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Cookies, Gemma's Best Recipes

Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe

4.7 from 309 votes
My Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe is a holiday staple that can be baked into any festive shape you like!
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe - The ONLY cookie recipe you will need for the Holidays!!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

When the holidays roll around, there are certain recipes you need in your back pocket. You know, those recipes you can whip up in a flash and that are fan favorites. My Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe is exactly that. Cookies are so much fun to bake around the holidays because they are great for little hands to make and decorate, and you can even give them out as holiday gifts.

Whether you’re decorating cookies for Santa, or just to have with a cup of hot chocolate, these cookies are always my go-to. I break out my holiday cookie cutters and go to town making festive shapes. Then I store them away in an airtight container and I have them to hand when guests drop by.

How To Make My Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe

Holiday baking is the kind of baking that gets the whole family involved. So, it’s time to get the kids in the kitchen too, as it’s just a handful of simple ingredients combined in the food processor. After making the dough from my Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe, what you’re left with is a play-dough-like cookie dough perfect for rolling out and cutting into fun shapes.

I love classic holiday shapes, but you can use any you like! What makes these my Best Ever Sugar Cookies is that they are truly foolproof to make and decorate. The sugar cookie dough consistently comes out perfect every time and is always so easy to use, never too soft or too hard to work with like the store bought stuff can be.

[ If you want to decorate these cookies to the nines, you need my recipe for royal icing! ]

Do You Have To Make Sugar Cookies In The Food Processor?

If you don’t have a food processor, you can absolutely make these by hand in a large bowl. The reason I use a food processor is because it allows me to bring together the dough in minutes flat.

The most important part, whether you’re using a food processor or making the cookies by hand, is making sure that the butter is properly rubbed into the dry ingredients. By doing this and creating the texture of bread crumbs, you ensure the dough has lots of pockets of butter throughout — which makes for a rich and tender cookie.

Can you substitute the sugar for another sweetener?

If you would like to make my Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe sans the sugar, then you are in luck. The sugar in this recipe can be swapped 1:1 for either Swerve sugar alternative or Lakanto granulated sugar. You can also use a 50/50 sugar and Stevia blend. I really like the results I get with regular granulated sugar, but these alternatives to yield a very similar texture and flavor, which is great for those who are wanting to bake with less sugar.

How To Decorate Sugar Cookies

After cutting the cookies into adorable shapes and baking them, you do not have to decorate them. However, if you want to add to the cookies, I suggest accenting the shape of the cookies with my royal icing. In addition to the royal icing you can add sprinkles and little metallic nonpareils.

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Do You Prefer Chewy Or Soft Over Crunchy?

My Best Ever Sugar Cookies recipe results in cookies with a slight crunch! If you’d rather have more of a chew, I have you covered: try my Perfect Chewy Sugar Cookie Recipe. If you rather your sugar cookies soft, give my Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe a go!

Also, have you seen my Holiday Baking Headquarters page? You’ll find every recipe you could possibly need for the holidays including Christmas Cookies, edible gifts, and my best holiday baking tips!

holiday baking, christmas baking

If you like these sugar cookies you’ll love these recipes!

Follow Bigger Bolder Baking on Pinterest for more recipes and ideas!

Congratulations to our December Bold Baker Challenge Winner, Treisha Green from NY!



Watch The Recipe Video!

Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe

4.7 from 309 votes
My Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe is a holiday staple that can be baked into any festive shape you like!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 30 -40 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 38 mins
My Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe is a holiday staple that can be baked into any festive shape you like!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 30 -40 cookies


  • 3/4 cups (6oz/170g) butter, cubes and cold
  • 1 cups (8oz/225g) sugar
  • 2 eggs*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (12oz/340g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a food processor add in the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir a little with a spatula
  • Add in the cold butter and blitz for seconds JUST until the mix looks like big bread crumbs
  • Whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract. Pour into the food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the dough comes together. Take care not to over mix. If your mix seems dry you can add a tiny bit more egg or milk.  (This dough can also be made by hand by rubbing in the butter into the flour)
  • Chill the dough for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Preferably chill overnight. Also it can be frozen at this stage for up to 8 weeks. 
  • Once chilled, roll out some of the dough on a well floured surface to about 1/4-1/8 inch thick. 
  • Cut out your desired shapes and transfer them to a baking tray lined with parchment. (this is a soft dough so work fast).
  • Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 18-20 minutes or until a light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  • Decorate with royal icing if you wish and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Recipe Notes

*Eggs: To replace eggs in this recipe the best substitute would be condensed milk. Reference my Egg Substitute Chart for the amounts. 


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2 years ago

Hi Gemma, can I use cake flour instead of all purpose flour ?

Rebekah Murphy
Rebekah Murphy
2 years ago

Gemma, first off I want to say how much I appreciate you! You have absolutely made my baking abilities go to the next level! I’m so thankful for you! Also, congratulations on your pregnancy! You will be an amazing mother! I do have a question in regards to the dough. I’ve used two different recipes now for these cookies, one being yours, and another being a recipe that called for melted better instead of cold. The melted butter recipe made the dough much harder to work with, but I had better luck with your recipe. However, my dough was still… Read more »

Heidy Heidy
Heidy Heidy
2 years ago

Hi Gemma,
I made this recipe, this cookies taste really delicious… but it was a bit hard to work with. Its really sticky even after came out of fridge. So i can’t shape it well. Should i skip the eggs ? Thanks

2 years ago

Truly Best ever sugar cookies recipe Gemma, thank you so much for sharing it

Gemma Rose
Gemma Rose(@gem2025)
1 year ago

Hello! My name is Gemma, also! Which I’ve talked to you before… Anyway, I made this recipe for my family this Christmas and it was delish!! I couldn’t have chosen a better recipe:-)

Vinutha Rao
Vinutha Rao(@vinutharao)
3 years ago

Thank you Gemma!!

1 year ago

This was an easy and delicious recipe!

10 months ago

It may not be Christmas, but this recipe sure makes great valentines hearts ♥️ I used few to decorate my red velvet cake and most were given away in a decorate yourself box for second graders at school as goodie bags! Best decision ever! At least 4 moms asked for the recipe! I made glace icing too! Thank Gemma!

Roxanne Cortese(@roxanne-cortese)
1 year ago

At 73 years old I have to say easiest to make and roll out and delicious and holds icing perfect. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas from Puerto Rico

Loshika Sadhasivam(@loshika-sadhasivam)
1 year ago

Hello Gemma. Thank you so much for this recipe. It turned out super crunchy and flaky.. I always try your recipes with a lot of hope and it results in a success. Please continue baking for us. I have uploaded my pic up here. Check it out and give compliments about it thank you

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere!

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