Perfect for all occasions, this Classic Sugar Cookies Recipe uses simple pantry ingredients and can be frosted, sugared or eaten as is.
How to Make Classic Sugar Cookies Recipe
If you’ve never made sugar cookies before, you will love this tried and true Classic Sugar Cookies Recipe that has passed generations of baker’s tests. It is based off a Betty Crocker Standard Recipe of a similar name and offers the best results, time and time again.
It uses minimal ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry. And it only takes about an hour or two of chill time before you can roll out, bake and frost the best sugar cookies ever.
Now this recipe is perfect during the holidays or for whenever you need cookies on hand. All you have to do is to change up the cookie cutter design and you are all set.
Here are just a few holidays and celebrations for which you can make sugar cookies:
- New Year’s
- Valentines Day
- Fourth of July
- Going Away Parties
- Bar Mitzvahs
- Bat Mitzvahs
- First Day of School
- Last Day of School
As you can see, there’s so many possibilities to enjoy sugar cookies.
Classic Sugar Cookies Ingredients
The ingredients you will need for this recipe are:
- butter, softened and at room temperature
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
You will also need a couple of baking sheets, a rolling pin and cookie cutters.
This is a one-bowl recipe. So you will add all of your ingredients directly to the bowl and mix well.
Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap or place in a quart-size resealable bag. Chill for at least one hour.
Remove from the refrigerator and let the dough come to room temperature for about 15 minutes or so.
Lightly flour your counter and rolling pin. Tear off one quarter of the dough and roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.
Carefully flour your cookie cutter and press it into the dough. You can use a spatula to help you lift the cookie onto a baking sheet.
Be sure to use the approximate size of cookie cutter for each baking sheet. This will ensure even baking.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for approximately 9-11 minutes or until the sides of the cookie become light golden. Remove and allow the cookies to cool for five minutes before placing the cooking on a cooling rack.
You can frost your cookies once they have fully cooled, approximately one hour or so. Enjoy!
Sugar Cookie Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can use almost any size of cookie cutter to make sugar cookies, but the rule of thumb is to keep the size of the cookie cutter relatively the same on your baking sheet. This is to ensure that your cookies bake evenly. In other words, the smaller the cutter size, the quicker the cookies bake. If you want to use the large cookie cutter size, however, expect that your cookies will bake up a bit longer than the standard time noted on the recipe.
Most home cooks use a rolling pin. Rolling pins come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but for beginner bakers, it’s recommended to first try a wooden rolling pin that has been dusted lightly with flour. The working surface should also be dusted lightly with flour, so that the dough won’t stick when rolled out. And, move from the center out motion.
Each recipe is different, as are the results. But granulated sugar offers the best results if you want a cookie that is firm in touch and can handle frosting. Granulated sugar is also used for the colored sugar you buy for decorating. Not only does it handle the heat of the oven better, it also offers the sweetest taste when paired with frosted cookies.
Long time bakers will tell you to follow the recipe’s direction as it will offer the best results. However, for Ethel’s Sugar Cookie Recipe, I have found that butter works amazingly well, time after time. It not only offers a smooth dough but it also gives a buttery taste. Just be sure to allow the butter to come to room temperature and get softened before using. And, once the dough has been made, make sure to chill the dough for best results
Most recipes for sugar cookies, including this one, requires at least one hour of time to chill the cookie dough. You can refrigerate it, however, overnight. Just be sure to allow at least 15 minutes or for the dough to come to room temperature before rolling.
The simplest frosting can be made with 2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter, softened, and 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Stir well. You can add more milk to thin out the frosting. And, once the frosting has been made, you can add food coloring.
You can add colored or plain sugar directly to the top of a sugar cookie prior to baking. Sprinkle the desired amount on the top of the cookie and bake. If you want to add sugar after baking, you can do so by lightly brushing the tops of the cookies with a milk wash. Then sprinkle with sugar.
Yes, you can put sprinkles on cookies before baking, however, they will more than likely melt partway or completely. Usually, bakers will frost the cookies first, then add sprinkles on top. The frosting helps the sprinkles adhere to the cookie.
If you like this classic cookie recipe, you will also enjoy these recipes:
- Shapas Cookie Recipe
- Traditional Raspberry Linzer Cookies Recipe
- Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies
- Bishop Cake Recipe
- Tips for Decorating Spooky Halloween Cookies
Classic Sugar Cookies Recipe
- 3/4 cup butter softened and at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, add all of your ingredients and mix well. You can use a mixer or your hands to incorporate all of the ingredients together.
- Mold into a ball and place in a quart bag that can be sealed.
- Allow to chill for at least one hour or overnight.
- Let the dough come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Tear off small chunks of dough and roll out on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin.
- Lightly flour your cookie cutters before cutting. You can use a spatula to lift the cut cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for approximately 9-11 minutes or until the cookies come out golden slightly at the edges.
- Remove and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before moving them over to a cooling rack.
- Allow the cookies to completely cool before frosting.