The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Hands down, The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever! Classic perfection on ASpicyPerspective.com #sugarcookies

Hands down, this is the Best Sugar Cookie Recipe we’ve ever tested! Learn How to Make Sugar Cookies that everyone will love. These little guys are light, pillowy, and packed with flavor.

Hands down, the Best Sugar Cookie Recipe we've ever tested! Learn How to Make Sugar Cookies that everyone will love. Light, pillowy, & packed with flavor. #ASpicyPerspective #cookies #sugarcookie #baking #dessert
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Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

We’ve got a theme going on this week… Called The Best.

I’m sharing tried-and-true recipes I’ve made dozens (even hundreds) of times, because I’ve never tasted anything better. Monday I posted the absolute best yeast roll recipe I’ve ever made, and today I’m sharing The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe.

Hands down, the Best Sugar Cookies we've ever tested! Learn How to Make Sugar Cookies that everyone will love. Light, pillowy, & packed with flavor. #ASpicyPerspective #cookies #sugarcookie #baking #dessert

Learn how to make the BEST Sugar Cookies with this fun recipe!

This is the end-all of sugar cookies, friends.

Better than your mom’s.

Better than your grandma’s, may she rest in peace.

Better than that fancy bakery down the street.

MY OTHER RECIPES

And sure as heck, better than any grocery store sugar cookies you’ve ever tasted.

Hands down, the Best Sugar Cookie Recipe we've ever tested! Learn How to Make Sugar Cookies that everyone will love. Light, pillowy, & packed with flavor. #ASpicyPerspective #cookies #sugarcookie #baking #dessert

World’s Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe is ultra light, ever so crispy around the edges, glistening with sugar crystals, and packed with a sweet vanilla-wheat flavor.

These cookies put all other sugar cookies to shame.

How to Make The BEST Sugar Cookies Ever! Classic perfection on ASpicyPerspective.com #sugarcookies

There’s something spectacular about a simple, yet perfect, sugar cookie. Today I’m going to show you how to make sugar cookies that will make your head spin. I bake The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe for holidays and parties regularly, and have used this recipe as a base for all sorts of sugar cookie variations.

I’ve been asked for The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe more times than I can count, always with a statement like, “These are just sugar cookies, right? OMGeeeeee. I’ve got to have the recipe.”

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe! Learn How to Make Sugar Cookies that everyone will love. Light, pillowy, & packed with flavor. #ASpicyPerspective #cookies #sugarcookie #baking #dessert

I found the base-recipe at least a decade ago in an old version of Cook’s Illustrated’s Best Recipe Cookbook. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it just a tad, so that now I have the absolute best sugar cookie recipe around.

Interested?

Watch the Video & Check the recipe card to learn how to make the Best Sugar Cookies!

How To: The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever! Classic perfection on ASpicyPerspective.com #sugarcookies

How To Make Sugar Cookies from Scratch

  • Perfect sugar cookies should always have equal parts butter and sugar. The butter and sugar should be creamed together (beat on high) until the butter is lighter in color and ultra fluffy. You should be able to tell that the sugar is broken down into the butter, because it will no longer look granular. This usually takes several minutes to achieve.
  • For extra light and delicate sugar cookies, sift your dry ingredients. Measure first, then sift.
  • You need to use a generous amount of good quality sea salt and pure vanilla extract to bring out the best flavor in the cookies.
  • Do not over beat the cookie dough. Think gentle thoughts.
  • Roll the dough into balls, coat in extra sugar, and press flat with the bottom of a drinking glass. This creates a crispy glistening exterior and a uniform shape.
  • Do not over-bake. The moment the edges look remotely golden, take the cookies out of the oven and cool.

That’s pretty much it!

The Best Homemade Sugar Cookie Recipe we've ever tested! Learn How to Make Sugar Cookies that everyone will love. Light, pillowy, & packed with flavor. #ASpicyPerspective #cookies #sugarcookie #baking #dessert

Please note, The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe is NOT a roll-out cookie recipe for cookie cutters. It’s just too darn delicate for that. If you’re looking for a roll-and-cut cookie recipe, use this one. The extra egg yolk and flour make the cookies slightly sturdier, so they can handle the abuse.

However, these sugar cookies are marvelous with glaze and sprinkles.

Looking for more of the BEST cookie recipes? Try these:

The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever! Classic perfection on ASpicyPerspective.com #sugarcookies
Print
4.91 from 22 votes

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Hands down, The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe, we've ever tested! Learn How to Make Sugar Cookies that everyone will love.
Servings: 45 cookies
Nutrition Facts
The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
Amount Per Serving (2 cookies)
Calories 59
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 54mg 2%
Potassium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 0.2%
Calcium 0.8%
Iron 2.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour measured then sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter softened (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar + extra for rolling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Place the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer. Cream the butter and sugar together on high until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. (Don't skimp on the time here.) Then turn the mixer on low and add the eggs and vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl.

  3. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beat again for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour some extra sugar into a bowl to coat the cookies. Scoop the dough out and roll into 1 inch balls. The dough should be soft and delicate - Don't over-handle. Shake each ball in the sugar bowl to coat, then place on the cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down on each ball, until it's 1/3 - 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Bake each sheet of sugar cookies for 9-11 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden and the centers are just barely set. Cool completely on the cookie sheets.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

BOURBON GLAZE: Once the cookies are cool, whisk 1 tablespoon of cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon bourbon together. Then whisk in 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Dip the face of each cookie into the glaze. Allow the excess to dip off, then place them back on the parchment paper to dry.

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92 comments on “The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

  1. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted April 1, 2015 at 8:11 am Reply

    Those are some nice looking sugar cookies!

  2. [email protected]posted April 1, 2015 at 8:39 am Reply

    Pillowy perfection!

  3. Jenny Flakeposted April 1, 2015 at 8:45 am Reply

    Beautiful Sommer!  Love the new bright look here too!  Happy Wednesday to you!

  4. Sandy @ REposted April 1, 2015 at 9:25 am Reply

    Looks fabulous here, Sommer. Both the new site + recipe! Happy Easter, friend!

  5. Naomiposted April 1, 2015 at 9:28 am Reply

    I have the old cooks illustrated recipe–I’m going to have to try your tweaks.  These look fabulous! 

  6. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountainposted April 1, 2015 at 9:37 am Reply

    You can never say no to a sugar cookie! These look amazing, Sommer!

  7. TidyMomposted April 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm Reply

    These sound perfect!!  and I LOVE the new design Sommer!

  8. Nicoleposted April 1, 2015 at 2:06 pm Reply

    These absolutely do look like THE BEST!

  9. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebelposted April 1, 2015 at 2:11 pm Reply

    I can’t take your word for it … I MUST try these myself! They do look like the best! :) Pinned to make later! 

  10. Heather Christoposted April 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm Reply

    these look sooooo good Sommer! and love the new site!

  11. Julie @ Running in a Skirtposted April 1, 2015 at 5:29 pm Reply

    Love the new layout!!!! So chic!!! Beautiful new pic as well.

    These look amaz-balls!!!

  12. Lizposted April 1, 2015 at 6:29 pm Reply

    What a gorgeous new look! And your cookies look top notch, too :)

  13. Mariaposted April 1, 2015 at 8:48 pm Reply

    Love your new look!  I’m a cookie lover so these are gonna be baking in our kitchen soon!! 

  14. Old Fat Guyposted April 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm Reply

    You have to love a good sugar cookie! These are going on my to do list.

    The Old Fat Guy

  15. Barbara @ Barbara Bakesposted April 2, 2015 at 8:14 am Reply

    What a great idea to roll them in sugar. I’ll have to give these cookies a try.

  16. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted April 2, 2015 at 9:28 am Reply

    love these and the new site!!

  17. Amandaposted April 2, 2015 at 6:38 pm Reply

    These look perfect, love the glaze!!!

  18. Megan {Country Cleaver}posted April 2, 2015 at 11:39 pm Reply

    Well who doesn’t love a sugar cookie!?! These look scrumptious!

  19. Gabyposted April 3, 2015 at 5:07 pm Reply

    That glaze is drool worthy!!! Yum!

  20. Savita @ ChefDeHomeposted April 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm Reply

    Really beautiful looking sugar cookies! also, loving the simple glaze!

  21. The Home Cleanerposted April 6, 2015 at 4:22 pm Reply

    The recipe that I have and use is almost the same besides the eggs. I tried it once or twice with a single one but didn’t notice a difference. I guess this is going to be mu next experiment ;D

  22. Rebeccaposted May 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm Reply

    Yummy! Just made them, kids approve. Saving this recipe! Thank you!

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  26. Debiposted July 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm Reply

    These look delicious … especially with the bourbon glaze. My question: How do I “dip” the face of the cookie in the glaze without making a mess? Is there a secret?

    • Sommerposted July 21, 2015 at 10:47 pm Reply

      Hi Debi,

      Oh, I never said you wouldn’t make a mess. LOL! But it’s worth it. :)

  27. Lizzposted July 24, 2015 at 7:44 am Reply

    These are very tasty, but I couldn’t get them to flatten.  They just stuck to the bottom of the glass.  Am I doing something wrong?

  28. Conposted July 27, 2015 at 11:59 am Reply

    This really is the best sugar cookie recipe everyone who ate them loved them. I need to make them again! 

  29. Arianaposted September 15, 2015 at 10:47 pm Reply

    These cookies were fantastic! Everyone in my house couldn’t stop raving about them. I don’t think I used enough flour because they were a little moist so I ended up making them drop sugar cookies. I also added 1/2 tbsp of almond extract just to tweak it & they were awesome. I just made a second batch today & I highly recommend letting the dough chill overnight so the flavors can really blend. & best of all they stay soft & fluffy even the next day. Thanks a million!!

  30. Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nutposted September 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm Reply

    Wow these do look like the best sugar cookies!! I’m including these cookies in a Lifehack round-up if that’s okay!

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  36. Chris Malzahnposted September 28, 2015 at 11:52 am Reply

    Is it OK to use sugar substitute? I have to watch my sugar intake but I’ve been craving a good sugar cookie. Thanks

  37. Natashiaposted October 1, 2015 at 12:08 am Reply

    I don’t know what I am doing wrong with this recipe, but after following the directions I keep ending up with a pasty batter as opposed to a bakeable dough. Please help!!!

    • Sommerposted October 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm Reply

      Hi Natashia! It’s hard to say without watching your process, but it may be an issue with the brand of flour you are using or your method of measuring.

      Please check out our 100 Best Baking Tips article for some general guidelines: http://www.aspicyperspective.com/100-best-baking-tips-and-tricks/

    • kassyposted October 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm Reply

      I had the same issue. I spoon my flour into the measuring cup because I read on an expert baking site that that is the most accurate way to measure as opposed to scooping. If you scoop you get more flour packed into the cup. I added more flour and still had a batter but I stopped adding once it reached a consistency that I could drop into the sugar and flatten without it sticking. They still came out great and fluffy.

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  39. Daurieposted October 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm Reply

    Can you freeze these ahead?

  40. Julieposted October 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm Reply

    These are fantastic!  Everyone who tasted them said that they are hands down the best cookie they’ve ever had!  Thank you for this recipe!

  41. Erinposted November 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm Reply

    Holy mackerel! Just made these and sampled a hot one off the pan… EXQUISITE! Won’t be using any other recipe from now on! Thanks! :)

  42. Dianaposted November 10, 2015 at 6:08 pm Reply

    I just made the cookies last night and they were a success! Only problem i came across was when i was flattening the dough balls with a glass the dough stuck to the glass. Any suggestions on how to fix that? 

    • Sommerposted November 11, 2015 at 9:03 pm Reply

      Hi Diane, Did you roll them in sugar first? The sugar should have kept them from sticking.

  43. Carolposted December 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm Reply

    These are so wonderful tasting. I highly recommend this recipe. I did everything she says to do and they were perfect and soft and tasted great.

  44. Reneeposted December 14, 2015 at 2:55 pm Reply

    The batter came out the same constancy as cake batter. Chilling it in hopes it’ll come out ok.

  45. Heather @Bostongirlbakesposted December 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm Reply

    Going to try making these Christmas eve with my mom! Can’t wait! :)

  46. Claireposted January 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm Reply

    These turned out perfectly: an incredibly tender and delicate texture combined with sweet vanilla flavor. Perfect with a cup of strong black coffee.  I must say, though, these cookies seem like they would do well to have additional flavors added. I could imagine drizzling them with dark chocolate, or maybe adding orange zest to the dough (or both) to add a pop of bright flavor. Might be great with lavender or a hint of cardamom, too.

    For those having trouble with the dough sticking to the cup, I think that chilling the dough a few moments or making sure to thoroughly roll them in sugar would help. My cup stuck to a few of the cookies, and so I began adding more sugar to the tops of the cookies and dipping the bottom of my cup in sugar, too.

    Thanks for a “keeper” recipe!

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  48. Alainaposted March 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm Reply

    can I roll them out and use a cookie cutter for them? Or make the balls larger and flatten until they fit until my cookie cutter shape?

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  50. Kalpanaposted April 26, 2016 at 5:51 am Reply

    Hello Sommer   !   Thank you for sharing  this sugary sweet sugar cookies recipe, I tried this and came out very well. I was thinking if we can add some dry fruits in it ? TIA

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  54. Paulaposted December 3, 2016 at 2:33 pm Reply

    For those of you that are having trouble with
    the glass sticking to the dough, dip the bottom of the
    glass in the sugar you used to roll your cookies in
    This should prevent sticking –

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  56. Lynposted December 21, 2016 at 7:08 pm Reply

    My oven must run hot. I almost burned the first batch. So temp. down to 350 and time  down to 8 minutes. Perfect. They taste wonderful, and so light.

  57. Breeposted October 20, 2017 at 11:16 am Reply

    I’ve tried this recipe twice and I still get runny batter every time! Has anyone found the issue with this and how to resolve it? Adding more flour to get the right consistency makes a bland tasting cookie.

  58. Quinposted November 1, 2017 at 10:37 pm Reply

    I tried the recipe, tweak it a bit by putting part almond extract. It was wonderful!

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  60. Tara Stricklandposted November 18, 2017 at 9:53 pm Reply

    Wow, wow, wow! In love with this recipe! My son had some cinnamon/sugar concoction I used instead of plain sugar, and they were great that way. BUT, I did my final batch with Just sugar coating, and it’s Amazing!!! What an AWESOME recipe! 5-star, for Sure! Definite Keeper! ?

    • Sommerposted November 21, 2017 at 5:18 pm Reply

      Hi Tara,

      We’re so very glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for reporting back! :) :)

  61. Rebecca Nealposted November 20, 2017 at 10:45 am Reply

    Best sugar cookie recipe ever!  None stop compliments! ♥️

    • Sommerposted November 21, 2017 at 4:31 pm Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      YES! That’s exactly how we feel about them. Thanks for reporting back. :)

  62. Rachelposted December 1, 2017 at 4:54 am Reply

    Are these sturdy enough for kids to decorate?

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  64. Amyposted December 16, 2017 at 1:55 am Reply

    These were delicious!!

  65. Wendyposted December 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm Reply

    Really good sugar cookies. Directions say 9-11 minutes so I put mine for 10 and some got a little burned. Will do less time for the next batch.

  66. Amy weipertposted December 25, 2017 at 1:21 am Reply

    Delicious!

  67. shavoneposted December 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm Reply

    Delicious!!!! My 5 year old and I frosted them. 😁

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  69. Debiposted December 31, 2017 at 4:35 pm Reply

    My cookies were thin, delicate and wafer-like, not exactly what I expected. The taste was delicious, light and buttery. I will definitely make these cookies again.

  70. JUDYposted January 9, 2018 at 8:07 pm Reply

    These are the Sugar cookies I grew up with. My mom maid them when we were very young. We children got to help by smashing the sugared glass on the ball of cookie dough to make a flat, pretty cookie. I have been looking for this recipe for years (since we lost our recipe while moving). I am so glad to find this delicious sugar cookie recipe! Thank you!

  71. Vvposted January 12, 2018 at 2:16 am Reply

    Freaking delicious. Everyone loved it. I made them thick, too!

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  74. Chessposted March 26, 2018 at 3:05 pm Reply

    If I don’t have sea salt and just use kosher will it still turn out okay? I’m moving in two weeks and have so much baking stuff that needs used due to not having a kitchen to where I’m moving too.

    • Sommerposted March 26, 2018 at 6:00 pm Reply

      Hi Chess,

      Yes, you can use kosher or table salt. Happy Baking! :)

  75. Sarah Langposted March 27, 2018 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Making these cookies was an absolute nightmare. I was looking for an easy and relatively quick recipe for cookies and thought this one would be perfect. Making the dough went fairly smoothly, I believe it turned out great but a little on the sticky side. I then rolled the balls in sugar and tried pressing them with a cup as recommended. This was impossible! No matter how much sugar I coated them in they still stuck to either the cup or the plate. After this dilemma, I put the dough on a greased cookie sheet, without parchment paper since I didn’t have any at the moment. During baking, I checked on the cookies and to my horror, they just about doubled in size! They all completely flattened out and ran into each other. Trying to get them off the tray was next to impossible. They kept crumbling and breaking, not to mention they really don’t taste good at all in my opinion. I don’t know if I made a major mistake or what, but this recipe just did not work for me. 

    • Sommerposted April 5, 2018 at 8:16 am Reply

      Hi Sarah,

      So sorry you had trouble! I would guess your kitchen was a bit warm and your oven runs hot. If you live in warm climates it’s best to keep your kitchen as cool as possible when baking. If you can’t control the temperature, placing the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes before rolling and baking, helps regulate the temperature a bit. You can purchase an inexpensive oven thermometer that hangs from the rack to check you oven temperature. It’s normal for ovens to run a little too hot or cool. Also, greasing bare cookie sheets is definitely what made them spread so thin. Parchment paper actually prevents cookies from spreading too much.

  76. Alyshiaposted April 21, 2018 at 10:37 pm Reply

    These cookies came out great.

  77. Douglas Mauldinposted April 24, 2018 at 12:58 am Reply

    I made the recipe.. and it was delicious!! Maybe it help with all ingredients being organic 👍🏼👍🏼

  78. Pat Richardsonposted May 11, 2018 at 12:32 pm Reply

    I have made these cookies more time then I want to admit, but have a question. Can I make the recipe and then freeze it before I bake or should I bake cookies and then freeze.

  79. Xoolposted May 18, 2018 at 4:26 am Reply

    This is great! I tried it over the week and very happy with the outcome. bookmarked it as the best

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  82. Janelleposted August 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm Reply

    I just made these sugar cookies last night and they are amazing. So soft & chewy. Since the kids loved them I’ll have to make mare later on. This will be the only recipe I’ll use. 

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