Easy Sugar Cookies


This easy sugar cookie recipe can be customized with seven different variations. Butterscotch cookies? Lemon-poppy seed? There's a flavor for everyone with this easy cookie recipe.

Easy Sugar Cookies
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
35 mins
Bake Time:
12 mins
Total Time:
47 mins
48 cookies


  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • ½ cup shortening

  • 2 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • teaspoon salt

  • 3 egg yolks

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat in flour.

  2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

  3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are set but not brown. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Remove; cool on wire racks.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies:

Prepare as directed, except before adding sugar, combine sugar and 1 Tbsp. lemon zest in a small bowl. With fingertips, rub lemon zest into sugar until sugar becomes very fragrant. Add 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds with the flour.

Spicy Sugar Cookies:

Prepare as directed through shaping. In a shallow dish combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper. Roll dough balls in sugar mixture before baking.

Chai-Clementine Sugar Cookies:

Prepare as directed, except add 2 tsp. clementine zest along with the butter and sugar. Add 2 tsp. chai seasoning with the flour. (To make your own chai seasoning, combine 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, and dash ground cloves.)

White Chocolate-Pistachio Sugar Cookies:

Prepare as directed, except reduce flour to 1 1/3 cups and add 1/3 cup finely ground pistachios and 1/4 cup grated white baking chocolate to the flour mixture. If desired, stir in 2 tsp. cracked pink peppercorns with the flour. After removing from oven, sprinkle with additional finely grated white baking chocolate.

Butterscotch Sugar Cookies:

Prepare as directed, except omit the cream of tartar. Reduce granulated sugar to 1 cup. Add 1 cup packed brown sugar with granulated sugar. Add 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice with the flour.

Lime-Coconut Sugar Cookies:

Prepare as directed, except combine the sugar, 1/3 cup toasted coconut, and 2 tsp. lime zest in a food processor. Pulse quickly until coconut is very fine. Add to butter mixture as directed.

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies:

Prepare as directed, except substitute 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste for the vanilla. (Or cut one vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds from the pod. Beat seeds into dough with the egg yolks.)

To Store:

Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

89 Calories
4g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 48
Calories 89
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 48mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0.2mg 1%
Potassium 17mg 0%
Folate, total 10mcg

*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.

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