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.
For something different, try Christmas Tree Meringue Cookies.