decorated cut-out sugar cookies on red plate

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Cut-Out sugar cookies are the quintessential Christmas cookie!

We consider this the perfect sugar cookie. Absolute perfection. Tender, buttery and won’t spread when baking.

This easy sugar cookie recipe has been posted before but I decided they needed an update. The previous pictures did not do this recipe justice.

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Recipe

cut-out sugar cookies with cutters placed on dough.

Ingredients Needed

  • All-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Unsalted butter – I always use unsalted for baking so I can control the salt.
  • Granulated sugar – Star of the show for this recipe!
  • Egg – One large egg at room temperature
  • Heavy cream

How to Make Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat the room temperature butter and sugar together in a large bowl of an electric stand mixer until light and fluffy.

Add egg and heavy cream and beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients. Beat until the mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours. I normally refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Dust a large surface with confectioners’ sugar or use floured surface. Using a rolling pin roll the sugar cookie dough out and cut it into desired shapes. I suggest a counter or heavy wood board for rolling and cutting the dough.

Chilling the dough makes it very cold and stiff. So using a pastry mat will slide around and just frustrate the heck out of you.

Decorated cut-out sugar cookies on a baking sheet

Place the cut-out sugar cookies on a baking sheet about 1″ apart. They do not spread and they hold their shape perfectly.

Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden around the edges. The bake time can differ so watch closely.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Decorate as desired.


  • Dip the cookie cutters in powder sugar before cutting. This makes the dough release easier.
  • Be sure to only roll the dough out to 1/8-inch to 1/4 inch, any thinner, and they can burn or be too crispy.
  • Chilling the dough is a must for this recipe. You want the cookies to hold their shape.
  • Place the icing in a piping bag or ziplock bag and snip off one corner. This makes icing the cookies much easier.
A decorated cut-out sugar cookie

The cookie pictured above is the reason my husband is not allowed to decorate anymore.  Yes, that’s a toothpick stabbed in the poor little guy’s tummy.

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vanilla extract – Adds a flavor boost.
  • Light corn syrup – This helps the icing to dry firm.
  • Milk – This is used to make the desired consistency of the icing.

To make the sugar cookie icing. Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, corn syrup, milk, and salt in a medium bowl, until smooth.

Separate the icing into small bowls or piping bags and add your desired colors.

This icing dries perfectly just like royal icing. Usually, royal icing recipes use beaten egg whites and powdered sugar.

We have used color decorating sugar some years and some years we decorate with icing.

decorated cut-out sugar cookies on slate

Aren’t they pretty for amateurs? I think we did an all-right job this year. My husband excluded! (Husband edit: I did a GREAT JOB!!)

decorated cut-out sugar cookies on red plate

Storage and Freezing

Allow frosted or iced cookies to be fully set up, then store in an air-tight container or bag for up to 1 week.

Unfrosted cookies will freeze well for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe, air-tight container or resealable bag.

We love this recipe and hopefully, Santa will enjoy these Christmas sugar cookies when he arrives this year!

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Recipe

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies – The perfect tender, buttery, no spread cookie.
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Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cut-out, sugar cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar for rolling out the dough

Sugar Cookie Icing

  • cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons milk or water
  • pinch of salt


  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color.
  • Add egg and heavy cream and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  • Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.
  • Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to ¼-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. (If dough has warmed during rolling, place a cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.)
  • Cut into the desired shapes, place at least 1-inch apart on parchment/silicone lined baking sheet. Decorate with colored sugars (if desired) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges. Let sit on baking sheet for about 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.
  • Icing:
  • In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, milk and salt until smooth.
  • It should be quite thick. If it is too thick, add ½ tablespoon more milk. If it is much too thin, add 1 more tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar. If you drizzle a little of the icing with the whisk, the ribbon of icing will hold for a few seconds before melting back into the icing. That is when you know it’s the right consistency and is ready to use.


The number of cookies yielded will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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