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Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe - The ONLY cookie recipe you will need for the Holidays!!

Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe

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My Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe is a holiday staple that can be baked into any festive shape you like!

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!

4.25 from 66 votes
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe - The ONLY cookie recipe you will need for the Holidays!!
Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe
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!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 -40 cookies
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 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
  1. In a food processor add in the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir a little with a spatula

  2. Add in the cold butter and blitz for seconds JUST until the mix looks like big bread crumbs
  3. 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)

  4. 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. 

  5. Once chilled, roll out some of the dough on a well floured surface to about 1/4-1/8 inch thick. 

  6. Cut out your desired shapes and transfer them to a baking tray lined with parchment. (this is a soft dough so work fast).
  7. Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 18-20 minutes or until a light golden brown. Set aside to cool.

  8. Decorate with royal icing if you wish and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Watch the Recipe Video!

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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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Heidy Heidy on August 15, 2019 at 8:00 am

    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

    • Gemma Stafford on August 18, 2019 at 2:04 pm


      Sorry for my late reply. Yes I agree, it can be tricky to work with but I don’t recommend leaving out the eggs as It will change the recipe.

      I’ll revisit the recipe and see if we can some how reduce the eggs.


  2. Michele Tromp on July 14, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Made Unicorn biscuits with your recipe and icing. What a success. Definitely not going to replace this recipe… it’s the best. Huge thank you for sharing your talent. Xx

    • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2019 at 2:05 am

      hi there,
      I am delighted with this lovely review, well done you, you obviously have a little person in your life, they are all about the unicorns!!
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Royal on June 7, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    I don’t have a food processor, how do I make this

    • Gemma Stafford on June 9, 2019 at 4:34 am

      Hi there,
      with a dinner/table fork. It is easy to do this, just a little effort. Mash the butter into the dry ingredients, we made these at home just like that for many years. Work fast and cold, all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Jessica Stock on April 28, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Hi Gemma 🙂

    I made these, and paired it with your royal icing recipe. Absolutely delicious. When making he cookie dough, my dough was still very wet and sticky no matter how much flour I tried to add to it when rolling out. Is there a way to prevent this next time, because I’m definitely going to want to make them again.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 29, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Jessica I’m thrilled to hear that you liked it!!

      So my trick is just add enough egg until it comes together, or use small eggs.Maybe the dough is just getting a little too wet with the eggs. Also Keep it in the fridge until just before you need it.


  5. LD on April 24, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Can these cookies be stamped before baking and does the impression hold?
    I find so many sugar cookies loose the design from the puffing up. Not so with spritz dough that I roll out.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 25, 2019 at 1:39 am

      Hi there,
      I think this will hold the pattern as the egg will bind it and keep it in shape. That is the main difference between a shortbread and a spritz cookie. These do not tend to ‘puff’ as they bake, and they are rolled too.
      I think you can try it, just a sample batch will tell all.
      Gemma 🙂

  6. sanpeach10 on March 13, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I made this sugar cookies. Everyone said it’s so delicious . Thanx alot. Many of my friends got to know about u from this sugar cookies.


    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      thrilled to hear that, Peach!!!

      Thanks for trying out this recipe.

  7. Dyann Dsouza on March 2, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Hi I didn’t wanna make a big batch so I made half of the ingredients and followed the steps. My dough is really soft and squishy and even though i put it in the fridge it isn’t getting hard enough to roll. What should I do?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 2, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      Hi there, you can freeze it then cut it while frozen.

  8. gayathri aaron on January 23, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    hi Gemma! i made these delicious sugar cookie for my daughter and she loves it! its super delicious! thanks for the recipe Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 24, 2019 at 3:11 am

      Hi Gayathri,
      Thank you for this very kind review, it is great to have you baking with us. Your daughter is learning from a master!
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Elene on January 12, 2019 at 7:51 am

    How many cookies can we make with this recipe? Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 13, 2019 at 1:14 am

      Hi Elena,
      It depends on how you cut them. The dough will finish at about 28ozs/800g. You can decide what weight you want your cookies to be, but about 2ozs/56g each should work well, which will give a yield of 14 – 16 cookies, it is not exact.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Tuplanner on January 19, 2019 at 4:28 am

        Whenever I make sugar cookies, I use 2 of the wooden stir sticks for 5 gallon paint cans. They are about 1/4″ thick. I place one on each side of the dough when rolling it out and they give me a very even thickness. Easy peasy!

        • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2019 at 7:59 pm

          WOW, great tip, thank you!

  10. Claudia on December 25, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I have unsalted butter so should I add extra salt to the batch?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 26, 2018 at 6:51 am

      It’s up to you. I use salted butter AND I add salt. I don’t think it is overly salty.


  11. Roxana H Itara on December 24, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Hi Jemma how much cookies you make with this recipe,and thank you for your awesome website,i love every recipe that i make and my family love it too,
    Yours truly,
    Roxana and family

    • Gemma Stafford on December 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Roxana,

      it’s makes loads, around 25-30 cookies. Really glad you like my recipes.


  12. Emily122 on December 23, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Hi Gemma, thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve tried it on my Christmas’s eve gathering for this recipe! It turns out superb good and yummy!! Please share more of the cookies recipe !

    Love & Cheers from Penang Malaysia fans,

    • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Happy to hear it, Emily! You can find more cookie recipes here. I hope you enjoy!

  13. claudia on December 22, 2018 at 11:55 am

    can butter be substituted for crisco and if yes would the quantity be the same or different? Also, can I both butter and crisco and how much of each? Like to have options. Same for the short bread christmas tree recipe? thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Yes you can use it in 1:1. Enjoy!

  14. Holly1 on December 21, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you Gemma for this lovely recipe. I knew it was going to be a winner as soon as I touched the dough 😀 It is by far the BEST sugar cookie recipe I have tried. It is easy to work with and so buttery and tasty. I also made royal icing for the first time ever in my life with your recipe and it worked like a dream too. So easy and decorated my cookies perfectly. Thank you so much Gemma for developing these amazing yet simple recipes! You are great!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      Wow thank you so much for the lovely message! I am delighted to hear that, enjoy these and happy holidays!

  15. JanetRivera on December 21, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    They turned out perfect and the royal icing was perfect, I used lemon extrac for the royal icing. Deliciou. Thanks Gemma

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      Great job! I am delighted to hear that!

  16. Julissa Rivera on December 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Hi I just made this recipe and I followed it step by step but my dough came out wet and sticky and I’m not sure why. Is it still good?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Ah as ling as you chill the dough it should be fine. If its still sticky when rolling it out i suggest just adding a bit of extra flour to the surface you’re working on.

  17. Fran Rairdon on December 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Fantastic! My cookie shooter died years ago and I haven’t attempted sugar cookies since I seem to always burn them. Thank you Gemma for this wonderful recipe. Success…I didn’t burn any. ????????

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      YAY i am delighted to hear that!

  18. Shannon on December 21, 2018 at 4:34 am

    Hi Gemma, I can’t wait to make these, but which sugar do you use? A lot of recipes call for white/granulated sugar, which I’ve never used in baking before, is this the right sugar to use?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      White sugar is great for this, great question!

  19. Olivia Eder on December 19, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I’ve made these committees before and they really are lovely – thank you for the excellent recipe!
    My daughter does not like cake and it’s her birthday coming up so she’s asked for a house, like a gingerbread house, but not made of gingerbread! I think these cookies would be fab but I thought I’d check with you what you thought?
    Secondly, can I freeze these cookies? I was thinking of making extra cookies and getting my daughter and her friends to decorate them at her birthday party.
    Thanks so much for your time

    • Gemma Stafford on December 20, 2018 at 2:24 am

      Hi Olivia,
      Well done you, I am happy that you like this recipe.
      Here is our gingerbread house log cabin, she may like this one! (
      Hardly ever are these eaten, really just used as decoration. you could make a simple sponge tray bake, frosted with a simple water icing, powdered sugar mixed with either water or milk, nice and thick, and use that to be the snowy setting for the house, but which can be cut up to eat. The batter for the Crazy cupcakes would be good for this, and you could flavor it as you wish.
      The cookie party is a great idea, nothing better to keep the kids occupied. freeze the dough, make it like a sausage shape, wrapped in cling wrap, then freeze in a freezer box or bag. This will defrost quickly, and can be sliced and baked. Cookies really do not freeze so well when baked.
      I wish your daughter a really happy birthday, and lots of baking fun,
      Gemma 🙂

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