This Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe is chewy and flavorful while still holding its shape. These cookies are perfect for frosting and decorating. Plus dairy free option!
You are going to love our cut out sugar cookie recipe! They hold their shape while baking, and they don’t flatten too much either. They’re the perfect cookies for decorating.
We love to decorate our cookies with sugar cookie frosting or sugar cookie icing. You can also use your favorite royal icing recipe.
Recipe ingredients and notes
- All Purpose Flour – We recommend using unbleached, but you can use any all-purpose flour. We have not tried this recipe with gluten free flour.
- Butter – To make dairy free cut out sugar cookies, use Country Crock Plant Butter or Earth Balance soy free, we’ve tested these two only.
- Egg – Take the egg out of the carton from the refrigerator around 30 minutes prior to making the cookies.
- Sugar – It wouldn’t be a delicious and sweet sugar cookie without some good granulated sugar.
- Vanilla Extract – We always recommend using good quality vanilla extract. You can also use a bit of almond extract for extra flavor, just about 1/4 teaspoon.
- Baking Powder – You need this to make the cookies rise. Make sure yours works or isn’t too old.
How to make Cut Out Sugar Cookies
In a bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and then set it to the side.
Then in a stand mixer bowl, you’ll combine the sugar and butter and beat it on high speed until it’s light and fluffy, around two minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat for an additional minute. Then add in the flour mixture and beat on low speed until all of the flour is incorporated.
Next, you’ll place the dough into a bag or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can also do this up to 2 days in advance.
When you take the dough out of the refrigerator, you can preheat the oven.
Roll the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the cookie dough into desired shapes.
Place the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart.
You’ll then bake the cookies for about 8-11 minutes and then allow them to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to fully cool.
Let the cookies fully cool before decorating.
If you want them less browned on the bottom, go for 8-9 minutes which results in a cookie that looks like the top.
The cookie below was 11 minutes.
Refrigerate Sugar Cookie Dough Tip
Roll your cookies without the mess! Instead of waiting a long time for your dough to chill, you can cut the time in half and reduce the flour and mess.
Use a piece of parchment paper and place 1/4th of the dough on it. Place another piece of parchment paper onto the dough and then roll until it’s 1/4 inch thick.
Place the dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate. Repeat this with all of the dough, and then once you’re on your last batch, the first batch should be ready to shape.
Roll and leftover dough into a ball and repeat the process.
Recipe tips and variations
- You can prep this sugar cookie dough in advance, up to 2 days before baking.
- Refrigerating the dough is crucial for this recipe. To prevent the sugar cookies from spreading, they need to chill to hold their shape.
- Add more flavor by adding 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract. You could also add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- You can easily double this recipe.
- When rolling chilled dough, you can also use the parchment paper method, where you roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. No mess, and you don’t need to add too much flour to roll out the dough.
Storage and reheating tips
- Refrigerate: Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to a week on the counter, but you can also refrigerate the cookies for up to 10 days.
- Freeze: To freeze decorated or plain baked cookies, you can place them between sheets of parchment paper in an air-tight container. They should last for 2-3 months. Alternatively, you can freeze the cookie dough for 3 months before rolling it out.
- Defrost: Take a cookie out of the freezer about 1 hour before enjoying it. If you’re defrosting the dough, you can allow the dough to defrost in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before rolling, shaping, and baking.
Frequently asked questions
We like to roll them out to 1/4 inch thick. This allows us to handle the cookie without falling apart while decorating or enjoying it.
Yes, you can bake them ahead of time and freeze or even freeze the dough for up to 3 months.
We have tested two dairy free butter options, and they both turned out beautifully! We recommend Country Crock Plant Butter or Earth Balance soy free.
We use a simple sugar cookie icing with Kate’s Safe and Sweet Sprinkles. They’re allergy friendly without food dyes.
Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
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- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salted butter softened, 2 sticks – if using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. use country crock plant butter or earth balance soy free for dairy free
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
- In a stander mixer or large bowl, combine the sugar and butter and beat on high speed until it’s light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and beat for another minute.
- Add in the flour mixture and beat on low until combined.
- Place the dough into a reusable bag or in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and take the dough out of the refrigerator.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough around 1/4 inch thick. If the dough is sticky, you can add a bit more flour. We also like to roll between two pieces of parchment paper for easier cleanup.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into your desired shapes.
- Place the cookies down 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on how your oven cooks.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to fully cool.2
- Decorate the cookies as desired.
The nutritional information is automatically calculated and can vary based ingredients and products used. If the nutrition numbers are important for you we recommend calculating them yourself.
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