Last modified on December 2nd, 2018 at 8:29 PM

Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe

This truly is the best sugar cookie recipe, it turns out soft and perfect every single time. Easy to ice and fun for the whole family to make.

I am so excited to be kicking off this week with some of my favorite cookie recipes and some amazing recipes from my blogging friends! I’ll be sharing my soft sugar cookie recipe today, and then the rest of the week will be filled with their delicious creations.

This soft sugar cookie recipe is one I adapted from my grandmother’s recipe, which everyone thinks is the best sugar cookies recipe ever. I agree! I can’t remember a Christmas without these cookies making an appearance.

Far off view of the best sugar cookies, iced, on a sheet tray.

When I say these are easy sugar cookies, I mean it. No refrigeration steps!! Hooray, I hate waiting for those. It takes longer to roll out the dough and cut it into adorable Christmas shapes than it does to actually mix the dough up. See? Easy sugar cookies.

Like most things I make, I mix this dough by hand, but you can use whatever mixer you want if you have one. When it’s finished, the dough shouldn’t be sticky. It should be wet enough that you’ll need to lightly flour your rolling surface and rolling pin, but it shouldn’t stick to your fingers as you handle it. You don’t want it so soft it’s falling apart after all these are cut out sugar cookies.

The baking instructions in the recipe are for cookies that are about 1/4 of an inch thick. You can make them thicker or thinner if you like, just remember to adjust the baking time accordingly.

I choose my cookie cutters based on how easy the shape is to frost. Ha! But also keep in mind that if the shape has any really narrow parts, those will cook faster than the rest of the cookie and may end up a little browner.

I roll out the dough, cut out my shapes, and then lightly knead the leftover dough together and repeat until it’s gone, or almost gone, or someone {me, always me} eats the last little bit 🙂 .

Keep in mind that the more you handle the dough, the tougher it will be, so keep the kneading and handling to a minimum. Obviously, if you are making these with your kiddos that’s basically impossible, ha! So, don’t stress too much.

How to Ice Sugar Cookies

Icing these cut out sugar cookies is so easy! Or actually, probably most likely, I’m just not fancy. I generally classify my icing skills as “rustic.” It makes me feel better about a little sloppiness. But this icing is a cinch to make. I also love frosting these with my favorite buttercream recipe too. I’ve included photos of both methods, so you can see the difference.

The icing recipe included here will harden up, so you can easily stack the cookies for storage, the buttercream stays soft so those will have to be more carefully stored. Both are delicious though! You really can’t go wrong.

This truly is the best sugar cookie recipe, it turns out soft and perfect every single time. Easy to ice and fun for the whole family to make. #sugarcookierecipe #sugarcookies #sugarcookieicing #sugarcookieeasy #sugarcookiecutout

How to Decorate Sugar Cookies

As far as decorating sugar cookies goes, we keep it simple sprinkles on the icing is the way to go! Just be sure that you use the sprinkles shortly after icing the cookies otherwise, they won’t stick. I like to use sprinkles that are sorted by color so I can use them to accent whatever I’ve done with the icing. 

Don’t forget, I have an entire post dedicated to Tips for the Best Christmas Cookies, so be sure to check that out for all the tips, tricks, storage and make-ahead hacks you need this holiday season. It will answer any questions you have about freezing sugar cookie dough, freezing sugar cookies, and storing sugar cookies.

Don’t forget to check out some of my other favorite Christmas Cookies, like my Molasses Ginger Cookies or my Sablés – French Butter Cookies Recipe!

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Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe

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This truly is the best sugar cookie recipe, it turns out soft and perfect every single time. Easy to ice and fun for the whole family to make. #sugarcookierecipe #sugarcookies #sugarcookieicing #sugarcookieeasy #sugarcookiecutout
5 from 1 vote
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Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe

This truly is the best sugar cookie recipe, it turns out soft and perfect every single time. Easy to ice and fun for the whole family to make.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade sugar cookies, soft sugar cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 40 cookies
Calories 119 kcal
Author Longbourn Farm • Alli Kelley

Ingredients

For the Cookies

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt see note for substitutions

For the Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk enough for a spreadable icing

Instructions

For the Cookies

  1. Sift dry ingredients together, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
  4. Add yogurt, mix well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The dough shouldn't be sticky to touch.
  6. Lightly flour a surface that you can roll the dough out on.
  7. Roll it out about 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes.
  8. Place cookies on a greased or lined sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
  9. When the cookies are done, they should be light and dry in color, barely browned on the bottom.

For the Icing

  1. Mix powdered sugar and vanilla.
  2. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until icing reaches desired thickness.
  3. Divide and color icing as desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Sour cream can be substituted for the plain yogurt. You can also use vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt. 

The number of cookies you get from this recipe will vary depending on how thick you cut them and how large or small your cookie cutters are.

If you would like to make the cookies thinner or thicker, remember to adjust the baking time accordingly.

Try and use cookie cutters that are all the same size, that way the cookies will bake evenly.

Nutrition Facts
Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 119 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 60mg 3%
Potassium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Sugars 14g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 0.2%
Calcium 0.7%
Iron 2.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This truly is the best sugar cookie recipe, it turns out soft and perfect every single time. Easy to ice and fun for the whole family to make. #sugarcookierecipe #sugarcookies #sugarcookieicing #sugarcookieeasy #sugarcookiecutout

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan
    December 24, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    These are absolutely delicious cookies. I love the hint of clove in them. They hold their shape very well during baking and stay fresh for days. After 40 years of cookie baking with different recipes, they’re the only sugar cookies I make now.

    • Reply
      Alli
      December 26, 2017 at 5:08 AM

      I’m so glad you love them, Aunt Susan!! Thank you!

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