This SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE comes together in just minutes, does not need chilling, holds its shape, and doesn’t spread, perfect for any shape cookie cutter. It rolls out easily, can be baked days ahead and cookies can even be frozen before icing.
The best sugar cookie recipe
These cookies are great all year long, you don’t have to wait until December to make Christmas Cookies with this recipe, but it’s also a perfect time for them too!
You will fall in love with this sugar cookie recipe.
The cookies are light and tasty without being heavy or tough.
They are not overly sugary, they taste great alone or with a thin or thick glaze icing on top.
This recipe makes approximately 3 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies rolled about 1/4″ thick ( of course it will depend on the shape of the cookie)
- butter (salted or unsalted) I explain in more detail below
- powdered sugar
- large egg
- vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
This is the best no spread sugar cookie recipe. I’ve made thousands of cookies using this recipe. Be sure to make sure your dough is not soft, the butter is not warm, and you don’t roll the cookies too thin, and when you press your finger into the dough it should be tender, but not “squish” too easily. If it is too soft, mix it a bit longer. If it seems soft or “greasy” add a tablespoon or two more flour, but be careful you don’t want the dough to be dry, it would crumble and not look smooth.
Best no spread sugar cookie recipe!
Save yourself from headaches:
My best advice when trying a new cut-out cookie (or any cookie recipe for that matter) is to bake 1-2 cookies on the baking sheet you’ll be using in the center of your oven and time it so the cookie is firm on the edges, the bottom is golden. The oven should be well preheated before you open the oven door, don’t pop the tray in as soon as you heat it comes to the temperature. You’ll open the door and the temp will drop. These cookies bake at 400° for a shorter amount of time than other cookie recipes. If you follow the directions you’ll end up with beautiful cookies, that hold their shape!
Be sure to have the right tools for rolling out even cookies. If the rookies are all the same size and thickness, they will bake evenly. Do not overcrowd the pan, allow 2 inches between each cookie.
You’ll most likely fit 12 cookies on a rolled edge 12×16 1/2 cookie sheet pan, which is the best cookie sheet to bake on, they are thick and baked evenly. The type bakeries use, but half the size as the larger sheets won’t fit in most home ovens.
Use 1/4 in wooden dowels to ensure each cookie is the correct thickness. MORE on rolling cookies here. As well as all the baking supplies I use. How to freeze cookies, and much more!
I bake my cookies without allowing them brown and let them cool on the baking sheet completely. Golden coloring is good, but no brown edges or bottom. This method has many benefits. There is no risk of the cookies getting messed up when transferring them like the traditional method of moving them to a cooling rack.
If you’re making lots of cookies the trays stack easily by alternating one in the opposite direction. The “edge” of the cookie sheets stack nicely without crushing want cookies.
Plus you can decorate the cookies right on the baking sheets ad restack the sheets until the cookie icing dries. Saving space, keeping things need and fewer crumbs all over the kitchen… making for easy cleanup.
This cookie recipe really holds its shape so when baked the cookies come out of the oven in the shape they went in!
to get more info be sure to check out THIS POST too. It has lots of tips on cut-out cookies.
Three tips to remember
- Be sure the butter is at room temperature but not warm.
- Measure your flour by scooping the flour out of the container you have it in, then into the measuring cup and leveling it off.
- Don’t pack the flour in or you will have dryer dough and tougher cookies.
These fun Donut Cookies can be the star of the show on your next celebration, use any color icing and fun rainbow sprinkles.
And don’t forget a donut cookie cutter shape makes a perfect wreath for the holidays!
I like my cookies and baked goods to have a great balance of salty sweetness, I often use salted butter and yes still add salt to the recipe.
If you are in doubt and do not like salty-sweet, use unsalted butter, and add half the amount of salt to the recipe.
Be sure your baking powder is fresh.
Now my rant on vanilla…
BUY the best vanilla you can.
It really does make all the difference in baked goods.
We’ve all popped a cookie into our mouths at some time or another expecting it to be delicious and it just lacked flavor, the flavor of cookies like cut-out cookies, and even chocolate chip cookies rely on vanilla for the flavor.
These cookies can be made to your liking, by adding some almond extract as well. Some people love the almond flavor in a sugar cookie. But I’m a purest when it comes to sugar cookies and prefer all vanilla!
Just because you CAN buy it in a big bottle at a great price doesn’t mean it will result in the best-tasting baked goods. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased vanilla, put it in baked goods and it lacked flavor, completely. It’s no secret the right ingredients make all the difference. Use the best vanilla you can afford.
Since I wrote this post, the cost of vanilla has gone through the roof! I wish I stocked up on vanilla years ago.
Currently, I buy THIS, as I know I can count on the quality and order it anytime I need it.
I have vanilla that says Madagascar, Tahitian, and Bourbon, there are many brands like this, this, and oh my goodness don’t use cheap or imitation vanilla you will not be pleased with the result.
Here is my post on my foodie favorite items with baking sheets and other items I find essential in the kitchen.
Here is an image of the cookie cutter I used for these cookies in the photo above.
It’s 2 1/2 inches wide at the largest part of the heart.
Cookie cutters are readily available in stores and online. I love this round set that has both smooth and crinkle edges.
This is a heart set with both smooth and crinkle edges. The cookie cutter I used I could not locate the exact one, but I think the set might have that size in it.
Heart shaped cookies are my favorite,
I have tons of heart-shaped cookie cutters,
and it’s great to have a variety of sizes like these
Get MORE info on HOW TO BAKE PERFECT COOKIES here.
Sugar cookies are the best way to say hi, thanks, sorry, let’s celebrate and I love you…. yes fresh baked cookies are always a good idea, no matter the reason!
So bake up a batch and add on some glaze icing. The dynamic duo is the best!
Take a look at more posts featuring icing recipes
Icing Cookies with a piping bag – This easy no mess method of filling piping bags to ice cookies will have them looking professional after a little practice.
Icing cookies without a piping bag
Once you see this, it’ll change how you ice cookies especially if you’re in a hurry!
Most posts on cookies
- Bake Perfect Cut Out Cookies
- Cookies Tips GUIDE
- Cookie Ebook, how to make a BEAUTIFUL tray of cookies all with one dough. Take a look at how pretty it is!
Iced sugar cookies are great all year long, perfect for decorating at all holidays and occasions here are some of my favorites: (lots of links to my cookies in the following list)
- New Years you can use champagne cookie cutters to numbers to ring in the New Year
- Valentine’s Day – Red Velvet Hearts and Cinnamon Red Hot Heart Cookies and these easy Strawberry Cookies and Cupid Cookies
- St. Patrick’s Day – Mint Cookies with Dark Chocolate Glaze Icing
- Easter and Spring – Lemon Cookies, Bunny Cookies, and too-cute cherry cookies with cherry icing
- Memorial Day – July 3th to celebrate all things red white and blue like these Tie Dye Cookies and Star Cookies
- back to school – Apples or pencils are great this time of year.
- Fall – Leaves and I just love Chocolate Cherry Cookies this time of year.
- Halloween – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkin shaped cookies Chocolate Peppermint Ghost Cookies and these fun mummy cookies
- Thanksgiving – I love Pistachios and these Pistachio Cookies can be made with your favorite nuts as well these great Coconut Cookies will kick off baking season really well. Then look at the cutest Turkey-faced cookies here. Christmas – Stained Glass Cookies, Red Velvet Snowflake Cookies Snowman Gingerbread Cookies, and Giant Gingerbread Cookies also take a look at these fun reindeer cookies and snowman snowflake cookies, Gingerbread spice cut-out cookies, fruitcake cookies and peppermint mocha cookies
- Game Day – check out these fun football player cookies and Coconut Football Cookies and if you’re a baseball fan these Batter up baseball cookies are so cute!
- Birthdays – Sprinkle Cookies
- Banana cut-out cookies, peanut butter cut-out cookies, toffee cut-out cookies, lemon poppy cookies, cinnamon raisin cookies
My BEST advice on baking cut-out cookies is
- plan ahead
- don’t try to bake and ice a large batch without enough time.
- Bake a day ahead, it’ll give you time to clean up and plan the decorating
- Have a plan for the icing, what you’ll do on the cookies, maybe draw it out on paper, you can trace the cookie cutter so you’ll know just how it’ll look.
- Doing too much in a short time will be fatiguing, you’ll get tired and the cookies won’t look like your best work. and then there is the mess to clean up. So plan accordingly so it’s small, easy steps that will end in delicious and pretty cookies.
Do not roll cookies too thin, they don’t hold their shape. 1/4″ thick works well. I always roll my cookies with a rolling pin on two wood dowels.
If you are baking a lot of cookies, or they are for a big party or event…
Start baking the cookies three days before you need them,
this gives you time to clean up, especially if you are making multiple batches of cookie dough.
Ice the cookies the next day and let them dry completely on baking sheets.
Don’t move the cookies, you’ll end up messing up more cookies by handling them over and over. Purchase extra baking sheets if you plan on baking lots of cookies. These are my favorite baking sheets I have bought many different brands, but these are my all-time favorite.
If you do mess up a cookies icing, be sure to have some sprinkles like these on hand, they can make cookies cute with minimal effort.
(keep scrolling down, there is a lot more info in this post on cookies you won’t want to miss)
There are so many options with baking sugar cookies depending on the cookie-cutter, icing color, and sprinkles, and these taste AMAZING!
These cookies are great all year long!
If you’d like to see some of my favorite items be sure to check out these posts: They include items I use in the kitchen and other everyday items.
See more of my FAVORITES HERE and my FOODIE FAVORITES HERE
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 3/4-3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt *if you prefer sweeter sugar cookies you do not need to add additional salt if using salted butter
- Preheat oven to 400°
- In the large bowl with a mixer, cream together butter and powdered sugar, and mix until the butter is light in color and well blended.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla.
- Blend in 2 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. (only add the additional 1/4 cup flour if needed, the dough should be supple and soft not dry)
- Mix until the dough forms a ball, on medium speed.
- Roll out cookie dough in between wax paper sheets, or lightly floured surface.
- Roll out cookie dough to 1/4" thick.
- Dip cookie cutter into flour and press evenly into cookie dough, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake in a well preheated oven at 400° for 7-9 minutes, until the cookies are golden on the bottom, but the tops are not browned yet.
- Cool completely before icing.
1 cup salted butter (230g)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar (170g)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (10G)
2 3/4-3 cups all-purpose flour (413-447g)
2 teaspoons baking powder (8.5g)
1 teaspoon salt (5.69g)
There are so many options when it comes to cut-out cookies, the shape, flavor, and the color.
Cookies are perfect for EVERY occasion!
To make the eyes and other parts on the turkey’s I made them with royal icing on parchment paper and place them on top of the icing, it’s great you can make them ahead of time look here for the recipe and info on making the little add ons (royal icing transfers).
You can make cut-out cookies with colored cookie dough too, which is great if you don’t want to ice them!
Check out these Cherry Cookies
LOTS of info on baking cookies here:
- cookie tips guide
- how to bake perfect cookies
- Easy Cut Out Cookies
- Cookie Dough Recipe that holds its shape
- Soft Sugar Cookies and Frosting
- How to ice cookies with a piping bag
- Brush on glaze icing
- resources, recipes, items, and instructions for baking perfect cookies
- royal icing recipe
SIGN UP FOR MY FREE COOKIE GUIDE
this is a must for any cookie lover! CLICK HERE For info on this great ebook!
Take a look at these RED VELVET cookies too (Click HERE)
If you like this post feel free to check out more of my recipes HERE or click the recipes tab on the toolbar, and please share this post using the social share buttons at the top or bottom of this or any post.
Thanks for sharing the recipe…The cookies look amazing! I’m thinking of trying to make some for Christmas this year but had a quick question that I was hoping you could answer (and possibly save me a baking nightmare). Does the recipe scale up okay? Have you tried making a large batch of the dough?
Yes you can double the recipe with no problems, happy baking!
Thanks for getting back to me about being able to make larger batches. Wish me luck!
hi i just wanted to clarify
the temperature is given in fahrenheit right?
yes 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
thanks for answering that question I was just going to ask.
I am making a dozen cookies what should the temperature be?
Bake at 400 degrees
These cookies look super easy – question though.. How do I know whether or not to up the flour to 3 cups?
By the texture of the dough, as there is no control over the butterfat and liquid in the butters each and every person who will be making this recipe, the flour is the one item you can control. So add a tablespoon at a time as needed. I don’t work on a floured surface, I work between waxed paper. You’ll have to adjust the flour to your liking, the dough should be soft and not have a floury consistency when you touch it. Too much flour will result in drier cookies. That is why there is a range. There is varying degrees of protein in flour and how stretchy and firm the dough will get is effected as well, but the flour is the easiest to control.Begin with 2 3/4 cup flour, then add a small amount if the dough seems too moist, most often you will be fine with 2 3/4 flour.
I just made these cookies, they are delicious! I chilled the dough for a few minutes to make it a little easier to handle, they held their shape perfectly and taste wonderful. Thanks for the recipe.
Christy Hazen says
How do should I store them in between baking and decorating once they’ve cooled?
I have ruffled edge cookie cutters–sets round and square–and after baking, never get the distinct marking at the edge like yours look. How can I achieve that? Do they puff up a lot with the baking powder? Thanks.
It does all depend on the cutter itself and how sharp the wavy edge is, as well as the cookie recipe. I haven’t had any trouble with this cookie recipe. It does not change shape that much at all when baked. The wider the wave on the cookie cutter the softer the edge when baked. No, they do not puff up excessively with the baking powder. I added a link to the post for my red velvet cookies, you can see the dough in that post and how clean the edges are when cut with the cookie cutter. I’ve updated the post “sugar cookie recipe” with a photo of the cookie cutter I use so you can see it.
Should I put the dough in the fridge before rolling out and cutting? I see this a lot as it says the cookie will be less likely to spread because the butter will be firm. I have seen it said that if the recipe doesn’t say to put it in the fridge, then don’t. Your recipe doesn’t say it. What are your thoughts?
I do not refrigerate the dough and it does not spread. I’ve made thousands of cookies with this recipe and there is no need to refrigerate the dough. That just more reason to love this recipe, it’s easy and quick.
Is The end result of this cookie crunchy or soft when you bite into it? Looking for soft cut out.
this is a softer cookie, crunchy cookies will have granulated sugar and way more of it 🙂
Since this is a softer cookie, will it hold up to a larger cookie cutter or will it be too prone to breaking? I’m thinking maybe three inches across, four or five inches tall. I would like to make oversized stocking cookies for Christmas
If i want to make the dough a few hours before rolling it out and using it. Should it be fine to go into the fridge until then? Or will i need to set it on the counter for a few minutes before rolling out?
It should be fine if the kitchen is under 70 degrees. Keeping the cookie dough in a stainless steel bowl will keep it cool, cover it with plastic wrap or a towel. If you feel after cutting any of the cookie dough it seems soft/warm, place the baking sheet in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to chill it before baking so the cookies don’t spread. If it’s more than a few hours, you can refrigerate the dough by wrapping them in plastic wrap in disk shapes and placing them in a plastic bag. They will need to come to room temperature before you roll the cookie dough.
Thank you so much! Just finished the first batch of these cookies with the kiddos. I used the whole 3cups, as well as some on the surface for rolling. They have an awesome consistency almost like cloud dough. And worked great with our 3D sitting santa cookie cutter!
Happy to hear you liked the recipe, we love it!
Janice Laroche says
I agree with all the comments! These ARE easy and they ARE delicious. Thank you for sharing!
Debi Martone says
Do you grease your cookie sheets, or bake on parchment or a Silpat? Or can they just go onto an ungreased sheet?
Making a double batch today. 😉
I bake on parchment lined commercial style baking sheets, the cookies do not turn out greasy on the bottom, so you can easily stack them before or after icing them. The thicker style baking sheets allow for the more even baking. Here is a post on my favorite things, and I’ve included the parchment sheets and baking sheets if you want to see them.https://www.createdby-diane.com/2015/12/foodie-favorites.html
Can you freeze the dough or maybe even the made cookies ?
I have baked the cookies and triple wrapped them and then froze them, then thawed them completely unwrapped and iced them with great results. I have also iced and then frozen the cookies will great results, I have not frozen the dough and then made them, I prefer the cookies to be made when the dough is made, but go right ahead and try it and let me know how it goes.
I know this dough does not need to be refrigerated but can it be? Will the dough still hold its shape when baked of the dough is made a day in advance and kept in the fridge?
I don’t refrigerate this dough, it tends to make the dough a little “tougher”. I prefer it made the same day as it’ll be baked. You can, of course, refrigerate the dough, just be aware of the change. The dough takes 5 minutes to make. If you do refrigerate the dough be sure you bring it to room temperature before you roll it out to cut the cookies.
I’ve made this recipe twice and both times added an extra 1/2 cup of flour on top of the stated amount and still cannot get the mixture to cut out with a cutter. My mixture is very soft. I rolled it into balls & pressed flat on the tray. They cooked well and tasted great, but wanted to use a heart shape cutter. Was worried putting any more flour in will change the texture and taste. I’m in Australia- maybe our ingredients are different. Will play with the recipe again!
Hi Christine, I’m not sure where the trouble lies, I’m using all purpose flour, and I’m not sure if any other ingredients are different that they are here in the states. Since you are having trouble, yes you can add more flour, the more flour and the more you “work” the dough the tougher the cookies get here, the cookie dough is soft but certainly manageable to roll and cut with a cookie cutter as I’ve made this recipe for years and dozens and dozens of cookies, so you can try more flour, I don’t chill my dough but maybe there is more moisture in the air where you are, try chilling the dough for 10 minutes, to get the butter a little firmer so the cookies roll easily. Let me know specifically what you think could be the difference in ingredients or weather or whatever and I can try to help you trouble shoot so you can have a great result with these cookies. *powdered sugar, also called confectioners sugar.
Hi, thank you so much for sharing. I love this recipe! Is there a chocolate version of this recipe?
Yes, here is my Chocolate Cut Out Cookie Recipe https://www.createdby-diane.com/2016/12/chocolate-cut-out-cookies.html
What is your icing recipe? These cookies look amazing! Going to make some, but needed icing recipe. Thanks!👍
Here is my glaze icing recipe https://www.createdby-diane.com/2013/11/italian-cut-out-cookies.html
Here is the video
Here is my post on royal icing for a different icing https://www.createdby-diane.com/2013/10/royal-icing-googly-eyes.html
I also have many posts on cookies
and here https://www.createdby-diane.com/2017/09/how-to-bake-perfect-cut-out-cookies.html#comment-301662
You can also use the recipe tab on my blog to see more posts “cookies” or “icing” will bring up other posts you may have an interest in seeing.
I’m sorry but this recipe did not work at all. The cookies did not hold their shape! Very disappointed. I had to throw them out and find a better recipe.
I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. I’ve made numerous batches of this recipe with no trouble. If you want to try to troubleshoot what went wrong feel free to be specific with what happened and I can then give you ideas to try for your cookies to come out like mine.
Common problems people say they have had: the dough is too moist, solution be sure you are using large eggs. If the dough is too dry try warming it up in your hands as the butter will melt a little bit and become smooth, especially helpful if your kitchen is cold.
If you think there is another issue, let me know.
Hello, would you say these are soft cookies or more like crunchy cookies?
They are not crunchy, they are a firm but tender sugar cookie. They are firm enough to hold shape and not break when handled. Tender when you bite into them.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful cookie recipe. It has become my new go-to sugar cookie. They are soft, delicious and absolutely will not spread. I have made them 3 times now because my family keeps asking for them. 🙂
I’m so happy to hear you like the recipe Alise, HAPPY BAKING!
Once these cookies are made and iced with royal icing, how long will they keep in the freezer for optimum freshness and taste and quality??
I put them in a plastic bag, remove the excess air and they are good for 30 days. I have wrapped them individually in cellophane bags, then place them all in a plastic bag (remove air from the bag) I’ve had them taste great at 3 months. I tested many batches and how long they tasted fresh by “sampling” them each week. Depending on the color of your icing, some changes to color do take effect after 30 days mostly I had that happen on red, it had a slightly darker swirl look, not at all bad, just not the exact color as when they were frozen. There was no change in white cookies.
Have you tried this recipe with a butter substitute or Crisco? Does the shape still hold well? I need to make a dairy free cookie for my son.
I have not made them with a butter substitute, but shortening (Crisco) would most likely work well. Make the recipe with the same amount of shortening (crisco) and bake 3 cookies to test it, then you can adjust the recipe if it needs more flour, add 2 tablespoons as needed if the dough is too soft, or spreads until you find the right combination, but I think it should be fine if you use the same amount. I look forward to hearing how it works.
Thank you for the cookie recipe. I’ve had trouble with sugar cookies turning out rock hard or tasting like cardboard… not with this recipe! All my cookies kept their shape, were soft, and tasted delicious!
Easy recipe for my kids to follow; definitely a keeper.
I’m so happy you liked the recipe, HAPPY BAKING!!!
Kimberly Eichman says
Hi, do you use a mixer to make the dough or by hand?
I use a stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer a hand mixer will work, be sure to cream the butter and sugar smooth first, then add the remaining ingredients. You can mix it by hand if need be it will take time to mix it well but can be done.
I made the cookies this past weekend and the dough came out perfect! So easy to work with. However, I don’t think I would call this a sugar cookie, it tastes more like a butter cookie. And definitely needs something added, maybe more vanilla extract or almond extract.
These are not really a butter cookie, but I can see how you may be used to “really” sweet sugar cookies and find these less sweet. I’ve written many posts about my baking, and cookie recipes and I do not prefer my cookies overly sweet, that being said add more sugar if you prefer, and the quality of the vanilla will vary greatly. I most often use Neiman Massey Vanilla or Vanilla bean paste or a Madagascar Vanilla. Of course, you can add any flavor combo you prefer be it almond, lemon, or a combo of all three which is referred to as “princess” flavor and that is what a lot of bakeries use. It’s great to mix up the flavors I have lots of different flavor sugar cookie recipes including red velvet. You can see them here https://www.createdby-diane.com/2012/05/red-velvet-cut-out-cookies-with-red-velvet-icing.html.
I’ve baked thousands and thousands of cut out cookies and you can find my tips here https://www.createdby-diane.com/2017/09/how-to-bake-perfect-cut-out-cookies.html and more cookie info here https://www.createdby-diane.com/cookie-tips. HAPPY BAKING!
Help… my dough is crumbly! Not sure what I did wrong!
It sounds like either you added a bit too much flour, or haven’t mixed it long enough for the dough to come together. Try beating the dough on high for a minute. If the dough looks dry or you can’t grab some and pinch it into a ball and it still falls apart that means there is too much flour, just ad a couple tablespoons of butter and re-beat the dough. This dough is forgiving, so it should come together easily. I’ve tested it even if you add all the ingredients in the wrong order and it still works. If you have more trouble just message me, I’d be happy to troubleshoot what else could be the matter. Reply to this or email me at [email protected]
Christy Hazen says
How should I store them in between baking and decorating once they’ve cooled?
I leave the cookies on the baking sheets, then stack the sheets alternating them no to mess up any cookies (I have a dozen baking sheets) You can choose to move them and put more on each baking sheet, I would not stack the cookies as the butter from the bottom of the cookies can make the tops of others “greasy” and will affect some icings. Cookies can stay at room temperature (no need to put them in airtight containers unless you are storing them for more than 4 days then decorating) https://amzn.to/2TuG7FN I also have 2 tray stackers that I use, they each hold 4 trays each they save space in the kitchen if you bake a lot. Think of sugar cookies in a bakery, they are stored on baking sheets until they decorate them, then placed in a cabinet, not a small airtight container. Hope that info helps. I have a post on cut out cookies here https://www.createdby-diane.com/2017/09/how-to-bake-perfect-cut-out-cookies.html
vex 3 says
The cookie recipe you share is quite meticulous and easy to understand. I will learn to make this dish based on your recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Question: What is your favorite vanilla extract right now for these cookies. Thanks.
I most often use Nielsen-Massey https://amzn.to/2ye346I or their vanilla bean paste if I want it to have the flacks of vanilla bean in the dough, mostly if I’m not icing the cookie or just outlining them. The other vanilla I always have on hand is LorAnns Madagascar Vanilla bean paste https://amzn.to/3d5Ov48.
Hi! After rolling out my dough and cutting with cookie cutters, the cutout shapes are breaking as I try to lift them and move them to the baking sheet. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? I used the full 3 cups of flour as the dough seemed too sticky still with 2 3/4cups.
I also want to add that this is the 3rd sugar cookie recipe I’ve tried and it’s happened every time. I’m an avid baker but never have done sugar cookies. I’ve never struggled this much when trying to make a new type of dessert 🙁
If they are breaking, it means that they are too dry, you’ve most likely added too much flour. They should have a slightly oily texture soft and supple versus a dry cranking firm texture. Try rolling them between wax paper sheets, that way you will not have to flour your surface or add any more flour.
I can certainly help you. I have lots of info on baking cookies and often bake a hundred cookies at a time.
Here is a link to my cut out cookie tips https://www.createdby-diane.com/2017/09/how-to-bake-perfect-cut-out-cookies.html
and this post has many baking links to help https://www.createdby-diane.com/2018/11/cookie-baking-must-see-posts.html
Feel free to email me directly with questions, and if you truly struggle more with baking cookies, send me a photo of the dough. I have lots of step by step photos in those post for you to see how the dough should look. Be sure to roll the cookies thick enough as well about 1/4″ I use wood dowels so all the cookies are even.
We can go over the dough instructions and even the mixer and method you’re using to be sure the cookies turn out great.
I love you ❤ You have answered questions I had and some I didn’t even know I had. I love your idea of using 2 dowels with the rolling pin. I just happen to have 2 paint stirring sticks from Lowes that are 1/4″.
Hi I have just tried out your recipe and the dough was sticky when I used 3 cups. It was hard to lift up the cut outs without them losing shape. How much is too much flour to add to the dough mixture. I live in Louisiana where it’s super humid. Any advice and tips please? Thank you
You can add 1/4 cup of flour at a time until you like the texture. Another option is to allow the dough to rest, at least 10 minutes when you’re done mixing it, and see if that helps, before adding more flour and risk drying it out. As you mentioned humidity, you may need more flour. Flour your hands and roll it into a ball and allow the butter to absorb the flour and see if that helps. You can add more flour without too much trouble, if it becomes too dry and crumbly, simply butter your hands and roll the dough into a ball again. The dough does firm up as it’s rolled and handled especially if you flour your work surface. I live in southern California it’s not humid so I don’t need to add any additional flour, the dough is soft and tender if you’re used to a dryer dough this dough is nicely soft and results in a more tender cookie than a dryer sugar cookie. I have lots of tips on cookie dough https://www.createdby-diane.com/2017/09/how-to-bake-perfect-cut-out-cookies.html
I’m happy to answer any questions you have to help you bake perfect cookies!
I have made numerous batches of sugar cookies over the years with a variety of recipes, and I’ve never had spreading issues. I just made this recipe for the first time, and not only are my cookies complete blobs, but they also taste like straight butter. I followed the recipe to a tee, with the exception of using unsalted butter. I make my own vanilla extract, which adds extra flavor…but I couldn’t even taste it through the butter. I have no idea what went wrong, but I might just stick to my previously used recipes.
I have lots of info on baking cut out cookies here with my tips https://www.createdby-diane.com/2017/09/how-to-bake-perfect-cut-out-cookies.html
If you did not add salt, you will find the recipe to taste a bit sweeter and yes, it can taste buttery. These are tender sugar cookies, not the type that you find in a grocery store bakery using granulated sugar. I give lots of info on the post mentioned. If you have more questions feel free to let me know.
Mary Rumschlag says
Excellent recipe! Very easy and appreciated the time saved by not chilling the dough. I did add a little water as the dough was a bit thick. Will put this down as a favorite.
I’m so glad you like it Mary, if the dough is a little dry, or “thick” you can reduce the flour a little bit or add a tablespoon of butter, or butter your hands to roll the dough smoothly, I’m not sure how much water you needed, adding water can make the cookies spread.
Love this recipe so much I referenced it in my post about sugar cookies recently at planitmiranda.com
Thanks for sharing!
This recipe is by far the BEST sugar cookie recipe ever, I’ve made it so many times I lost count. All your tips and instructions are great. I bought your cookie ebook for the pretty platter of cookies you make with one dough and it’s a lifesaver. I am able to bake without worrying how the cookies will taste, they taste amazing. The dough easily rolls out,no crumbling, no sticky dough. Cookie cutters easily glide through the dough, they bake quickly and I love that I don’t have to chill the cookie dough. They stay fresh a long time on the counter, and freeze well too. Great recipe-thanks!
Hi I’m keen to try but my baking mind can’t reconcile that this recipe has baking powder but apparently won’t spread.
I will have to try it. Thanks
Baking powder allows the cookie to slightly rise with a mild puff, baking soda is what you make be thinking of and that reacts with liquid and allows cookies to spread. These cookies hold their shape.
So frustrating bc I followed the recipe exactly and my cookies spread out all over the place soooooo????
Be sure the butter is not too soft/warm to start with (30 minutes out of the fridge, often work best).
You don’t measure the flour correctly, you just scoop haphazardly, use a 1 cup measuring cup and level off the flour. Add a tablespoon more flour as needed until the dough can hold an indent when pressed with finger. And doesn’t squish when pinched too much.
Adding too much flour wil dry out the cookie, too little flour will allow the cookie to spread quickly.
Using extra large/jumbo eggs instead of large, (Large eggs are the standard in baking) the additional liquid will spread the cookies.
Make sure all dishes/bowls are dry when starting, no water if they were recently washed.
Make sure your oven temperature is correctly. You an additional thermometer and place it in the center of the oven. TEST your oven, bake 1-2 cookies before baking a whole tray. If you oven temperature is too low the butter will melt first before the cookie has a chance to rise properly, which will cause the cookie to spread.
Do not put the cookie dough on a warm cookie sheet, be sure it’s completely cool if you transfer cookies. Personally, I allow the cookies to cool completely and don’t move the cookies to a cooling rack. I then leave them on the baking sheets (which I have many of) to easily decorate cookie without risking goofing them up by moving them again and again.
Place the cookie sheets in the middle or just above the middle rack in the oven. I bake 1 rack above center.
Be sure you are not rolling the cookie too thin, the dough needs to be 1/4” thick minimum. Don’t guess, use 1/4” dowels so all the cookies are the same thickness.
Parchment paper can help slow the spread of cookies. Do not “grease” butter or add shortening to the baking sheet. Thick rolled edge baking sheets bake the best, like in a bakery. Parchment paper helps cookies bake more evenly.
These cookies do not need to be chilled before baking, but if you kitchen temperature is over 78 degrees, you may want to place the baking sheet in the fridge for 5-10 minutes so the cookies bake evenly.
*If you send me photos of what your cookie dough looks like when it’s done mixing,
Cut and placed on a cookie sheet,
And even what the cookie look like after baking at 400° for 4 minutes.
I can help to solve the problem, but without any details, it’s would be too difficult to know where the problem is.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever left a comment on a recipe before but this one was too good not to. After reading the comments, I wasn’t sure but the recipe looked so simple that I figured I might as well try it. AMAZING. I even had the dough sit out for a few hours because I had to run out and they still turned out amazing. Also SO EASY to roll out and cut. My husband said they are the best sugar cookies he has ever had.
How many cookies does this recipe make?
This recipe makes 3 dozen heart cookie, about 2 1/2 inch cutter across. It will depend on the cookie cutter size and how thick you roll them.
I made these last week and they turned out great. I did the exact same and followed the recipe perfect again this week (having a Christmas party and wanted to make 50 or so) and this time they did not keep their shape. The only difference is last time I let the egg and butter sit out for about 8 hours, and this time they only sat out about 2 hours. Will this make that big of a difference? I’m so upset and now so behind on making my cookies.
There are a couple of things that can affect spreading, over whipping the butter (if it has more air, the cookies will spread as they bake, over whipping the eggs can do it too) the other variable is can be the weather, hotter in the kitchen or more humid (rain outside) but I don’t see that effecting my cookies but I live where it’s dry it usually just effects my icing.
You can put the trays of cut out cookies in the fridge until they are cold (15 min) then bake.
Don’t use hot cookie sheets, check oven temperature, often when cookies spread the oven isn’t hot enough to get the rise abs the butter melts first (spreading the cookie) the oven should be at 400.
I hope you’re able to find what could have happened, or bake the remaining cookies well. It can be frustrating. I’m here to help if you have more questions.
I forgot to mention, if not enough flour is added and the cookies seems soft and floppy when transferring from cutting to baking that could be a reason they spread (or rolled too thin).