Cut out sugar cookies are the perfect cookies to use as a base and for decorating. They hold their shape and are delicious!

What are cut out sugar cookies?

When I decorate cookies, these cut out sugar cookies are really my go-to recipe. They are my absolute favorite. I specifically choose this cookie recipe because they hold their shape so well while baking. Nothing is more annoying than when you’ve put a lot of effort into cutting cookies into a nice shape only to find out after baking that the cookies have deformed.

Cookies that hold their shape

So you don’t have to worry about that with this recipe, this is really a recipe for making cookies that hold their shape. The reason that sugar cookies hold their shape so well is because of the amount of flour in the recipe; a relatively large amount of flour goes into the sugar cookie dough. Therefore, these cookies taste best with a layer of royal icing or some other fun cookie decoration.

BAKING TIP! There are a lot of cute cookie cutters out there, many of which I have in my collection. However, this 101-piece set is a must-have in my kitchen!

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More sugar cookies recipes

If I deviate from this basic vanilla sugar cookie recipe at all, it is usually for a different flavor variation. For example, it can be really fun to make chocolate sugar cookies by replacing 10% of the flour with cocoa.

And in the fall and winter, of course, gingerbread cookies are a favorite. Each of these variations holds its shape just as well as the basic recipe below. So you can enjoy different flavors as you get started with cookie decorating!

Decorating cut out sugar cookies

The nice thing about baking sugar cookies is that you end up decorating them, of course. This can be done with a simple powdered sugar and liquid (milk or water) glaze, melted chocolate, or royal icing. Actually, I always go with royal icing and occasionally chocolate.

If you want to melt a small amount of chocolate for decorating, check out my hack for melting chocolate in a piping bag.


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Best cut out sugar cookies - Frequently asked questions

What type of flour do you use for cookies?

I prefer to use all-purpose flour for cookies, but wheat flour works well too. Some cookie recipes call for a specific type of flour, in which case, of course, you use the flour called for in the recipe.

How will I know when the cookies are done?

Cookies always come out of the oven soft. So you cannot rely on touch to determine when they are done. With cookies, you basically have to rely on the recipe and your own judgement. With natural cookies that are light in color (no cocoa powder or spices), you will see that they get golden brown edges.

What cookie cutters do you like to use?

Ha, I have an unbelievable amount of cookie cutters in the house. All shapes and sizes, you name it, it’s in my drawer. One thing that comes in handy is a set of round cutters with different diameters. I also have this set of 101 Wilton cutters, which is a nice base to have around the house.

Can I store the cookie dough?

Sure you can. Wrapped in an airtight container, you can store cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to a week. In the freezer, you can keep it much longer, up to three months.

Can I substitute vanilla sugar?

Personally, I prefer to use vanilla sugar. If you want to replace it with vanilla extract or paste, you can (2 teaspoons), but you will have to replace the 50 grams of vanilla sugar with caster sugar.


cut out sugar cookies recipe

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4.69 from 38 votes

Cut out sugar cookies recipe

Cut out sugar cookies are the perfect cookies to use as a base and to decorate. They hold their shape well and are delicious!
Servings: 30 servings


  • 150 grams soft white sugar
  • 50 grams vanilla sugar
  • 200 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 400 grams all-purpose flour


  • Cream together the sugar, vanilla sugar, and butter. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
  • Add the flour and mix to a firm dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to about 0.5 cm (½ inch) thick. Do not use too much flour, as the recipe already contains a lot of flour, or the cookies will taste too "floury".
  • Cut out the cookies with a shape of your choice. Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake at 180 °C (350 °F) for about 10-12 minutes. Small cookies will bake a little shorter, so it is best to bake cookies of the same size per sheet.
  • When the edges of the cookies start to turn golden brown, remove them from the oven. The cookies will still be a little soft when they come out of the oven, so let them cool a bit before placing them on a wire rack.
  • When the cookies are completely cooled, you can decorate them with royal icing or melted chocolate.
How to store

Undecorated cookies are best stored in a sealed container, where they will keep for up to 4 to 6 weeks.

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