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+ servings

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

The BEST cut-out sugar cookies! No softening butter, no chilling dough, they bake up super soft and never spread. Your new go-to recipe!

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 40 minutes
Servings 24 to 26 (2½-inch) cookies
Calories 161 kcal
Author Michelle


  • 1 cup unsalted butter chilled and cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, only mixing until the dough just comes together. Give it a final mix with a rubber spatula, folding and pressing it together, to ensure all of the flour is mixed in.

  5. Separate the dough in half and work with one piece at a time, roll the dough ¼-inch thick. Cut out shapes as desired and place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 inch of space between cookies.

  6. Bake until the cookies look set and are slightly firm to the touch but still pale, about 10 to 12 minutes.

  7. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

  • A stand mixer is ideal for this recipe; since we are starting with cold butter, the paddle attachment does a good job of beating it into the sugar. A hand mixer tends to send the butter and sugar flying; if all you have is a hand mixer, I recommend using your fingers to smash the cubes of butter into the sugar before starting the mixer to give everything a little headstart.
  • Baking sheets: I use my favorite rimmed half-sheet pans. I always, always line with parchment paper, not a silicone baking mat (which I find causes more spread).
  • Marble pastry board: This isn't necessary, but if you have one, it's great for keeping sugar cookie dough and pie crust cold!
  • Rolling pin: A simple wooden one is all you need.
  • Flavors: I adore the pure vanilla flavor, but some people like a little bit of almond - I would recommend starting with ¼ teaspoon of almond extract in addition to the vanilla. You can also use things like cake batter extract, lemon, maple, coconut, etc. You can also add a little bit of cinnamon to the cookie dough if you'd like!
  • Cookie cutters: You can use absolutely any, so pick your favorites! I have a mixture of plastic and metal and they all work amazingly well with this recipe. It holds its shape for intricate designs, as well.
  • Scaling: You can double (or more!) this recipe without issue.
  • Buttercream frosting: If you want to do a simple frosting (with or without sprinkles!), then I recommend my favorite vanilla buttercream.
  • Royal Icing: To do more detailed decorating, see my tutorial on how to decorate cookies with royal icing.
  • Storage: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • Make-Ahead: While I love that you can whip up these cookies immediately, you can mix together the dough, divide in half and form into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. You can also freeze the dough (place the wrapped disk in a ziploc freezer bag) for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bring it to almost room temperature, roll out, and proceed with the recipe.
  • Freezing: These cookies freeze exceptionally well! You can freeze them plain or decorated; if decorated, let the icing set before freezing. Store in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag with parchment paper between the layers. The cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Recipe slightly adapted from Cookies & Cups.
Nutrition Facts
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 161 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 53mg2%
Potassium 47mg1%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 246IU5%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.