Basic Sugar Cookie Dough

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There are a few recipes in my collection that are, what I call, my go-to’s because they’re simple, quality, no-fail recipes that you can do a lot with. This basic sugar cookie recipe is one of those very recipes.

A bowl of sugar cookie dough with a spoon in it.

About this cookie dough

This is just a really great basic dough. It’s simple, stable, and made with ingredients most bakers have on-hand at all times. It’s a pale colored sugar cookie dough that’s just sweet enough.

When baked, the cookies come out perfectly plain, making this a great dough for sprinkling with extra sugar, adding a few sprinkles, for frosting with buttercream, or for making ice-cream sandwiches.

A bowl of cookie dough with a scoop sitting on top.

The best way to make this basic sugar cookie recipe

  1. You’ll want to start with room temperature butter. Let it sit out on the counter for an hour or two before making the dough.
  2. In a large glass bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until it becomes smooth, light, and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the bowl and continue mixing for another minute, until blended.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt.
  5. Add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix for a minute with the electric mixer. Then, using a rubber spatula continue folding in the flour until it’s evenly mixed, but don’t over-mix the dough.
  6. Once the dough is made, you can make the cookies or freeze it for baking at a later time.
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A bowl of cookie dough with sprinkles and a spoon.

A note about freezing cookie dough

If you freeze the dough, it’s important to let it thaw in the fridge the night before, and then let it come up to room temperature before scooping and baking the cookies.

Ideas for using this basic sugar cookie recipe

The obvious choice here is making traditional drop sugar cookies. You can make these cookies any size from tiny 1 tablespoon size, all the way to up to large 3 tablespoon size.

Just scoop, drop, and bake. You can also generously sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sugar when you use the drop method.

After scooping the cookies, roll them into a ball and roll them in sugar before baking. This gives them a little extra sweetness and crunch.

Add 1/4 cup (or more, if you prefer) of sprinkles to the dough before baking the cookies to make funfetti cookies.

After baking and cooling the cookies, frost the tops of them with a homemade buttercream frosting and decorate them with a few sprinkles.

Bake and cool the cookies. Then, take a good size scoop of slightly warmed ice-cream and carefully sandwich it between two cookies. Sandwiches should be eaten immediately or stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

You can also roll the filled cookie sandwiches in sprinkles or chocolate chips to make them really fancy.

If frozen, allow the cookie sandwiches to thaw for a few minutes before serving.

A bowl of cookie dough with sprinkles.

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough

A light colored basic sugar cookie dough that uses common ingredients. The cookies are thick and chewy, perfect for sprinkles or frosting with buttercream.
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Pin
Course: Sweets & Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 26 cookies
Calories: 79kcal
Author: Kristine
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour, unbleached
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium size bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
    1/2 cup butter, unsalted, 3/4 cup sugar
  • Beat in egg and vanilla extract and mix for another minute.
    1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and sea salt together.
    1 1/2 cup flour, unbleached, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Add flour, half at a time, mixing with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  • Using a 1.5 TBS cookie scoop, scoop dough onto lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
  • Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze.
Notes
Make sure to read the cookie baking tips to get answers to common questions about baking cookies.
If you need frosting too, this is the best recipe.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 cookie | Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.3g | Protein: 0.8g | Fat: 4.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 6.3g | Iron: 0.4mg
Did you make this recipe? We want to see!Mention @kristineinbetween or tag #kristineinbetween!

Other basic cookie recipes to try


Kristine Underwood standing in her kitchen with her dog.

About Kristine

Kristine is a self-taught cookie baker and photographer. She's passionate about finding time for everything and making baking, crafting and homemaking simple. More...

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12 Comments

  1. I love a simple sugar cookie dough, this was so good I could honestly eat it just with a spoon!!

  2. Made these cookies with my grandkids. Simple ingredients and simple to make. A perfect basic sugar cookie dough.

  3. Did a test run with these and they’re awesome! Definitely using this for my Christmas sugar cookies this holiday season.

    1. I love test runs, haha! It’s definitely an easy one dress up at Christmastime. Happy baking!

  4. Claudia Lamascolo says:

    These old fashioned recipes are the best and this was on point and perfect!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Claudia. The oldies are the absolute best! Thank you so much.

  5. I was shocked at how great these cookies came out. It’s such a simple recipe, but everyone loved them!

    1. YEASSS! This makes me so happy, Tracee. I’m so glad to hear the cookie dough (and cookies) were a hit!

  6. I love this simple and classic cookie dough recipe! The cookies were very tasty. This recipe will be perfect for the holidays.

    1. Thank you so much, Holley! Absolutely, it’s easy to change the flavor too. You can add some peppermint or almond extracts to really make them festive. Happy baking!