Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
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 Ever.
Learn How To Make The BEST Sugar Cookies With This Fun & Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe!
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.
Friends, this is the end-all of sugar cookies recipes.
Better than your mom’s.
Better than your grandma’s, may she rest in peace.
Better than that fancy bakery down the street.
And sure as heck, better than any grocery store sugar cookies you’ve ever tasted.
Easy Sugar Cookies For Christmas (Or Any Holiday!)
There’s something spectacular about a simple, yet perfect, soft 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.”
Soft Sugar Cookies
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.
Homemade Sugar Cookie Ingredients
- All-Purpose Flour – measured and then sifted into a bowl
- Baking Powder – the main raising ingredient
- Fine Sea Salt
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar – for both the cookie dough and extra for rolling the dough balls in
- Large Eggs
- Pure Vanilla Extract – for depth of flavor
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 crystals have broken down into the butter, because the mixture 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 the tops 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!
Easy Sugar Cookies with Glaze
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.
Check the Recipe Card to Learn How to Make the Best Sugar Cookies!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are My Cookies Flat?
There are five things that can cause flat cookies…
- Your oven thermostat is faulty. This is a very common baking issue. To fix it, purchase a hanging oven thermometer to hang off the center oven rack. Then you can adjust your oven temperature accordingly.
- You did not use parchment paper. Parchment paper is a magical baking tool to help cookies keep from burning on the bottom, spreading too thin, or creating a consistent bake. Don’t skip the parchment!
- You mismeasured your flour. Here in the United States, most bakers don’t weigh their ingredients. Therefore, it’s easy to mismeasure things like flour, which can be sifted or packed into cups. To ensure the best results: When measuring flour, stir the flour in the bag to lift and lighten it. Then scoop the flour and use the flat edge of a knife to level the top.
- Your leavening agents are old. Baking powder and baking soda can lose their lifting power over time. I suggest buying new ones at the beginning of the baking season, even if the old ones aren’t past their expiration date.
Why Didn’t My Sugar Cookies Spread?
This goes back to mismeasuring flour. Most likely, your flour was too packed into the measuring cups, so there is too much flour in the recipe.
Can I Make Gluten Free Sugar Cookies?
Yes! We’ve made this recipe with several brands of 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour, with great success.
The texture is slightly different. Yet the cookies are still light, soft in the middle, and crispy around the edges.
Can I Use This Sugar Cookies Recipe For Cut-Out Sugar Cookies?
As mentioned above, this recipe produces cookies that are too delicate to roll and cut. You need a sturdier cookie recipe for that. Try this cut-out cookie recipe instead!
Are There Any Substitutes For Butter In This Recipe?
Yes, there are a few options… Try using vegan or plant-based butter, vegetable shortening, or margarine, instead of unsalted (dairy) butter.
Can I store the cookies or the dough in the freezer for later?
Yes! You can keep the unbaked dough, or baked cookies without any frosting, in the freezer for up to 3 months, as long as it is contained in an airtight container.
If you are wanting to freeze baked cookies, make sure to separate them with layers with parchment paper so they don’t stick together. You can thaw them out in the fridge or at room temperature.
Can I use sugar in the raw instead of white sugar?
You can use any sugar substitute, as long as it is measured in 1-to-1 ratio with granulated sugar.
Looking for more of the BEST cookie recipes?
More Best Cookie Recipes
- Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- Frosting Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillow Cookies
- Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft Chewy Molasses Cookies
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
- Caramel Shortbread Recipe
- Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies
- Absolute BEST Peanut Butter Cookies
- Family Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies (No-Chill Cookies!)
- Soft Buttery Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 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.
- 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.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beat again for 30 seconds.
- 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- to 1/2-inch thick.
- 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.
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