Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies are a lot of work and pretty time consuming but I still enjoy making, or rather decorating, them. I get asked for this recipe of mine every time I make them so I am finally putting together a post dedicated to these cookies! One bonus is these do not require refrigerating the dough prior to baking.If you try making some I’d love to hear how they turned out. Good luck + happy baking!

r e c i p e :

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

350* 8-10 minutes. This recipe makes around 30 cookies using an average sized cookie cutter. I usually double the recipe since I’m already going through all the work to make them.

To the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and mix well. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well. Next add the dry ingredients (salt, baking powder and flour) and mix on low until combined. If the mixture seems too dry add a small amount of water, start with a teaspoon or so, it shouldn’t take much.

On a lightly floured surface roll your dough and use the cookie cutters of your choice. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the pan about 5 minutes before transferring to a drying rack to cool.

Royal Icing:
(you will want to double this as well if you doubled the cookie recipe above)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
6 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vanilla

In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment add all ingredients and mix on lowest speed for 5-7 minutes. It is very important to keep the speed on the lowest setting to avoid whipping the meringue powder. I will adjust the consistency as I go which usually results in adding more water to thin the icing. It’s hard to explain what you should look for but it comes with doing this many times. A good rule of thumb is to look for a 15 second icing. That means if you were to run a spoon through the icing it should take approximately 15 seconds to smooth over completely. If your icing is still too thick add some water, just a little bit at a time. If your icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar.

Once you’ve reached your desired consistency transfer to a piping bag (a plastic baggie also works, just snip the corner when you’re ready to start decorating).

Below I will provide links to some of my favorite products to use when making these cookies. I will plan on dedicating a separate blog post with helpful tips when decorating cookies but for now if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, I’d be happy to help!


Piping Bags | Food Coloring | Meringue Powder

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Leave a Comment


  1. Kristen wrote:

    These are beautiful! Do you think this recipe will stand up to using the cookies to create a “gingerbread” house?

    Posted 12.6.20 Reply
    • Thank you so much! Hmm I don’t know.. these are pretty soft after baking so I don’t think that would work with this recipe. You could try increasing the bake time for a crispier cookie but I haven’t tried it that way to confirm the same quality!

      Posted 12.6.20 Reply
    • Jane Halstead wrote:

      How does the dough stay white after it’s baked?

      Posted 12.2.21 Reply
      • Hi Jane! The dough remains about the same color as it was before baking, maybe lightens a little but there’s not much change to the color when baking. If you try the recipe I hope you love it!

        Posted 12.4.21
  2. Tina wrote:

    These are beautiful!! I am going to make these cookies with my daughter’s this weekend. I love your muted Christmas colors. Can you give me an idea how to achieve the red and green?

    Posted 12.15.20 Reply
  3. April wrote:

    I’m looking forward to making these next weekend with my daughter. Could you send instructions on how you decorated them? Adding the “ornaments” to the tree must have been time intensive or is there any easy way?

    Posted 12.8.21 Reply
    • Hi April! Yay – I am excited for you to make these. I used the piping bag I linked and then just cut the tip off to pipe. If you don’t have the bags a regular ziploc style bag will work too (ideally not the thin sandwich bag, I’ve had good luck with the quart size bags since they seem to be thicker). Make sure you cut the tip small to start with, you can always make it bigger if it’s too small! I also will make up two bags of white, one with a slightly larger opening for filling the cookies and the smaller opening for design details such as the ornaments on the tree. I hope this helps!! Good luck and have fun 🙂

      Posted 12.9.21 Reply
      • Thanks! One other question – Could I make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze?

        Posted 12.23.21
    • A quick follow up. These cookies were so fun to make and turned out excellent! This is a keeper.

      Posted 1.8.22 Reply
      • Aww thank you for the sweet words, happy to hear that!!

        Posted 1.23.22
  4. Stephanie G Kramer wrote:

    Made these last night . Turned out amazing

    Posted 12.9.21 Reply
    • Aww yay!! So happy to hear that!

      Posted 12.9.21 Reply
      • Lori & Tom wrote:

        Just finished making these cookies.
        They came out absolutely perfect.
        Best recipe I’ve used yet.
        Thank you Chronicles & Pines
        Merry Christmas & God’s Continuous Blessings on your and your family.
        Tom & Lori

        Posted 12.24.21
      • Aww that is so sweet of you to say, thank you so much!! Hope you also had a very merry Christmas!

        Posted 1.23.22
  5. Megan wrote:

    Hello! Just curious how long these store for and if you have ever tried freezing them?

    Posted 12.15.21 Reply
  6. Laura wrote:

    Do you dip them in the frosting first (I saw Martha do this) or do you spread the icing on. I know you pipe the details….

    Posted 11.14.22 Reply
    • Hi Laura, I piped the base layer on as well 🙂 I always line the outside and then fill it in from there.

      Posted 11.14.22 Reply
  7. Marilyn Bara wrote:

    Excellent recipe! Easy to make, roles out like a dream, purely delicious! I didn’t ice mine, just used decorative sugar and some plain. Fabulous – thank you!

    Posted 12.18.22 Reply
    • Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, I am so glad you enjoyed them!!

      Posted 12.19.22 Reply
  8. Just made these any for the zillionth time lol! Always come back to your recipe even if I try others, just tried and true 🙂 this time I made strawberry shaped cookies.

    Posted 3.24.23 Reply