Basic Cookie Dough Recipe

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In Payson, Utah, Gloria McBride turns everyday ingredients into a versatile dough that's the basis for five sensational sweets. "You can bake some cookies right away, then pop the extra dough in the freezer for later," she notes.
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
MAKES:96 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
MAKES: 96 servings


  • 2-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7-1/2 to 8 cups (30 to 32 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Nutritional Facts

4 teaspoons dough: 98 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 91mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk 7-1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture, adding additional flour if necessary. Divide dough into four 2-cup portions. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
  2. Basic Cookie Dough may be used to prepare the following recipes: Crumb-Topped Date Bars, Cherry Surprise Cookies, Chocolate Mallow Cookies or Jelly Sandwich Cookies. Yield: 8 cups.
Originally published as Basic Cookie Dough in Quick Cooking November/December 2002, p52

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peanutsnona76 User ID: 8027573 257732
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2016

"Our family has been enjoying this recipe from the first time we tried it back in '02. Have made most of the variations listed. Good, workable dough with delicate flavor. If you are looking for a super-sugary sweet cookie, you will find it too subtly flavored for your liking. Subbing 1 tsp. of lemon, orange, or peppermint extract for 1 tsp. of the vanilla works nicely too!"

lvarner User ID: 35803 257585
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2016

"This is a nice, basic sugar cookie dough to use for making cookies at holiday time. I love that there are so many variations! I used the dough to make the Jelly Sandwich Cookies and they were tasty and very pretty. I look forward to trying the other variations!"

Bellabyrdie User ID: 8921776 253241
Reviewed Aug. 27, 2016

"This may be the worst cookie base I have ever EVER used. It couldn't be more off. I tried twice and both times it came out horrific. Don't waste your time. Find a different more balananced cookie base. Horrific."

catlovesbooks User ID: 4808399 245777
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2016

"This is the best sugar cookie dough base I have ever used! With a few tweaks, it can be used to make a variety of different cookies! Great!"

overture User ID: 1961135 244059
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2016

"I love this dough! It is easy to make, the cookies come out soft, and they're not super sugary. I hate "traditional" sugar cookies that are sugary to begin with, then you add frosting on top of that and it's just too much sugar. The best part about these cookies is that they hold their shape. They don't spread and they don't balloon. They are ideal for decorating!"

Englerthjenn User ID: 8724612 242883
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2016 Edited Sep. 14, 2016

"This will not be the best cookie dough ever (without chocolate chips it is a little lacking in taste). It makes a ton of cookies (seriously I had to use a huge bowl to follow the recipe mostly) but is light and fluffy and overall wasn't bad with some chocolate chips"

sstetzel User ID: 158954 238439
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2015

"We recently retested this recipe and had no problems with the flour / liquid ratio. Try weighing your flour instead of measuring.

8 cups flour = 1000g or 35.2 oz or 2.2 lbs
Sue Stetzel
Online Community Manager/ Taste of Home Magazine"

Jrq User ID: 8637843 238120
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2015

"Horrible. This is a JOKE.

Too much flour and Baking Powder.

Jessistanberry User ID: 8550035 233488
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2015

"I halved the recipe and put white chocolate chips and instead of vanilla used lemon and my cookies turned out nice and fluffy and tasted good. I don't know what everyone whose review I read did but mine turned out fine"

disappointedcookieeater User ID: 8156361 214792
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2014

"I made an account just to leave this review. Comments do not lie and I wish I'd read them before I made these cookies, which are not actually cookies. The resulting product tastes pretty good, but they are definitely more like southern tea cakes than cookies. As a result, I now have tons of hazelnut chocolate chip hybrid tea cake dough and some very deformed-looking Christmas cookies. If deformed hybrid tea cake cookies are what you want, by all means, use this recipe (however I suggest halving the recipe unless you really need NINETY SIX SERVINGS). If deformed hybrid tea cake cookies are NOT what you want but you are in the middle of this recipe already and there is no going back, try flattening the dough when you put it on the cookie sheet for more cookie-like "cookies". I baked at 375 for a little over 10 minutes btw, for some reason there is no cook time or temp for the recipe?? W/e"

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