to each as desired.
- Dip cookies, paint them with a brush to decorate, spread the icing on with an offset spatula, or transfer the frosting to a piping bag.
Your Own Private Notes
Storing Decorated and Undecorated CookiesSugar cookies will keep at room temperature for up to ten days if stored in an airtight container. You can freeze cookies with wax paper between the layers for up to 4 months. When ready to enjoy, just thaw.
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