Dec 28


Sugar Cookie Recipe

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What would you choose for dessert; a sugar cookie or a slice of chocolate cake?  If you’re anything like me and those two items were in your home, the sugar cookies would be hanging around long after the chocolate cake was polished off.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like sugar cookies, but love them… Not so much.  But trying to decorate chocolate cake to give as gifts – that wouldn’t work as well as sugar cookies do.  Which leads me to the reason why I’m writing this post today – I’ve come up with a sugar cookie recipe by playing around with some favorite recipes.  It’s definitely tasty, although it’s still not in the ‘chocolate cake’ category.  If you try it out I’d love to hear what you think in the comment section below.

Before I get to the recipe, let me share a little introduction to the ‘Polar Bear Parade’ cookies with you.

pretty Christmas ribbon

When I saw this ribbon months ago at Michael’s Craft Store I just knew I had to make a cookie version of it.  Pretty colors, a simple shape and such a cute little polar bear.

polar bear parade of cookies

These were finished before Christmas, but I wasn’t able to post them in time.  If you’d like to create these, you could make just the polar bear or substitute another object for the gift instead.  It’d be a nice winter-themed cookie I think.  The ribbon is probably on sale now too!

polar bear sugar cookie

I used the KopyKake drawing projector to help me draw the image (believe me – I need it!), but you might be able to freehand as it’s a fairly simple shape.

polar bear gingerbread cookie_edited-5

decorated polar bear gingerbread cookie

Some of these are made of a new gingerbread recipe I found on-line, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the results (taste).

polar bear decorated cookie

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been playing around with some of my ‘go-to’ sugar cookie recipes – a few of the main ones being Peggy Porschen’sand the NFSC (No Fail Sugar Cookie) recipe (from, to come up with my own combination.  The latter two are still favourites for me, but now I’ve got a third choice.  This is what I’ve come up with (please also see notes at the bottom of the recipe):

Sugar Cookie Recipe


Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: Makes about 30-35 cookies, but it will also depend on the size of the cookie cutter and how thick you make your cookies.


  • 2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla)
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (*take this out if you don't want your cookies to spread)
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated - for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more.
  2. Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you'd like a light and fluffy cookie, that's ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you'd like the cookie to hold its shape.
  3. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
  4. Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Add to mixing bowl. Alternatively, add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly.
  5. Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour, baking powder and salt).
  6. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won't escape. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it's ready. It's also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).
  7. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
  8. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
  9. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
  10. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
  11. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
  12. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!


A few notes about the recipe:

*Butter - The butter needs to be soft, or room temperature. I leave mine out the night before I do my baking. If you forget, you can grate the butter on the largest hole of your box grater, so that the sugar and butter will mix together better.

*Amount of Butter - I’ve noticed some people who've tried the recipe who live in a warmer climate have trouble with 2.5 cups butter, and although the extra 1/2 cup butter taste is nice, to make the dough easier to work with in any climate, I edited the recipe to say only 2 cups of butter.

*Baking powder - I hardly use any baking powder in my recipe because the dough will spread and rise more during baking, thereby making the shape of the cookie less crisp. The only time I use it now, is if I'm just making round shortbread cookies and I don't care about the cookies spreading.

*Chill your dough if it gets too soft work with. It's a softer, sometimes sticky dough (depending on your environment as well), but in my humble opinion, makes up for it in taste.

*Read these tips here on stopping dough from spreading.

polar bear sugar cookies on a cake stand


A few notes about the recipe:

These have already been included in the recipe above, but just in case you didn’t see them, they are important to read, so I’ve included them again.


*Butter – The butter needs to be soft, or room temperature.  I leave mine out the night before I do my baking.  If you forget, you can grate the butter on the largest hole of your box grater, so that the sugar and butter will mix together better.

*Amount of Butter – I’ve noticed some people who’ve tried the recipe who live in a warmer climate have trouble with 2.5 cups butter, and although the extra 1/2 cup butter taste is nice, to make the dough easier to work with in any climate, I edited the recipe to say only 2 cups of butter. The printable version is uneditable, so still says 2.5 cups of butter.

*Baking powder – I hardly use any baking powder in my recipe because the dough will spread and rise more during baking, thereby making the shape of the cookie less crisp. The only time I use it now, is if I’m just making round shortbread cookies and I don’t care about the cookies spreading.

*Chill your dough if it gets too soft work with. It’s a softer, sometimes sticky dough (depending on your environment as well), but in my humble opinion, makes up for it in taste.

*Read these tips here on stopping dough from spreading.

*Added May 19th, 2019 – Clarification – the sugar used for the cookies is granulated sugar not icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar.

I’ll do an in-depth tutorial with pictures on making the sugar cookie dough in a future post.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!



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  1. March 13, 2017 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    I tried to make it but the dough was not normal.I have no idea what went wrong.However thanks for publishing the recipe.I will try this once again.

    • Cecilia
      May 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Hi Marian
      Thank you very much for yor recipe and the tips, very helpful for me.

    • Linda
      May 28, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I also tried this recipe and the dough did not come out right. It was dry and I wasn’t able to kneed it. I put it back in my mixer and added 2 eggs. This made my dough so much better! I was able to kneed it and they baked perfectly!

  2. Mariafer
    July 6, 2017 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Hi, I tried the recepie and it was easy to do, I did it step by step but when I put it in the fridge about two ours and I roll it it becomes too soft… can you tell me what can I do?
    I used 4 butter sticks (2 cups)
    Thank you, regards

  3. Donna B.
    September 21, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Your recipe states that it makes 30-35 cookies. Could you please tell me what size cookie are you basing that on? Thank you for your help. Love your site.

  4. Pri
    November 18, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I am a vegetarian. Can you please suggest a substitute that can be used instead of eggs.

  5. Rheba
    November 21, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Hi, thanks for all the baking tips for making cookies that won’t spread. Can I make this dough a day ahead and still be successful?

    • marian
      November 21, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Rheba,
      Yes you can.

  6. Barbara
    December 10, 2017 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Just made a batch of these cookies and they did not turn out great. Dough was sticky and then the biscuits spread even though i omitted the baking powder. Bit disappointed.

  7. Jay
    December 10, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that you meant to write 2 sticks of butter rather then 2 cups! They were very buttery and spread like crazy! Plus, the texture was bad. Kind of put a damper on my Christmas cookie baking with my grandkids.

    • marian
      December 16, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Hi Jay,
      I’m sad to hear that it put a damper on you Christmas cookie baking! These cookies really do work out (I do not know the people who leave me comments saying they loved the recipe and they dough/cookies came out perfect), but baking can definitely be finicky and like a science… everything from measurements to the ingredients you use makes a difference. I’m not sure what happened in your case but yes, I do use 2 cups of butter. I follow these tips for preventing spreading as well;
      I hope you feel encouraged to try baking with your grandkids again, they are fortunate to have you!

    • Dena Walters
      July 10, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      She definitely meant 2 cups of butter. The only thing differently that I do with this recipe is I use 6 cups of flour and omit the baking powder. I have literally made thousands of cookies using this recipe with nothing but success. This recipe using 6 cups of flour is super easy to 1/2 to make a smaller batch of cookies. The people that I bake for LOVE my cookies. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Its a total winner!!

  8. Kimberly
    December 10, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve literally made hundreds of sugar cookies in the last two weeks with this recipe and they always come out perfect!!! Excellent recipe! My cookies kept perfect shape!

  9. Jennifer
    December 13, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe! I like soft thick cookies and these make the perfect cookies even with nice browned bottom they are still soft and sweet.

    • marian
      December 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Jennifer!

  10. Cate
    December 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    May I asked the brand flour and butter? Flour protein and treatment (bleached, unbleached, malted, unmalted) varies substantially by brand. And butterfat to water content also varies by brand. So brands really matters when it come to dough quality.

    I’ve use different three different recipes to bake sugar cutout cookies over the past three days. Not happy with the results, so still testing recipes. Yours has more butter than the recipes I’ve tried so far, so I’m hopeful.

    • December 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I’m in Canada so I’m not sure this is helpful for you, but for the most part, I use Lactantia or GayLea butter and Robin Hood all-purpose flour. Usually the more expensive butter (in whatever country you’re in) has more fat content so will work out better in terms of less spreading etc.
      Hopefully that helps!

    • Cate
      December 22, 2017 at 1:41 am | Permalink

      Marian, thank you. The information is helpful. I purchase a lot of my flours from a mill that supplies the top bakeries in the US. They are extremely knowledgeable so they can help me select a flour comparably in protein to Canadian flour. Likewise, I can choose a butter comparable in butterfat.

    • marian
      December 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful, you are definitely on the ball in baking! Enjoy! 🙂

  11. Beth
    December 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    When I stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago, I knew immediately that it was a winner! I have shared your beautiful recipe with so many family and friends, who all agree, it’s the best rolled cookie dough! Following the recipe is a no brainer, follow it precisely, and the cookies will come out perfectly. I chilled the dough after rolling out my cookies for about 45 minutes and definitely skipped the baking powder. I even used your recipe to make decorated wedding cake cookie favors for my dear friends daughters wedding! Thank you for all your cookie “wisdom”, and that compliment comes from a very seasoned baker, me!

    • December 19, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the lovely comment Beth, it really is wonderful to hear from you! Merry Christmas!

  12. Margaux Kirk
    December 20, 2017 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    This is my go to sugar cookie recipe! I have tried so many others before this! The notes were very helpful. Thank you so much for posting!

    • marian
      December 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Thanks and happy baking to you Margaux!

  13. Lauren
    January 7, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I am making cookies today (Sunday) that I plan to decorate next Saturday. I am going to freeze them until I am ready to use them. Do you typically bake and freeze, or freeze the cut outs and just defrost before baking? Thanks!!

  14. Alice
    January 18, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Hello!! Can you freeze the dough?

    Thank you 🙂

    • marian
      January 19, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi Alice,
      Yes, you can!

  15. Trish
    January 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Marian, You are absolutely right…measuring is key, I spoon my flour in, level it off. Mix only till everything is combined and NO more! As for me, I roll out my dough when it is soft, I can always add a little flour if its too sticky.I then freeze it in layers till stiff. Sooo much easier than playing with soft dough and getting mishapen cookies. Thank you so much for sharing all your recipes and techniques. You are my go to girl for sugar cookies 😉

    • marian
      January 24, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Thanks Trish! I appreciate your feedback! Happy baking!

  16. Monica Lugo
    March 18, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I was a bit concern to try this recipe after reading that some of the ladies didn’t have success with it. I live in the south and it’s pretty warm and humid here.
    Well, I just made this recipe and it came out perfect!!!
    I refrigerated the dough overnight and bake the cookies today. I had to wait a bit to able to work the dough but after some 20 minutes I was able to cut the cookies and bake them with no problem.
    Thanks you Marian!

    • March 19, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I’m so glad to hear it Monica! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Stephanie M
    March 29, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to thank you so much for this sugar cookie recipe! I have been using this recipe for over SIX years & it is best & the most consistent COOKIE recipes I make. I cannot even get the Nestle Chocolate Chip Tollhouse Cookie recipe to come out as consistent as your sugar cookie recipe! Yes, it is 2 cups of butter at room temperature & REFRIGERATION after making the dough AND cutting the cookies out is the key to making these bad boys, even in the dead of winter!

    Thanks for producing a wonderful blog and teaching me that, “YES, you can ice a cookie with royal icing and not make it look like a Pinterest fail!”

    • March 31, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Stephanie, that’s great to hear! xo

  18. April 25, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi made your elephant sugar cookies for a baby shower the recipe yeild 36 – 3 3/4 in x 1/4 in thick cookies . I need to know if I can half your recipe since I need 45 cookies

    • marian
      April 26, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mary,
      Yes, you can. 🙂

    • marian
      May 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you can. Happy baking!

  19. Kimberly Rodriguez
    May 6, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Can this dough be made and frozen until ready to use? How many days would it be good for if frozen?

  20. Lina
    May 17, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink


    How many grams of butter is two cups?

    • marian
      May 17, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      454 grams

  21. June 20, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    hello, I’m in Brazil, can you tell me how much butter in grams? here we do not measure the butter per cup

  22. Jessica
    July 19, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I have been using this recipe for a year now and love it and it turns out great each time. I just came back to the site to send the information to my mother since she asked for the recipe I use and was surprised by the comments of people who had issues. This recipe so super easy, I have halved this recipe, frozen the batter and made many people happy with this recipe. Sometimes I do add a little more salt but that’s just my preference.

  23. Maria Pignone
    September 7, 2018 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Dear Marian, l fell in love with your cookie pictures. I’m going to follow your recipe to try it out. My question is how thick are your cookies? They look thicker than 1/4 is that true? Waiting for your reply

  24. Diana Grunde
    November 6, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I printed your sugar cookie recipe approximately 2 years ago and the butter quantity was 2 1/2 cups of butter and this recipe calls for 2 cups.
    Have you changed it ? I do not know which to use. Thank you

    • November 7, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Hi Diana,

      Yes, if you read the comments, some people had trouble with the dough being sticky, so I reduced the butter to two cups. There are so many variables that may have contributed from their dough being sticky, everything from humidity, to temp of butter, to possible mis-measurement, but reducing the butter by 1/2 should also help.

  25. Diana Grunde
    November 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you,
    I baked the cookies last night with the reduced butter quantity and they look great.

    • marian
      November 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Great to hear, Diana, thanks for sharing!

  26. Julie
    November 7, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve made these cookies using this recipe so many times for the past few years and they come out great! I need to make 100 and was hoping to start on them early. How long are they good for in an air tight container?

  27. December 5, 2018 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    First time using this recipe and man im sold never lost their shape stayed tge same size thru out baking period. So gald i came by your recipes. I differently will be following you..
    Thank you ..

  28. Gabrielle
    December 19, 2018 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Hey there! Sooo happy to have found u and your AMAZING website! I LOVE all your creations! Simply beautiful!
    I just tried your sugar cookie recipe…. I found it easy to work with and had no issues with sticking. My question is…. My cookies are quite crunchy… Aren’t these supposed to be soft? So, I was hoping u could tell me where I may have went wrong? I followed the recipe exact, with the omission of the baking powder. And I did not over bake. Any ideas or suggestions? They still taste delicious but would love a softer cookie! Please help❤️

    • marian
      December 20, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Gabrielle! You could underbake them a bit, the less you bake them the softer they are. Another option is to make them thicker. Hope that helps!

    • Joni
      January 23, 2019 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      My cookies came out very soft and chewy. I underbaked them a bit and did cut them thicker. Worked like a charm!

  29. Sarah
    December 23, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,

    I have been obsessing over your website, and am going to try and make my own cookies. I need to buy an electric mixer, and wondering if 3L bowl would be big enough?

    Many thanks,

    • December 23, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sarah,

      Yes a 3 litre bowl should be, although I’ll be honest, I much prefer my 5 quart bowl (4.7 litres). It has more play room. Happy baking and thank you for visiting me here!

  30. Joni
    January 23, 2019 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    These cookies turned out great! I love the recipe. The chocolate sugar cookie recipe is fabulous too! I’ve made that one several times but this is the first time making the regular sugar cutout cookies. Both have a nice inside chewy texture but hold their shape well. I have had no issues with spreading during baking but always chill both the dough and the cut cookies thoroughly before baking. Love your website, tips, and recipes Sarah! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Natalie Claunch
    January 24, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    After trying MANY different sugar cookie recipes that didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I found yours . By far the easiest to make and the best results. No spreading, perfect every time. I love, love, love rolling between the wax paper and not needing to use extra flour. Fabulous recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    • marian
      February 2, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Natalie!

  32. Sierra K.
    February 2, 2019 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    We always make sugar cookies for Christmas and the recipe we used to use just never turned out. This recipe is amazing and always makes fantastic cookies! It’s now our go-to for sugar cookies. The only twist we put on it is adding a bit of lemon extract to the dough, which really lightens up the flavor. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • marian
      February 2, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      That`s so nice to hear, thank you so much for sharing Sierra!

  33. allyson sampson
    February 25, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    hi! i religiously use your sugar cookie recipe and absolutely love it. i have a 10 dozen cookie order coming up for one client. how long do the cookies stay fresh? so if the event is on a saturday, how far in advance can i bake them so that they are still fresh for the day of the event? would love to hear from you!

  34. allyson sampson
    February 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    how many days in advance could i make these cookies in order for them to still be fresh for a 10 dozen order?

    • marian
      February 25, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Hi again Allyson,
      You must have entered twice, but just in case you didn’t see it, I’ve responded to your other question (which I think is essentially the same question).

  35. Lauren
    May 19, 2019 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Love the tutorials! What sugar do you use for this cookie recipe? Is it granulated sugar or powdered icing sugar?

    • May 19, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lauren,

      It is granulated sugar. Have fun baking!

  36. Cindy
    June 15, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Hi, just wondering if you have shared a link to your Royal icing recipe?


  37. Joni
    July 2, 2019 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Marian, I’ve been making this recipe as well as your chocolate version for over a year. Both are my go-to recipes for cutout rolled sugar cookies. They are always perfect and taste fabulous! I always get compliments. I’ve used buttercream frostings and royal icing on these cookies. I love your royal icing recipe! Usually royal icing hasn’t much flavor but yours is great! I like that it is thick so I can adjust consistency as needed. People always comment that my royal iced cookies look too good to be homemade. I brought some to work and someone asked if I sell them. She wanted some for her wedding, I said no! The trick is to produce great looking AND great tasting cookies. Love your website. Thanks for sharing!

    • July 2, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Hi Joni,

      Well what a lovely comment to read! Thank you so much for coming back to let me know how you like the recipes, and the feedback you get from them! You just made my morning! I wish you lots more fun baking and decorating (and giving them away)!

  38. Sonya
    July 3, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian – I’ve just found your site and it is so useful and user friendly! Thank you for all of your helpful tips and tutorials.
    This is actually a quick question on how you approached the polar bear cookie icing – did you do the polar bear first and then filled in the blue icing around him after? Or did you do a full blue base and then the polar bear on top as a second layer? Asking because the cookie I’m making has a similar color combo.
    Thanks for your help!

    • July 5, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Thanks Sonya! I did the blue base first, and once it had set, I did the polar bear on top. Have fun decorating!

Show Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. […] Recipe adapted from Sweetopia […]

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