Back to Nice 'n' Soft Sugar Cookies

Print Options


Card Sizes

Nice 'n' Soft Sugar Cookies Recipe

Nice 'n' Soft Sugar Cookies Recipe

My family’s all-time favorite Christmas cookie has had a million shapes over the years. Little ones have fun making their own icing designs. — Cathy Hall, Lyndhurst, Virginia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 5 min./batch + cooling YIELD:36 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • ICING:
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • Food coloring of choice
  • Colored sugar and sprinkles, optional


  • 1. Cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Divide dough in half. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 375°. On a floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 3/16-in. thickness. Cut with floured 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until set, 5-7 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 3. Beat confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder on low speed until blended; beat on high until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add corn syrup; beat 1 minute.
  • 4. Tint with food coloring as desired. (Always keep unused icing covered with a damp cloth; if necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.) Pipe or spread icing on cookies; decorate as desired. Let dry. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Recipe Note

Editor’s Notes: As a substitute for 2-1/2 cups of self-rising flour, place 3-3/4 teaspoons baking powder and 1-1/4 teaspoons salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup; combine with an additional 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie: 138 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Reviews for Nice 'n' Soft Sugar Cookies

Sort By :

Average Rating
ojc0806 User ID: 4482783 258274
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2016

"The best sugar cookies!!! I used the editor's note to get the flour so I didn't need to buy a whole thing of self raising flour. Otherwise everything was followed as written. A great frosting too that sets well! Will be making every year!"

cookingram78 User ID: 8652889 239016
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2015

"I've been using this recipe for years with wonderful results. I do, however, roll out my dough a bit thicker than the recipe suggests, as I find this produces a guaranteed soft and tender cookie. Dough is easy to handle and very forgiving, and the re-rolled scraps even make delicious cookies."

dkatie9 User ID: 1965911 215014
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2014

"These cookies are delicious. Those people who didn't get a soft cookie did something wrong. I followed the recipe exactly. Yummy. Maybe you didn't soften the butter???"

DMWinnie User ID: 8155707 214753
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2014

"These were not anything like they should be. Wasted a bunch of ingredients. Not sure why some of us had the same issues, and others liked it. It was almost like there was a binding ingredient missing. After a few failures I added some oil to get the consistency I need to do anything with them. Moving on to another one...this one is a no go....."

lmmanda User ID: 1101093 155200
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2014

"I love soft chewy cookies and these are the best sugar cookies I've ever had. They are a Christmas tradition in our house."

LBayne User ID: 1341890 137565
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2014

"Love these sugar cookies. This is my go to cugar cookie recipe! Everyone loves these with a little buttercream frosting on them."

daughterofacook User ID: 7289771 155196
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2013 Edited Dec. 22, 2013

"The first batch I made, burned; The second batch was only air and super crunchy......I have lost 15 cookies so far..... I just hope that this next one isn't another waste....EACH BATCH IS SIX COOKIES SINCE I AM USING A TOASTER OVEN......."

one2shree User ID: 7047543 156862
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2012

"Love this recipe! The cookies turned out nice and soft and not overly sweet. If you want it sweeter then make your icing sweeter. However, I liked them without icing and with just as well. I used a different recipe for the frosting as I didn't want to use corn syrup. I made these last week and am whipping up another batch today!"

Rikku User ID: 3386142 174291
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2012

"My mother adores these cookies, I use a different frosting recipe and the end result tastes like it came from the local bakery!"

muffbear74 User ID: 209131 83548
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2012

"I did not have any trouble with this recipe at all. I followed the Editor's Note since I did not have any self-rising flour. The cookies were easy to roll and turned out great. I also shared the recipe with a friend and she was very happy with the results, also."

cherib33 User ID: 1741006 83544
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2011

"My daughters and I made this recipe last night, after tripling the recipe and baking, not one cookie came out decent. All flatter than a pancake, more like paper thin no matter how thick we rolled the dough or how much flour we added to the dough. Total disappointment!!! Waste of 4 tonight we are starting over with a different, reliable recipe! I can't even give it 1 star....Sorry"

KatherineP01 User ID: 5618738 158565
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2011

"These cookies were okay. They were edible. The vanilla flavor was way too strong, and they did not hold up well as cut-outs. My stars kept turning into flowers. They were very soft, though (sometimes too soft as they were difficult to ice) and perhaps would be fine as drop cookies, minus some of the vanilla flavoring. I was very disappointed. I did not try the icing in the recipe, as I didn't have the meringue powder on hand."

kat83 User ID: 2934264 156852
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2011

"Ive made this the last three years, very good and softer than a regular sugar cookie which I love. Have to watch the time though, they may not appear to be hard enough to take out, but do it anyway and let it finish on top of stove for a min then remove to wire rack to finish cooling."

Samar1986 User ID: 5811598 170743
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2011


bjpalmer User ID: 467168 80567
Reviewed Nov. 14, 2011

"This will be my 3rd year in a row making these cookies for Christmas. The icing is so beautiful. The cookies always look like a professional decorated them because of the glossy yummy icing. Definitely a fun one to make with the family!"

jeffssugarbear User ID: 5411462 174288
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2011

"I have done this recipe for years now for every holiday and I never chill the dough. I roll my dough a little thick and slightly ubder cook them but I think they are amazing."

Danielleklatt User ID: 5636624 83498
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2011

"THE eastest and best tasting cookies ever, my new fave sugar cookie recipe"

stacbisk User ID: 2044491 83497
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2010

"this is the easiest and best sugar cookie recipe i ever used"

SZA User ID: 5724444 156843
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2010

"PS - I did NOT use the recommended frosting. Meringue powder seems fussy to me for a sugar cookie icing."

SZA User ID: 5724444 172162
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2010

"I made these cookies with my young niece & nephew and really enjoyed them. They are softer than your average cutout cookie, so nice for little kids. Dough was extremely easy even for them to work with. The cookie lacks some depth of flavor but you could help that out by adding some almond in place of the vanilla extract, I suppose. I love the use of self-rising flour, but a lot of people won't have use for the rest of the bag once they've made these cookies. Your call. If you have tots in the house, I'd recommend investing in a bag of self-rise flour and just having fun for an afternoon making these soft and sweet cookies!"

sedelligatti User ID: 5692759 156841
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2010

"These were very soft and delicious! I made my cookies a bit thicker than the 3/16 of an inch though. I also used my own buttercream frosting recipe instead."

kmarket User ID: 4836431 158562
Reviewed Nov. 22, 2010

"Excellent cookie--- it is fairly sweet, but that`s alright. I didn`t leave them in the fridge for the whole 2 hours and that was a mistake... as they went a little flat when baking. I just made my next batch a little thicker and they were perfect. A good sugar cookie that I`d recommend. (I used my own icing as well and colored sprinkles---impressive!)"

pearlrvr User ID: 1256058 155194
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2010

"Excellent cookie, terrible icing."

G'maof5 User ID: 4843740 170833
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2010

"Made them twice to make sure I didn't make a mistake first time. Followed recipe exactly. They have a terrible bitter taste. Texture was great."

jessicalynnmorris User ID: 4520167 80487
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2010

"read the reviews and ingrediants and decided to not make these but another recipie i found on a diff site for "softest sugar cookies ever" and boy they were good but turned rock hard overnight so i threw them away and made! i didnt make the icing just had them plain, my oh my these really are the best sugar cookies i think i have ever had i left the dough a bit thicker than they instruced but the cookies turned out perfect not crunchy in any way shape or form jsut soft from the corners to the center and that was what i was going for. so happy i gave this recipie another though and a try cus this is my new xmas cookie recipie. i did go a bit over board on the im a vanilla freak... addedd lots of it, and i had to add another egg cus the dough wasnt coming together as i would have hoped but they turned out great!! def worth a try and super simple and easy as well"

GargAkhil User ID: 6453627 170739
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2009


lotia16 User ID: 1074888 99949
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2009

"The cookies are very light and soft, on top of being very yummy! They are also incredibly easy to make! I did not use the frosting recipe though, as I used my own buttercream frosting instead."

kabonkey User ID: 1489682 169569
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2009

"I wanted to respond to the meringue powder comment you can actually use egg whites and cream of tart. What veriations I don't know"

rkelly0906 User ID: 3685655 156802
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2009

"I have been making sugar cookies for 20+ years and am always looking for a better recipe. THIS IS IT!! I won't have to look any further. They were delicious. I didn't have the self rising flour so I used all purpose flour and added baking powder. They were yummy. I took them to work and didn't have a crumb to take back home!

I did not like the icing though."

lisha875 User ID: 4213815 99948
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2009

"Sooo good!"

gayle217 User ID: 1451777 170830
Reviewed May. 26, 2009

"Meringue powder is so there anything else I can sub?"

DGermo User ID: 1819164 158558
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2008

"I really enjoy using self rising flour in cookie making. It seems to make the cookies taste better without that overpowering salty taste that you sometimes taste."

Loading Image