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My Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

I've had this recipe for so long I don't remember where I got it. Sometimes, old-fashioned recipes are the best. This is one of them.

Finished product, ready to eat.

Finished product, ready to eat.

How Do You Like Your Sugar Cookies?

I learned to cook and bake from my mother and other relatives. I also read a lot of cookbooks and watch the cooking shows because I want to learn more about cooking and baking. But, I am old-school at best.

But there's a reason classics are classics. My favorite part about these cookies is how thick and soft they are. That depends on the baker and how you and your family like them. Some do like them thin and a little on the crisp side.

Just remember:

  • thin cookie = crisp cookie
  • thick cookie = soft cookie

Note: I doubled this recipe to get as many cookies as you see in the picture above.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

10 min

40 min

Yields about 30 cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl using a hand mixer beat the butter until creamed and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium until fully combined. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Turn the mixer down to low and add half the flour mixture, beating just combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. The dough will be soft.
  4. Flour your work space and dump dough onto space. Flour top of dough and rolling pin. Gently roll out the dough to 1/3" thickness or whatever thickness you desire. The thicker the cookies, the softer the cookie. Cut out shapes and use a spatula to transfer to prepared baking sheet. All cookies will not fit on one baking sheet.
  5. When one cookie sheet is full refrigerate for 5 minutes before baking for 10 minutes. Time may vary according to thickness of the cookie. (See above tips and tricks for sprinkling sugar on cookies).

Tips and Tricks for Baking Sugar Cookies

  • If you like a thick dough, the key is to roll out the dough with a light hand on the rolling pin. Little short rolls back and forth. It will make for a more even and thicker dough.
  • Remember not to make it thicker than your cookie cutters.
  • Perfect shapes are made on a well-floured surface. This means table, top of cookie dough and rolling pin.
  • Also with your dry and clean basting brush; brush the tops of the cookies to clean them up a little after you put them in the cookie sheets before you decorate them.
  • If you use only sugar as I did, clean them up before adding the sugar and refrigerate them for 5 minutes before baking them.
  • If you are going to decorate them with icing, then clean them up before you put them in the refrigerator and baking them.

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© 2017 Rachel L Alba