Sugar Cookie Cutouts


This tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe makes dozens of sugar cookie cutouts that you and your family can decorate for Christmas or any other occasion worthy of a great cookie recipe.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
7 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 17 mins
about 52 2 1/2-inch cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 recipe Royal Icing (optional)

  • 1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing (optional)

  • Decorative sprinkles and/or small candies (optional)

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 3 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

  • 3 tablespoon milk

Royal Icing

  • 1 16 ounce package powdered sugar (4 cups)

  • 3 tablespoon meringue powder*

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ½ cup warm water

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using desired cookie cutter, cut dough into shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  3. Bake for 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

  4. If desired, prepare Royal Icing or Powdered Sugar Icing. Spread and/or pipe the icing (if using) onto cookies. If desired, top iced cookies with sprinkles and/or candies.

Powdered Sugar Icing

Powdered Sugar Icing:

  1. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough milk until icing reaches spreading consistency. If desired, tint with paste food coloring.

Royal Icing

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add warm water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7 minutes or until stiff. Cover bowl with damp paper towels and plastic wrap. Chill for up to 48 hours.

    Easter sugar cookies
    Steven McDonald

Candy Windowpane Cutouts:

Prepare as directed, except roll dough until 1/8 inch thick and use a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut dough into desired shapes. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Cut small shapes out of the cutouts' centers. Finely crush 3 ounces hard candy (about 1/2 cup). Fill each center cutout with candy. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes; cool cookies on foil. Makes about 52 cookies.

*Test Kitchen Tip:

Look for meringue powder in the cake decorating aisle of hobby and craft stores.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

80 Calories
4g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 52
Calories 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 63mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 1g
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0.4mg 2%
Potassium 12mg 0%
Folate, total 14mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.