I will be the first to admit that decorating cookies is not my strong suit. But I've gotten more and more comfortable doing them and having tried a handful of recipes, I've decided that this recipe yields Perfect Roll-Out Sugar Cookies.
This recipe takes a few more steps than some other popular recipes, but that really doesn't bother me because the results are so consistent. Every time I bake cookies, they come out perfect, they hold their shape and size, and they're soft and delicious.
*If you're looking for the Wedding Dress Cookies, that post has been updated and moved to here.*
Now when I say "soft", I don't mean melt-in-your-mouth soft, like an old-fashioned sugar cookie, but also not a crispy crunchy cookie. They stay soft in the middle, with firm enough edge to hold up to decorating and transporting.
Oh, and let me get back to that "holds their shape" thing... I seriously mean they do! Let me show you...
That's an unbaked cookie lying on top of a baked cookie. It barely changed shape or size at all! This is a very attractive quality in a cookie that you hope to decorate! Here's another example... the first pic is the cookie dough before baking:
And here's the baked & decorated cookie:
I used the same cookie cutter to cut out the fondant for Peppa Pig and it fit almost perfectly because the cookie held it's shape beautifully!
Okay... so are you convinced? I hope so! I really hope you'll give this recipe a try. Every client who orders them brags on how delicious they are - and beautiful!
Are you interested in selling cookies for Easter or any other holiday? Check out my ebook: How to Sell Paint-Your-Own Cookie Sets (No Cookie Decorating required!).
Now, let me tell you one more trick that I do with these cookies. I never could get my dough the perfect thickness when rolling it out. Then I saw this thing about using thickness rails or cookie dough guides... basically sticks that you can use to roll out your cookie dough to a consistent thickness.
Well that sounded brilliant - except I don't do enough cookies to justify the expense. So what do I use? My Tappit Cutters and my big Wilton 20" Fondant Rolling Pin! Yep - I lay them down on either sides of my dough and roll it out to the perfect thickness! (I know that the rolling pin comes with guides that are supposed to do the same thing, but I just never could get those things to work for me!)
Here are some other cookies I've done (and you can see ALL of the cookies I have posted by clicking HERE):
Perfect Roll-Out Sugar Cookies
Anyway... so here's a quick rundown of how I do these cookies. The full recipe will be below!
- Make the dough, then wrap it in plastic wrap or put it in a plastic zip-top bag and press all of the air out.
- Let it chill for at least 2 hours (although I usually make it a day or two ahead and let it chill).
- Set it out for about 10-15 minutes.
- Roll out, cut into shapes and place the cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Pop the pans in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Bake for exactly 9 minutes.
- Let them rest on the pan for 5-10 minutes, then move to a cooling rack!
I know... the chilling, the freezing... it's a long process. But truly - it works out so beautifully that it's worth it! Plus, because of the drying time of cookies (if you're decorating with royal icing), you're going to need to start on these 2-4 days in advance anyway, so a little extra time for chilling and freezing really won't make a big difference, right?
(You can see more pics of the wedding dress cookies here, along with my original post with this recipe)
Okay - here's the full recipe below. If you're going to decorate with royal icing, I have a fantastic Royal Icing Recipe posted here and a tutorial here that sort of shows my method for decorating with royal icing.Print
Perfect Roll-Out Sugar Cookies
- Total Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
- Yield: 25 1x
A perfect roll-out sugar cookie that cuts out perfectly and holds it's shape when baked! Oh and they also stay soft and taste fantastic!
- 1 cup salted butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy with mixer (I use my Kitchenaid) at medium speed.
- Next add the egg yolk, beat it some more, then add the whole egg. Mix in the vanilla and almond.
- Add flour and beat on low until well-combined. Do not overbeat. The dough will be sticky!
- Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but I usually do mine the day before.
- When you're ready to bake, allow the dough to come to room temp for at least 10 minutes, then knead it until it gets back to a smooth texture.
- Preheat over to 375°. Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with flour. For best results, roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness.
- Continue sprinkling flour when needed to prevent dough from sticking. Use your cutters to cut the cookies into the desired shapes then place on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper.
- Now don't skip this step! Stick the cookies (on the sheets) back in the freezer for exactly 10 minutes to allow them to re-chill. This will keep your cookies perfectly shaped! When they're chilled, bake for 8-10 minutes (depending on size) for the perfect cookie!
- I rarely get browned edges with these cookies - they hold their shape, taste yummy, and are not crunchy! After trying multiple recipes, this has to be my favorite!
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Cook Time: 9 mins
- Category: Dessert
Keywords: sugar cookies, easy, roll out, easy cut out cookies, holiday cut out cookies
What do you think the extra egg yolk does to this cookie? This is the first time I have ever seen this in a sugar cookie recipe.
Well, I'll admit that I don't always understand all of the science of baking but I do know that egg whites cause things to rise and fluff up - so maybe omitting the egg white prevents it from rising/spreading as much.
My freezer isn't big enough to put the cookie sheets in to chill for that 10 minutes. Will putting back in the frig be good enough?
Also, I am making 5" crab cookies.. will they be too large?
I haven't tried them in the frig. It would be better than not chilling them at all though, for sure! What do you mean about the cookies being too big? Too big for...??
Is this Recipe good for my window cookies?
Going to start planing my Halloween cookies in my To Do list
This cookie dough holds its shape well, so if that's what you need for your window cookies, it'll work great.
Omg. This is hands-down THE BEST sugar cookie recipe I have ever seen. If followed perfectly, it makes the best cookies. I must have made five or six dozen for Christmas and passed them out to the neighborhood. It was a huge it. Thank you! This will be my permanent go-to sugar cookie recipe from now on.
Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will make
sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back someday.
I want tto encourage you to ultimately continue your great writing, have a nice morning!
Love those cute lil peppa pig cookies! And the Hawaiian ones too! I'm bookmarking this recipe to use soon- it'll be my first time baking christmas cookies 🙂
Thanks for the tips! My mum has a real knack for making sugar cookies but I've always been a little willy-nilly about it (usually because I'm more interested in eating the dough... ahem :)). I'm definitely going to give this recipe a try! Pinning.
Love how pretty you've made your cookies, too 🙂
These are just the cutest sugar cookies I've seen so far.
Thanks for sharing the recipe! So generous of you. 🙂
Beautiful cookies! Great tips! Pinning to try 🙂 Have a great week!
Just made and put in frig, the dough taste fantastic, can't wait to decorate tomorrow.
I am not sure what it says about me that I recognized Peppa before seeing them decorated. Congratulations on your #HomeMattersParty feature.
Haha!! Thank you bunches! xx
Can you freeze the cookies
If so for how long.
Not frosted just the cookies
I'm not sure exactly how long they'd keep but I baked and froze several hundred for at least 3 weeks for a huge order a few years ago and they were just fine!
Is there a proper way to package them when freezing for tht long?
I like to wrap them individually, then place several of them together in an airtight plastic container and freeze the whole thing!
Congratulations on the feature, thanks for linking up to Home Matters Party. #HomeMattersParty http://cu-rio.net/home-matters-linky-party-64/
Those are adorable!! Now I just wish I could frost that well to make mine not look some abstract artwork! :/ #HomeMattersParty
Haha!! Abstract is beautiful 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!
This is my go to sugar cookie recipe. Made the mistake of trying others since but this one is no question the best. Amazing blog. Thank you!
Oh, so glad you love it! Thanks a bunch Sharyn!!
Excited to try this recipe and method...! However, my son's school won't allow any food containing any nuts so the almond extract is out of the question... do you think I should just omit? Replace with...? Thanks!!
You could just use vanilla or try lemon or another flavoring of your choice.
I absolutely love this cookie recipe. With that being said I don't care for almond flavor, so I substituted with butter flavoring. Never had a complaint. Everyone loves them.
Thanks for sharing Rose.
Thank you Suzanne! That's a great substitute! Lemon is another that I love to use - adds a tiny hint of citrus to make a really bright, lovely cookie!!
Rose, I think you are a great cookie decorator. I can't wait to try this cookie recipe as it is a little different. Thank you for sharing your expertise.
Thank you for sharing this! After following your directions to a T, I went to put my cookie sheet in the freezer and found it would not fit! Ack! I had no choice but to bake them as-is and pray... LOL. They baked up just fine and held their shape well, considering. I also tasted one and they are delicious! Thanks again!
OH NO!! Poor thing! I'm glad it worked out for you though! Happy Easter!
So you use salted butter and then put more salt in? Usually if you use salted butter you do not add more salt.
I have a question, how fat is the butter you use on this recipe?
In my country we have butter from 60% fat to 85% fat (60%,65%,68%, 70%, 72%, 75%,82%,85%), what would you recommend for this particular recipe?
I honestly have no idea. We don't have those options here in the USA.
Hi! I am so excited to try this recipe! Do you think it would work well with margarine? I have to make them non-dairy.
Honestly, I have never baked margarine, so I can't give you an answer one way or the other. My only advice would be to do a practice run and see how it goes!
I did it - turned out AMAZING! Everyone was asking for the recipe!
YAY - so, so happy to hear it!!
Hi! Thank you for including a picture of the stacked pre/post baked cookies!! It pretty much sealed the deal for me on using your recipe. So many others say they keep their shape, but you're the only one to show it. Can't wait to get these started this weekend!
Awww, great! I hope you love them just as much as I do! 🙂
How far in advance can I make these cookies and whats the best way to store them until the event?
I've only kept them for about 2 days in an air-tight container. After that they get a little crumbly.
Hello, This recipe sounds fabulous! Could you please tell me approximately how long these will keep in an airtight container? Will it make a difference to keep time depending on when I add my fondant icing? Many thanks
Apologies, I just saw the above comment which answers my question!
No problem! 🙂
These turned out great! Love the flavor, texture and the way they kept their shape. I followed the recipe exactly as written. The only problem I had was small indentions on the backside of the cookies. Maybe air bubbles? Thanks!
So glad it worked out for you!!
Laura De Nuntiis
They are absolutely delicious. Just wonder how long they keep for & where, container in the cupboard or container in the fridge????
Unless I missed it, how thick should these be rolled out before cutting? Thanks.
Mine are around 3-5mm thick.
This looks like just the recipe I have been looking for and your directions are very well written. I was just wondering if using salted butter in addition to the 1/2 teaspoon of salt was accurate or a misprint. I've never seen a cookie recipe asking for salted butter before but, given the rave reviews, I will give it a try if it is not a misprint.
I do use salted butter! But honestly... I use salted butter for all of my recipes and it's pure laziness that I never stock unsalted. I'm sure unsalted would work just fine though. 🙂
Awesome recipe. Thank you.
How long do you leave them on the tray to cool, or do you move them off straight away?
I usually let them cool for 3-5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Thank you for sharing your skills. One question, just confirming there is no baking powder or baking soda?
Nope - that's correct. This is why they hold their shape so perfectly!
Love and having lots of fun with your recipes, Wonderful
just made cookies with this recipe and they came out perfect!
Thanks, Crissy, for stopping by the blog and for your lovely review!
correction i did bake them on a bare cookie sheet because my family likes the crispy bottom and super soft tops.
Is there a reason why you don't ice the cookies for 2-4 days using the royal icing?? Thanks!!
Hi Debbie - that's not what I mean. I mean you need to start on the cookies 2-4 days before you need to sell or deliver or eat them. You have to make the dough, chill/freeze the dough, roll-out & cut the cookies, freeze again, bake, then decorate. Depending on how many colors or layers of royal icing you're doing, those take up to 8 hours for EACH color or part to dry... so I meant it takes 2-4 days total from making the dough to dry, decorated cookies. That's why I start so early. I hope that clears it up a little.
It does!! Thanks! I made the dough a few days before and traveled with it. (Raised a few eyebrows at TSA security!) Baked and decorated once I got to Florida for my niece's shower!
I love that you took them on a plane!!! How awesome is that. Have dough - will travel. 🙂
I love this recipe. Used it for my first time on making cookies. I did find it really sticky. For some reason if i bake at 370 for 8 min. I get browned bottoms. I am using the wilton mega pan which is light in color. Should I lower the temperature? If I take it out at 5-6 minutes I'm afraid it might be undercooked.
I've baked these hundreds of times and not had that problem - I'm sorry!! It could be an issue with your oven or the pan.
really great recipe, they baked up beautifully and were delicious!
Yay! SO happy to hear it 🙂
Hi Rose. Another great post. I make a lot of my dough in advance and freeze it for Christmas baking. Can I do that with this dough? If so, would you recommend freezing the ball of dough or cutting out in advance? I'd rather have them ready to pop in oven. I believe you're the one who got me hooked on MMF for topping sugar cookies. HUGE hit!!! Kids especially love them.
Thanks Love! 🙂
Yes, this dough absolutely freezes well! I have frozen entire batches of dough (I like to flatten it out in Ziploc bags so it thaws easily) for weeks at at time. I've also baked the cookies and frozen them (pre-icing) and then decorated them later OR frozen them decorated and they also do great. I have never frozen the cut-out cookies unbaked, so I can't say for sure how that would go.
If I try it that way I'll let you know how they turn out. 🙂
This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe ever!! Thank you for sharing.
Have you ever done a chocolate version?
Awesome - so glad to hear it! I haven't made a chocolate version of THIS recipe, but I do have a Brownie Roll-Out Cookie that's really good here : Brownie Roll-Out Cookies.
I love this recipe and have been using it for over a year!
How long do cookies stay fresh? I sometimes will make ahead and freeze them until it’s closer to date to decorate for. Hoping to decorate and bake now though a week before thanksgiving.
I love hearing this!! I have baked them a couple of weeks ahead and froze them to decorate later. They were still fantastic 🙂 Happy (early) Thanksgiving!
How far ahead can we make the dough and how do we store the dough . Freeze it ?
Thanks Ashley and merry Xmas
I saw the answers in one of the comments Sorry .
Do u have a buttercream frosting to go with this cookie recipe .
Hi Pf, thanks for stopping by the blog! This is our go-to recipe for buttercream: https://rosebakes.com/crusting-buttercream-frosting-for-decorating/
Hi! Can you tell me how you measure your flour for this recipe? Do you spoon in or just scoop flour and then sift? I keep hearing different ways to measure flour.
I usually scoop, although I know that's not technically correct. The "correct" way is to spoon the flour into a measuring cup. Having said that, it always works beautifully for me when I scoop.
After you add the flour should the dough form a ball? Cause mine was like soup but it also wasn't forming a ball
Sorry I meant not like soup and not like ball. it was kinda like thick pancake mix
Hi Rose! I saw you said these only keep up to two days. Could I keep them 3 or should I just freeze the dough and make them 1 day later?
I said they only keep 2 days? I'll have to fix that. I've made the dough a couple of weeks in advance and it's kept and I've done the cookies 4-5 days in advance as well.
This looks so good! I will definitely try it. But you use salted butter for sugar cookies?
Jeanne Marie Dauray
Made this recipe this morning for a cookie decorating class. They were perfect and tasted great. Crisp edges, yet pliable in the center, but no spreading. The batch made about 4 1/2 dozen cookies. Used a a round 2 1/2 inch cutter. I followed the recipe and refrigerated the dough for one hour.
Can this recipe be doubled easily. I have a pretty large order and a a mixer that can make up to 9 dozen cookies at once. Would you recommend doubling and would the amount of each ingredient be the same but doubled. For me this recipe only yields about 18-20 cookies.
Yes, we double it all the time with no problem!
Thanks for the reply. These cookies are sooooo good. I always follow your advice and you haven't disappointed yet.
I made this receipe today. Nice and easy and they are delicious. Thanks.
How do you store the cookies once decorated with fondant?
How long do they last once decorated?
Can i use unsalted butter?
You can 🙂
Love the recipe they are so yummy. Only question is for how logn you can keep them, and is it better to keep them in fridge or room temperature
Room temp in an airtight container! 🙂
Rose, I'm going to show you just how bad a baker I am! Am planning on using this cookie recipe for our grandson and his friends to decorate for Christmas, But, what recipe do you use for icing??? Same icing for piping or stars? It has been since 1978 that I took a cake decorating class, and have NO recipes from that era! Help! I know you will be able to share the perfect icing(s) recipes with me. Thank YOU, Cile
If you want to do buttercream, I recommend this vanilla buttercream.
The recipe I've been searching for. These are perfect!
Hi, by any chance do you have a vegan version of this recipe? Or what I could use instead of egg? Thanks
I'm sorry - I don't have any experience with vegan recipes.
Thanks for sharing this recipe,your cookies looks so beautiful and tempting!
I would like to know if I can change de butter for a vegan butter. Do you think it will work ?
Hi Cheryl. I have no experience with vegan butter so I can't give you any advice on that. Sorry!
I've actually made these before and they turned out great. I decorated with fondant, placing the fondant on the cookie directly out of the oven as suggested - worked like a charm!
I plan on doing the Peppa Pig ones soon, and was wondering what you use to stick the mouth and cheeks on?
Just a tiny brush or water or shortening will hold them on.
Thanks for the recipe- I am from the UK and Would like to know what you mean by cups? Would you please have the measurements in grams by any chance 🙂
I don't - sorry. Here in the US we use standard measuring cups.
Hey, I have to make these kind of cookies for a 21st party with that roll-out fondant on top. Just wondered what I should use to attach the fondant to the cookie? And also, how do I stop the fondant from drying out and becoming rock hard???
I usually use a very thin layer of buttercream. Not much you can do about the drying out other than keep them in an air-tight container.
Love to try this for my sons birthday . Can these be made in advance and freezed ?
That’s great ! Any tips on how to store them in the freezer ?
Also would like to add color to the dough . Would that change anything ?
A few drops of color would not change anything. When I freeze them, I wrap in plastic wrap then put in an air tight container.
Thanks . Also on the day I need them how do I thaw ? And if u use fondant can still freeze them ?
Love and having lots of fun with your recipes, Wonderful
Hi Iv made this cookies before... I always come back to this recipe when using fondant!.. it never shrinks! However i just noticed it says 10 1/2 cups flour... I'm sure that's wrong! Please can you give all measurements in grams..?thank you
Thanks for stopping by the blog! I'm not sure what you're referring to..the recipe states 2 1/2 cups for the flour. We don't have the recipe in grams, but you can pop any measurement into google and it'll give you a conversion.
I dont have a kitchen-aid. Can IO use a hand held mixture instead?
Will it change any?
Nope, it'll work just fine.
I made your cookie dough tonight and it’s chilling in the fridge overnight. Can I leave the almond extract out altogether? I’m not too fond of the taste.
Loving how simple the recipe is though!
Absolutely!! I hope you enjoy the cookies 🙂
They worked out so well!! I had so many compliments so thank you once again!
What would be your advice on replacing the flour with a gluten free flour?
I don't do any gluten-free baking, so I really don't have a good answer for that, I'm sorry.
I just got to the part where I mixed everything and it’s so dry I’ve followed the recipe exactly but the combination is dry and crumbly. Is it salvageable?
I’ve been making these for years now and always get rave reviews that they are the best sugar cookies anyone has ever tried. They also hold their shape extremely well if you follow the directions. Highly recommend, you won’t be disappointed!
I’ve switched up the extracts with them and have mixed cinnamon, almond and lemon with the vanilla extra and all turned out great!
Thanks for the recipe!
This cookies are amazing! I’ve been using this recipes for a few year and they always come out great. Only change I’ve made over the years is decrease almond to 1/4 tsp and increase vanilla to 1 tsp, just personal preference. I’ve omitted the almond altogether if I run out. I have also learned you can use 1/4 in dowel sticks work great to get perfect thickness.
Do you think but lemon zest in cookies would spoil them?
Do you think that lemon zest in cookies would spoil them?
I don't think so - it would be delicious!
No, I don't think it would spoil them at all!
I love that you'e a Jesus Freak!
We have tried countless sugar cookies. Nothing compares to this amazing flavor. Our go to recipe for our home based bakery. Thank you!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad you love the recipe as much as I do!
Omg. This is hands-down THE BEST sugar cookie recipe I have ever seen. If followed perfectly, it makes the best cookies. I must have made five or six dozen for Christmas and passed them out to the neighborhood. It was a huge hit. Thank you! This will be my permanent go-to sugar cookie recipe from now on.
Hi Rose! I have sworn by this cookie recipe for about 4 years. It’s never let me down. Now that I am making in it large quantities I was hoping you could tell me, how far in advance I can make the dough and keep in the fridge? If it’s longer than overnight should I be freezing it? If freezing is recommended, what is the process for thawing it?
I have refrigerated it for around a week and frozen for up to a month and it works great. To thaw it, I put it in the fridge overnight, then set it out on the counter until it warms up enough to be workable.