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A Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

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It’s the baking season, and this Sugar Cookie Recipe is a favorite. It’s simple, delicious, and a go-to recipe with dough that delivers beautifully shaped cookies. Every time.

Side view of unbaked Christmas Tree shapes sugar cookies

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Regardless of which season or shape you’re baking for, this sugar cookie recipe is simply the best I’ve ever made.

And when the holiday season comes around, there isn’t a more quintessential Christmas cookie than cutout sugar cookies.

I use this same recipe for all the cutouts seasons: fall pumpkin cookie cutouts, turkey cutouts, snowflakes, Santas, and trees… and all things Christmas. Only to make it again for Valentine’s Day in the shape of hearts, and St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks, and Easter bunnies.

Well, you get the idea. I make them all year long.

There’s always a season for shaped sugar cookies!

And this recipe is the one I come back to every season. It just works. And it tastes really good.

Sugar Cookie Ingredients

For the exact measurements, see the recipe card below, but here’s all you need to make these simple cookies:

  • Butter, softened to room temperature
  • Granulated sugar: see note below on using brown sugar
  • Large egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt: I prefer fine sea salt, but use what you have.

I’ve written the recipe using granulated sugar. However… I love to substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar when I can. The flavor is rich and a little unexpected. But, it does yield a darker-hued dough… which doesn’t work with all shapes and seasons. 

The dough doubles easily, which I do often.

Happy baking!


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Christmas Tree Shaped Sugar Cookie Cutouts
A Favorite Sugar Cookie Cutouts Recipe I Use Every Year | 31Daily.com

Favorite Sugar Cookie Cutouts Recipe

It’s the season for Sugar Cookie Cutouts! Beginning with pumpkin cutouts, followed by turkey cutouts, followed by snowflakes and Santas and trees… and all things Christmas. Then comes Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter.
4.8 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Stephanie Wilson


  • 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and combine. Continue to beat until the dough comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate cut-out cookies on the baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cold.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Bake cookies for 9 to 10 minutes, or until set and light brown around the edges. Let sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.


Icebox Variation: This dough works great as an icebox cookie. Instead of forming the dough into a disk, form into a log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to bake. Then simply slice and bake. Or… roll the log in sprinkles or chopped nuts and then slice and bake. As you can see, there are endless variations!

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Cookies
Keyword: christmas cookies, christmas cutout cookies, easy sugar cookies, sugar cookies


  1. 5 stars
    My daughter loved making this recipe with her grandma. Their favorite part- you don’t have to roll out hard dough. The dough is soft and pliable, since you refrigerate after cutting.

  2. Hello! I’m looking for your “Favorite Sugar Cookie Cutouts Recipe” but now on that page I can only find the spiced version. Will you please send me a link to your basic all-season sugar cookies? My family loves them!
    Thank you very much for all you share!
    Rebecca Robinson

      1. Rebecca, the Spiced Sugar Cookie recipe had somehow replaced the Sugar Cookie Recipe on its own page. Thank goodness for old fashioned recipe cards. I’ve updated the post with the “correct” recipe. Thanks for that catch!

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