Learn how to make classic sugar cookies with this Fail-proof Sugar Cookie Recipe for Decorating. Just six simple ingredients and a few tips is all you need for perfect, chewy cookies.
This Fail-proof Sugar Cookie Recipe post is sponsored by Macy’s on behalf of Everywhere Agency. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ll be honest, decorating and frosting desserts is a bit of a weakness for me. Because of this I typically stick to simple cookies, pies and non-decorated desserts. These fail-proof sugar cookie recipe for decorating are guaranteed to work, whether you’re a baking pro or a novice. This post will help your create the perfect sugar cookie base for decorating.
6 Simple Ingredients for Easy Chewy Sugar Cookies:
Tips for perfect cut-out sugar cookies:
- Firmness of dough at each step is important: Follow the recipe steps and chill for appropriate length of time at each step.
- Rolling: Use a very light coating of flour on bottom and cover top of dough with plastic wrap. Too much flour will create tough cookies.
- If making a large batch: work with only a portion of the dough at a time. Keep extras in fridge until ready to roll.
- Thickness: Roll dough to even thickness throughout, otherwise some cookies will brown much faster than others. About 1/4-inch thick is best.
- Cutting cookies: Use desired cookie cutter shape and start at edge, then cut as close as possible to the previous cut-out for rest of dough. Re-roll remaining scraps and repeat process.
- Removing: Carefully remove cut-outs with thin spatula to prevent stretching or breaking
- Baking: Place in center rack of pre-heated oven on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Carefully watch and bake only until edges are lightly golden. Remove from oven then cool cookies on a wire rack.
- Decorating: Cool to room temp before decorating. Use desired icing and design.
- Storage: Sugar cookies are best fresh, but you can store in airtight container up to a week or freeze cookies for longer storage.
These sugar cookies are full of rich, buttery flavor, have just the right amount of sweetness, and are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. So basically they’re the best ever sugar cookie recipe.
Dough should look like this:
Do you need to chill sugar cookie dough before rolling?
This is a critical step to help consistency during rolling and baking. The butter in the dough hardens when chilled, allowing it to hold it’s shape during rolling and cutting. If you find it’s too soft or sticking during rolling, then chill a bit more.
What about freezing cookie dough before baking?
Pro tip: Freezing the dough shapes for 15 minutes before baking helps cut-out sugar cookies to hold their delicate shape in the oven. Otherwise they will spread out when cooking.
Types of frosting for decorated sugar cookies
Decorating cookies and cakes can be done with various types of frosting, including royal icing, cream cheese based frosting or powdered sugar icing. Royal icing is most commonly used for holiday decorated cookie, as it goes on smooth and dries hard. Stay tuned for a post on Christmas tree decorated cookies with royal icing.
More cookie recipes you may like:
- Chewy Cashew Toffee Cookies
- Spiced Hot Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Brown Sugar Caramel Pecan Cookie Cups
- Almond Tangerine Butter Cookies
Leave a comment below and star rating if you made this recipe or want to share your thoughts.
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Fail-proof Sugar Cookie Recipe for Decorating
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp, (1 stick)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract, or vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- Place sugar, butter and salt in a stand or hand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes, scraping sides midway. Add egg and lemon extract, mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour until combined. Dough should be thick and start sticking to paddle.
- Place dough over a layer of plastic wrap, flatten into a disc about 1-inch thick and seal with more wrap. Place in fridge at least 1 hour to harden. If leaving in fridge longer, let sit at room temp about 30 minutes until soft enough to roll.
- Remove plastic wrap and place dough on a flat, smooth lightly floured surface. Top with a large piece of plastic wrap and roll until ¼-inch thick. Discard wrap and use desired cookie cutter shape to cut out cookies.
- Place cut-outs on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Repeat process for leftover dough scraps.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Place cookies in freezer 10-15 minutes until dough is firm. Transfer to center of oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate sheet and bake 5-6 minutes more, just until edges turn golden. Remove from oven, let sit 1-2 minutes then transfers cookies to wire rack until cool.
- Repeat process if cookies do not all fit on one sheet. Enjoy as is, or decorate cookies with desired frosting and patterns.
- Chilling the dough is important, follow the appropriate length of time at each step
- Too much flour during rolling will create tough cookies
- If making a large batch work with only a portion of the dough at a time. Keep extras in fridge until ready to roll
- Start with cookie cutter at edge, then cut as close as possible to the previous cut-out for rest of dough. Re-roll remaining scraps and repeat process.
- Cool to room temp before decorating
- Sugar cookies are best fresh, but you can store in airtight container up to a week or freeze cookies for longer storage.
Recipe originally from Sweet Dani B.
Recently I attended a live cookie decorating class hosted by Dani B. It was super fun and learned a lot about decorating. Here’s details about the event, and keep an eye out for upcoming foodie events near you from Macy’s Culinary Council.
Monica @ Nourish and Fete says
These are gorgeous cookies! I love how they keep their shape so well – important but hard to find with sugar cookie recipes!
Hi Monica. So glad you liked the recipe! Thanks for the comment!
A sugar cookie recipe that I can trust to work every time! Perfect for my holiday baking!
None of the sugar cookie recipes that I have tried have worked for me… that is until I tried this one!! Thanks so much for the recipe 🙂
This recipe really is fail proof! Will be making these this weekend for our Christmas baking day! Thanks for the share!
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!
Holly Hooper says
I’m making this for dinner tonight I’ll let you know how it turns out. But I looks good anyways.
Harold Burton says
This looks amazing! Nice work.
You have no idea how much I need this recipe! My sugar cookies are always a fail.
Thanks Ellen! These should work out great for you then!
Lisa Huff says
Wow looks like these sugar cookies hold their shape perfectly. Just in time for the holidays!
Lauren Vavala | DeliciousLittleBites says
These are perfect for decorating! I’m planning on working on my icing this year and these would be the perfect base!
Krissy Allori says
This is such a great recipe for making sugar cookies! Thanks for sharing it!
Caitlyn Erhardt says
These look perfect! Love all your tips as well. Can’t wait until it is cookie season again!
Pam Greer says
Thanks for all the great tips for baking sugar cookies!! I am definitely going to put them all to good use during all my cookie baking this season!