The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER

I have always enjoyed making sugar cookies, and not just at Christmas time. They are the perfect cookie for any time of the year! They are perfect for kids’ parties as the decorating can become not only an activity during the party, but a party favor. I always do this for Christmas parties, but I’ve done it a few years for Valentine parties as well. I’m sharing with you today my go-to recipe for the easiest and best sugar cookies ever!

The best sugar cookie recipe ever, and a secret tip for applying the sprinkes!

We love to make this recipe all year long. It’s from my longtime friend Betty. Betty Crocker that is. Like most popular cookie types, there are a ton of recipes out there, all claiming to be the best. Of course, you will have to be the judge of that, but truly I love this recipe and will never change it! It’s perfect just like it is. The cookies are light and fluffy and oh so tasty.

This recipe came from my Betty Crocker cookbook that I received as a gift nearly – ahem – 18 years ago when I moved into my first apartment. It’s literally the only cookbook I’ve ever really used, and I keep it just for this recipe. Ok there are a few other recipes I like, but this one even has my notes in it. Do you have any cookbooks like that?

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Of course my kids like the decorating part the best, but I have a secret – I’m not a fan of sugar cookies with frosting. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, unless it’s really, really good chocolate, or chocolate chip cookies. Sugar cookies can be pretty sweet as it is, so I prefer to just add sprinkles. I have found that the best way to apply the sprinkles is BEFORE you put the dough on the cookie sheet. Scoop with a two tablespoon cookie scoop (like this one) and press into the sprinkles. Then release the dough from the scoop and turn it over onto the cookie sheet, pressing lightly.

Dip cookie dough into sprinkles before releasing from the cookie scoop! Genius!

Of course this tip won’t work if you’re making cut-out cookies. But the recipe I’m sharing over at Lil’ Luna today is definitely will – try my sugar cookies with Red Hots Glaze!

Sugar Cookies with Red Hots Glaze

Anyway, this particular recipe is the best I’ve found so I thought you might enjoy it too!

 Want some more yummy cookie recipes? Try these:

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Cookies

A stack of chocolate cookies with M&Ms

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies with Coconut M & Ms

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Sugar cookies with sprinkles

The Best Sugar Recipe EVER

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar*
  • * If you don't have cream of tartar on hand you can replace the last three ingredients (flour, baking soda, cream of tartar) with self rising flour.

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl or your stand mixer, mix butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
  • Stir in the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar, just until combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.

For cut-outs:

  • Roll chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out desired shapes and place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For drop cookies:

  • Using your hands or a cookie scoop, roll dough into two inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar or dip in sprinkles (optional) and place on a cookie sheet approx. two inches apart. Press down lightly with the palm of your hand. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Frost with your favorite icing recipe. Mixing powdered sugar and water works well to create a nice glaze that will harden at is sits. Just add water to the powdered sugar until it's a consistency you like.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I tried these following exact instructions with powdered sugar and all and the dough did not turn out. Both times an overwhelming flour mixture that wouldn’t turn to a typical cookie dough. What could I have done wrong? Thank you

  2. I have been making this surger cookie recipe since 1973. And found it in my Betty Crocker book also like you Kristin. I have made cutouts for room parties for three children, then sent them on busses and parties for their sports and then grandchildren. Cutout basketballs footballs fish for swimmers round ones for gymnastics . Plus every holiday . Sometimes colored sugars but 90% of time they are iced ! I thinkits great you have shared this recipe for everyone to enjoy ! It’s truly my favorite also . The only difference is the recipe I have used “almond flavoring ? Try it!

    1. Thanks for your comment Judy! So fun to hear of you using the same recipe for so many years! My son is very allergic to nuts so that’s why we avoid it (might be totally safe, but we don’t take chances!).

  3. I had this recipe, or a similar one, years ago and lost it. I have been on the hunt since then! Yes, they are that good! Thanks to bloggers like you and to Pinterest to help us find our way through the hunting grounds and to the prize! Seriously, thanks for posting this. My sis in law is visiting for a bit. She has as major sweet tooth and a desire to do family activities. Baking and decorating sugar cookies for New Year’s should fill both bills!

    1. It depends on the size and if you’re using cookie cutters or the cookie scoop. With the cookie scoop you should be able to get 2-3 dozen.

  4. Do you think it’s okay to use butter over margarine? Or would you stick with margarine?
    Thanks. Can’t wait to try them out.

    1. I personally only use real butter in my cookies. Margarine tends to make them spread more. That said, yes you can use it, but you may not get the same results.