These easy cut out sugar cookies are soft, delicious and great for decorating. Made with a no chill dough and only 5 ingredients, they are super easy and quick to make.
Decorated sugar cookies are super popular these days and this is my favorite recipe for cut out sugar cookies. I have made many sugar cookies for birthdays, baby showers, graduations and gifts. Some people can be intimidated by making and decorating sugar cookies, but with the right recipe and a few tips and tricks, you’ll be decorating sugar cookies like a pro in no time!
How to make cut out sugar cookies for decorating.
Ingredients for cut out sugar cookies.
Making sugar cookies at home is easy and only requires 5 ingredients.
Equipment needed for making cut out sugar cookies.
- A rolling pin. This Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin comes with removable rings that help make sure you get your dough evenly rolled out.
- Non stick cookie sheets. These are my favorite cookie sheets because they are non stick and are aluminum, which means they won’t rust. I also love these cookie sheet covers. They make storing cookies so easy. And, if you bake and decorate a lot of sugar cookies this bakers rack is worth every penny!
Steps for making cut out sugar cookies.
Step 1. Make the dough. You’ll start making the dough by creaming the butter and sugar together in a mixer. After creaming together the butter and sugar, you’ll add the eggs and vanilla and mix until everything is well combined. The last step is to add the flour and mix again until your dough begins to form. After your dough starts to form, you can cut off your mixer and use your hands to bring the dough together in a ball.
Step 2. Roll out the dough. Place half of your dough onto wax paper and cover with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. After you’ve rolled out each half of cookie dough, place plastic wrap on top of the dough and place in freezer. Placing your dough in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes makes it easier to cut out shapes. When making cut out sugar cookies, it’s easier to work with cold hard dough than soft sticky dough.
Step 3. Cut out your cookies. If you’ve placed your rolled out cookie dough into the freezer for about 10 minutes, it should be easy to work with. Starting at one edge of the cookie dough, cut out your cookie shapes and place them a couple of inches apart on your cookie sheet. After you’ve filled your cookie sheet up with your cut out cookies you may need to pop the cookie sheet back into the freezer for another 5 minutes if cookies are soft and not cold. Baking super cold cookies keeps your cookies from spreading.
Step 4. Bake cookies and let cool. These cookies only take about 12-15 minutes to bake. You want these cookies to be a very light golden color. Keep your eye on them to be sure they don’t overcook. When they are done baking, remove them from the oven and let cool.
Troubleshooting cut out sugar cookies.
Why did my sugar cookies spread?
Spreading is the number 1 problem bakers have with cut out sugar cookies. Cookies can spread for a few different reasons.
- Over mixing. When cookie dough is over mixed it causes too much air to get in the dough which can cause spreading. This usually happens when creaming the butter and sugar, so make sure to mix just until the butter and sugar begins to come together.
- You baked room temp cookies. This is why I suggest freezing cookies for at least 5 minutes before baking. If cookies are cold before baking they will hold their shape a lot better than if they are room temperature.
- Check your recipe. Recipes that call for too much butter, liquid or sugar can be prone to spreading. My cut out sugar cookie recipe is well balanced and that’s why it’s my favorite cut out sugar cookie recipe.
- Greased cookie sheets. Using greased cookie sheets can add extra butter or liquid to your cookies and cause spreading. Use non stick cookie sheets instead.
- Using cold butter. Always use room temperature butter for baking cookies. If your butter is too cold you’ll have to mix it longer when creaming, which will cause more air to get into the dough and will cause your cookies to spread.
How to decorate sugar cookies like a pro.
After you’ve baked the best cut out sugar cookies it’s time to decorate! I’ve put together several posts for you to learn how to decorate sugar cookies like a pro.
- Learn how to make royal icing. This is my favorite royal icing recipe. It’s delicious and super easy to make.
- Master royal icing consistencies. Consistency is key when decorating sugar cookies. Learn all about royal icing consistencies in this post.
- Have the right tools. Having the right tools is very important when decorating cookies. In this post I tell you all about the must have tools for decorating sugar cookies.
- Learn the basics. You need to master the basics of decorating sugar to decorate like a pro. This post tells you all about how to outline and flood sugar cookies.
Now that you have the best and easiest cut out sugar cookie recipe and all the tips and tricks to baking perfect sugar cookies you should be on your way to decorating awesome cookies in no time!
Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer until light colored and flluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla and beat until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and add flour and salt. With mixer on low, beat in flour until dough begins to form.
- After your dough has formed, half your cookie dough and roll out each half onto wax paper to your desired thickness. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 5-10 minutes. This makes it easier to cut out cookies. When the dough is cold, cut out cookie shapes and place on a non stick cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
Happy baking and decorating!