Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER
This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe– no chilling the dough, cookies keep their shape when baked, soft and flavorful, perfect for decorating.
Every year millions of people print this Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER from In Katrina’s Kitchen. I have been using this recipe for over 25 years, and it has never failed me.
The texture is medium-soft, but you can bake them longer if you prefer a crisp cookie. This cookie is my absolute favorite, and I have spent many years perfecting it for friends and family.
Why is This the BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe?
The dough comes together quickly with simple pantry ingredients.
It does NOT need to be chilled.
The recipe can be doubled easily.
Cookies hold their shape with very little expanding when baked.
Baked cookies freeze well.
The recipe I am giving you makes a large batch of dough because I like to bake many cookies. Also, I like to roll and cut my cookies fairly thick…to hold a lot of frosting.
Incorporating the last cup of flour may look dry and look crumbly. Turn out the dough onto your countertop and work with wet hands and/or more flour until the dough is smooth and ready to roll.
Most asked Q and A about this Recipe
- It is most important to note that the butter does not have to be at room temperature. We do not recommend rock-hard butter but allow the butter to sit on the countertop for 10-15 minutes while you assemble your ingredients.
- If you can press your finger into the butter and you can easily make a deep indent then the butter is too soft.
- You should be able to press the butter and make a small fingerprint.
- A tip for mixing butter is to cut it into cubes (or just small pats) before creaming with the sugar.
The dough is sticky and/or crumbly. What can I do?
- The final dough really comes together and has a texture close to Play-Doh. Wet your hands if you need to. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Don’t be afraid to use more flour and incorporate it in while you are “kneading” it into a smooth ball.
- Forget everything you know about sugar cookie dough. Don’t be afraid of sprinkling more flour as you roll it out. Use the scraps! Mix them back into the unused dough and keep going.
Can I chill the dough? I want to chill the dough. Actually, I need to make these 3 days in advance, is that okay?
- If you need to make the dough in advance, you can chill it. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.
- Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling and cutting. You may need to use more flour on the countertop.
The cookies look under-baked. Can I bake them longer?
- I almost always suggest pulling out these cookies and the 8-9 minute mark for large cookie cutters, and 6-8 minutes for small cookie cutters. They will continue baking on the cookie sheet for a few minutes while they cool and set.
- After cooling for about 5 minutes, I use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Can I omit the almond extract?
- You can omit the almond extract.
- If not using almond extract, replace it with an equal amount of pure vanilla extract.
- You can use any of your favorite flavorings in this cookie. I have used peppermint, maple, and lemon with great success.
How Do I Make these Cookies Gluten-Free?
- To make these the best gluten-free Sugar Cookie, swap out the flour for your favorite gluten-free 1:1 flour.
- I use King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure Flour
What is your favorite Christmas Cookie Frosting Recipe?
- I’m happy you asked! I like a soft, sweet frosting. Here is my favorite Christmas Cookie Frosting.
- Click here for my Small Batch Royal Icing recipe (it dries smooth and hard and is perfect for holding together gingerbread houses, too!).
- You could also try our Three Ingredient Chocolate Glaze
I hope you love this Best Sugar Cookie recipe as much as our family does! Merry Christmas!
Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 1 Cup unsalted butter, 226 grams
- 1 Cup granulated white sugar, 200 grams
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour, 360 grams
- PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
- In the bowl of your mixer, CREAM butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes
- BEAT in extracts and egg. (PLEASE NOTE there is 1 egg in this recipe.)
- In a separate bowl, COMBINE baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: If the dough looks crumbly keep mixing for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer.
- If the dough still looks too dry or stiff for your mixer, turn out the dough onto a countertop surface, flour surface as needed. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
- DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches (2-3 chunks), roll out onto a floured surface, and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
- Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
Troubleshooting Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
Scooping and dumping your flour may be the problem! Even with level scooping measurements can vary. Try getting a digital kitchen scale and adding your ingredients by weight.
If your cookies seem to consistently need a longer or shorter baking time consider calibrating your oven with an oven thermometer.
Bake with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Invest in a small metal cookie spatula to transfer cookies.
If left on the counter top for about an hour your butter should be the right consistency- a finger pressed onto the butter will make a slight indent but not sink down into it. (Read more about room temperature butter in this post about XL Bakery Style Cookies.)
Whenever a recipe calls for room temperature butter you should use room temperature eggs. To take the chill off of eggs I place them in a shallow bowl of warm (not hot) water for 2-3 minutes. You can then crack them for use in your recipe.
Looking for more Christmas Cookies?
Try my Christmas Cookie archive for some of the most adorable and delicious Christmas cookies.
Some of my favorites are Grinch Cookies and Ugly Christmas Sweater Sugar Cookie Bars.
For something different, try Christmas Tree Meringue Cookies.
2,090 Comments on “Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER”
I bake a lot and my husband is a chef, I am not sure who wants one more. Him or me! Awesome prize thanks for the chance.
Awesome giveaway…a mixer this big would be super!!
Sugar cookies are my husband's favorite – yours are so pretty!
Pretty AND practical! 🙂
an awesome giveaway
drooling over the red mixer right now!!
Oh how I would love this new mixer 🙂
Perfect giveaway! For the new years I'm dying to try out some major recipes and this would definitely make it a lot easier! 🙂
Thanks for the giveaway!
KitchenAid is the best! Can't wait to try your sugar cookie recipe. The cookies look fabulous!
love, love, love! The cookies and the mixer look great!
My recent post Merry Christmas from Hawaii
Seriously – what a great giveaway, thank you so much! (the cookies look and sound awesome, btw!) 😉
I would Love to win this mixer!
I would feel very lucky/blessed to have a chance to win this mixer. I've been salivating over this mixer for a while now and would love to win it so I can make all kinds of wonderful meals with it. Thank you for sharing your cookie recipe it looks awesome!
I would love this beautiful piece of kitchen equipment! :). Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!!
Broke my old mixer mixing royal icing. Would love a Kitchen Aid!
Thank you for organizing this! I made 2 of the cookies so far and they're family favorites now
I just tried this recipe and the dough is super thin!! I followed the measurements exactly. Did you have this issue?
I would love to win the Mixer! Such a great giveaway!
Making these tonight for a dear friend and her family . We are having a decorating party tomorrow!!
Going to have to try your recipe. COOL giveaway,
I would love to win a kitchenaid mixer! And thank you for the cookie recipe. Sugar cookies are the bane of my existence. I can never get them to turn out right. I will give this recipe a shot.
This is too awesome for words – Best of luck to everyone!
Hope I win, so I can make wonderful cookies like you do Katrina. Ginger
Your sugar cookie recipe is very close to mine and I have been doing mine by hand! How I would love to have a mixer that could do that and my bread…(gummed up the hand held).
How FABULOUS! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win that amzing kitchen tool!!
I REALLY REALLY need a stand mixer!!!!
What a great giveaway! And what a gorgeous mixer!!
Thank you for the chance to win that gorgeous KitchenAid Mixer. Someone is going to be very happy! And thank you also for sharing your sugar cookie recipe. I remember making sugar cookies with my great aunt when I was a kid. We didn't have a nice powerful mixer to do the work for us
Can you freeze the cookies to decorate a week later?
Oh how I would love a K.A. mixer!
Oh wow the cookies look perfect! Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win that beautiful mixer!
My recent post Christmas Highlights at the Hillberrys
Oh wow the cookies look perfect! Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win that beautiful mixer!
I'd love to win this!! Those cookies look great- I need a good sugar cookie recipe. 🙂
My recent post Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Parfaits and a Handmade Keepsake Ornament
This is awesome. Thank you for doing this!
Thank you for sharing your cookie recipe. I can never make good sugar cookies! Maybe now, eh? TY so much for all of the recipes and inspiration this season! and Tired of Cookies? NEVER!
I can't wait to make these!
Dang wanted to make sugar cookies for santa. O well I guess he will get them next yr. Good luck every1.
I tweet about it!!!!
I would be the most loved mommy if I win this and start doing more baking for my boys!!!!!
Love sugar cookies and have always wanted one of these mixers. It'd be nice to try out that recipe myself with my new mixer. 🙂
Would really like to win a stand mixer, have wanted one for a while now.
My sister in law would love this
That is a great cookie recipe !!! Thank you. I can see how having that mixer would be helpful. ~ giggles!
This past Christmas, my room mate made 15lbs of mashed potatoes for our dinner party. This would have TOTALLY been useful! What a great giveaway 🙂
Would love to win a kitchenaid.
A great new year present! I love kitchenaid and do need a new one.
Wow, great giveaway and thank you for the chance!
I love KitchenAid
Wow What a Giveaway!! Thank you!
Been trying to win one for so long. As I cannot afford one myself. Thanks for the chance.
Would love to win a KitchenAid mixer =D I have always wanted one
My recent post
Is there a recommended amount of cocoa powder I could add to convert these to chocolate sugar cookies?