the perfect sugar cookie recipe for cookie cutters

Sugar cookies just scream “CHRISTMAS” to me, yet it took me years of trying before I found the perfect sugar cookie recipe. You’d think that it would be easy to find the right combination of sugar & flour to make great cookies – and you’d be right. But, to find the right recipe that will actually hold the shape during baking wasn’t quite so easy. With a little trial and error, I finally did it (and even used them to make sugar cookie gift tags this year.)

perfect shape sugar cookiesMy recipe (adapted from Fancy Flours) is so simple, and gives you a firm cookie that tastes great and looks good, too.


3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract.


In the bowl of a mixer (or with a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, then mix again until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient and mix together until you have a thick mixture, but it will be spreadable (similar to peanut butter). Baking depends a lot on a lot of different factors – add the last cup of flour slowly until you get the right consistency. If you add it all, yours might be too dry (see comments below.)

Wrap the mixture with clear plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator for an hour or so until completely chilled. Half the mixture, then roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper until it is the desired thickness (no additional flour needed = no mess – yay!). Cut with cutters, then bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom JUST begins to brown. Keep an eye on them, they’ll bake rather quickly.

perfect sugar cookie for cuttingTo turn them into gift tags, simply use a straw to cut a little hole close to the edge before baking. Super simple, huh?

perfectly shaped sugar cookiesAnd best of all – they are SO good to eat 🙂 Now that’s what I call the perfect sugar cookie recipe.

perfect sugar cookie recipe

About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.


  1. I LOVE these!!! They are adorable and of course everything is awesome in aqua! I am going to make a batch and can you guess what mine will be???? Well if you didn’t guess…the answer is dachshunds!!! Thanks for the inspiration my friend…this rocks!!! hugs…just wish I had one to dunk in my coffee right now ; )

  2. Perfect timing, thanks Gina! My son just found some pancake cutters (the same as cookie cutters… but for pancakes) in the back of the drawer and we thought they would be great for cookies! This would be a fun after school project for us to do!

  3. Gina- Thank you SOO SOOO much! I have tried several recipes over the years and so often the shape bakes out of them during oven time….OR they don’t taste good if they do hold their shape. I bet these ice beautifully, too! I am saving this to make cookies as soon as my ovens are fixed! Hope you are having a great week. xo Diana

  4. Louise DeNight says:

    There are edible markers that you can purchase at many different stores that you could use to actually write on these cookie tags. That would make it even more fun. I got mine at Michaels craft store I think. But I have seen them elsewhere.

  5. how much is two sticks of butter?

  6. Just a rough estimate, how many cookies would you say this makes? I’m using regular sized cookie cutters in the shapes of a turkey, tree, and leaf. So how many would you say this is be able to make?

  7. Wendy Smoke says:

    Soooo crumbly, I thought I mismeasured..checked again..nope…would not combine. Had to add cream to get consistency of PB

    • Gina Luker says:

      I wonder what the difference was? Humidity? Different brands? I’ve made them a few times and it always turns out for me.

  8. My dough was also SUPER crumbly. Added a little water and extra vanilla helped. Not sure why it was so dry…

    • Gina Luker says:

      I’m not sure either! Try adding in the last cup of flour a bit at a time until you have the right consistency.

  9. Jeanette Sciglitano says:

    This is the same recipe as my Nana’s…Only difference is we added 3 eggs. Maybe if it is to dry try adding the two additional beated eggs a little at a time. This should help. I grew up on this recipe it is the best!

  10. Jessica Bautista says:

    I made these today and they were perfect. I was a bit nervous when the dough was so sticky, after the refrigeration it got easier to handle. They tasted Great! Thank you.

  11. Love love PERFECTION

  12. how many cookies does this recipe make?

  13. Danielle Lazzarini says:

    Perfect! Thank you so much! The dough was exactly how you described, and the cookies were splendid!

  14. Just made these cookies, the dough turned out crumbly but once you chill it and roll it out it’s perfect! I didn’t alter the recipe at all except the cookies came out a little salty. Since I iced them they tasted much better. The most important thing is the cookies stayed true to their shape and looked great! I’ll be using this recipe for future cookie cutter crafts!!

  15. I wonder if you replaced a stick of butter with a nut butter (peanut, coconut, sesame) if they would still shape ok? Just for a bit more flavour and possibly less sugar?

    • Gina Luker says:

      I don’t know because I’ve never cooked with that before. Try it out.

      • I just though since you had tried so many recipe variations to find this cookie that you might have a general idea. I guess I should have just asked if recipes with less butter have worked for you. Baking is not somethng I have done a lot of so don’t have a general knowledge bank of how things work. I guess I will try with fingers crossed.

  16. Unsalted or salted butter?

  17. Love this cookie recipe. I had the best cut out cookies ever. I refrigerated my cookie sheet and even my mixing bowl before I started. I made these cookies twice this week. I used two different butter brands. I read that a few people had a problem with crumbly dough. I found that depending on the butter it’ll either crumble (which one batch did and I had to add another egg to the dough) or it will be perfect! FYI I cheaper butter brand was the best one! Happy baking 🙂

Speak Your Mind