The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookies

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It’s time to bring Christmas in July to an end, and while I am SUPER sad about it, I’m going out with a real BANG! So I bring you my favorite of all the cookies, the best cut out sugar cookie recipe!

This is the best traditional sugar cookie recipe around! The cookies are light and flaky, perfect for topping with homemade buttercream frosting and sprinkles!

What Makes a Good Sugar Cookie?

When it comes to making a traditional frosted sugar cookie, I believe they should be, well traditional! The cookie needs to have just a hint of sweetness, be light and flaky, and also be hand-frosted.

This recipe is all of those things, and it’s also the recipe that was handed down to me from my mom, so these cookie are ‘our’ sugar cookies. I can’t wait for you to try them!

To Make the Cookies

Work the butter, flour, and dry ingredients together with a pastry cutter, like you’re going to make a pie crust, until it’s all nice and crumbly. *Hint* This is the step that gives the cookies that light, airy, layered texture.

Then in another bowl, you mix the sugar with the wet ingredients and stir it up until everything is evenly mixed. I like to use a fork for this, because my mom did, but you could also use a whisk.

Then it’s just a matter of adding the wet ingredients to the dry and stirring it up to make the dough. Since these are traditional sugar cookies, the dough needs to sit in the refrigerator for a while. It’s necessary to help the cookies maintain their shape, but don’t worry it only needs to sit for 30-60 minutes. It can sit for a few days though if you need it to!

Once the dough is chilled, you’ll want to flour your surface really well and then roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using your favorite cutters, cut out as many cookies as you can. Repeat, over and over and over again!

The cookies puff up ever so slightly while they’re baking, but they’re generally a pretty flat cookie. They need to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, but then you can move them on over to a wire rack to cool completely.

Important Things to Know About These cookies

  • Cutting the butter into the flour creates the texture of these cookies.
  • The dough needs to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to ensure the cookies keep their shape.
  • The dough can sit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if you need to make it ahead of time.
  • The cookies should be baked on a completely cool baking sheet. Because they’re so thin, they will start to cook if the baking sheet is still warm.
  • The cookies should be completely cool before frosting.
  • The cookies (both with or without frosting) freeze great! But, I wouldn’t recommend freezing the dough.
This is the best traditional sugar cookie recipe around! The cookies are light and flaky, perfect for topping with homemade buttercream frosting and sprinkles!

After the cookies are cool, it’s time to frost them! You can find my perfect sugar cookie frosting recipe here. It’s the only one I use, because, well, it’s the best!

You can add food coloring to really make your cookies pop, but I try to avoid artificial dyes as much as possible, so I usually leave mine white. I will; however, use a few sprinkles to fancy them up a bit. I did find these dyes, which are all natural, but I haven’t tried them…yet!

After frosting, I usually let the cookies sit out for another half our or so to really ‘set up.’ Then I store them in an airtight container. You can gently layer them if needed, separating each layer with wax paper or parchment paper. You can even freeze them this way!

This is the best traditional sugar cookie recipe around! The cookies are light and flaky, perfect for topping with homemade buttercream frosting and sprinkles!

Why I Love These Cookies the Most

These sugar cookies are slightly sweet and remain nice and soft, except for the edges, which usually come out of the oven a little crispy. Love that! And then when you add the flavorful homemade vanilla almond buttercream frosting, it takes them to a whole new level of delicious! You won’t be able to eat just one, that I know!

When I think of holiday sugar cookies, these cookies are it; this is truly the best cut out sugar cookie recipe there is!

View the Google web story for this recipe.

The Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

By: Kristine Underwood
The best cut out sugar cookie recipe. These cookies hold their shape and are perfect for buttercream frosting and sprinkles.
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sweets & Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 82 kcal


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter ((room temperature))
  • cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a medium bowl, work the butter, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt together like a pie crust using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until crumbly.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1½ cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • In a small bowl, whisk egg.
    1 egg
  • Beat in the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
    1/2 cup sugar, 2 TBS milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until dough forms.
  • Refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a well-floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Using cutters, cut out cookies and place them 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes prior to transferring to a wire rack.
  • Once cookies are completely cool, top with buttercream frosting and sprinkles.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze.


Cookies may be frozen with or without frosting.
The nutrition information below is for the cookies only. The sugar cookie frosting information can be found here.
Make sure to read the cookie baking tips to get answers to common questions about baking cookies.


Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 10.3gProtein: 1.1gFat: 4.1gSaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 97mgPotassium: 34mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 4.3gCalcium: 10mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Sugar cookies are one of my all time faves. Plus, how fun is it to make different designs and decorate them with lots of sprinkles?! Love dunking my in coffee – so good πŸ™‚ !!5 stars

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Dawn! I should really get myself together and make some for every single holiday, instead of just Christmas. They aren’t thaaaaaat hard to make! And yes, I’m all about a good coffee dunk myself, mmm!

    1. Thank you so much Janette! I try to celebrate as often and as much as I can, life’s short, bake the sugar cookies! ?

  2. Love a good sugar cookie. Saving this for Christmas time!5 stars

    1. Thank you Shadi! Hope you love them, they’re a family favorite! ?

  3. These are perfect for the holiday season. So easy to make and decorate. We love decorating cookies during the holidays. it’s a family tradition.5 stars

    1. Me too Anvita! Second to the eating of the cookies, decorating them is my favorite part! I also think that the more ‘handmade’ they look, the better! I miss having little kids and decorating with them, it’s not quite the same with my teenagers, but we do try! LOL!

  4. These have to be some of the most gorgeous sugar cookies i’ve ever laid eyes on! Thanks for sharing the recipe πŸ™‚5 stars

    1. Well, thank you so much Chris! You just made my whole day! ?

  5. These are so fun to make with the kids! I am going to have to make them with my kids this week!5 stars

    1. I love it Kelsey! I often ‘forget’ to make these cookies because they seem so overwhelming, but they really aren’t and they are so much fun! Have a blast!

  6. Thank you for sharing your family’s cookie recipe with us! I can just imagine how good they are, that working the butter in is a fantastic tip!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Pam! They are by far one of my favorites, thanks for stopping by! ?

  7. Great idea to do Christmas in July on your blog! These cookies looks perfect.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Jill! Christmas in July is one of my favorite things to celebrate (during the summer, haha)! I know some people think I’m crazy, but I just love it! ☺️

  8. Hmmm yum. I have on a cookie baking spree lately. Cutout cookies, Chocolate chip etc would love to try your recipe too. They look gorgeous.5 stars

    1. Me too Chichi! You should definitely give them a try – they’re the best! Thank you so much, happy baking!

  9. Where is the recipe for frosting?