These soft and flavorful Cut Out Sugar Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious! This classic recipe has a couple twists to make these the best ever.
I’m bringing you a classic today: Cut Out Sugar Cookies! This is a family favorite recipe that we make several times a year. I mean, what better way to celebrate (basically, anything?) than with buttery vanilla sugar cookies cut out to match the occasion?
There’s no shortage of sugar cookie recipes on my site. I have Easy Sugar Cookies (scoop and drop), Sprinkle Cookies, Frosted Sugar Cookies, and Sugar Cookie Bars. And for those times you want a cut out sugar cookie, now we have that, too.
What makes this recipe the best
- Flavor – These buttery cookies feature a combination of vanilla extract and a touch of almond extract creating an incredible bakery-like flavor.
- Secret ingredient – Powdered sugar! Using powdered sugar helps to create a softer cookie and a dough that’s easy to work. I also recommend dusting your work surface with powdered sugar (instead of flour) for rolling out the cookie dough.
- Ease – This cookie dough comes together in under 10 minutes. And if you line your work surface with parchment paper, clean up is easy, too.
- Soft or crisp cookies – This dough has a softer quality, and if you underbake the cookies just slightly you will be ensured a soft and tender sugar cookie. If you’d prefer your cookies crisp, simply roll the dough out thinner than ¼-inch and bake the cookies until they have color on the edges.
- Make ahead options – Store the prepared (unbaked) dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or you can freeze baked cookies or cookie dough (more on this below).
Freezing sugar cookies
- Freezing baked cookies: Place baked and cooled cookies into freezer bags and then into freezer containers (or double bag them). Double wrapping ensures that they will maintain their fresh flavor. Freeze for up to 3 months. Note: I recommend freezing baked sugar cookies without frosting. Once they have thawed, add the frosting.
- Freezing cookie dough: Shape the cookie dough into a disc or rectangle, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and then put in a freezer storage container. Double wrapping ensures that the dough will maintain a fresh flavor. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, and then proceed with the baking portion of the recipe.
- Work fairly quickly when rolling and cutting the dough and have your baking pans ready. The dough is easiest to work with when it is cold.
- If your dough gets warm while you’re handling it, transfer it the fridge or freezer to get cool again. The cookies will hold their shape best if the dough is cool when it goes into the oven.
- Work with half the dough at a time (keep the other half in the refrigerator).
- Line baking pans with parchment paper.
- Halfway through bake time, rotate the baking pans from front to back and top to bottom
- Cool baking pans completely before adding the next batch of cookies.
Don’t forget to top your cookies with Sugar Cookie Frosting!
More cookie recipes
Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to cool room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour, see note about measuring
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar (preferred) or flour, for rolling out the dough
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth and combined. Add extracts and eggs and beat until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
- Lay out two large pieces of plastic wrap. Divide the dough in two and place each piece of dough on the plastic wrap. Form each piece into a disc and tightly cover. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 1 day.
- Preheat oven to 375°F with racks close to the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment (don't skip this step, it keeps the cookies from spreading too much).
- Dust a flat work surface with powdered sugar (recommended) or flour. Working with one piece of dough at a time (keep the other in the fridge), roll out the dough until about ¼-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough and transfer the cookies to the baking sheet (work quickly so the dough stays cold). See note below about chilling dough after working with it. In order for the cookies to hold their shape the dough should stay cold.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the edges are just barely starting to turn light golden brown and the centers of the cookies are still slightly underdone (for softer cookies). Feel free to bake just a bit longer for crispier cookies. I recommend rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom once during bake time. Place the baking pans on wire racks and cool completely before proceeding with the remaining dough.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.