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This Sugar Cookie recipe is absolute perfection with a perfectly soft sugar cookie every single time. It’s the perfect easy sugar cookie recipe for every occasion!

A frosted sugar cookie with colorful sprinkles with a bite taken out of it

This is THE sugar cookie that I will use forever! It’s absolutely fool proof for a perfectly soft sugar cookie every single time. The great thing about this recipe is that you can either do drop cookies (no dough refrigeration required!) or you can do rolled cookies with cookie cutters. All with the exact same recipe.

How do you make sugar cookies from scratch?

Making sugar cookies from scratch is very easy. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer to make the dough.

How do you get sugar cookies to keep their shape?

Sugar cookies that keep their shape require refrigeration of the dough. Once the dough is made, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This allows the fats in the dough to re-solidify which prevents spreading during baking. Roll the refrigerated dough out 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut out your desired shapes and place on a prepared baking sheet. If you want the cookies to retain their shape as perfectly as possible, return the cut cookies to the fridge for at least 30 minutes more before baking.

Sugar cookies with pink frosting and colorful sprinkles on a cooling rack

How do you make soft sugar cookies?

The key to soft sugar cookies is to include a small amount of cream cheese as well as corn syrup. This combination creates the perfect soft and chewy sugar cookie that everyone always loves.

What do you use to decorate sugar cookies?

You can decorate sugar cookies with a simple buttercream frosting and sprinkles or go for a more intricate design with icing. You can use a simple powdered sugar icing by whisking together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. For the most intricate designs, it is best to use a royal icing. With any of these options, you can use food coloring to dye your frosting the colors you desire. Gel food colorings are the easiest to work with and create the most vibrant colors.

For a fun Christmas version of this recipe check out my Spiral Christmas Sugar Cookies. I’ve taken this recipe, layered it with colors, and rolled it into a spiral swirl. You could do this with other colors to make them special for any occasion or holiday.

PRO TIP: This sugar cookie recipe has a mild flavoring. For a strong flavor, double the amount of almond extract. The extra 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract may seem like a small amount, but it provides a strong flavor.

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can either do drop cookies (no refrigeration required) or you can do rolled cookies with cookie cutters.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy using the whisk attachment. Mix in the corn syrup, vanilla, almond extract, and egg, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl so that everything gets mixed in.
  • Switch your mixer attachment to a paddle or dough hook. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until everything is mixed in.
  • Pinch off 1 tablespoon of dough. Roll into a ball and gently press between hands or fingers to flatten. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Place cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 2 to 3 minutes on the pan before carefully removing to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • To make the frosting, cream butter with a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Slowly add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing in between until thick. Use milk as needed to thin out. Dye with food coloring if desired.
  • Frost cookies once completely cooled. Store in an airtight container.
If you want to do a rolled cookie to cut with cookie cutters, wrap the completed dough with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour before rolling out 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface, and cutting into shapes. Then bake as directed.


Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 45mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sugar Cookie
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Beth Johansen
October 31, 2019 9:54 am

5 stars
I’ve been making your sugar cookie recipe for years and need to give you a shout-out; these are amazing!! Trust me, I have baked and tried many different renditions of sugar cookies, but I always come back to this one, these are just the best.

December 19, 2018 3:24 pm

5 stars
These are wonderful! Made these with my daughter and shared them with some friends who couldn’t stop raving about them! Thank you! I was wondering if this same recipe could be turned into a snickerdoodle cookie by just rolling it in cinnamon sugar? Or is that a whole different kind of cookie?

December 20, 2019 6:24 pm

5 stars
Really tasty and excellent cookies! The best!

July 5, 2019 5:15 pm

5 stars
The dough tastes amazing, I haven’t baked it yet but it came out wayyy too sticky and soft. Is that normal??

November 5, 2018 11:21 am

5 stars
These are indeed soft and deliciou! Decorated them holiday-ish for a pre-Christmas trial for family and friends. Made them exactly as written. Been searching for the ultimate sugar cookie recipe — everyone agreed this is THE one. Very excited to have found it— into the sacred recipe box. Thank you for this perfect, in every way, recipe!

May 6, 2018 5:57 pm

5 stars
Perfect! My family loved it!
Thanks for sharing the recipe!

March 31, 2018 5:29 pm

3 stars
Can I store the dough in the freezer to use a couple days later?

March 29, 2018 5:16 pm

5 stars
These look good! Are these good for cookie cutouts and royal icing decorating? Also can I use Agave instead of Corn Syrup? Thanks.

March 26, 2018 11:29 am

Made these & they are great! Just what I needed to perk up a gloomy day. I too would like to be able to find a substitute for corn syrup. Any ideas? Also used a big rounded spoonful for each & got 24 nicely sized cookies. I’ll definately add this to my many recipies for sugar cookies! Thanks. ?

March 31, 2018 6:48 am
Reply to  Elaine

5 stars
I make those cookies and love them… they’re my favorite sugar cookie. I don’t use corn syrup so I substituted honey and they turned out perfect. Hope this helps 🙂

July 12, 2020 9:44 pm
Reply to  Dee

Honey worked. Also, I cut the sugar down to 1 cup and only made 1/2 the frosting recipe but still had enough to thickly cover all 36 cookies.

March 25, 2018 12:04 pm

Thank you for this recipe! I made as directed and they were great! I doubled the batch of dough and refridgerated to roll out and create uniform circles. I baked a little on the light side for my first batch and thought they were a little too dough-y tasting. When I baked a few minutes longer where they appeared golden on the top edges, then they were the perfect taste and still soft. The icing was great too! The group of 20 people I made them for all enjoyed.

March 8, 2018 5:41 am

I plan to make those cookies today but I just realized I don’t have corn syrup. We are in a snowstorm here so I can’t get out to get any. What could I substitute in place of the corn syrup? Would honey or maple syrup work do you think? Or is there something else that would work better? They sure look delicious 🙂

March 5, 2018 2:11 pm

Am I reading the recipe right? Am I to use salted butter?

Natasha Fernandez
January 31, 2018 10:27 am

Which icing is pictured?

January 16, 2018 10:58 pm

5 stars
I have a question about the 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. when I measured it out, I got about twice the amount of cookies as the recipe states. They are small and very delicious, but wondered if maybe the dough measurement is meant to be 2 tablespoons to get the larger size and be closer to the 2 dozen as the recipe says.

December 20, 2017 10:00 pm

Can I make these without the corn syrup?

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