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”
This recipe is amazing. I barely bake and it came out amazing. I followed the instructions and weighed all the dry ingredients. I substituted for only vanilla extract since I didn’t have any almond extract at home. I will be saving this recipe forever. Thank you Katrina’s Kitchen!
How long will these last after baked if stored at room temp or in the fridge? Love this recipe!
Great recipe! This is the second year I’ve made Christmas cookies and they are perfect ☺️
This was by far the easiest sugar cookie recipe I have ever made. Nice smooth flavor with minimal spreading. The cookie were thick, soft and delicious. The big bonus for me was not having to chill the dough. I was a little pressed for time and these came out beautiful with minimal fuss.
This really is the best sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever made. I’ve used it for the last several years and every cookie has been perfect. It’s very tasty, too. I’m not very artistic, so I just use the cookie icing in a tube on them. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s definitely a winner at my house!
Sugar cookies were so easy to make!! Definitely will be keeping this one. They taste good too!!
Can you freeze the dough?
This dough was VERY crumbly. Tried suggestions in the recipe to get it to stick but nothing worked. Barely got 2 dozen cookies and threw away half of the dough. Not using this again.
Hey! I just had the same problem… realized I only used a stick of butter. Mom brain… I added the other stick and it turned out great. I thought this was the worst recipe ever until I realized my error
The dough was easy enough to make and work with, but they really didn’t have much flavor. I rarely comment, but came back to sift through the comments to see if someone had a great tip to help add some flavor. I might try salted butter next time? Maybe a little espresso powder? Anything to give it a little more taste.
Use almond and vanilla or double the almond. These are the best cookies! If you use salted butter you may only taste salt.
Great recipe. Rolled so easy.
We loved making these today! I’m not a baker at all, but these turned out great. Thanks for providing measurements that we can understand in the UK
The most delicious sugar cookie recipe! My sugar cookies came out absolutely delicious with all your ingredients. I didn’t change anything! Thank you for this recipe. I will be using it every year for Christmas 🎄
I hope you and your family have a blessed and beautiful Christmas and a very healthy, happy, New Year! ❤️
My cookies turned out so beautiful! I didn’t have almond extract so I added more vanilla. The color, texture, thickness is exactly what I was looking for! Definitely the BEST sugar cookie recipe!
These were so good! The best I ve ever made! Definitely go on the thicker side for a super scrumptious cookie.
What if I wanna chill and bake tomorrow
These turn out perfect. Just when you think they are too crumbly and will never work keep working the dough. It is worth it.
This is a wonderful cookie recipe! I use it every year and dough is very forgiving, lets you roll leftover dough into more delicious cookies 😋 Thank you so much and Merry Christmas to you ‼️🎄🎄
Can I CHILL IF NEEDED
I read that you can but you need to let it come to room temp to roll out and bake. I am just going with it, I made last night and took it out this morning, so we will see!
Amazing recipe tried a different one twice before this and was very awkward but this was great the cookies are delicious but when they come out the oven leave them as they can break off, I made them quite thick too so this didn’t help either
But they are lovely
I am not a baker and I rarely leave a comment on anything, but I made 7 dozen sugar cookies for a cookie exchange at work and this recipe yields perfect dough! My cookies kept there shape and were virtually looked the same before and after the oven!
Just wanted to ask if the recipe would work with self raising flour?
This has not been tested.
I made these cookies and they were the easiest and the best sugar cookies I’ve ever made thank you for sharing your recipe
I’ve made this recipe for about 6 years in a row, it’s now my go-to for holiday parties and gifting cookie tins! The dough is great to work with and the cookies hold their shape through baking very well. The added almond extract also sets it apart from other sugar cookie recipes that everyone enjoys.
I’m making these cookies in a few days to cut out as a stackable tree for my gingerbread house lawn, lol 😂 I’ve decided I want to color the dough green but I’m not very experienced so I’m hoping you can tell me the best way to do this is overmixing will negatively affect the cookies, ie, mix the dough, then working it again for the gel color… and what if I need to add more color & mix it a third time? I can leave it and just depend on the frosting for color if that is best, thanks a bunch!
This dough is pretty forgiving. When I color dough I use gel food color (not liquid). You can see an example here with these Winter Mitten Cookies https://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/patchwork-winter-mitten-cookies/
Mixing the food coloring in to the wet ingredients will avoid over mixing once you add the flour, in general. However, This recipe seems to be forgiving of over mixing.
Seriously the BEST sugar cookies. The dough is easy enough to roll and cut that my kids have been able to do it unassisted since they were 6&4. The flavor is amazing, I follow the direction to cut them 1/4” thick and bake in my oven for 9mins and they are always perfect. We have used this recipe for 4 years at least, for Christmas, Valentine’s , Easter, St Patrick’s Day, fall/halloween cookies.
I also use this for all other holiday cutout cookies! Such a reliable recipe.
Easy and delicious!!! Will definitely use this recipe over and over!
Can ghee be used instead of butter? 1:1 swap?
This has not been tested.
I swapped out my traditional sugar cookie recipe for this one because the dough did not need refrigeration. I loved this recipe. Cookies came out perfectly! Taste was yummy and pillow. They iced great! This will be my new recipe for years to come.
Hands down the best sugar cookie recipe out there! Coupled with the fact it doesn’t need to be chilled?! Yes please! What a time saver! I must admit I was concerned when my batter looked more like sand than cookie batter. But I wet my hands and dug into it and VOILA! I had play dough consistency batter in less than 30 seconds. Easy to roll out and cut with cookie cutters and they don’t expand and lose their shape from baking. I’ve been handing these out to everyone I know to rave reviews! Definitely my new go-to Christmas cookie recipe.
they taste like Biscuits not sugar cookies. followed the recipe. Im seriously confused.
These are cookies that are meant to be frosted. Thank you for giving it a try.
I know that you don’t have to chill the dough before using, but can you? Or will it mess up the cookies? Looking to make the dough ahead of time to cut out prep time day of
I make these EVERY Christmas. They are by far my favorite Christmas cookie. Like shortbread.
Love it!!!! I have another recipe but it takes too long and has few extra ingredients plus you have to put it in the freezer to keep the shape. This is easy and delicious. They turn out so good!!!
My dough was just falling apart, I followed the recipe exactly and couldn’t even make the cookies bc the dough just fell apart. Definitely trying a different recipe next time.
Help! What am I doing wrong? My dough is crumbly
I’ve made these a lot. I just learned that weighing out your flour vs scooping it is a game changer. Or spooning your flour into your measuring cup for a more accurate measure. I’m 33 years old and just learned this. This year I weighed it for the first time and it is the best dough I’ve ever had (previously was good and tasted great. This year amazing!
This truly is the best sugar cookie recipe EVER! Year after year I make these at Christmas, and they are a favorite. I especially love how well they freeze so they can be enjoyed long after the holidays have passed.
That is a wonderful sugar recipe. The dough did not spread,easy to work with and roll. Tastes great. Thank you !
Easiest cookie dough I ever worked with. I will bake them a little longer next time. I like a crisper cookie. Thanks
This is the BEST recipe I have ever used for cookies! I am a culinary teacher and plan on using this with my students. The dough mixes up quickly, needs no chilling, and cookies keep their shape when baked! I was able to make dough, roll out cookies, and bake 9 dozen in 1-1/2 hours. Love it. 💕
worst recipe ever. i should have stuck to my tried and true refrigerated dough. These cookies taste like flour and do not cook well.
I made these today with my grandsons, 4 and 8. Very easy recipe to make, roll and cut out even with my helpers! The cookies are delicious even unfrosted.
This sugar cookies are amazing. I followed the directions exactly as written and was thrilled at how easily this cookie dough rolled out for cookie cutters. My 2 teenage daughters were helping me, as they do each year since they were 2 and 3, and commented on how easy it was this year. I will continue this family tradition using this recipe.
I made these with only 1/2 cup of sugar substitute and the amount of replacement for gluten free flour as described on the bag. They tasted good and was very crumbly which is to be expected because the recipe was not intending to be sugar free and gluten free. I appreciate this recipe still because it was a fun experiment. Will add an egg next time and maybe some gelatin…thank you!
I make these cookies every year. My husbands favorite, the almond flavor is delicious. Highly recommend!
I just had to let you know that I’ve been making your recipe for years. It is my family’s favorite holiday cookie, and we always make several batches at Christmas to give out to friends, family and neighbors. Everybody raves about them and looks forward to receiving them. Thank you for sharing! This will definitely be a recipe that is passed down for years to come!
Tried this recipe. Did not care for it. Dough was to hard to work with. Either going back to my old recipe or Pillsbury sugar cookie dough.
Agree. I’m making them now and it’s awful. the dough won’t form, roll, all clumped together. glad to know I’m not the only one.
Easy! The no CHILL time is amazing. My one challenge seems to be that they are vey delicate out of the oven. I waited until they were completely cool to transfer off of cookie tin. Hoping they firm up?! I did not roll them out overly thin, either. So far, though, they are a winner!
BTW, I had to use non-dairy ‘butter’ due to allergies in the household. Maybe that contributes to their delicate texture.
I LOVE that you used the exact gram count in the recipe .
I love this recipe! It was easy and they turned out so good! I will be using for years to come, thank you so much for sharing. Oh i didn’t have time to wait for butter so i just slightly softened by 10 seconds.. or so in microwave..
So good! My dough wasn’t crumbly at all. worked up into 3 small balls easy as play doh. I had a sugar cookie recipe I had used for probably 20 years. I think it has been replaced.
We make these every year and EVERYONE wants the recipe. My kids love it too because it almost seems like the dough keeps growing and the cookie fun NEVER ends! Thank you so much for the gift that we get to enjoy every year.