Traditional recipes

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

This basic cookie recipe is very well tried and trusted – great for when you want something to go with a cup of coffee or you just like having a fail-safe play in the kitchen. Just don’t skip the refrigeration step or your cookies will fall more than a little flat. Once chilled, the dough keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week, so you can have freshly baked cookies in around 20 minutes. And check out the variations, too – there’s something for everyone… personally, I like the stuffed sandwiches the best but maybe that’s because I’m greedy. Enjoy! — Aine Carlin, Keep it Vegan.


FOR LEMON DRIZZLE COOKIES: Make the cookies as opposite, adding the zest and juice of 1 lemon to the creamed mixture. Add up to 3 tablespoons extra flour to the dough if needed. Let cool for at least an hour before icing. Mix ¾ cup confectioners sugar with 3 to 5 teaspoons lemon juice to form a smooth icing. Drizzle over the cookies and sprinkle with lemon zest. Let set before serving.

FOR DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: Make the cookies as opposite, adding 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and ½ cup chocolate chips to the flour mixture.

FOR STUFFED COOKIE SANDWICHES: Make one batch of basic cookies as opposite and set aside to cool. Whisk together 7 tablespoons vegan butter, ½ cup confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until fluffy. Sandwich a generous layer of the buttercream between two cookies just before serving. Enjoy!

Taken from Keep it Vegan – over 100 simple, healthy and delicious dishes by Aine Carline. Published by Kyle Books, priced $19.95.


  • 9 Tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2/3 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder


Calories Per Serving420

Folate equivalent (total)121µg30%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg12.4%

Makes 2–3 dozen, depending on size Servings

Step 1

Whisk salt, baking powder, and 3 cups flour in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients mix just to combine. Form dough into two ¾"-thick disks wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.

Step 2

Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven preheat to 325°. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper until about ¼" thick, dusting with flour as needed (if dough gets soft or sticky, chill on parchment until firm). Cut out shapes with floured cookie cutters transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.

Step 3

Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12–16 minutes, depending on size. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Repeat with scraps and remaining dough.

Step 4

Decorate cooled cookies as desired.

Step 5

Do Ahead: Cookie dough can be made 1 month ahead freeze instead of chilling. Cookies can be baked (left undecorated) 2 weeks ahead wrap tightly and freeze.

How would you rate Ultimate Sugar Cookies?

I followed this recipe last Christmas and Valentine’s Day, way before I realized that weighing ingredients makes for a better bake (and simplifies the baking process). I used these to make hearts, and various Christmas shapes. Here I am, a more experienced baker, coming back to this recipe because it’s delicious. For those who want a softer cookie, as it does make a crisp cookie, I say test out the times with a test cookie to be sure you get the softness you like. Remember that they continue to cook when you take them out of the oven. For those looking for a good cut out recipe or a simple round sugar cookie, look no farther.

I’m not sure why there are bad reviews to this cookie recipe! this is truly the best sugar cookie i have made! they are buttery, with a hint of saltiness and they firm up perfectly! the timing obviously depends on your oven and knowing hot spots and what not which i do, so i am very pleased!

Bon Appetit needs to put their recipes in grams! Staffers are constantly pushing purchasing a scale but do not put write recipes with weights to actually use the scale! Bon Appetit put out an article saying 1 cup of flour = 125 grams but Alison Roman who developed this recipe says 1 cup = 145 grams. So which do we use? I am thinking 145g per cup because I did the 125 grams for each cup in the recipe and my cookies spread quite a bit! V bummed.

I was expecting classic chewy sugar cookies. But instead they were pretty dense and not at all chewy. More like a Walkers Cookie. Very disappointing. The flavor of the dough was amazing so when it turned out to be a harder cookie than I was expecting it was pretty sad.

I work in a WeWorks type of space here in the District, and I ran a test batch of these cookies to see how they would go over before making them for "real". I followed the recipe to a T and made them using my Kitchen Aid. The icing/decoration got a bit messed up on the subway (metro here - but that's what it is) but I put them out in a common area to gauge reactions. So far I've been asked/overhead, "Someone made these? (after taking a bite)", and "You can tell me, you put something 'special' in these right?" More importantly, I'm seeing same folks go back for another cookie after finishing one or two already. I'll definitely make these again and figure out a better way to protect my decorations on public transport so they look as good as they taste.

The cookies turned out great! They held their shape and tasted like a sugar cookie should. This was the second recipe I tried. I wish I tried this one first I could have saved a pound of butter.

Millenials killing the recipe industry? OK Boomer. Great solid recipe, thanks BA!

too salty and not enough sugar. also didnt really make a solid cookie. id just say over all not great.

I felt these were too salty. I would cut the salt in half. Maybe more.

When did Recipe creators quit calling the beating of Butter, or Butter and Sugar, Creaming? Millinials?

Sugar Cookies

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn out dough, and divide in half. Flatten each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to just under 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Chill in refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut out cookies using desired cutters or templates. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets as you work. Roll out scraps, and repeat once. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Chill cookies in freezer until very firm, about 15 minutes.

Bake cookies, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Decorate with Royal Icing.


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 &ndash 4 tablespoons water
  • Assorted colors paste food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the 1/2 cup water and the vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, then on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until very stiff. Add the 2 to 4 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make an icing of spreading consistency. If desired, divide icing into individual bowls and tint with paste food coloring.

First, sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

In another bowl, mix sugar, butter, almond essence and vanilla extract till creamy.
When creamy, add an egg and mix until fully incorporated.
Next, add flour a spoonful at a time and mix at a lower speed.

When the dough starts to look crumbly, stop mixing and use your hands to form a ball from the dough.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

When the dough has been chilled, roll it out on a floured work surface and use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies.
Transfer the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven until the cookies start to turn brown around the edges.

You’ll end up with delicious sugar cookies. Ready to decorate, or just eat them like this!

Storing and Freezing Sugar Cookies

Once baked, these sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days on your counter or kitchen table. If frosted with royal icing, make sure to let the icing dry completely overnight, then place them in an airtight container with pieces of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer of cookies to keep the icing from being damaged.

These cut out sugar cookies freeze really well, as long as they haven’t been decorated with royal icing. Freeze undecorated sugar cookies or sugar cookies decorated with colored sparkling sugar on a flat baking sheet in the freezer for an hour. Then stack them in a rigid airtight container (one that won’t crush or buckle when moved around in the freezer).

You can try to freeze sugar cookies that been decorated with royal icing, but often the condensation that naturally occurs when freezing and thawing will make the coloring bleed.

One sugar cookie recipe with 25 delicious variations!

Our sugar cookie is a chameleon in the Christmas kitchen. Bet you can't stop at just one!

By Chatelaine Updated December 5, 2012

Our easy vanilla icebox sugar cookie can change from nice to naughty with simple mix-ins, glazes and fillings. Start with one sugar cookie recipe and learn how to make 25 different varieties.

Take this one cookie recipe: Our easy vanilla icebox sugar cookie.

Vanilla icebox sugar cookie

12 ways to mix it up: Add in some ingredients from candy cane to pistachio and cranberry.

Pistachio and cranberry icebox cookie

6 ways to glaze it: Drizzle icing for a cinnamon roll or make it maple for our bacon cookie.

Cinnamon roll icebox cookie

2 ways to sandwich it: Go for chocolate and cream or s’mores, or both.

Chocolate and cream icebox cookies

5 ways to fill it: Make thumprints filled with dulce de leche, nutella, maraschino cherries or lemon.

Need a substitute for cream of tartar?

Use 2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar in place of the 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar is listed among the ingredients of nearly every “Amish sugar cookie” recipe you’ll find. But it’s not as frequently used in modern cooking and may not be something you keep in the pantry.

Baking science nerd alert! Cream of tartar is an acid that, when combined with baking soda, acts as a leavening agent — ie., makes things puffy! In recipes like these cookies, you can easily substitute another acidic substance to achieve the same effect. Lemon juice and white vinegar happen to be very convenient ones!

Sugar Cookies

Simple, sweet, comforting and familiar, a good sugar cookie has it all: a little crunch, a tender center, and a familiar undertone of vanilla. This cookie can be customized in many ways to suit your taste. A touch of almond extract, some lemon zest, or a hint of nutmeg are all perfectly at home in this dough. Want a snickerdoodle? Roll the unbaked cookies in cinnamon sugar before baking. Want a cookie that's crisp through and through? Press them flat before you put them in the oven.


  • 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (248g) sugar
  • 2 ounces (57g) cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese (if you're using it) until light and fluffy.

Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, and the egg scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Take it a step further

The best sugar cookie recipe

Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the mixture is evenly moistened.

Place the 3/4 cup (149g) sugar in a large plastic bag, or in a shallow pan. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls into the sugar, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with the sugar.

Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between them. Using a flat-bottomed glass, flatten the cookies to about 1/4" thick.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes — 10 minutes for softer cookies, 12 minutes for crunchier. The edges of the cookies will just barely begin to brown.

Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.

Tips from our Bakers

For rollout cookies, include the cream cheese, and make the dough with 3 1/2 cups (420g) flour place the dough in a plastic bag, flatten it into a disk, and chill for 1 hour before rolling it out and cutting. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. The recipe will make 6 dozen 2" cookies.

If you like a slightly chewier cookie, add 2 tablespoons (39g) corn syrup to the dough. The cookies will spread a little more.

Looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe? Find it here: Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. Do not over-bake! We like thicker sugar cookies so they will hold a good amount of frosting. If you make your cookies on the thick side as we have done in the pictures here, you should cook them 9-10 minutes but not much longer. They might not look done to you but they are. Take them out of the oven. You don’t want them to start browning around the edges the way you would with Chocolate Chip Cookies for example. Over-baking is the prime culprit if you feel your sugar cookies seem dry. If you roll out thinner cookies, or use smaller cookie cutters than the ones we have used here, you should only bake the cookies 6 or 7 minutes.

This recipe will make a lot of cookies but the actual number depends on the size of the cookie cutters you are using. Using these large-ish cookie cutters, we made 36 cookies. If you only need a couple of dozen cookies, you can cut this recipe in half.

These cookies taste amazing and they really hold their shape. And most importantly, they don’t poof up too much or flatten out into a cookie blob.

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

This is the classic melt-in-your mouth sugar cookie recipe that's been passed through the generations of many an American family. This was given to me by the late Sally Holcomb, a beloved member of our small town church. I loved her, and I loved her cookies.

sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

plus 2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together eggs, oil, butter, sugars, and vanilla.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate dough one hour.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, drop balls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Smear a dab of butter all over the bottom of a glass, then dip the glass in granulated sugar. Use the glass to flatten each ball of dough, dipping again into the sugar each time. Repeat until all are flattened.
  6. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until cookies are just barely turning brown. Don't overbrown!
  7. Allow to cool before eating. Cookies are ultra crumbly!

I&rsquom still putting together the precise recipes from my Thanksgiving cooking fest last week, so in the meantime, here&rsquos my very favorite sugar cookie recipe.

While Marlboro Man would prefer sugar cookies made from tubes of storebought refrigerator dough (it&rsquos a comfort food for him), I prefer these light, melt-in-your-mouth babies. This recipe was given to me by the late Sally, a beloved member of our local Presbyterian church whose sugar cookies always made church potlucks and Cookie Sundays a thing to remember.

Though this is a widely-circulated recipe frequently passed down through the generations of many an American family, I&rsquom so happy my original copy came from Sally herself.