Go Back
+ servings
tree shaped cookie with frosting decorating the cookies
Print Recipe
4.40 from 233 votes

Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

These are my family's favorite Cut Out Sugar Cookies! This easy cookie recipe holds it's shape and makes soft and delicate sugar cookies!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Chill Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Dorothy Kern
Cost: $8



  • 2 ½ cups (304g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups (141g) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)


  • 4 cups (452g) powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk regular, low- or non-fat are all fine (or use heavy cream)
  • Food color and/or sprinkles if desired


  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer). Mix on low, scraping the bowl occasionally, until the mixture forms a cookie dough. Be sure to start on low or the dry ingredients will fly everywhere!
  • Divide the dough in half. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a large cutting board or flat surface. Place the cookie dough on the wax paper. Place another large sheet of wax paper on top of the cookie dough. Press down into a flat disk with the palm of your hand, then roll out the dough between the two pieces of wax paper. After each 3-4 rolls, carefully lift the top sheet of wax paper off the dough, then replace it, flip the dough over, and carefully peel the other wax paper sheet, replace it, then continue rolling until the dough is about 1/4” thick. Place the dough, still between the wax paper sheets, on another cutting board or cookie sheet.
  • Repeat with second half of dough. Place both rolled out cookie dough sheets in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or wrap them well with plastic wrap and chill overnight).
  • When ready to cut cookies, preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cut cookies in desired shapes and place them on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Save the scraps of dough and re-roll them as needed. Note: once you re-roll the dough, you may want to chill those cutouts for about 10 minutes before baking them so they’ll keep their shape.
  • Bake cookies for 6-10 minutes depending on the size. I take them out as soon as the bottoms start to brown because we like them softer. If you want crunchy cookies, let them cook longer. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.
  • To make frosting, beat butter until smooth in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Slowly mix in powdered sugar, then vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the frosting is the consistency you desire. Tint the frosting if you want it a color.
  • Frost cookies, decorating them with sprinkles. Store loosely covered at room temperature.



  • If using salted butter, reduce added salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Do not skip the chilling steps if you want your cookies to hold their shape. Roll then chill and cut, then chill again. This is important!
  • Feel free to use pastry bags and tips or just a knife to frost the cookies.
  • These are great in any shape!
  • How to freeze unfrosted cookies: Stack similarly shaped cookies in airtight containers and freeze for up to 2 months. Freeze prepared frosting in an airtight container. Thaw both on the counter.
  • How to freeze frosted sugar cookies: Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid then stack in airtight containers between layers of parchment or wax paper. Separate stacks before thawing.
  • How to make sugar cookies ahead of time: Roll the dough as directed before chilling. Stack the dough (between sheets of wax or parchment) on cookie sheets and wrap with plastic. Chill up to 24 hours before cutting and baking.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg