Sugar Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min./batch
Think sugar cookies are just for the holidays? Think again! Learn how to make sugar cookies from scratch that you can enjoy all year long.

Updated: Jul. 17, 2024

When it comes to simple joys, you can’t do much better than a classic sugar cookie recipe. Learning how to make sugar cookies yourself is essential for home bakers of any skill level.

And before you ask—nope, sugar cookies do not have to be the time-consuming cutout and decorated kind. You can make these as drop cookies, and nothing is simpler than a good drop cookie. Have this sweet treat anytime!

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies

  • Butter
  • Shortening
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Additional sugar for topping


Step 1: Start the cookie dough

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Start making the sugar cookie dough by creaming together the butter, sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. You definitely want butter and shortening in this recipe; the butter adds flavor and the shortening makes the cookies super tender. If you want, you can amp up the flavor by using cultured butter.

Once well combined, add in the egg and vanilla paste and beat for about five minutes. Be sure to use a good quality vanilla extract or even a rich vanilla bean paste in this recipe.

Editor’s Tip: Since there are very few ingredients in this recipe, you want the flavors you add to be extra tasty and high quality.

Step 2: Add dry ingredients

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In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then add the ingredients a bit at a time (you don’t want the flour to fly up in your face when you turn the mixer on!).

Mix until the flour is just combined—no need to mix and mix and mix. Over-mixing cookie dough can cause the end result to be tough.

Step 3: Shape the cookies

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With the dough completed, it’s time to portion and shape your cookies. The easiest way to do this is with a cookie scoop. Even occasional bakers will find this gadget super handy. It gives you identically-shaped cookies with every scoop. If you don’t have one on hand, use a spoon to scoop and roll the dough into one-inch balls.

Then roll each cookie dough ball in additional granulated sugar.

Step 4: Bake

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Place each cookie onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about two inches between each cookie. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten each cookie just slightly.

Bake at 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes, until set and edges start to turn golden. Then remove from the cookie sheet and let the cookies cool on a wire rack.

Sugar Cookie Tips

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How do you store sugar cookies?

After sampling a few sugar cookies fresh from the oven, you can store extra cookies in an airtight container or tight-sealing cookie jar. They’ll keep well for five to seven days. And if you find they get a little too crunchy for your liking, softening up cookies is simple with a slice of bread.

Can you freeze sugar cookies?

If you don’t think you can finish all the cookies within a few days, freeze the extras. Pop ’em in a zip-top bag and toss them in the freezer. They’ll keep for about six months.

Watch how to Make Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 5 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Additional sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  2. Shape into 1-in. balls. Roll in additional sugar. Place on greased baking sheets; flatten with a glass. Bake until set, 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 60 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 28mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

This sugar cookie dates back to a Swedish woman born in 1877! Her daughter, Esther Davis, shared the recipe with me and she came up with all the exact measurements, since the original cookies were mixed by feel and taste. These are my favorite cookies and I hope they'll become yours as well. —Helen Wallis, Vancouver, Washington
Recipe Creator