cookies/ holiday treats

Super Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Out of all the holiday cookies out there, these Super Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies should be on your list of things to bake every single year! They’re buttery soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. They’re great to use with cookie cutters, hold their shape without spreading, and fun to decorate with the family!

Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Overhead shot of Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Image Credit: Beyond the Butter, LLC
Super Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies – Christmas may be right around the corner, but you still have time to make this delicious holiday classic!

how to make super soft cut out sugar cookies

The cut out sugar cookies recipe is simple and comes together very quickly. Whisk together your dry ingredients (except for the confectioners sugar) then set to the side. Next you will beat the butter until it’s smooth and creamy. Add in the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg. The final step is to slowly add in the whisked dry ingredients.

For more holiday cookie fun, check out my Super Soft Chocolate Cut-Out Sugar Cookies or my Chocolate Dipped Graham Cracker Christmas Trees!

Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Overhead shot of Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Image Credit: Beyond the Butter, LLC
Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Overhead shot of Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Image Credit: Beyond the Butter, LLC

helpful tips for the perfect cut-out sugar cookies

Here are a few helpful baking tips to help perfect your super soft cut-out sugar cookies!

roll out then chill

To help make things easier for you later on when you go to cut out your cookies, roll out the sugar cookie dough on some lightly floured wax paper before placing it in the refrigerator.

Take whatever size jelly roll pan or cookie sheet that will fit in your refrigerator, and roll the dough out so it fits nicely within that size pan or sheet. Layer each roll out of sugar cookie dough with the wax paper so they don’t stick to each other. 

chill the cut-out sugar cookie dough

In order to prevent your dough from spreading as it bakes, it’s good to chill the dough for a minimum of 1 hour. My preference, however, is overnight. If you choose not to roll your cookie dough out first before chilling, shape the dough into discs wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for a minimum of 2 hours. 

use flour as needed

Even with using chilled dough, I like to dip my cookie cutter or cookie stamps into a little flour before cutting them out. You’ll more than likely have scraps of dough after you cut out your shapes. Make sure you roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

If you find the dough is sticking, go ahead and add more. Remember—the longer the dough sits out the more it’s likely to stick to the surface you’re using for rolling the dough.

don’t over bake the sugar cookies

The recommended baking time for this super soft cut-out sugar cookie recipe is 7-8 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Over baking sugar cookies can leave them a darker brown, brittle, and hard.

Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Overhead shot of Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Image Credit: Beyond the Butter, LLC

helpful baking tools for making super soft cut-out sugar cookies

KITCHENAID KP26M1XFL Professional 600 Stand Mixers, 6 quart, Matte Fresh Linen
KitchenAid KHM926CA 9-Speed Digital Hand Mixer with Turbo Beater II Accessories and Pro Whisk
Geometric Mini Cookie Cutters Set
Set of 6 Christmas Themed Mini Cookie Cutters
Pusheen Cookie Jar
Thumbprint Rectangle Cookie Cutter
Thumprint Circle Cookie Cutter
Nordic Ware Quarter Sheet Pan, 2-Pack
Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat (Set of 2)
OXO Good Grips 11 Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display
Sabatier 5154549 Triple Rivet Wide Turner, Black
Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin
Nordic Ware 43174 3 Piece Baker’s Delight Set, Aluminum
Nordic Ware Geo Cast Cookie Stamps
Wilton Master Decorating Tip Set, 55-Piece decorating tips, Cake Decorating Supplies
Wilton Color Right Performance Coloring System
Ateco 7803 Plain Edge Large Number Cutters (0-9), 3″ high, Stainless Steel, 10 Pc Set
Ateco 6950 Plain Edge Large Alphabet Cutters (A – Z), 3″ high, Stainless Steel, 26 Pc Set
Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour, 16 oz.
Ateco 5457 Plain Edge Round Cutters in Graduated Sizes, Stainless Steel, 12 Pc Set
GIR: Get It Right All Silicone Mini, Skinny & Ultimate Spatula 3 Pc Set
Williams Sonoma Thumbprint Cookie Stamp Set
OXO International Medium Cookie Scoop
Pouring Chute
Anchor Hocking 10pc Glass Mixing Bowl Set
Joseph Joseph Shake-It Self-Tapping Sieve, Large
USA Large Cookie Sheet
The Smart Baker Half Sheet 13 x 18 inches Perfect Parchment Paper – Pre-Cut Parchment Paper Baking Sheets
Cooling Rack Stainless Steel Half size – Commercial Grade Steel 11.5″ x 16.5″ | 1 Piece | Cooking Rack Designed To Fit Perfectly Into Baking Half Sheet Pan | Only From Indigo True Company
Fox Run 4254 Kitchen Timer with Magnet 55-Minute

last minute baking tips

general

  • Recipe bake times are approximate and will vary based on your oven. Always begin to check on your recipe at the first recommended bake time listed.
  • Recipe does not include time for cooling of cookies after baking.
  • Sugar cookie glaze and royal icing prep times are not noted in the recipe, but take approximately 45 minutes. This includes making both the glaze and icing, coloring, adding to piping bags (if needed), and setting up your work area.
  • Total decorating time for these super soft cut-out sugar cookies will vary based on how many cookies are made (based on size of cookie cutter shapes) and experience level.

cookie dough

  • Whatever cookie sheet or jelly roll pan you use for chilling the slabs of cookie dough, make sure it fits in your refrigerator!
  • If your cookie dough is still too sticky while rolling it out, you can add a little more flour to the work surface.
  • I prefer to roll my sugar cookies out to a 1/4 inch thickness. If you would like to roll them out thinner, make sure to pay attention to the time you bake them because they’ll bake faster than thicker rolled cookies.
  • You can roll the cookie dough directly onto a sheet of parchment paper which will make it easier to place onto the cookie sheet or jelly roll pan for chilling.
  • If you’d like, you can reuse the parchment paper you used earlier to roll out the dough.
  • If time allows, you can chill the cut out cookie shapes in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking. This is an optional step.
  • Sometimes the more you handle the cookie dough, you can end up with air bubbles after baking. If this happens, remove them from the oven and gently tap the tops of them with a spatula/turner.

decorating the cut-out sugar cookies

  • You can skip using the glaze and royal icing and just decorate the cookies with sanding sugars. If you choose to do this, you’ll add the sugars before you bake the cookies. This option is less messy and possibly better for little kids who are just getting into cookie decorating. It’s how I learned to decorate cut-out sugar cookies as a kid!
  • Allow the glazed cut-out sugar cookies to fully dry before adding the royal icing. 
Print
Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Overhead shot of Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Image Credit: Beyond the Butter, LLC

Super Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Jennifer
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes includes 1 hour chilling time)
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 34 dozen cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Desserts

Description

These Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies have been a family favorite since I was a kid. They are super soft on the inside with a crispy, light golden brown outside, and so easy to make with cookie cutters! If you’re a cookie artist in search of that perfect sugar cookie recipe, look no further!


Scale

Ingredients

sugar cookies

sugar cookie glaze

  • 2 cups Sifted Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Milk (I used Fat Free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon or Pinch of Salt
  • Food Coloring  or Icing Gel

royal icing

  • 8 tablespoons Water
  • 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups Sifted Confectioners Sugar
  • Food Coloring or Icing Gel

additional items needed

  • Cookie Cutters (mine came from Michael’s and A Touch of Finland)
  • Sanding Sugars
  • Small Piping Bags or Mini Piping Bottles (piping tips do not have to be used with the bags. I just snipped mine off when I ready to start decorating)
  • Assorted Cookie Decorations (check out my Homemade Gingerbread Houses post for decorating ideas)

Instructions

sugar cookies

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set to the side.
  2. Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the unsalted butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add in the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg mixing until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Switch the mixer speed to a lower setting, gradually adding in the whisked dry mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Transfer the sugar cookie dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface, then divide it into 2 sections. Roll out each section of cookie dough to a 1/4 inch thickness slab. Carefully move the slab onto a sheet of parchment paper, then place the sheet onto a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Repeat with the second section of dough, place it on a sheet of parchment paper, then place on top of the first layer. Refrigerate the cookie dough for a minimum of 1 hour or (my preference) overnight.
  6. After chilling is complete, adjust your oven rack to the 2nd level position and preheat your oven to 375ºF. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Flour your cookie cutters and cut out your shapes. Place each cut out shape about 1″- 1 1/2″ apart on the cookie sheet. If you’d rather just use sanding sugar to decorate your cookies instead of the sugar cookie glaze or royal icing, now is the time to sprinkle them on top of the cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Let them cool completely before decorating them with either the sugar cookie glaze or royal icing.

sugar cookie glaze

  1. Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the confectioners sugar, light corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt until very smooth.
  2. Divide the glaze into separate bowls for each color you plan to use, then add the food dye or icing gels. Start by adding a little bit and build to the color you’re satisfied with.

royal icing (for a glue-like piping consistency)

  1. Using your hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment mix together the meringue powder and warm water on medium speed until blended.
  2. Reduce the mixer speed and gradually add in the confectioners sugar until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix once more on medium-high speed.
  3. For a flooding consistency that is runnier than glue and will disappear back into the mixing bowl within 10-15 seconds, I typically add in another 2 tablespoons of warm water.

decorating the cookies

  1. When ready to decorate, dip the top of each cookie into the colored glaze and allow any excess to drip off.
  2. Place on a wire rack with a paper towel underneath to dry.
  3. If you’re topping the glaze with only sanding sugar, add it now before the glaze dries.
  4. If you’re using royal icing, wait until the glaze has dried to the touch.
  5. After decorating all the cookies, allow to dry overnight completely. 
  6. You can keep these stored in an airtight container with wax or parchment paper in between the cookies so you don’t smoosh you decorations.
  7. Add in a slice of bread to keep them nice and soft (optional)

Notes

general

  • Recipe bake times are approximate and will vary based on your oven. Always begin to check on your recipe at the first recommended bake time listed.
  • Recipe does not include time for cooling of cookies after baking.
  • Sugar cookie glaze and royal icing prep times are not noted in the recipe, but take approximately 45 minutes. This includes making both the glaze and icing, coloring, adding to piping bags (if needed), and setting up your work area.
  • Total decorating time for these super soft cut-out sugar cookies will vary based on how many cookies are made (based on size of cookie cutter shapes) and experience level.

cookie dough

  • Whatever cookie sheet or jelly roll pan you use for chilling the slabs of cookie dough, make sure it fits in your refrigerator!
  • If your cookie dough is still too sticky while rolling it out, you can add a little more flour to the work surface.
  • I prefer to roll my sugar cookies out to a 1/4 inch thickness. If you would like to roll them out thinner, make sure to pay attention to the time you bake them because they’ll bake faster than thicker rolled cookies.
  • You can roll the cookie dough directly onto a sheet of parchment paper which will make it easier to place onto the cookie sheet or jelly roll pan for chilling.
    If you’d like, you can reuse the parchment paper you used earlier to roll out the dough.
  • If time allows, you can chill the cut out cookie shapes in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking. This is an optional step.
  • Sometimes the more you handle the cookie dough, you can end up with air bubbles after baking. If this happens, remove them from the oven and gently tap the tops of them with a spatula/turner.

decorating the cut-out sugar cookies

  • You can skip using the glaze and royal icing and just decorate the cookies with sanding sugars. If you choose to do this, you’ll add the sugars before you bake the cookies. This option is less messy and possibly better for little kids who are just getting into cookie decorating. It’s how I learned to decorate cut-out sugar cookies as a kid!
  • Allow the glazed cut-out sugar cookies to fully dry before adding the royal icing.

This is a family recipe and was given to me by my late Grammy. The sugar cookie glaze recipe was adapted from My Name is Yeh.

Keywords: super soft cut-out sugar cookies, sugar cookies, cut-out sugar cookies, roll out sugar cookies, cookies, holiday cookie recipes

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

here’s some more holiday cookie inspiration for you!


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Policies page.

Beyond the Butter, LLC owns the copyright on all images and written content within this blog post. If you would like to republish a Beyond the Butter recipe, please feel free to do so by using 1 photo and a link back to the recipe. If you would like to republish the recipe on your site, please link back to the original recipe at the top of the post, use your own photos, and rewrite the full recipe in your own words to make it your own.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeli
    December 24, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    Hi! I am trying to make these cookies for Santa today and just realized the instructions call to mix egg with the other ingredients, however there is no egg in the ingredients list. Could you please advise how many eggs are needed? Thanks so much!!! Love your recipes

    • Reply
      Jennifer
      December 31, 2018 at 9:53 AM

      Hi! I’m so sorry for just seeing your comment now! It calls for 1 large egg. I’ll make that correction in the ingredients list. Thank you so much for catching that!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: