Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

This cut-out Sugar Cookie Recipe has been in my family for years and years. It is one of those cookie recipes that we pull out each year to make Christmas cookies for decorating.

Sugar Cookie Recipe | ©

Through the years, we’ve tried a few variations off my family’s sugar cookie recipe and especially with the decorations. Mama would make a quick sugar cookie icing and we’d add all sorts of little candies to the cookies for decoration. Some years, those cookies turned out a lot cuter than others, but they were always delicious!


Sugar Cookie Recipe | ©

Now for the past 12 years, I, like my Mama did when I was growing up, pull out the canister of cookie cutters and turn all of the shape selection over to Sam. Sometimes we end up with all snowmen, and then other years, we have a great mixture of all sorts of shapes to bake and decorate.

While the sugar cookies are cooling, I mix up the same cookie icing that my Mama always made and then we have a blast decorating them. This year, Sam let me have a few to decorate myself.

I have to tell you, it was if I’d just been asked to sing on Broadway or dance with the Rockettes. Stage fright hit at such a level that I couldn’t think of anything to do other than sprinkle all of my cookies with white sanding sugar.

I’m so creative. Heh!

I’ve always loved simple and classic.

Sugar Cookie Recipe | ©

While we’ve always loved making these as part of our baking for Christmas cookies, it’s really a great sugar cookie recipe to use whenever you’d like to make sugar cookies for decorating or just enjoying.

Sugar Cookie Recipe | ©

Here’s my family’s sugar cookie recipe. I hope your family loves it as much as mine does! You might also like to try my Chewy Sugar Cookie Recipe. Between the two, you’ll be in sugar cookie bliss!

Yield: 36 cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Total Time 22 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
This sugar cookie recipe is an heirloom family favorite recipe for generations. This simple sugar cookie recipe makes perfect roll out sugar cookies perfect for decorating.
3.34 from 3 votes
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  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • confectioner's sugar for rolling


  1. Line baking sheet pans with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
  2. Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly incorporate flour into butter and sugar mixture, making sure to mix well as combined, taking care not to overmix as it causes tough cookies.
  3. Dust countertop area lightly for rolling sugar cookie dough with confectioner's sugar. Divide sugar cookie dough in half and roll to desired thickness. Cut sugar cookies with preferred cookie cutters, working dough back together and rolling and cutting until all dough has been used and placed onto prepared baking sheets.
  4. Place baking sheets into freezer for 15 minutes to prevent the dough from spreading as much while baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 350º F as sugar cookie dough is in the freezer. Transfer baking sheets straight from the freezer to the oven for baking. Bake cookies until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before decorating, if desired.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch


Happy Baking!



For beautiful sugar cookie decorating tips and tutorials, you need to visit my very talented friends:

Bake at 350


Sweet Sugarbelle

38 comments on “Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe”

  1. I love recipes with a history 🙂 I remember well sitting at the table with my mom up to our elbows in flour and powdered sugar.

  2. Pingback: Cookie Icing Recipe - Cooking | Add a Pinch | Robyn Stone

  3. Can you please send link for instructions to decorate the sugar cookie

    • Hi Tracy,
      Here’s how I decorated the cookie as photographed. I piped a line around the edges of the cookie and then filled the inside of the area with more cookie icing. Then, I used a toothpick and spread the cookie icing to eliminate any gaps in the icing. Then, I sprinkled sanding sugar (by Wilton) on top of the still wet cookie icing. Then, I just let the icing dry completely.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Robyn,
    I love old family recipes. Pinned.

  5. These are gorgeous! Totally perfect. I love the sanding sugar too, makes them look fuzzy and snowy!

  6. Love these kinds of holiday memories! Gorgeous cookies!

  7. Are these cookies hard or chewy. My daughter wants to make cut out cookies for the kids she is babysitting for but she doesn’t want to break any teeth. So I’m looking for a soft chewy sugar cookie for cutting out. Thanks.

    • These cookies are soft. I’m not a fan of hard sugar cookies at all. You’ll want to watch the baking time and not let them go longer than the 12 minutes to keep them as soft as possible.

      Your daughter is such a sweetie for making cookies for the children she babysits. Such lucky kiddos!

  8. I would like to make these with sprinkles/sanding sugar but without frosting. When should I add the decoration?


  9. Pingback: Chewy Sugar Cookies Recipe - Cooking | Add a Pinch | Robyn Stone

  10. This recipe was a hit! I made ninja shaped cookies for my family for Christmas, and my dad and grandmother loved these cookies. They weren’t too sweet or too hard, perfect.

  11. I have tried the recipe twice now and both times it basically is complete crumbles…almost like there is too much flour. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Bethany,
      I’m sorry you’ve had trouble with it. Let’s try and narrow down what could be causing the problem. When you cream together the butter and sugar, is it light and fluffy before you add in the eggs? Once you incorporate the dry ingredients with the butter mixture, you’ll want to make sure not to overmix as it will cause dry, crumbly, tough cookies.

      • I’m so sorry you had problems with it, Liz. I’m so impressed with you for creaming together the butter and sugar by hand. I’ve used an electric mixer each time, which may be a major difference.

  12. Can I use my stand mixer? Also i do not have enough cooking sheets to put all the cookies on, do I need to put the dough in the frige while I am waiting for the other cookies to bake? I read in other recipes that you have to keep the cookie dough cold.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Hi Erica,
      Yes, you may use your stand mixer. Just be careful not to over mix the cookie dough or it can make the cookies tough and crumbly. I would recommend refrigerating the dough while one cookie sheet bakes.

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  14. Those sugar cookies look soooo wonderful. Thank you for your great recipes.

  15. Pingback: Favorite Christmas Cookies - Cooking | Add a Pinch

  16. i love cookies like this and they are good

  17. I tried this recipe several times and its just amazing…taste wise and texture wise… I was wondering if i can store it in the freezer after baking in order for it to stay fresh? I am baking it 3 days ahead … or what do you suggest? Thanks

  18. do these cookies expand in the oven? or will they stay the same size? thanks!

  19. They were kind of dry tasting. Needed milk. 🙁 Also I didn’t know to decorate with sprinkles before baking I don’t like frosting. Lol.

  20. Crumbled! I bake a lot and followed directions exactly. The butter and sugar were creamed until fluffy, eggs added one at a time, flour added gradually. Based on other reviews I even cut the flour down by 1/2 cup and it still crumbled and never came together. Tasted great when I sampled it, but you can’t make cookies with a crumbled mixture can you? Disappointed.

    • Hi Kady – I’m so sorry that happened.
      I’ve never had a problem with this recipe crumbling. Not sure if this was the case when you made it, but if it is over mixed when the flour is added, it will crumble. Just mix until flour is just blended well.
      Another possibility could be the density of the flour used. I always use White Lily flour which is lighter than other flours and results in a great texture for my baked goods.
      Hope this helps. Thanks so much.

  21. My dough was crumbly as well and I tried really hard not to over mix it. Since it was crumbly, I just kind of kneaded it together until it formed a ball and it seems to be sticking well. I’m also chilling it a bit before I try to roll it out. Do I HAVE to line the cookie sheets with parchment? I don’t have any and I don’t feel like loading up the baby to run to the store…

    • I like using parchment for baking cookies, Liz, but if you don’t have it, you can grease your cookie sheets well. If you have a Silpat baking mat you can use that as well. I love parchment for the non-stick, easy cleanup and even browning it gives the cookies but you can make them without it if you do the things I mention above. Enjoy them! Thanks! xo

  22. Salted or unsalted butter for this? thank you.

  23. hey, can I use coconut sugar instead of the regular? spelt flour instead of white flour?

  24. Hello!

    I ave made your chewy sugar cookies many times but wanted to make pumpkin shaped cookies for the kids tonight. With their help of course. I found this receipt that you use for cut out cookies. What is the difference taste wise. My family already lives the other recipe so I don’t want them to be confused.
    Thank you.

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