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Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

4.83 from 23 votes
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posted: 12/07/19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Sugar Cookie Recipe stands the test of time. Crisp on the outside, but buttery soft on the inside, this is a family favorite!

These are amazing, and I also have a recipe for perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies.

several sugar cookies piled on each other on wax paper which is on a blue cloth napkin

This recipe for sugar cookies is one of my very favorite baked goods. I have made this recipe so many times, I can practically do it in my sleep.

Originally from America’s Test Kitchen, you know it is a winner.

By following my simple tips for how to make sugar cookies, these will turn out perfect for you as well. You’ll never need another recipe.

This is an older recipe that I’m updating with tons of tips and a video! But it stands the test of time, check out the reviews on it. It’s a winner!

WHY THIS WILL BE YOUR FAVORITE COOKIE RECIPE

These cookies have a simple delicious buttery flavor that wins over everyone.

The texture of these sugar cookies is perfection. They are crisp on the outside and buttery soft on the inside.

These homemade sugar cookies don’t need any chilling, which means you are that much closer to being able to eat them.

This is an EASY sugar cookie recipe. If baking intimidates you, read on! You can do it.

Whether it is Christmas time, a birthday, or a party at work, this cookie recipe fits every occasion.

a thumb and index finger rolling a ball of white cookie dough in a small bowl of sugar

HOW TO MAKE SUGAR COOKIES

As I said, these are easy to make. Once you do it, the steps will feel like second nature. And the tip section below will help too!

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Cream together room temperature butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Then the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture.
  5. Shape into balls, and roll in sugar.
  6. Bake and fall in love.

Done and done.

HOW TO ADD FLOUR TO CREAMED SUGAR

In the last year or so I’ve changed how I do this, so I wanted to bring your attention to it.

I’ve done some reading and what I’ve learned is that adding a flour mixture a little at a time is more likely to result in over mixing.

Once flour hits wet ingredients, the gluten begins to develop. If you beat the flour in too long, it will result in unpleasantly chewy cookies.

For a long time I added flour just a scoop or two at a time. Now, I have a new faster method.

Add in all of the flour mixture at once. Beat on low, just long enough so the flour doesn’t fly all over. Then beat on high, just enough so it is combined.

Be sure to scrape your bowl at the bottom with a spatula to make sure all the flour was mixed in. We also don’t want to under mix.

Check out the video in the recipe card to see this in action!

raw ball of sugar cookie dough sitting on a silpat reusable baking mat

SUGAR COOKIE BAKING TIPS

These tips apply to a lot of my cookies. But I always feel like they need repeating. They help so much.

  • When measuring the flour, scoop the flour into the measuring cup and then level off. Not scooping right from the container prevents packing the flour and adding too much to the recipe.
  • Make sure your baking powder is still good. To test, add a little to some water. It should bubble right away.
  • Fully whisk your dry ingredients. There is no risk of over mixing when it’s all dry ingredients and no one wants a pocket of salt in their cookie.
  • Make sure your butter is room temperature. Don’t soften in the microwave. Cut it up and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes. You should be able to easily dent it with your finger but not push all the way through.
  • Fully cream your butter and your sugar. It should look light and fluffy after mixing. Doing this will create lighter cookies. And BONUS! You will get more cookies out of your batch of dough.
  • Use room temperature eggs. Fill a bowl with luke warm water and let the eggs sit in there while you are doing your other measuring and mixing.
  • Using a cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoon) will make sure that all of your cookies are uniform in size.
  • Rotate your baking sheet half way through baking so that if your oven doesn’t cook evenly, your cookies still will.
  • Invest in more than one baking sheet so that your dough can start out on a cool baking sheet, not one hot from the oven.

FREEZING SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH

This is a great dough to make ahead and freeze. To do that, follow the recipe through rolling the balls in sugar.

Then you need to:

  • Press the dough down lightly.
  • Place on wax paper on a baking tray and put in the freezer for an hour.
  • Take out and transfer to an airtight container.
  • Put back in the freezer and store the dough for up to three months.
  • When you are ready to bake, proceed as directed in the recipe card but bake for an extra 2 minutes.

If you would like to bake the cookies completely, but then freeze the whole cookie, that works too.

  • Place the baked and cooled cookies on a wax lined baking sheet.
  • Freeze for an hour.
  • Remove from the tray and put in an air tight container.
  • Freeze for up to three months.
  • Allow to thaw at room temperature before eating.

SPINS ON THIS SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE

I love this recipe so much that I’ve used it again and again to create some pretty amazing cookies. Check them out!

If you make these cookies and love them, join the others leaving a comment and letting me know!

a sugar cookie that has been broken in half on top of a pile of three other sugar cookies
several sugar cookies piled on each other on wax paper which is on a blue cloth napkin
4.83 from 23 votes

Perfect Sugar Cookies

Serves: 32 cookies
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This Sugar Cookie Recipe stands the test of time. Crisp on the outside, but buttery soft on the inside, this is a family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar plus extra for rolling
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • With your mixer on medium, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the eggs (one at a time) and then the vanilla until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix on low until combined enough it won't fly everywehre. Then turn up the mixer to high just long enough that you don't see streaks of flour. Scrape down the bowl and ont he bottom to ensure that all the flour is added. Only mix long enough to combine the flour. (See more detailed instructions in the post.)
  • Roll the dough into one inch sized balls. Roll the balls in sugar. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Space the cookies about two inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking. (I baked mine in three batches)
  • Let cool on the pan for about two minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Serving: 1cookie Calories: 121kcal (6%) Carbohydrates: 16g (5%) Protein: 1g (2%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 25mg (8%) Sodium: 84mg (4%) Potassium: 5mg Sugar: 9g (10%) Calcium: 5mg (1%)
Author: Lisa Longley

Video

several sugar cookies piled on each other on wax paper which is on a blue cloth napkin

did you make this

Perfect Sugar Cookies

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions

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  1. Nikoyia says

    I followed the recipe and the cookies came out gooey… Butter was room temp and all ☹️ Super disappointed

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so sorry that this didn’t work for you. Are you at a high elevation by any chance? That would really affect the cooking temperature and length of time it needs to be in the oven.

  2. Stephanie says

    5 stars
    WOW! These were so quick and easy to make! They were soft and seemed to just melt in my mouth! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad you liked them Stephanie!

  3. Carey Pace says

    5 stars
    My family is NUTS about this recipe. Every time I make them they say they are the best cookies they’ve EVER had. Thank you for this post!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad they like them, Carey!

  4. Ally says

    Hi, so I’m trying these tomorrow and I was wondering do you think I should let the dough sit in the fridge before baking? Thank you.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You definitely don’t need to refrigerate the dough ahead of time. That really changes in things in cookie making :)

  5. Robin Erin Vasilakos says

    How many Does this recipe make?

    • Lisa Longley says

      About 2 and half dozen . . . unless you eat a bunch of the cookie dough like me :)

  6. Brittany says

    Hello. As a new baker (just moved from the big city in FL to a small town in NC) i’m a single mom and i love our time baking bonding together. But our last attempt reminded me of some premix cookies in a bag . TUCK! i love thick soft almost underdone cookies so we will tr this recipe now Today! I am curious when rolling the dough in sugar before baking does it melt off or make the cookie crunchy with sugar? I am very new to baking my mom never did it ever so that may be why i’m so intrigued with it for my daughter and i. So any tips will be greatly appreciated THANKS!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      It makes it crunchy :) You can totally skip that step if that doesn’t appeal to you. Happy baking!

  7. Sherri says

    4 stars
    Hello. My husband was wanting a good and soft sugar cookie. So I made these today for a New Year’s Day treat. They were very good and very soft. The dough came out very sticky tho so I could not roll them out into a ball. I dropped them by a tablespoon onto the cookie sheet and flatten them with a sugared bottom glass. I baked them for the recommended 10 minutes maybe 11 for larger ones and they came out perfect. The bottoms were very very light but after they cooled they were not gooey in the middle, they were cooked but stayed very soft. Even with baking some large ones, they made a good 3 doz. They will continue to be my go-to sugar cookie. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It’s a keeper. Sherri from Iowa

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked them! The key to this recipe is butter that you can push a finger into and just dent it, but not push all the way through.

  8. Bonnie says

    So I noticed the sugar is a cup and a half – do you mix it all in or is part of it to roll the cookie in?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yup, some is for the rolling :)

  9. Wendi Bendzinski says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this very recipe exactly as is written using red, pink, blue, etc. sugar and they’re absolutely adorable. Does Anyone know if I can freeze them with the sugar on?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad it worked so well for you!

  10. Apple Blossom says

    5 stars
    These are the best cookies in the world! I always mess my cookies up, but this time they were perfect :) Thank you!

    • Lisa Longley says

      So happy you liked them!

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