Amazing Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cutouts

So, I’ve spent a few years trying hundreds of sugar cookie recipes, including those box and bag mixes you can get at the store.  My cookies have melted, have spread, cracked, burned to a crisp and set our kitchen alarm off a few times. I just about gave up until I made these. This is an amazing sugar cookie recipe for cutouts. It’s by far my favorite sugar cookie recipe ever and I will never go back. Even if you have to use half margarine and half butter, it still turns out amazing.

Seriously, it always turns out amazing.

And just to show you how amazing it is, I made another batch this month so you can see. This recipe has been on my blog for a while, but it got a little update with this new batch (the recipe hasn’t changed). Ready to use this amazing sugar cookie recipe? 

Here’s ALL my tips!

sewing machine sugar cookies

Baking Your Cookies

If you’re not quite familiar with making sugar cookies, that’s okay.

First, you’ll make the dough and then you cut out your shapes (pop it in the fridge on the cookie sheet for 10 mins before sticking in the oven).  Cook them until the edges are barely golden, I use a spatula to lift up an edge of one cookie to peek and see how golden the bottom is. That helps me figure out the time for the remaining batches. If it’s too golden, take it out a minute or two earlier. If it’s too floppy, leave it in until it sets up and starts changing color. You don’t want GOLD cookies, these taste better the lighter they are and they keep cooking a little on the hot cookie sheet.

Also, buy some parchment paper. I don’t even bother making these without parchment paper. (You can leave the same sheet on the cookie sheet for your entire batch. It just adds more buttery goodness to the bottom, they won’t spread I promise.)

AND only re-roll the dough once with all the scraps. Your cookies will get pockets of air if you keep re-rolling the scraps over and over… don’t ask me how I know. Lol.

santa hat ornament lights sugar cookies

Cool Them Before Icing

Once you take your cookies out of the oven, let them sit for a minute or two on the sheet and then take them off with a spatula and let them cool on cooling racks.  Don’t ice them until they are completely cool. If you can walk away for an hour and forget about them, do that.

If I’m making a really big batch, I spend a day baking all my cookies. Once they’re cool, I hide them in a huge tupperware container so my kids don’t steal them… no promises though. I’ve also hid them in the freezer for a few days before icing them. Let them come to room temp before you ice them.

You can prepare your icing while they’re cooking or cooling, it’s really up to you.

Using the Right Bag

I’ve been asked what kind of piping bags I use to decorate my cookies. I don’t use squeezy bottles. I use plain ol’ boring disposable bags like these. They make for really easy clean-up, and I just cut a little bit off the tip of the bag. I don’t even bother with couplings or metal tips when I make these. A box of those last a long time. You can make cookies all year round and not worry about running out, if you’re only making them for birthdays and special occasions. 

Picking the Right Colors

To get my colors the perfect shades, I use gel food coloring. These are the exact colors I use. I dip two toothpicks in the gel and then swirl it around my icing. The benefits to using gel compared to the droplets kind, it won’t thin your icing. The gel doesn’t make your icing runny or melt down the sides. You don’t want runny icing ruining your design when you have an amazing sugar cookie recipe.

I like to stay with only a few colors to create a more cohesive look. 

I love the wintery blues and silvers of this season, so I added a plain white to create the look above. It’s like a soft Winter Wonderland colorway.

santa hat sugar cookies

For these Santa hats, I piped an edge of red, let it set for a few minutes and then flooded it with red. If you pipe all the outlines and then come back to the first one, it’s usually been enough time that you can flood them. 

Once the red was dry, I outlined the white. After all of them were outlined, I flooded the white and sprinkled white and gold sugar crystals over it. I was actually a little nervous, because sometimes the sugar crystals bleed into the icing so I avoided any heavily colored sugar for my cookies this time. It’s hard to go wrong with this amazing sugar cookie recipe.

Recruit your Elves

If you’re wondering how to get your kids to help out, let them add all the little details.

I outlined and flooded all the cookies, but when it came time to making the top details, I recruited three of my kids. (The other ones were more interested in eating the cookies afterwards). They added the little sugar balls, snowflakes and sprinkles.

Amazing Sugar Cookie Recipe

We even used one snowflake cutter to make 9 different designs! 

Get creative with this amazing sugar cookie recipe! I used a biscuit cutter to make the round cookies! Yep, biscuit cutter.

If you want to have a cookie decorating party, you could have pre-made cookies with just white background icing and let everyone add their own details.

amazing sugar cookie recipe cutout

I’m going to be honest, I kinda hate red and green together. But my sprinkles had gold stars so I broke up our Christmas colorway with some yellow. It made it so much more cheery to decorate.

sugar cookie sprinkles and decoration

Custom Sprinkles

We made our own sprinkle batches. We hit up Michaels and did the a la mode version of their tiny sprinkle bags. We combined a bunch of sizes and shapes to get our mixes. They didn’t cost that much either. The girls had fun helping me with this. And all of the kids got a turn mixing the containers.

It’s a really good option if you have a colorway you need to match, like a pink and purple unicorn birthday or something. You can use this amazing sugar cookie recipe year round!

We poured out our sprinkles into the mason jar lid and picked out the ones we needed for details, like for the snowflake cookies. Also, our cookies fit if we wanted to dip it in the lid for a mix of sprinkles. 

Make “gingerbread” houses

By the way, did you know you can make “gingerbread” houses with sugar cookies!? Oh my gosh, yes. Use this house cutter and decorate them before gluing them together with thick icing. They look amazing. 

I think I’m just going to cut out little houses for my kids to decorate. But once I find a perfect gingerbread recipe, I promise to share!!

Here’s the sugar cookie recipe I’ve been using for years.

And here’s the royal icing recipe I use to decorate the cookies like above.


Here’s some inspiration for you. I love seeing what others dream up!

Happy Baking my loves! I know we’re taking a break from Trends and Designing to talk about cookies. But tis the season, and I think we all need an amazing sugar cookie recipe to impress our family and friends. I have a free gift in my next post to you! Stay tuned!

xoxo, Rachel

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