This easy sugar cookie dough recipe is the perfect base sugar cookie recipe. It can be used to make a wide range of sugar cookie recipes, and is great to prepare in advance. Use it to make my easy roll-out sugar cookie recipe, which pairs perfectly with my 2 ingredient sugar cookie icing.
Hi hi! Just popping in to share my super easy sugar cookie dough recipe! I have a bunch of easy sugar cookie recipes planned, so I wanted to give this dough a special home all to itself, and make an ultimate guide on how to make the best sugar cookie dough (to me, anyway).
This is a super versatile cookie dough recipe, which I use as the base of my sugar cookie recipe. You can flavor it as you like, and it is perfect to make ahead and chill in the fridge so you can have soft, freshly baked sugar cookies whenever you need them.
This simple sugar cookie dough is great for all sorts of purposes - whether you are making holiday cookies, christmas cookies, or cookies for any special occasion, it is hopefully going to be your new best friend! Keep them plain, or add an easy sugar cookie icing to fancy it up a little bit.
This sugar cookie dough recipe is also super similar in method to my basic gingerbread cookie dough which I use for my easy gingerbread cookies. They bake at the same temperature so I often like to double up and make them at the same time!
Ingredients in Sugar Cookie Dough
This super simple sugar cookie dough is made with ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and pantry:
- Butter. I use unsalted, if you only have salted butter you can just omit the salt out of the recipe. Use what you have, but because butter is the main flavour in this cookie dough, if you can get your hands on good quality butter, now is the time to use it.
- Granulated sugar (white sugar). I use caster sugar as NZ sugar is a little more chunky than the US, but if you're in the USA, regular granulated sugar is fine.
- Egg. One large egg, just to hold things together.
- Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Again, this is the time to bust out your good stuff. I use vanilla bean paste as I love the speckles it gives, but you are welcome to use vanilla extract too.
- All-purpose flour. (aka plain flour). You don't want a flour that is too high in protein for this sugar cookie recipe, as you don't want too much gluten to develop.
- Baking powder. Just a touch to help with the texture of the cookies.
- Salt. Leave this out if you are using salted butter, but salt in baking is so important to help balance out the sweetness and help with taste.
How to scale sugar cookie dough recipe
This sugar cookie dough recipe is super easy to scale - you can use the scaling button on the recipe card. Because you roll it out between pieces of parchment paper, you can just divide up the dough once it has been mixed, and roll each out to size.
I wouldn't do more than a triple of this recipe at once as your mixer may not be able to cope with it, but I have doubled it and it came out just fine, so a triple mix should be good to go.
How to roll out sugar cookie dough evenly
I roll out my sugar cookie dough between two pieces of parchment paper. I use pre-cut paper the size of a half sheet pan (16.5" x 12.25" / 42x32cm), and the dough, rolled to the correct thickness, should almost fill the space between the two sheets.
I also use rolling pin guides, which are silicone strips that lay down either side of the dough. The rolling pin presses down onto them to help the dough be rolled to an even thickness.
Make sure that you flour the parchment paper before placing the dough down, and add another sprinkle of flour on the top to help prevent sticking.
Can homemade sugar cookie dough be made in advance?
Yes, this sugar cookie dough is great to make in advance. The rolled out dough can be stored up to 3 days in the fridge before cutting out and baking, or you can store the cut-out cookies in the freezer before baking.
This sugar cookie dough can be used as a perfect base recipe for sugar cookies, and you can flavour it any way that you like. Feel free to add in some lemon zest, or almond extract. I also played around with adding in sprinkles to make a funfetti situation - to make this, add 100g of rainbow sprinkles just after the dough is mixed. I use these rainbow sprinkles, if you're in NZ, these look like they might work!
You could also double the recipe and remove half the dough, then add mix-ins if you like if you were after two different doughs in one batch.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tools and equipment do you use?
You can find a full list of the tools and equipment I use on my products page
How many cookies does this sugar cookie dough recipe make?
This recipe makes about 20-30 sugar cookies, depending on how big your cutters are. I used a 3" / 75mm cookie cutter to make most of the round ones, along with a slightly smaller round cutter and got about 20 cookies, with one round of re-rolling the dough.
How do I stop my dough from sticking when I roll it out?
Make sure that the parchment paper is lightly floured before placing the dough down, then lightly flour the top surface of the dough too before topping with a second piece of parchment paper. I haven't tried using a silicone mat for rolling this cookie dough out or baking it on - you are welcome to give it a go but I am a parchment paper girl!
For more base cookie recipes:
❤️ Made this recipe and love it? ❤️
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Answers to your baking questions
Over the years, many of you have asked me questions about:
- baking in grams
- adjusting oven temperatures
- what kind of salt to use
- and many more!
I've curated and answered them all for your easy reference in this frequently asked questions post!
This easy sugar cookie dough recipe is the perfect base sugar cookie recipe. It can be used to make a wide range of sugar cookie recipes, and is great to prepare in advance.Print
Basic Sugar Cookie Dough
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 20 servings 1x
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 180g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (50g not including shell), at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 310g All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 3g (1 tsp) kosher salt (see notes above recipe for using other salt)
- Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together on medium high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the edges a few times to ensure the mixture is fully combined. This step can also be done in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix well to combine.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Flour the top lightly and pat gently into a rectangle shape with your hands.
- Top with a second piece of parchment paper, and roll to a thickness of 0.25" / 6mm.
- Transfer the dough, still between the two pieces of parchment paper, to a baking sheet. Chill in the fridge for at least two hours to allow the dough to firm up, and up to three days ahead.
- Proceed with the recipe as written - such as my easy sugar cookie recipe.
Keywords: Sugar Cookies, Sugar Cookie Dough, Easy Sugar Cookies, Easy Sugar Cookie Dough
Hi Erin, what brand sprinkles do you use in Nz please? I find some tend to bleed in the cookies. Thanks
Hi! I got some that I brought home from NZ but you basically want the ones which are the rainbow version of chocolate hail!
How do you think margarine would work, as a substitute for butter? (Also, Merry Christmas)
No sorry! Merry Christmas!
Thanks for the recipe in grams.I searched everywhere and they were all cup measurements. But I did not find the oven temperature anywhere or did I miss it? Please let me know the temperature that these need to be baked at and the duration too. Thanks
Hi! This is the recipe just for the dough! The cookie recipe is in a separate post which is linked in this post 🙂
Such a good recipe that turned out amazing cookies! Can’t wait to make again with sprinkles 😊
Just made these with sprinkles and they are WONDERFUL. They pair so well with buttercream but are also very tasty by themselves. I weigh every time I’m baking so I appreciate you putting quantities in grams 👏🏼 So sorry people are a**holes and left a bad review for such an amazing recipe instead of moving along and finding one that suits them. There are ways to google “grams to cups” etc. Love all your recipes!! ☺️
I can't make these cookies unless you write it in measurements that are not grams. I would like to make them so can you help me out here?
Hi! You can make them, you just need to get a scale! Or you're welcome to convert the recipe but please don't ask me to do it for you.
I don't use a scale for baking so l had to convert to cups most people l know don't weigh ingredients so it might be helpful to convert ingredients to cups when printing your recipe. If u choose not to do this fine l personally won't use your recipe. If u refuse to convert l won't use your recipe l don't and won't weigh my ingredients l am a good home baker not a professional so since you refuse to make it reader friendly l will un followed you
Lol, ok. There's a note above the recipe for this and 411 million other sugar cookie recipes online if my specific one doesn't suit you. My blog does not exist to cater to you specifically - you're complaining about a recipe I posted for FREE and acting as if I owe you something. I can't imagine leaving such a shitty comment on christmas. Just because you don't know people who bake in grams doesn't mean they don't exist, your circle may be very small. Be better. Merry Christmas.
How funny, I live in the USA, but am very aware we are one of the few countries that don't work on the metric scale. How presumptuous of you expecting others to bend to your world. I find it hard to believe being online you are unable to find a conversion table. On the holiest of days you complain about something that is extremely minuit..
This recipe is amazing! Thank you. And a special thanks for posting in grams! I am in South Africa and we use the metric system.
Side note. It's pure insanity how angry and rude people are because you have posted in grams. Sad to know how many small minded individuals are out there.
These are so tasty and easy to rustle up. Also made a batch with Countdown Free From Gluten Flour and they turned out just as good. Thank you!
These were a big hit at our Christmas party and held their shape so well!
Made these with my 4 year old and she loved them!
Turned out perfect!
This sugar cookie recipe is great! I used it to make Christmas cookies for my neighbors and everyone told me how much they loved them! The recipe was easy to follow and came together rather quickly. I also love how well they hold their shape after baking. I also used the 2 ingredient sugar icing recipe and it just topped this off so well! This a recipe I will use regularly and already plan to use it to make Valentines Day cookies!
Erin, thank you for sharing this free recipe! I'm embarrassed by the number of rude and entitled comments directed at you for the listed measurements. Your responses were well stated, too.
If one is savvy enough to Google a recipe they can surely Google conversions, as well. Which would be quicker than scolding you. Be better, indeed.
Have a great year!
I'm leaving this comment to thank you for this recipe in grams. I live in Europe and I am always searching for measurements in grams because I never get it right when it's in cups.. I'm about to make the cookies for easter and I'm already excited. Thank you