Soft, light and sweetly vanilla – this is our go-to recipe for sugar cookies. These cookies taste delicious on their own and are perfect for any cookie decorating project as they will keep their shape quite well.
Use perfection strips to roll out the cookie perfectly even and level. To ensure the cookies keep their tender texture, watch them closely while baking. We prefer to use the seeds of a fresh vanilla pod, but you can use vanilla extract instead. We also share our favorite flavor variations for even more possibilities at the end of the post!
Once you nail down the recipe for basic sugar cookies, the options are endless. Use the biscuits for cookie decorating projects, create flavor variations, or use them with something delicious.
Follow the tips below for best results:
- Roll the dough out on a non-stick baking mat or silicone mat to prevent sticking.
- Use perfection strips to roll out the cookie perfectly even and level.
- To ensure the cookies keep their tender texture, watch them closely while baking.
- kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoons
- hand-held or stand mixer with the paddle attachment
- rubber spatula
- cling film (plastic wrap)
- rolling pin
- cookie cutter of your choice
- wax (greaseproof) paper or baking (parchment) paper or a non-stick baking mat
- baking tray (sheet)
- cooling rack
Want more scrumptious cookie and biscuit recipes? Of course you do! Click on the links below for sweet and crumbly goodness:
- Meringue Kiss
- Oreo Nutella Bites
- Bad Bat Biscuits
- Lemon Shortbread Stars
- Homemade Cookie Butter
- Raspberry Chocolate Whoopie Pies
- Lavender Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Lemon Curd Sandwich Cookies
- Strawberry Rose Meltaways
- Brookies with Candy
Sugar Cookie Variations
1) Chocolate Cookies
For a chocolate variation, substitute 60 g (1/2 cup) flour with the same amount of unsweetened cocoa powder.
2) Citrus Cookies
For citrus cookies, add the finely grated zest of one lemon, orange, or another citrus fruit to the dough and knead in well.
3) Hazelnut & Almond Cookies
To make hazelnut or almond sugar cookies, replace 60 g (1/2 cup) flour with the same amount of ground nuts. The oils from the nuts can make the dough a little softer and stickier, which you can remedy by knead extra flour into the dough.
4) Brown Sugar & Spice Cookies
For spiced sugar cookies, omit the vanilla and add a tbsp of ground cinnamon, ginger or mixed spice. We also replaced half of the granulated sugar with brown sugar.
5) Mocha Cookies
To prepare coffee-flavoured biscuits, dissolve 1 tbsp instant coffee powder in 2 tbsp boiling water and add to the dough. When adding liquids, it’s best to add only 1 tbsp at a time so the dough doesn’t become too soft. Instead of coffee you can also use many other extracts and liquors, such as amaretto or rum.
6) Colouring cookie dough
You can also colour the cookie dough by adding small amounts of gel paste food colour until the desired hue is achieved.
Unbaked cookie dough can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for up to a month. Baked cookies will keep fresh in airtight containers or freezer bags for a week at room temperature or frozen for up to three months.
- 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 225 g (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter,
- 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- the seeds of one fresh vanilla pod or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Make the dough. Sift the flour and set aside. In a large bowl of a stand or hand-held mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until pale and fluffy. If using a stand mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the egg and beat until blended. Gradually add the flour until just combined. If the dough seems crumbly, knead it with your fingers until it comes together.
- Chill the dough. Divide the dough into two portions and flatten each with the palm of your hand. Wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F / gas mark 4).
- Roll out the dough. Lightly flour the work surface and rolling pin. Place one portion of dough between two perfection strips on a non-stick baking mat and roll out to a thickness of approximately six millimeters or one quarter of an inch. Start rolling from the middle to the edges and occasionally turn the dough to avoid sticking. Cut out the desired shape. Repeat this process with the second portion of dough.
- Bake the cookies. Bake until the edges of the cookies turn slightly golden, for about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 15 minutes on the baking tray. Place the cookies on cooling racks and let cool completely.
Shelf life & storage of sugar cookies
Unbaked cookie dough can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for up to a month. Baked cookies will keep fresh in airtight containers or freezer bags or a week at room temperature or frozen for up to three months.