The Best Christmas Cookies Start With Our Rolled Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe

Sugar Cookie Dough for Cut Out Cookies

yield: 16 SERVINGS

prep time: 20 MINUTES

cook time: 15 MINUTES

total time: 35 MINUTES

Ingredients

Directions

1

With an electric mixer or hand mixer, cream butter, and sugar. Add egg and blend well. Add extracts and blend.

2

Mix salt and flour together separately, then gradually add to the wet ingredients. Knead into a ball.

3

Cover dough and chill for about 2 hours (this step is a must!).

4

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with about 1/3 of the batch at a time, briefly knead the chilled dough and roll about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface.

5

Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes with the dough.

6

Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined baking trays for about 12-14 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden.

7

Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and frost as desired. I highly suggest using our homemade buttercream frosting recipe.

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Make Santa the best Christmas cookies this year with our rolled sugar cookie dough recipe.

christmas sugar cookies on drying rack

Who doesn’t love a soft and chewy classic sugar cookie recipe?

Sugar cookies are so easy to make at home and don’t require a ton of ingredients. Making rolled cut-out sugar cookies is such a fun activity to do with the kids and perfect for every occasion!

frosted Christmas sugar cookies on platter

If you’ve ever been disappointed when taking the time to roll out cookies, check out this simple recipe that’s one of my all-time favorites!

christmas cookie cutters

Homemade sugar cookies are the best dessert!

This is the recipe I use every year. It makes gorgeous cookie cutter-shaped cookies that are both delicious and easy to make. I love that these cookies come out soft, chewy, buttery, and perfect every time!

If getting in the kitchen and baking cookies is on your holiday bucket list, grab some fun cookie cutters, and let’s get bakin’!

woman picking up frosted sugar cookie

Tips for making sugar cookies with this easy rolled dough recipe:

  • Great sugar cookies take chilling time, so be sure to allow 2 hours for that. This will help them keep their beautiful cookie cutter shape and not spread so much.
  • Short on time? If you’re in a hurry, pop the dough in the freezer for 1 hour followed by 5 minutes to ever so slightly soften on your countertop, and it’ll work just as well!
  • Sugar cookie dough freezes well! You can make this recipe up to 3 months ahead of time, store it in a freezer bag, and then thaw it out when you want to bake cookies. You can also cover and store baked sugar cookies in the freezer too. When ready, take them out of the freezer to thaw and decorate.
  • If there’s a nut allergy, be sure to omit the almond extract. We love the fancy bakery taste the almond extract gives these cookies, but it’s easy to leave out.

stand mixer with sugar cookie dough

cookie dough ready to be rolled out

cutting out christmas shapes

cut out sugar cookies on a baking pan

hand holding a snow flake shaped sugar cookie

mixing buttercream frosting with green food coloring

frosting christmas sugar cookies

putting sprinkles on frosted Christmas cookie

assorted christmas cookies on display


Print

Sugar Cookie Dough for Cut Out Cookies

yield: 16 SERVINGS

prep time: 20 MINUTES

cook time: 15 MINUTES

total time: 35 MINUTES

You'll love the flavor and simplicity of this easy to mold cookie dough.

Ingredients

Directions

1

With an electric mixer or hand mixer, cream butter, and sugar. Add egg and blend well. Add extracts and blend.

2

Mix salt and flour together separately, then gradually add to the wet ingredients. Knead into a ball.

3

Cover dough and chill for about 2 hours (this step is a must!).

4

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with about 1/3 of the batch at a time, briefly knead the chilled dough and roll about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface.

5

Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes with the dough.

6

Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined baking trays for about 12-14 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden.

7

Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and frost as desired. I highly suggest using our homemade buttercream frosting recipe.

Additional Notes

Adapted from The Decorated Cookie

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

best rolled sugar cookies

Grab a glass of cold milk and enjoy a soft homemade cookie!

There’s nothing better than a soft, chewy sugar cookie. With this recipe, you’ll be making cookies like a pro for every holiday and occasion.

Some of my best and messiest memories are in the kitchen decorating cookies with my kids as little ones, and we still enjoy this activity even though they are now teens!

snowflake Christmas cookie decorated

My Hip sidekick Emily made these delicious holiday treat, and here’s what she had to say about them:

“This is my first time making my own cookie dough for cutouts (Pillsbury has been assisting me all these years), and this is the BEST cookie I’ve probably ever had. Just enough sweetness while not tasting bland, and the almond extract is divine for that extra hint of flavor. I swapped the flour for King Arthur 1:1 gluten-free flour, and these still worked out perfectly.

They melt in your mouth while still having a crisp exterior, and they actually hold their cutout shape (no gingerbread blobs over here 😂). I was shocked, too, at how simple the recipe is…guess I won’t be needing to buy those pre-made dough rolls anymore!”


Pair some Crockpot Grinch Hot Chocolate with your cookies!


Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 55

  1. Rachel

    Anyone have a yummy recipe for royal icing to decorate these cookies with? I tried one recipe with confectioners sugar and no one in my family liked it. 😝

    • Melissa

      We always make a powdered sugar glaze for our sugar cookies. It tastes good and it’s smooth and dries quickly. Makes the cookies look so nice!

      • E

        Can you post your recipe for the glaze? Thank you!!

        • Lori

          I mix powdered sugar with just enough water to get a thick but spreadable consistency. Dries well. Add a bit of almond extract for more flavor.

          • E

            Thank you!

        • Suzanne Jarvis

          I also make a kind of glaze. I take a pat of real butter and soften on the microwave then add powdered sugar and dribble just enough milk into it to make it smooth. A touch of almond extract is good too but not too much or the frosting aka glaze will be way to thin to use. Remember about an 1/8 teaspoon to start out with and add a 1/8 teaspoon at a time till the consistancy you desire. Add food coloring as you also desire. Good luck!!

    • Megan

      We use a powdered sugar glaze too. The trick I learned is to add a tablespoon or so of corn syrup. It will make it harden. Don’t make your glaze too runny either!

      • Rachel

        Thanks for the tip Megan.. I’ll try that!

    • Cheryl

      I use this website for my Sugar Cookies and the Royal Icing recipies: https://www.hanielas.com/royal-icing/

      Also, a good trick to get the cookies the same thickness is to glue together two sets of paint sticks and using those as guides to roll the rolling pin on. all cookies are then the exact same thickness.

  2. Beth

    My recipe is similar and I love that it doesn’t poof up so the cookie keep their shape. I remember really struggling with rolling out chilled dough so one tip I have is rolling it out before chilling it. I separate mine and roll it on to parchment paper then lightly dust the top with flour so I can stack all my sheets and then chill. It’s so much easier to cut them this way.

    • Loudflower

      That’s brilliant. Thanks for the great suggestion.

    • johnson16

      Great tip! Going to try this!

  3. Carie

    I love buttercream frosting, but since it doesn’t harden like the royal icing, it’s hard to layer cookies on a platter or store them. Any suggestions?

    • Pamela

      Waxed paper, or parchment paper between layers.

    • Suzanne

      I let mine sit overnight on the counter so the frosting sets up. Just lay wax paper or a tea towel over them so they don’t dry out.

      • S

        Thanks for sharing (even though it was a year ago!). I’m loving the recipe and the bloggers website seems awesome!

  4. Materof6

    Could you use “plant butter” (olive or avocado oil butter) or another dairy free butter? Will it change the consistency?

    • Karen B

      My mom always substituted butter with half margarin and half shortening and the texture/flavor was good. All plant butter would make them softer would be my guess.

  5. Emily

    This veryyy similar to my recipe for sugar cookies. Best recipes always seem to use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar 🙂

  6. Pamela Bateman

    This is the original Betty Crocker Cookbook rolled sugar cookie recipe. I have made these for family gatherings the last 40 years. I make multiple recipes of these to send home with family members, by request. I have used Imperial margarine for years in this recipe, with great results. I just started using butter recently. I just use the Betty Crocker vanilla butter frosting recipe. I have found that you don’t want to spend hours frosting cookies to have them all gone in ten minutes. I know from years of making these😁

    • Sara

      It is the Betty recipe except they omitted the cream of tartar.

  7. Jodiqueen

    Thank you ! I can’t wait to try this recipe 🎄

  8. Pamela

    Great catch, Sara 👍 One teaspoon cream of tartar.

  9. Claire

    Would love to make these cookies but there is a nut allergy in the family. When omitting the almond extract do you replace it with additional vanilla or anything else? Thanks so much!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      It’s a small amount, I think ok to just omit!

    • Karen B

      I never use it, just the vanilla:)

    • Sara

      We use imitation almond extract

    • Brandi

      I have a child allergic to tree nuts so I researched this and from what I could find, McCormick does not use any nuts in their flavorings. The nut flavors come from alternative sources.

  10. Rachel

    We have an egg allergy. Any good recipes out there without eggs?

    • Dorothy

      Shortbread. I have used Fanny Farmer’s recipe for cutouts without pricking with a fork.
      Scotch Shortbread
      ½ pounds Butter
      ½ cup Confectioners’ sugar
      2 cups Flour
      ¼ teaspoon Salt
      Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar, beating well. Mix the flour and salt together and add to the first mixture, combining thoroughly. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is ¼-inch thick, then cut into rectangles or any other shape desired. Put them on ungreased cookie sheets, prick each cookie with a fork, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.

      _The Fannie Farmer Cookbook_, 13th edition. Marion Cunningham, ed

  11. Nee

    Thanks for this! I think I’ll try it this year! I have so many cookie cutters but never use them 🙈😅

  12. Ariavenew

    I love the “Christmas Cactus” 😂

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Haha yep! There’s lot of those where I live ❤️ 🌵

  13. Tamie

    Think this would work with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten-free flour??

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes, it definitely does! I’ve personally tried this and love the result. The cookie is a little less chewy and more melt-in-your-mouth, but the flavor is spot on!

  14. Roxy

    Where did you get the merry Christmas cookie cutter?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi Roxy! I found mine at HomeGoods years ago. Here’s the amazon listing- Brand is Birkmann https://amzn.to/3acpGFw

  15. Sharron K

    Lina they look so yummy, Sounds like a great recipe

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much Sharron!

  16. Amy

    In addition to the 1 tsp of cream of tartar, my recipe calls for 1 tsp baking soda and the powdered sugar is 1 1/2 c – not 1 cup. I have made hundreds of batches of these cookies and they are amazing! The dough rolls out perfectly every time and with my buttercream icing they are so soft and delicious!

  17. Meghan

    My dough was really sticky and didn’t form up correctly? Any ideas?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Really? Hmm Even after chilling? You can add a bit more flour maybe? Darn haven’t had that happen.

  18. P

    Maybe I made it wrong but any idea why my dough turned out crumbling after overnight fridge chill and – after kneading it, it was ok… but eating it tasted… dry – almost like a scone dry cookie- is that how it’s supposed to be? any advice help

    • katherinesmith

      mine were a liittle crumbly after the two hour chill. I agree mine tasted like scone dry cookies also. Blechhh

      • Melissa

        Yes! Mine were like scone dry too…any advice?!

  19. markiesluv

    Made these and gave to friends who aren’t gluten and dairy free. They got great reviews. Thank you so much. I hadn’t purchased white flour in years! Today we are using this recipe with Cassava flour and ghee and coconut oil. We will see how it turns out. Thank you again we had a great time making these for our friends!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that is so great to hear! Thanks!

      • Kathy

        Could you guys recommend some really good quality cookies sheets? Thank you

  20. Laraine

    These cookies are the bomb! They came out in the same shape as they went into the oven. They taste delicious. This will be my sugar cookie recipe from now on!

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