Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with the BEST Cookie Icing Recipe

Decorated Christmas tree sugar cookies with green frosting and sprinkles rest on a white background.
Recipe At-A-Glance
Holiday Recipe2 hours, 30 minutes
We think this is the best rolled sugar cookie recipe out there—and tons of you agree! These cookies are tender and buttery, but hold their shape beautifully in the oven. Top them with our sugar cookie icing recipe that is a breeze to whip up and makes for soft, stackable, beautifully decorated sugar cookies!

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I know there are a lot of sugar cookie recipes floating around out there. And I know you probably have a tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe passed down from your great-great-grandma. But I’m telling you, you can throw those all in the recycling, because this is the perfect sugar cookie recipe for cutouts.

I’ve been using this recipe for years, and it has never, ever failed me—and since I originally shared it years ago, you guys have been telling me that you come back to it again and again, too! That’s because it’s a total no-fail rolled sugar cookie and icing recipe. This recipe results in soft, tender, fluffy cookies that don’t spread in the oven—making them absolutely perfect for cut-out sugar cookies. And the cookies have the most beautiful mild vanilla flavor!

I also have the perfect icing recipe that goes on top that ends up drying hard enough to pack these perfect frosted sugar cookies in a tin, but is still soft enough to bite into without chipping a tooth. And it shines so bright and glossy in the light. It makes for some obnoxiously pretty cookies.

Closeup view of a cut out sugar cookie shaped like a christmas tree topped with green icing and sprinkles.

What do these sugar cookies taste like?

I think the perfect sugar cookie is mildly flavored and very buttery. The cookie itself isn’t too sweet—because the icing will add even more sweetness.

I usually just flavor these cookies with high-quality vanilla extract (I say “high-quality” not because I’m an ingredient snob, but because you can really taste the flavor of the vanilla in these, so you want to make sure it’s something good), but you can easily go with other flavorings, too. Peppermint is delightful for the holidays. Almond and coconut are also both delicious.

In fact, I made a batch of these cookies for my coworkers one Halloween (pumpkin and ghost-shaped, of course) and used almond flavoring, and I repeatedly had people stopping by my office to tell me they were the best sugar cookies they’d ever had. Most folks don’t expect an almond-flavored sugar cookie! It’s a really nice change of pace.

How do you make rolled sugar cookies with icing?

Making sugar cookies is a bit of an experience—it requires a few hours’ worth of work. It’s easy to do, but it isn’t something you want to try to wedge into your schedule before work one morning. Here’s the process:

  • Make the sugar cookie dough: I like to do mine in my stand mixer, but you can also do it with a hand mixer or with a wooden spoon.
  • Chill the sugar cookie dough: I suggest chilling for at least an hour, but you can speed that up by popping the dough in the freezer.
  • Roll out and cut the cookie dough: On a floured or powder sugared surface, roll out the dough. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out shapes.
  • Bake and cool: Bake for just a few minutes (really keep an eye on them), and then immediately remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Decorate: Mix up a batch of our sugar cookie icing, and decorate to your heart’s content!

Decorated Christmas tree sugar cookies with green frosting rest on a white background with a bowl of sugar cookie icing in the back.

Wait, does the dough really need to be chilled?

Yes! This is a non-negotiable, friends. Chilling the dough makes it so the cookies won’t spread in the oven and will keep your beautifully cut out shapes. Yes, there are sugar cookie recipes that don’t need to be chilled, but most of those use shortening in them to keep their shape. I much prefer the flavor, texture, and natural-ness of an all-butter sugar cookie recipe! 

How thick do you need to roll sugar cookies?

I like between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick—you want a cookie that is thick enough to have some chew to it, but thin enough to bake evenly and quickly. Don’t stress too much about it. Just as long as every cookie on the baking sheet is roughly the same thickness, you’ll be good! 

Can you re-roll the dough scraps?

Sure can! Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you might want to re-chill your dough if it starts to get too soft. If the rolling pin feels more like it’s smooshing softened butter than rolling out cookie dough, you know it’s time to put your dough back in the fridge.

Decorated Christmas tree sugar cookies with green frosting rest on a white background.

How can you make sure these cut-out sugar cookies hold their shape in the oven?

This recipe as written makes for perfect cookies straight out of the oven—no spreading, no puffing, no bloated Christmas trees. To make sure it stays this way:

  • Don’t mess with adding more sugar or butter. These cookies have the perfect amount of butter and sugar to balance between having flavor and keeping their shape. 
  • Keep the dough chilled. Cool cookie dough helps keep the cookies from spreading.
  • Try to use cool cookie sheets. If you immediately start to fill your cookie sheet the second you get the baked cookies off of it, you might get more cookie spread. Just let your cookie sheet cool down for a few minutes (or run it under cool water and then dry it, if you’re in a rush).

How do you know when cut-out sugar cookies are done?

If you’re a master sugar cookie baker, you know that the key to perfect sugar cookies is watching the oven very carefully. You’ll see some sugar cookie recipes saying to bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes (or even more), and that’s great if you want a dry, crunchy cookie, but who wants a dry, crunchy cookie? No one. Sugar cookies bake fast. So fast, that just a couple of degrees discrepancy in your oven can cause your cookies to go from soft and tender to hard as a rock in just a minute or two.

While I do provide a baking time as a general rule of thumb in the recipe below, I highly recommend that you go by appearance instead of time. Your cookies should be just the tiniest bit brown along the very edge of the cookie (right where it meets the pan). I’m not talking “golden brown,” I’m talking like you have to really squint to see it. And the top of the cookie should look solid, instead of jiggly. In most ovens, this happens between the 6-8 minute mark (yup, that fast!). In my last apartment, we had an oven that ran hot, no matter how low I turned it down, and my sugar cookies were almost always done at five minutes. Watch ’em like a hawk.

And then, once they are done, you want to get them off the hot baking sheet as quickly as possible, because they’ll keep right on baking on that hot metal. I usually take a large thin spatula (I love using a fish spatula to get hot cookies off of baking sheets) to the cookies almost immediately after they get out of the oven. Then I transfer to cooling racks or paper towels to cool completely. And do make sure they are 100% cool before you frost. Any residual heat in the cookie will warm up the frosting and make it a gooey, runny mess. It’ll still be delicious, it just won’t look as nice.

Decorated Christmas tree sugar cookies with green frosting rest on a white background.

What’s the best icing for iced sugar cookies?

There are really three kinds of sugar cookie icing you’ll see out there in the baking world. All three have their benefits:

  • Royal icing: This is the hard icing that you see people using to make intricate decorations on cookies (or gingerbread houses). While this icing makes for beautiful cookies, I honestly find the flavor to be…not great. So I tend to not use royal icing.
  • Buttercream/frosting: You’ll see this kind of fluffy, thick, buttery frosting more frequently on soft-baked Lofthouse style sugar cookies. It’s delicious on these cookies, but it does tend to be tricky to stack on a cookie tray or pack in a gift tin.
  • Powdered sugar glaze: The sugar cookie icing we’re showing here and the one I use most frequently is a simple powdered sugar glaze. The resulting iced sugar cookies dry solid enough to stack on a cookie tray, but soft enough to bite into without chipping a tooth (I’m looking at you, royal icing). It’s easy to color, easy to flavor, and easy to work with.  This sugar cookie icing will harden in 2-3 hours at room temperature (or even faster if you chill the cookies). 

Cookies shaped like evergreen trees sit next to a bowl of green frosting. One cookie has some green icing on it already.

What’s the best way to ice sugar cookies?

There are some absolutely exquisite iced sugar cookies out there, and I don’t even pretend that I can compete in that category. My piping skills tap out at frosting a cupcake. I typically just spread icing on my sugar cookies using a popsicle stick (since I’m an adult now, I really should invest in a proper icing spatula). You could most definitely pipe this frosting on if that’s your (piping) bag, but I’ll stick to my lazy girl popsicle stick method for now, thank you very much. I normally make my frosting thick enough that it will stay on top of the cookie, but still thin enough that it will self-settle and dry with a smooth, bump-free top. It’s really the fool-proof way to frost cookies. If you’re decorating with kids (or, ahem, inebriated adults—it makes a fun holiday party activity), squeeze bottles are the way to go!

You can also dip your sugar cookies in the icing. Just make the icing thin enough to be dippable, then grab a cookie and barely dip the top in a bowl of the icing. Make sure to do this over parchment paper or wax paper—it gets messy!

Can I make sugar cookie icing without corn syrup?

You can make this same sugar cookie icing with honey, but it does not dry to the same soft-but-stackable texture—it stays pretty soft. I keep a bottle of corn syrup in my pantry for this recipe, and this recipe alone!

How do you store iced sugar cookies?

Once the frosting has hardened, I stack them between layers of parchment paper in a glass food storage container and leave them on the counter for up to a week. 

Can you freeze cut-out sugar cookies? What about the dough?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze both baked (un-iced) sugar cookies and the dough! Here’s how:

  • To freeze the dough: Form into discs, and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped disc in a freezer-safe glass food storage container or zip-top freezer bag. Freeze for up to a year.
  • To freeze the uniced baked cookies: Lay cooled cookies flat on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid—about 3 hours. Then transfer to a freezer-safe glass food storage container or zip-top freezer bag for up to three months.

This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, so I tend to always have both baked sugar cookies and raw dough in my freezer. In fact, my recommendation if you want fewer cookies is to go ahead and make the whole recipe, divide it into four discs as the recipe calls for, and then freeze the discs. One disc of dough is the perfect amount for one “batch” of sugar cookies—about 1-2 dozen. It’s the just-right amount if you just get the hankering to decorate some perfect cut-out sugar cookies, but don’t want to devote hours and hours and hours.

I usually make up a full-sized batch of this dough twice a year—once at Christmas, and I use it all for cookie trays for friends and neighbors, and then again for Valentine’s Day or Easter, but I freeze three of the discs. Then I pull them out again throughout the year at other holidays. Just let the disc defrost on the counter until it’s not hard anymore, and still a little cool. Then flour your work surface and roll out as normal. They always bake up and taste just as great as the fresh version does.

Why can’t you freeze iced sugar cookies?

I’ve tried it before, and while the taste is fine, this particular icing recipe tends to crack and lose its luster in the freezer. Our sugar cookie icing recipe is so easy to mix up, it will take you no time to frost them once they are out of the freezer!

Cassie’s protips for PERFECT cut-out iced sugar cookies:

  • Don’t overbake. In fact, until you know how your oven operates with this recipe, I recommend watching them at the oven window. They could be done in as little as five minutes!
  • Sugar cookies are done when they are just BARELY brown and set up. You’re not looking for “golden brown” here. You’re looking for very slight color along the edges.
  • Let the cookies cool completely before icing. If not, the icing will run everywhere. 
  • Thicker icing is easier to work with. Start with thicker icing at first, and then thin it out if needed.
Cookies cut out in the shape of Christmas trees are decorated with green frosting and sprinkles.
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies and Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies and Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe

Yield: 6-7 dozen cookies (depending on cookie cutter size)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 18 minutes

Looking for the perfect sugar cookie recipe for cutouts? This is it! Delicious, mildly flavored, and they don't spread in the oven! Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.


For the Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, peppermint, or coconut extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, peppermint, or coconut extract
  • Food coloring


  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, using a hand mixer, or mixing by hand with a wooden spoon, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and extract until well-combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remainder of cookie ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to wet in batches, until combined.
  3. Divide dough into quarters, form into discs, and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge, or 20 minutes in the freezer.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Removed one disc from the fridge and roll out on floured surface until dough is 1/8"-1/4" thick.
  6. Cut with cookie cutter and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 6-8 minutes, watching closely. Cookies are done when bottoms are just barely golden brown. Remove immediately from cookie sheet, then let cool completely on wire racks before frosting. Make sure cookie sheets are cool to touch before placing more cookie dough on them.
  7. To make the sugar cookie icing: Combine powdered sugar, two tablespoons milk, and corn syrup or honey, adding more milk until icing reaches desired consistency. For piping and spreading, you're looking for a thicker icing. For dipping cookies, you'll want something a little bit thinner. Pipe, spread, or dip onto cookies. If you'd like to use sprinkles, apply them before the icing dries.


  • The standard way to roll out sugar cookies is to use additional flour, but you can also use powdered sugar! The powdered sugar absorbs into the cookie while it bakes and doesn't leave any flour residue.
  • Using corn syrup in the cookie icing recipe will result in an icing that dries soft, but stackable. Using honey will result in a softer icing that should not be stacked.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 72 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

160 Responses
  1. This cookie thing is going to be a problem. 😉

    I’m going to make these today! Would you match the icing flavour with the cookie flavour? I was thinking of doing almond, so should I also use almond extract in the icing?

    1. Cassie

      You can do that if you want it to be nice and almond-y, or you can just keep the cookies as vanilla. Vanilla is a nice subtle undertone for the other extracts. 🙂

    2. Alison

      I wasn’t sure if that’d be overkill, so I used almond for dough, vanilla for icing. So this doesn’t answer your question and I’m sorry. But at least I know that using that combo was great.

      1. Rose

        AGGGGGGHHHHHHH Why do people leave comments about a recipe that they have not tried yet. It is not helpful. Please try it first then comment.

    1. Dianna

      I can not wait to try out these cookies and the icing. Sugar cookies decorated by kiddos has been a holiday tradition my whole life. As an adult I’ve been on the search for the perfect recipe…for cookies and glaze…for years…(I switched to glaze a few years back, my mom was horrified at 1st lol. The kids can’t pile it on though, so I don’t end up with 6″ frosted cookies that don’t stack, and were sickening to eat!)

  2. Abbie

    I’m making these tonight with my kids. How long does it take for the icing to dry? I know my kids will want to eat some so I’m trying to see how long they will need to wait. I’ve never made cookies and icing like this so this is new to me lol

  3. Heidi

    Can the dough be refrigerated and then baked later? I literally just finished baking over 15 dozen cookies and really don’t want to bake them tonight.

  4. Jessica

    These look amazing! Although, I tried to make them and after 2.5 hours in the fridge by the time I rolled them out and got cookie cutters in them (5 mins MAX!) they were so soft they were unuseable. I had to ball up and roll in sugar as the frosting… Any suggestions?? I’m so confused!

  5. Jackie

    I made the dough yesterday and baked and decorated these tonight. I did have to use quite a bit of flour to roll out the dough. It was worth it though. They are delicious and the icing is gorgeous! Thanks!

  6. Erinn

    This is identical to “The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies” Recipe on, but for the amount of extract (1.5 teaspoons vs. 1.). I’ve made those cookies and they are incredible. Are your recipes original or adapted from other chefs’ recipes?

    1. Cassie

      Hi Erinn! I’ve been making this sugar cookie recipe long before I had a blog, and quite honestly, I forgot the original source because I just have it jotted down on a slip of paper in my recipe book. Thank you for figuring it out! I’ll adapt the recipe to reflect the original source.

      And if you poke around, you’ll notice the vast majority of my recipes are original creations, and the ones I do adapt from other folks are clearly identified as so. Thanks for reading!

  7. Crystal

    These were AMAZING! I made a batch with vanilla extract and a batch with almond extract. They were a huge hit at my Christmas party! My favorite and the favorite of the guests were the ones with almond extract. DELICIOUS!!!

  8. Hillary

    I’m assuming that frosting recipe is matched to the whole cookie recipe in terms of quantity … have you had any success with storing the frosting, like in the fridge or freezer? I’m trying to bake off one of the “discs” of dough and frost them and then in the next several days (or even next week) use the other three discs, and it’d be great if the frosting could be saved and parceled out, too.

    Also …. baked, frosted, and in tins, how long do these guys stay good for?

    1. Cassie

      You can easily half or even quarter the frosting. It will stay in an airtight container for a day or so, but I wouldn’t go any longer than that. The cookies last fine for a week or more.

  9. Jen

    I wish the website would load in a timely manner.. I could not even see the recipe due to so many ads in the page…the page never loaded. I could only see this post comment section. Do you have a pinterest? or facebook?

  10. Melissa

    Just made these with my 2 year old daughter. We had so much fun and they were so easy to make. Thank You so much this recipe is a keeper! I will be making more of these throughout the holidays. Tweak: I l let the dough discs chill overnight to make it easier to roll out. Something I learned: Don’t over mix the dough it will get very gooey lol. -found on pinterest

  11. breanna

    I am excited to try out this recipe this week! However, I know you said it makes a lot of cookies, but what size cookie cutter do you have? I plan on using a cutter that is approximately 5″ x 3″ big. And I wanted to make my cookies about 1/4 -1/2 an inch thick. How many dozens should I get with this dough? Thanks!

  12. Lucy

    I wa excited to make these but they did not keep their shape. I let them chill for 1 day. They spread so much I had to trow them out. They also tasted like flour I added half of cup sugar more.

    1. Rhonda T

      Hi Lucy – that happened to me also. I wonder if we both were using self rising flour? I transfer my flour from the bag into a container so I cant be sure if that is what the issue is, however, I did notice on a different recipe it specifically said not to use self rising flour.. I did decorate mine using the frosting to show the detail of the cut out. This is a great frosting recipe; I ended up using about 4-5 Tbls of milk; I find a tin inner frosting spreads best

  13. Alison

    I don’t suppose you know the measurements in grams or ounces do you ? Cups aren’t the most accurate of measurements and I am in the UK where it is really uncommon to use cups.

  14. Courtney

    Going to make thies today for my sons and there friend to cut out and decorate tonight but I have salted butter with this Change anything or will they be fine thank you

  15. Dianna

    Hi! I commented last year and I’m back to say we made the icing and cookies exactly as the recipe is written. (Vanilla for both). They were perfect. I baked all of them, decorated mine and divided the rest into large to go containers. Later that week I took half to my moms and half to my in-laws for our ladies/kids baking nights, and they were still perfect. Kids and adults had a blast decorating them! The glaze hardens perfectly for stacking and giving. Thank you! I will be making these cookies and the glaze again this year for all 3 places!!

  16. Justine

    I got so excited to use my paddle attachment that I forgot to add the third stick of butter. The dough still seemed to be the right consistency and tasted delish, but will it ruin my results? I have never done that before! Thanks! 🙂

  17. Megan

    Hi Cassie!
    I’m planning on making these cookies for friday and just had a question. From past experiences I have always found to never halve a recipe, only because it doesn’t always turn out. Since I don’t need THAT many cookies i’ll take your advice and freeze some of the dough. Could you tell me how long it will keep in the freezer? Thank you!

    1. Cassie

      Sugar is an excellent preservative, so just as long as you keep it protected from freezer burn (I’d recommend wrapping each disc in plastic wrap, and then placing them in a freezer zip-top bag with the air squeezed out), I’d say indefinitely! But at least six months.

  18. Susan Vincent

    I have made 2 batches of these cookies so far and they are being eaten as fast as I can make them. All of a sudden my boys are coming to see Mom all the time! LOL I also have some dough frozen for Valentine’s Day.
    Thank you for sharing.

  19. Kayleigh

    I just pulled my first batch out of the oven and you were right, you really have to watch them! My oven also runs hot and it only took 5 minutes for my cookies to be perfect looking! I decided to do this as a project with my daughter and we can’t wait to frost them and eat them! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  20. Elizabeth

    im in the process of making these cookies right now, I’m baking them and then bringing them to the local nursing home. How long will the iced cookies keep in a foil tray?

    1. Cassie

      If they are covered (like say with plastic wrap), a few days, uncovered, I’d get them out within 6-8 hours or they’ll start to dry out.

  21. LeAnne

    I don’t have a paddle attachment on my mixture. I have the regular ones, a wish one and this spiral looking one, will any of these work? Thanks!

  22. Arley

    I have never made sugar cookies before and I want to try your recepie. I don’t have a stand mixer though. Would a hand held mixer work just as well? I’m trying to make these for my daughter birthday.

  23. Amanda

    I am too looking forward to making these cookies! Quick question about the icing, do you use a gel food coloring or a liquid food coloring? Im not sure if one of the other would change the consistency of the icing?

  24. Erica

    I found these on pinterest. FABULOUS!
    I switched out margarine for the butter and salt.
    A little more economical and still so tender.
    Didn’t try the icing. I always make royal icing from the wilton website.

  25. Carrie Peirce

    My dough is the consistency of a soft chocolate chip cookie dough, is this normal. I haven’t refrigerated yet but am worried it might still be too soft.

  26. Laura

    What should the dough look like when done. It is quite sticky and not forming into a ball. I need to refrigerate it still but I’m wondering how it looks for you?

  27. Sheri

    These cookies are delicious! Eat them with or without frosting, either way they’re yummy!!

    I made the dough yesterday and left it overnight in the fridge. Rolled and cut out the cookies today and it made 70 cookies. They cooked very well and evenly. Six minutes and they were perfect.

    The frosting was delicious too! I did make one slight alteration by adding in 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of milk. The frosting was shiny, easy to spread on the cookie without any stickiness or breaking of the cookies.

    These two recipes are a keeper in my book!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  28. ashlie

    you cookies look great, I have been looking for the perfect sugar cookie recipe. mine always come out plain tasting and gummy. I think the gummy is from under cooking but no matter how much vanilla it still taste plain and even bitter after. any advice?

  29. I made a ‘test’ batch that made about 2 dozen cookies that turned out great! Will definitely keep your recipe for Valentines Day and every other upcoming event just to have an excuse to make more!
    My daughter lives out of state and would love to send some to her. She usually gets mail from me within 2 days. I like to use royal icing so they will be decorated using that instead. How long will these last one I bake/decorate so I know how long she has to enjoy them?

    1. Cassie

      If they are packaged up really nice and air-tight, I think you could get by with 5-7 days before they start to taste stale. 🙂

  30. Whitney H

    I made these last night and I think you have revolutionized my sugar cookie baking…

    I had NO idea that sugar cookies baked so fast. I have tried many recipes over the years and was always disappointed that the cookies turned out crunchy. My thought now is that it wasn’t the recipe… it was me. I was overcooking them.

    Following your advice, I watched these cookies like a hawk. Sure enough, they were done at the 5 min mark. I left some in for 7 just for comparison sake and they were way too hard.

    Thank you SO much.

    I’m frosting the 70 or so cookies tonight with your recipe for my son’s class Valentine Party. Can you put the frosting in a piping bag? How does it hold up?

    Thanks again!

    1. Cassie

      Sure can! I’d maybe just add a touch more powdered sugar to it so it’s thick enough not to just stream out of the piping bag. I’m so glad this post helped you! 🙂

  31. Donna

    I made these at Christmas minus the icing. I use melted candy melts to frost my sugar cookies. These were good even without frosting. I just made some for Valentine’s and will make more at Easter. Love this recipe!! Thank you!!

  32. Bonbon

    I love this recipe. I have baked them today (Friday) for a party on Sunday. They are wonderful!! Will they still be fresh for Sunday? I will be icing them this evening, what would be the best way to store the iced cookies once they have dried on the counter? I am concerned about the milk in the icing and them being left out of the fridge?

    1. Cassie

      They’ll definitely be fine for Sunday. I would put them in layers (with parchment or wax paper between) in an airtight container. I keep mine out on the counter, because sugar is an excellent preservative, but if that makes you nervous, the fridge is fine.

  33. Anna

    These cookies are AMAZING. I make them at least once a month and they are a hit. I’m baking them for a friends gender reveal party… EEEEK! I hope I can perfect the consistency of the icing. Any tips?

  34. Kamille

    Omg just took these out of the oven and they taste great! The dough holds shape and bakes very well! This will be my go to sugar cookie recipe!

  35. Rhonda

    Worked out Great, we loved them, I made just a basic butter frosting with confectioners sugar thin enough to sort of glaze on and sprinkle with sprinkles. The cookies were soft and yummy. thank you

  36. Dear Cassie, I’m looking for a cookie with a slightly crisp exterior, soft interior and will stay soft inside, and keeps shape while baking. Is this the one? Why the high oven temp 400 degrees? What level should my oven rack be set so the top or bottoms don’t burn? By the way, I enjoy your blog. Thanks for such helpful info for us new bakers.

    1. Cassie

      This is the cookie you’re looking for then! The high oven temp cooks the outside of the cookie quickly, while still leaving the inside nice and soft. Put you oven rack in the middle of the ocen, and you should be good. 🙂

  37. Oh, By the way… With 3 sticks of butter, have you ever had a problem with greasy baked cookies. What difference would 1/2 shortening/butter make in the final product? or would that make a greasy cookie?

  38. Apella Benedicta

    Hi Cassie!

    I made these divine cookies exactly as the recipe called for it, except I used Nutella instead of the frosting (I get chocolate cravings). Will certainly make this for family during the holidays!!


  39. Paula

    How does the frosting stand up in the fridge? I wont have time to frost the cookies after I make them and would like to make thefrosting ahead of time or should I just wait? thank you and LOVE this recipe. Never have made your icing tho.

  40. Whitney S.

    Made a batch of these yesterday with my almost-3 year old! We colored some red, some green and left the rest as is. The cut-out part is going to take awhile – but halfway finished and we’ve got probably 6 dozen already? We love this cookie! Will continue making it. It is just soft enough and not terribly sweet. Icing party with friends this weekend and sharing with friends!.

  41. Marilyn Drake

    Hi Cassie, have you tried adding fresh vanilla bean? I know this would change the appearance a bit, but I wonder if the extra vanilla flavor would be worth it.

  42. Jodie

    Hi! I am looking for a good cutout cookie recipe and live at 7000 ft, would you make any high altitude adjustment for these? Or should they be good as is? Thanks!

  43. Erik Charlsen

    I’m pretty new at this baking thing (second year of doing the Christmas cookies) and came across your recipe. When I made the batter it reminded me of a bread batter but tried using it anyway. My wife got home shortly after I started and suggested I add more flour. I ended up putting 2 more cups in in order to get the right consistency (according to my wife). Do you have any idea what I could’ve done wrong to require so much more flour?

  44. Kierstyn

    HI! I was looking for the perfect sugar cookie cut out recipe to make on Christmas Eve and voila! Yours turned up!!
    But I really only need a small batch. . . do you think it would work to cut the recipe in half?

  45. Maya Plaskon

    I am about to make this. Is it okay if i use vanilla extract? and is it okay if i half the recipe to make about 36 cookies or would that not be good? Corn syrup and hand mixing is also okay right? Instead of honey and the electrical mixer

  46. Janie Borchardt

    I make sugar cookies as gifts every year and will definitely try your recipe. How about re-rolling the dough? Once you cut, can the leftover trimmings from around the cut-outs be re-rolled to be cut again?

    1. Julie @ Wholefully

      They can! I typically only re-roll the dough once. You can re-roll it again after that, but the cookies might get a little tough with each subsequent roll.

  47. me

    Just made these. They turned out great. I put in 1/2 Cup more flour and didn’t have to refrigerate them before rolling out. The cookies turned out soft and the frosting dried nicely so I could stack them.

  48. Mary Mecum

    I always roll out my cut out cookies in powder sugar This keeps them tender and avoids a floury taste. Making this recipe tomorrow

    1. Julie @ Wholefully

      I think they technically can if you put wax or parchment paper between the layers, but the frosting may not hold up well. The colors may be spotty or bleed. But it could work in a pinch!

  49. Kristen

    I love this recipe, perfect cookies and frosting. Yummy! My husband teaches a youth bible study group and once a month or more he brings them a treat (that I make). He always asks for requests. One girl wanted sugar cookies but no frosting (boring?) I used this recipe then using my cookie scoop scooped out balls which I then rolled in white sugar. I put the balls on my parchment covered cookie sheet then used he bottom of a glass to smash them flat. They turned out super yummy with slight carmalized sugar on top.

  50. Andrea Conley

    Where can I purchase the bottles you show that you are using to do the detailed icing ? around MONROE , MICHIGAN ( preferably NOT online.)
    Thank you.

  51. Linda Wheeler

    I REALLY loved this recipe! Cookies taste delicious and they turned out perfectly. I used another recipe for years and have now replaced it with this one! Thank you for sharing!

  52. I will be making these cookies for my grandsons to decorate. My one grandson is allergic to dairy products. I googled substituting the butter for butter flavor Crisco. Hopefully they will turn out OK. I also add just a pinch of orange rind. Your recipe sounds wonderful. Hope you answer soon as I am making them in the morning. Thanks!!!

    1. Cassie

      I’ve never frozen them after frosting. I can’t guarantee it’ll work, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. Let me know if you try it out!

  53. Catherine

    That countertop is GORGEOUS!! I’m going to try this recipe later today with my 2 & 4 year old. Can we do something about the printing, though? Can the whole recipe be on 1 page instead of 2 full… 3 pages if including a dot on the last. Or is it just my printer?

    Anyways, looking forward to trying this out!!

  54. Mary Lou

    These cookies are fabulous. It does make a lot and I use big cookie cutters.
    Although I used royal frosting I couldn’t have been happier about this recipe.

  55. Janeen

    Easy and delicious sugar cookie. Followed recipe exactly and I was able to get 6 dozen cookies. Cookies held their shape too. They baked for nearly 9 minutes in my oven so the recipe’s tip to “watch them” is a good one because ovens vary greatly. One thing to note about the frosting/icing. The recipe for the icing will only ice one disk, not all four. I figured that was the case when the recipe called for only 2 cups of powder sugar but I followed the recipe exactly and was only able to ice the cookies I made with one disc of dough. Also my icing was pretty runny so I had to add more powdered sugar (and even then it was still funnier than I prefer). Also, it dries really fast so if you plan to add sprinkles or icing sugars, do them right after icing the cookie. Overall, a good sugar cookie recipe that I’m sure I will use again!

  56. Whitney H

    Have used this recipe several times the past few years. It’s fantastic!

    I keep getting hung up on how to store the cookies however. I usually bake the cookies and then ice them and decorate them the next day.

    What is the best way to store the iced cookies? How long does it typically take them to dry?

    I like to put the cookies in the little cellophane bags and tie them with a bow. I’ve had trouble with the cookies sticking to the inside of the bag because they weren’t quite dry. Can they sit out overnight, frosted, to dry and be packaged the next morning or would that make the cookies stale?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. Cassie

      Yup, that’s exactly what I do! Let them sit out overnight, and then package in the morning. I’ve never noticed a problem with them getting stale.

  57. Kim

    Wow…love this recipe!!! I stopped making roll out sugar cookies because I hated how they came out and were too time consuming. I’ve made these at least 3 times for different events in the last month. Thank you!!!

    1. Julie @ Wholefully

      You could maybe try corn syrup? That’s a typical frosting ingredient that I’d think would serve the same function as the honey here.

  58. LHanson

    Perfect, perfect. This cookie dough is easy to work with, tastes great. I go all vanilla, but the honey in the frosting is the clincher. I don’t like the brittle texture and cardboardy sweetness of royal icing, and so the fact that this icing is very workable and dries to a luscious tasting, stackable, shiny finish makes it ideal for me.

  59. Barbara Thomas

    I use almond flavoring all the time on the frosting of these cookies. I use vanilla for the cookie. Everyone loves these cookies. When I make a double batch they are gone quickly!!

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