These cut out sugar cookies are the BEST. They are soft, easy to decorate, have neat edges, and the dough doesn’t require refrigeration!
The BEST Sugar Cookies
This recipe is BY FAR my favorite sugar cookie recipe EVER. The cookies turn out perfectly every time and are perfect for decorating. We love making these for just about any occasion and they are so easy, they kids can help make them too! Keep reading to learn all of our tips, tricks, and secrets to making these cookies and our favorite ways to decorate them.
Why This Sugar Cookie Recipe Is The Best:
- Neat edges – Neat edges are a must for having pretty sugar cookies. Other recipes go flat or puff up too much in the oven. This recipe gives you perfect, straight edges.
- Flat tops – Flat tops are critical for decorated cookies. You want that royal icing to stay put and not slide off.
- Soft – Nobody likes biting into a hard cookie but sometimes that is what happens when you have perfectly formed cookies. Not so with this recipe! These cookies keep their shape, but are chewy and soft when you bite into them.
- Not too sweet – With frosted or iced sugar cookies, you want the cookie itself to not be as sweet so the flavors of the icing/frosting stand out without overpowering you with sweetness. These cookies do just that.
- NO chilling needed (the best part in my opinion) – This is a “no chill sugar cookie”… not that they can’t relax and have fun like any other cookie 😉 This sugar cookie dough does not need to be refrigerated before rolling out. You can make these start-to-finish in minutes!
Decorated Sugar Cookies
These cookies are meant to be decorated. The cookie itself is not as sweet, which is totally on-purpose so you can decorate them with icing or frosting and they don’t come out over-the-top sweet. If you want a sweeter sugar cookie, you can add a little more sugar, but trust me, you won’t even notice there is less sugar in this recipe and will love the balance of flavors. These cookies can easily be decorated with either icing or with frosting (or even fondant). You can decorate them as simply or as extravagantly as you would like (Cookie credit for decorating the Alice in Wonderland cookies above goes to @heidissweettooth. Follow her on Instagram)!
Sugar Cookie Icing
Take these cookies to the next level by decorating them with royal icing. Royal icing is perfect for sugar cookies because it pipes well and can also be used for flooding. It is not as thick and fluffy as frosting and makes for a prettier, smoother cookie. I like royal icing because it has a gorgeous sheen to it and you can make all sorts of fun designs. It takes more patience than frosting but it is totally worth it! Click HERE to learn how to make royal icing as well as all the techniques you need to know for decorating sugar cookies.
Sugar Cookie Frosting
If you aren’t in the mood for decorating sugar cookies with icing, you can always frost them instead. Although I prefer frosting on our soft and chewy Grandma’s Soft Sugar Cookies (pictured above) or our Copycat Swig Cookies, frosting will still work great with these cut-out cookies. Frosting can be spread on thick, unlike royal icing, and is easier to decorate with sprinkles. Try our cream cheese frosting, buttercream frosting, or any of these copycat Swig cookie frostings.
What Supplies Do I Need To Make Homemade Sugar Cookies?
- measured rolling pin – Use 3/8″ thickness on the measured rolling pin to get the perfect thickness
- cookie cutters
- baking sheet
- baking mats (or parchment paper)
- cooling racks
How To Store Sugar Cookies
These sugar cookies can easily be made ahead of time and stored for later– even after they have been decorated with royal icing! After placing cookies in an air-tight container or bag they can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Storage times are the same whether they are iced or not. If icing with royal icing before storing, just make sure the icing is completely dry. Allow to dry for 24 hours before storing. If you are wanting to frost the cookies with frosting, it is best to wait until the day of serving before adding the frosting. Frosting doesn’t freeze as well as icing and the frosting is more likely to get smashed up in the process.
More Cookie Recipes:
- Christmas Cookies
- Sugar Cookies with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Homemade Oreo Cookies
How To Make Sugar Cookies
Best Cut Out Sugar Cookies (No-Chill Recipe)
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Combine sugar, powdered sugar, butter, and shortening in a stand mixer. Mix until well combined.
- Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until combined.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little at a time. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a soft ball when pressed together.
- Remove dough from bowl and roll out onto a lightly floured surface (about ¼ cup flour). Roll out to 3/8-inch thickness (see notes above).
- Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
- Bake cookies on a lined baking sheet for 7 minutes (6 minutes for smaller cookies). Remove cookies from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- After cookies have completely cooled, they are ready for decorating (see notes above).