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Cut Out Sugar Cookies

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These are my favorite sugar cookies to roll-out, cut into shapes and decorate.  The dough is easy to work with, not too stiff, not too sticky and they taste delicious!

Sugar cookies rolled and cut in Christmas shapes decorated with royal icing.

Sugar cookies are such a versatile dessert. They can be rolled out, cut into fun shapes and decorated for any occasion. This recipe makes lots of tasty cookies. The dough is butter based, soft and easy to roll. 

The resulting sugar cookies are tender and delicious.  They are perfect for Christmas, birthday parties, showers and more!

These are the cookies I make more than any other roll out. This recipe makes a LOT of cookies.  Good cookies!  Everyone who tries them loves them.

mixer bowl with paddle, sugar cookie dough and spatula.

These cookies generally take me at least three days to make… I make the dough one day, bake them the next and decorate them with royal icing a day later.  I like to break it up a bit and enjoy each step.

You obviously can do it all in one day if you’d like. Just plan on making a day of it.

The dough will be less sticky and have a more developed flavor if you give it plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator.  You want a minimum of an hour or so, but feel free to make the dough a day or two in advance of baking.

Properly chilled, this dough is soft and easy to work with.  They do puff up a smidge and the corners round a bit, but they are really good to eat!

dough cut into Christmas shapes on pan ready to bake.

The extra leavening that gives them that puff also makes them feel delicate to eat.  It gives them that softer texture.

If you need more sturdy cookies with less poof, try making no chill sugar cookies instead.  But if you are throwing a party and need a lot of good tasting sugar cookies, these are for you! 

freshly baked sugar cookies on cooling rack waiting to be iced for Christmas.

Otherwise feel free to reduce the baking powder by half to keep them from rising so much. It will help keep sharper shapes as well.

We like the lighter texture of these cookies, we think that more than makes up for the not perfectly defined edges.

They are absolutely delicious either way. So if crisp corners are what you are after, a little less baking powder power will help you achieve that goal.

Sugar cookies cut into the shapes of popsicles and cupcakes decorated with red white and blue royal icing.

Another way to save time or spread out the effort is to bake the cookies ahead of time and freeze them until you are ready to ice them.  Ahead of the holidays I like to bake a batch of these and a batch of gingerbread cookies and make that its own project.

Then I stack them neatly in freezer safe containers and pop them in the freezer for a couple of week.  Closer to the holiday I pull them out of the freezer and go to work with the royal icing.

sugar cookies cut into shapes of test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks decorated with royal icing and sprinkles.

With all of the Christmas hubbub, I find this works a lot better for me.  Finding the time to get it all done at once white keeping up with everything else proves to be a bit of a challenge.

This allows me to get the cookies baked in November, before things get nuts and decorate them in December. The cookies still taste fresh and I get to keep my sanity!

Tips for Making Tender Roll Out Sugar Cookies:

Give yourself plenty of time to chill the dough.  You can even make the dough a day ahead of time. If you don’t chill it properly, it will be sticky and hard to roll.

Make sure to divide the dough into several pieces before rolling.  It is much easier to roll smaller pieces of dough and you can keep the remaining dough in the fridge chilling.

Take your time and roll the dough out evenly.  If there are thick and thin spots, the cookies won’t bake evenly.  You’ll have some overdone and some underdone.

Try to bake similarly sized cookies on the same tray to keep the bake time the same.

Use a bench scrape to get cookies from the counter to the baking sheet.

If you want to try different flavors of tasty cookies, be sure to check out the collection of our favorite cut out cookies.  There are tons of different varieties to make alongside your sugar cookies. 

Sugar cookies rolled and cut in Christmas shapes decorated with royal icing.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Servings: 60 Cookies
Author: Carlee
These are my favorite sugar cookies to roll-out, cut and decorate. The dough is easy to work with, not too stiff and not too hard and they taste delicious!
5 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes



  • cups butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar
    1½ cups butter, 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Add eggs and flavoring mix until completely incorporated
    4 large eggs, 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.
    5 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or over night.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Place half the dough onto a floured surface and roll to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet and bake 6-8 minutes
  • Cool on sheet for a couple of minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
  • Allow to completely cool before you decorate


You can use all vanilla extract. They also taste great with a mix of vanilla and either lemon or almond extract. 



Serving: 1cookieCalories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 93mgSugar: 7g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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5 from 13 votes (12 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 1st of May 2024

We make lots and lots of these every year for all of Christmas and my favorite to make is the grinch!


Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

These are just adorable! I bet you and Little Dude have had some fun making these!


Saturday 9th of January 2021

We always do, thanks Karen!

Frugal Hausfrau

Friday 4th of March 2016

I am so over sugar cookies that don't taste good and are just all about the looks! Great recipe and it is actually much easier for me to spread things out a bit so that's wonderful!

Happy Throwback Thursday, Carlee~


Saturday 5th of March 2016

I'm with you. I've had some from bakeries that were so hard you could hardly bite through them, but they were admittedly REALLLLLY cute! These aren't nearly as fancy but are really good to eat! Thanks, Mollie!


Wednesday 8th of April 2015

Thanks for stopping by! I had a lot of fun making them.


Saturday 4th of April 2015

Very cute cookies! Love the carrots especially! Happy Easter! :)


Saturday 4th of April 2015

Thank you, I have fun making them! As long as I just do simple designs and a few colors of icing, it is fun. If I try to overdo it, I get stressed! Happy Easter to you as well!