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The World's Greatest Sugar Cookie Recipe

Ready to make some crazy sugar cookie designs? This easy sugar cookie recipe is the perfect activity for the family during the holiday season!
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Did you really celebrate the holidays if you didn't decorate some sugar cookies? Sugar cookies are a staple holiday food, and a fun activity for the family to do together before Santa climbs down the chimney! So if you're looking for an easy and versatile sugar cookie recipe, we have it for you right here.

Chill the sugar cookie dough beforehand

Want your cookies to stay in that beautiful, cookie-cutter shape after baking them? Chilling the cookie dough helps with that! Baking colder dough will help the sugar cookies stay in form. If you don't chill it, the cookies will likely spread and lose the perfect shapes you worked so hard to create.

Get creative with your sugar cookie decorations

When you put together the icing recipe, separate the white icing into bowls before you add the food coloring. That way you can die different icing batches and have multiple colors to work with your cookies. To ice them, scoop a small amount onto each cookie and spread with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle on your favorite toppings, sprinkles, and even some edible glitter.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Makes 25-30 cookies


Sugar cookies

1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


1 cup powdered sugar
5 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 drops food coloring

How to Make It

Chill the dough overnight

chilled sugar cookie dough wrapped in plastic wrap
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

To make the dough, whisk together the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract into an electric mixer. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together, then add to the wet ingredients in the mixer. Mix together to combine, then form into a ball of dough with your hands, wrap in plastic wrap, and set in the fridge overnight.

Roll it out and cut shapes

cutting sugar cookie shapes on a marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

The dough will be very hard when it first comes out of the fridge, so let it sit on the counter to get warm for 15 to 20 minutes. Spread some flour onto a cutting board and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Using cookie cutters, cut some shapes from the dough. Set the dough around the shapes off to the side, then use a metal spatula to remove from the board. Place then on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the remainder of the dough and repeat this process until the dough is too small and you can't cut any more shapes.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, then ice when cool

icing and decorating sugar cookies on a cooling rack
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Bake them in the oven at 375 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes. If the cookies start to get brown on the outside, take them out immediately. They will rise a little bit but will retain the same color as the cookies you put in. If they start to brown, they're getting too crispy. Let the cookies rest on a cooling rack completely.

While they are baking, whisk together the icing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. You can make multiple colors by scooping some of the icing into smaller bowls and adding different food coloring. Start icing when the cookies are completely cool. The icing will harden after at least 20 minutes.

Full Sugar Cookie Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg into an electric mixer.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together, then add to the wet ingredients in the mixer.
  4. Form into a ball of dough with your hands and wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Chill dough for 3 hours or overnight.
  6. Let the chilled dough sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes before rolling it out.
  7. Roll it out on a floured surface, and make cookie shapes.
  8. Put the shapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes. Set them on a cooling rack.
  10. Whisk together the icing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Separate into smaller bowls if you want multiple colors. Ice the cookies when completely cool.

Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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