Easy sugar cookies are the perfect cookie for any time of year. We’ll show you how to make sugar cookies from scratch so you can always have them on hand. We’ll also share our best sugar cookie icing recipe, which you can use to make your most beautiful decorated sugar cookies ever.
Sugar cookies are a classic cookie recipe for Christmas and year-round. Use this guide to learn how to make sugar cookies that strike the balance between chewy and crispy. It's sure to become your new favorite easy sugar cookie recipe.
Easy to Make Sugar Cookies
Whether you like soft sugar cookies or crisp sugar cookies, we think you’ll find that our just-right recipe makes the most perfect sugar cookies of all: They strike an irresistible balance between chewy and crispy.
How to Make Sugar Cookies -- Step 1: Mixing The Dough
Here’s a dough recipe for semisoft sugar cookies. This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat mixture until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.
How to Make Sugar Cookies – Step 2: Shape and Bake
Using your hands or a cookie scoop, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are set; do not let edges brown. Cool cookies 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool.
TIP: Love soft sugar cookies? One secret to keeping them tender is not to overbake. Baking sugar cookies too long turns your semisoft sugar cookies into crisp sugar cookies fast.
Sugar Cookie Icing
Tender, sweet sugar cookies make canvases for flavor artistry. Add dashes of new flavors—spices, citrus zest, or extracts—to the dough to make your cookies distinct.
You can also top your sugar cookies with sugar cookie icing. And, if desired, add sprinkles, nuts, and other decorations on top of the icing.
How to Make Sugar Cookie Icing:
- Using a sifter or fine-mesh sieve, sift enough powdered sugar into a medium bowl to measure 3 cups sifted powdered sugar.
- Stir in enough milk (about 3 to 5 tablespoons) to make icing of desired consistency. Makes about 1 cup Sugar Cookie Icing, enough to decorate 5 dozen cookies.
Tips for making easy decorated sugar cookies:
- For an easy version of decorated sugar cookies, simply use food coloring to color the sugar cookie icing. Check out this story on how to color sugar cookie icing.
- Find out how to drizzle a sugar cookie glaze over cookies for another sweet and simple version of decorated sugar cookies.
- If you’re looking to go even fancier, try our Royal Sugar Cookie Icing, the ultimate icing for decorated sugar cookies.
How to Store Sugar Cookies
Store your batch of perfect sugar cookies as you would any other drop cookies made with butter and/or shortening: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze unfrosted cookies for up to 3 months (frost after thawing).