Looking for more easy cookie recipes? You’ll love my Snickerdoodles, Buttery Spritz Cookies, and Gingerbread Cookies.

Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe - This sugar cookie recipe is an heirloom family recipe used for generations. A simple sugar cookie recipe that makes perfect roll out sugar cookies that are perfect for decorating. // addapinch.com

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.

Through the years, we’ve tried a few variations of my family’s sugar cookie recipe, 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!

Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe - This sugar cookie recipe is an heirloom family recipe used for generations. A simple sugar cookie recipe that makes perfect roll out sugar cookies that are perfect for decorating. // addapinch.com

When Sam was young, 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. We had fun no matter what shapes we cut out of this delicious rolled sugar cookie dough!

Why You’ll Love This Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

Taste and Texture. These cookies have a slightly sweet taste that is not overpowered by icing or decorations. Their texture is soft, yet they are sturdy enough for decorating.

Festive. The dough can be cut into any desired shape for holidays and celebrations and decorated as you wish. They are so much fun to make with kids!

Easy to Make Ahead. The sugar cookie dough is perfect to make ahead and keep chilled until ready to cut out the cookies for baking.

How to Make Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Ingredients

Photograph of ingredients used to make rolled sugar cookies: flour, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and butter.

For this cookie recipe, you’ll need the following simple ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

I recommend that the butter be softened and the eggs be at room temperature for better mixing with the sugar and flour.

Make the Sugar Cookie Dough

Collage image of step-by-step instructions for making the dough for cut-out sugar cookies recipe.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix into the butter mixture. Add in the vanilla.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture, making sure to mix until well combined without overmixing the dough.
  • Divide the dough in half. If ready to bake, go ahead and roll and cut the dough for baking. If you are making ahead, wrap each half of the dough well with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Roll and Cut Out the Dough

Photo of rolled sugar cookie dough with angel cookie cut-outs.
  • Roll the dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with your favorite cookie cutters. If the dough sticks, you can dust the rolling surface and rolling pin lightly with confectioner’s sugar or with flour. I prefer to use confectioner’s sugar as I find it doesn’t leave an aftertaste once the cookies are baked.
  • Cut sugar cookies with preferred cookie cutters, working dough back together and rolling and cutting until all dough has been used and all the sugar cookies are placed onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake the Cookies

Angel shaped baked sugar cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet  ready to be decorated.
  • Place the baking sheets full of cut-out sugar cookies into the freezer for 15 minutes to prevent the dough from spreading while baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350º F while the baking sheet is in the freezer.
  • Transfer baking sheets straight from the freezer to the oven for baking. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.

Decorate the Sugar Cookies

While the sugar cookies are cooling, I mix up the same easy cookie icing that my Mama always made when we were children. Then, the whole family has so much decorating them.

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

Sugar Cookie Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions

To store baked and decorated sugar cookies. Prepare the cookies as instructed, allow any decorative frosting to dry completely, and then store them in parchment-lined layers within an airtight container for up to a week.

To make ahead unbaked cookies. Make the sugar cookie dough, wrap it well with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. When ready to roll and bake, remove from the refrigerator and follow the recipe.

To freeze cookie dough. Make the sugar cookie dough, wrap it well with plastic wrap, and place it in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to roll and bake, remove from the refrigerator and follow the recipe.

To freeze unbaked cookies. Place cut-out sugar cookies onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and place into the freezer until the unbaked cookies are firmly frozen, about 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container layering the unbaked frozen cookies between parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake from frozen, add about 2 to 3 minutes to the baking time.

To freeze baked cookies. Allow the baked sugar cookies to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container layering between parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, allow the cookies to reach room temperature and then decorate as you’d like.

Here’s my family’s cut-out 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!

Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

5 from 9 votes
Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe – This sugar cookie recipe is an heirloom family recipe used for generations. A simple sugar cookie recipe that makes perfect roll out sugar cookies that are perfect for decorating. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • confectioner’s sugar , for rolling

Instructions 

  • Line baking sheet pans with parchment paper or baking mats. 
  • Cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Then, add in the vanilla extract.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the salt in a large bowl. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture, making sure to mix well as combining and taking care not to over mix as it causes tough cookies. 
  • Dust countertop area lightly for rolling sugar cookie dough using confectioner’s sugar. Divide the 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 use and placed onto prepared baking sheets. 
  • Place your baking sheets into the freezer for 15 minutes to prevent the dough from spreading as much while baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º F as your sugar 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 the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating, if desired.

Notes

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions

To store baked and decorated sugar cookies. Prepare the cookies as instructed, allow any decorative frosting to dry completely, and then store them in parchment-lined layers within an airtight container for up to a week.
To make ahead unbaked cookies. Make the sugar cookie dough, wrap it well with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. When ready to roll and bake, remove from the refrigerator and follow the recipe.
To freeze cookie dough. Make the sugar cookie dough, wrap it well with plastic wrap, and place it in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to roll and bake, remove from the refrigerator and follow the recipe.
To freeze unbaked cookies. Place cut-out sugar cookies onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and place into the freezer until the unbaked cookies are firmly frozen, about 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container layering the unbaked frozen cookies between parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake from frozen, add about 2 to 3 minutes to the baking time.
To freeze baked cookies. Allow the baked sugar cookies to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container layering between parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, allow the cookies to reach room temperature and then decorate as you’d like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 25mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Happy Baking!
Robyn xo

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2013.

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review




56 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    PERFECT! This was my first time making sugar cookies and I think I nailed them thanks to this recipe! I made your icing as well and I’m really happy with them.. but my work potluck tomorrow will be the true test! 

    I think the trick to perfect dough is to follow the ‘do not over mix’ advice – mix until juuust combined!

    Thank you 🙂 

    1. Hi Chris,
      You should be able to see the recipe and instructions just fine now. I think there must have been an update going on when you tried to see it. I’m so sorry for any inconvenience and really appreciate you letting me know. I hope you enjoy the cookies! Thanks! 🙂

  2. The cookies look delicious and fun to make with my granddaughters. My youngest granddaughter cannot have any dairy products. What would be your suggestion with what to replace the butter and actually giving the cookies a buttery flavour? I know that butter can be replaced with coconut oil but it would be missing that butter flavour. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance

  3. 5 stars
    Hi, 

    Can you please specify how gradual, your gradually add is? It is a 1/2 cup at a time? 

    Want to make these little babies for Christmas presents. Thank you for sharing. 

    S

  4. 5 stars
    FAVORITE CUT OUT COOKIE RECIPE BY FAR!!! I would’ve gave it 5 stars however the cookie was a little too salty and not sweet enough for my taste personally. Next time I make this I’m going to try and tweak it a bit by either using unsalted butter and then following the recipe through.. or cut the salt down to half a teaspoon, and add maybe half a cup more of sugar. I didn’t see if the recipe specifically called for unsalted butter or not? But thanks for the recipe, my husband and I love it along with your sugar cookie icing recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Shelly! You can use unsalted butter if you wish.
      I don’t think I’d advise adding sugar as it will change the composition of the recipe. xo

  5. 5 stars
    I found your BEST sugar cookie recipe last year and made them all year long! This year I wanted to decorate cookies with the grand daughters and found this one. Turned out awesome!
    I made the dough weeks ago and froze it. When it was time to bake your directions were perfect! No problems rolling – I froze these baked cookies until decoration day!
    Another winner – and I’m glad I found you!

    1. Aww, I’m so glad you are here, Mary! How fun that you made these with your granddaughters!!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! xo

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve been trying different cut-out sugar cookie recipes for years and this is the best one I’ve tried! SUPER easy to make (no chill time for the dough is a GAME CHANGER; 15 min in the freezer as said in the recipe does the trick beautifully!). Swearing by this recipe from now on. Thank you!!!

    1. I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed these, Cintia! Thank you so much for sharing your sweet comment!xo

  7. thanks for both recipes. I have to make over 200 for world cup championship here in SLC for the athletes and wanted to freeze them for valentines! Now I am armed to do!

  8. Hello robin, what brand of flour do you like to use to bake this cookies?
    AP flours can vary in protein coming tent. I’d like to make these for Easter. Thank you

    1. Rebecca, I use White Lily all-purpose flour. It is a soft wheat flour and has less protein than most of the other flours.