Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Lots of you know that I am pretty new to this blogging thing.  I’m still  learning every day.  One of the big things I’ve learned along the way, it that it doesn’t make sense to have a cookie decorating blog without a cookie recipe, SO finally, I am posting one.

Keep in mind, this is the recipe I prefer.  You don’t have to use this particular recipe to make beautiful cookies.  Use the one that works best for you and adapt it to your personal taste.

What I can say for this recipe is that it’s easy, which is just my style.  I’ve always said, I am not a baker, as much as an artist who happens to use cookies and icing as my medium.

It works great for me.  I like it, and I have made thousands of cookies using this recipe.
So here it goes..

Basic Sugar Cookie

Basic Sugar Cookie


  • 1 c. {two sticks} of REAL unsalted BUTTER, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tsp flavoring {pick what you like, I prefer almond}
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the flavoring. I use emulsions, but extract also works well. Add that to the butter sugar mixture and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. I can tell the dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When I touch it, it has a little give, but does not stick to my fingers.
  2. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 an inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary. Then, cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. This version makes 2-2 1/2 dozen, doubled, it makes 4-5 dozen.


The dough DOES not need to be refrigerated. That’s why I like it.

The dough needs to rest a little after mixing, it will firm up a little bit after a minute or two

The recipe doubles well

Baking times are approximate. You must KNOW your oven. Watch them the first few times you bake them. Get a thermometer, and do not over bake. If the cookies are browning you have gone too far.

This dough can be flavored any way you like.

The cookies freeze well

There is a lot of leavener in these cookies. This is not a typo. The general rule is less leavener so they don’t spead, but I’ve never been one to follow the rules.

This recipe does spread a little. If you don’t like that add a little flour. Speaking of flour, start with 2 1/2 cups. Add another 1/4 of a cup if the dough seems to sticky.

If you don’t like salt, leave it out altogether. If you only have salted butter, use that and reduce the salt.

I prefer decorating day-old cookies. They are less likely to leach oil back into your icing if they have had a day or two to “dry out”. They are still soft, however.

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  • I prefer decorating day-old cookies.  They are less likely to leach oil back into your icing if they have had a day or two to “dry out”.  They are still soft, however.
I use this for all my cut-out cookies.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
If it doesn’t work the first time, KEEP practicing.  That is the key.
GOOD LUCK and happy baking!

Join The Discussion


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  1. 391
    luckyme623 says:

    can i substitute margarine with butter for these cookies? Thank you!

  2. 392
    kathleen says:

    used this recipe successfully for easter bunny cut outs. although i did have to add a splash of milk b/c the batter wasn’t sticking together prior to adding the milk. once the milk was added it worked great

  3. 393
    Lauree K says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I actually don’t care for sugar cookies but it’s usually because the flour taste seems so heavy. These are perfect! I cut them out on the parchment, removed the extra dough around the shapes and then slid the paper onto the pan.

  4. 394
    jeeny says:

    I really like your cookies! I made cookies according to the recipe, but the bottom is not flat, with a hole, is this why?

  5. 395
    hannah says:

    I am 13 so im not very experienced in baking. Only been baking for 2-3 years. i tried to do this recipe and when i added the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture it didn’t make a dough it made more of like a frosting I think its because of the butter and sugar but it worked for everyone else. Any ideas about how i messed up

  6. 396
    Cynthia says:

    This is brilliant. The cutout edges don’t get messed up like they do when you try to transfer the cookie to the baking sheet. I used a Silpat instead of parchment for the rollout. No slippage when I rolled the dough out, and if you remember to cut the cookies out leaving 2″ spaces between them, you get a perfect shape when you bake. Thanks for this great tip.

  7. 397
    Denise says:

    I just made them! Finally a recipe that isn’t a sticky mess followed by a cloud of flour to make it manageable! AND – they taste great! I added butter vanilla emulsion. The dough was so easy to work with! Crisp, clean edges! Can’t wait to try your royal icing recipe and techniques. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 398
    Mariam says:

    These are so perfect! The shape stays beautifully and they taste great! New standart cookie recipe! Thank you!!!

  9. 399
    Christina says:

    Thank you SO very much for all of the great recipes for your beautiful cookies! I am dying to leave work right now to go home and start baking and decorating! :)

  10. 399.1
    Shigenori says:

    This “free sharing” of intiomafron seems too good to be true. Like communism.


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