Steps to Making the Perfect Sugar Cookie (and Cookie Pop)

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

Modest title, right? Okay, well, I am proud of my sugar cookies, so don’t mind me. I’ve been baking up batches like crazy these days, so I feel as though I have it down to a science. Funny, I used to make them primarily for special occasions, but they have become such a nice treat for pretty much anytime at all, simply because they taste so good. Sure, I decorate the heck out of them typically, but the cookies themselves are so good that I often eat them simple and plain. Crisp, sugary, and vanilla-y, which is just what a sugar cookie should be. The dough is the perfect consistency for rolling and cutting; and the batch is a really workable size, in my opinion. I’ve had a bunch of readers ask for my sugar cookie recipe, and albeit simple, to me it really is perfect. So, I thought now would be a good time to share it, and my steps to making them, with you, so that we can keep going with of plenty of decorated versions, and that we’re all on the same sugar-cookie-basics page. I have to admit that I get told often that these cookies taste better than most, including the ones at Starbucks :)

I started adding pure lemon extract to the batter in addition to the vanilla. This came to me after becoming hooked on the lemony-vanilla flavour in some Italian animal crackers I bought for the girls that tasted just like McDonaldland Cookies (Italians worldwide are cringing as we speak). I’ve added my own steps for the chilling/rolling/cutting process in the method below with what works for me. It may seem like a lot of work, but I promise that it’s worth it. I learned, over the years, that if the cookies are baked with anything less than perfectly chilled dough, that they expand and don’t keep their clean intended shapes. So frustrating, but avoidable.

So here are some photos to help us along, and since I was making cookie pops this past weekend, I thought I would add that bit into this tutorial, just in case you felt inspired to make cookie pops; they too can be frustrating if the correct steps aren’t taken. I purposely left the decorating portion out of this post, so that we can focus on the fundamentals of baking the cookies themselves. I want to say, though, that making sugar cookies is about personal preference, just as any technique is, and this is my way, but not necessarily the only way.

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

I’ve included explicit instructions for the sugar cookie recipe/chilling/rolling/baking below, but to give you a visual of the cookie pop process as well, I’ve included some extra photos. Here is the cookie dough after well-chilled and rolled using 2 dowels for even thickness and sandwiched between 2 pieces of parchment. This yields a perfectly even sheet of dough for cutting. I always slide this entire thing, minus the dowels, onto a large cutting board and place into refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

I then take the chilled sheet of dough out of the fridge and begin cutting my shapes. For cookie pops, I tend to cut one at a time, insert the cookie stick, place on baking sheet, and then move on to cutting the next cookie. On a side-note, let me say that collecting cookie cutters is slightly addictive!

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

So when making cookie pops, I take my cut shape, make sure it’s near the edge of my board, gently place my left hand on top of the cookie shape, and using my right (dominant) hand, I slowly insert the end of the cookie stick (found at baking supply shops) into the bottom of the cookie, using a slow, turning motion. This really helps minimize breakage of the dough when inserted . . .

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

But, as we all know, hearts can be broken, so after inserting the stick, although the top of the cookie looks perfect, when I gently (and I mean so, so gently) turn the cookie over with a sharp spatula, I see that the bottom has broken a bit. But, that’s okay, we can fix that . . .

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

I take little wee bits of the cookie dough scraps and patch it up with my fingers (now is a good time to use some nice clean food prep sanitary gloves). See, all better. Now oh-so-carefully pinch the bottom of the cookie, where the stick meets it, and ensure it’s secure. I then place each cookie pop onto the cookie sheet using a cookie spatula.

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

Here they are ready to go into the oven, using a baker’s mat. (I use Silpat Mats and clean Nordic Ware aluminum bakers half sheets, and I reserve the half sheets for cookie baking only, to keep them pristine.)

Perfect Sugar Cookie via Sweetapolita

And baked! I find the key is letting them get a golden edge, but also a light golden hue–otherwise, I find they aren’t crispy on the outside. They look so ready for some serious cookie decorating.

The Perfect Sugar Cookie (and Cookie Pop)

Yield: Apprx 30 medium cookies, depending on shapes/size

Buttery, crisp and classic vanilla, these sugar cookies are ideal for decorating, snacking, tea-time or gifting. If the steps are followed, they will keep their shapes well and won't expand while baking.


  • 6 cups (750 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (8 g) salt
  • 2 cups (454 g)(4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened for about 20 minutes at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) pure lemon extract


  1. In large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla and lemon extract and blend.
  4. Remove 1/2 of dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.Wrap the sides of wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2" thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of dough. Chill both discs of dough for about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove one disc and remove plastic wrap. Place on top of a large piece of parchment paper (I use a silicone rolling mat underneath to ensure it doesn't slip while rolling, but you can even dampen counter so the parchment sticks a bit.), then place two 1/4" wooden dowels on either side of your dough, then another sheet of parchment paper.
  6. Roll dough (this will require a bit of elbow grease for the first few minutes until it softens up a bit) so it's flush with dowels--they will ensure that your dough is even thickness.
  7. Preheat your oven to 325° F. Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice, placing them on a baker's half sheet lined with a silicone baking mat (or parchment), with 2" clearance around each one and the edge of sheet. Place sheet with cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
  9. Cool sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling.


*May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They also freeze well.

For other Sweetapolita cookie decorating ideas, here are a few from popular past posts that you may like Milk & Cookie Cookies, Artist Palette & Paintbrush Cookies, or Neapolitan Milk & Chocolate Cookies.

I find I’m drawn to using fondant for my cookie decorating–not always, but often. If you’d like to read some seriously great cookie decorating tutorials, ideas, tips, and more, with a focus on royal icing designs, here are some of my fabulous cookie-goddess friends’ blogs that I know you will love, if you don’t already, that is. These reigning queens of cookie are incredible at what they do (in no particular order):

Bridget, Bake at 350

Callye, The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle

Gail, One Tough Cookie

Marian, Sweetopia

Glory, Glorious Treats

Good luck & enjoy!

Sugar Cookie recipe adapted from my class at Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts





Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts has been teaching the art of cake design, decorating, and sugarcraft since 2008. They offer professional level programs for those committed to pursuing a career in cake design and a variety of continuing education for all skill levels.


Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    I love sugar cookies(plain too) and cookie pops! Thanks for sharing your tips, ideas and recipes. The recipe I use is just like yours, minus the lemon extract:)

  2. says

    That’s exactly my cookie recipe, too! So delicious! I’ve only ever heard it called NFSC (No Fail Sugar Cookie) on Cake Central, and was very interested to read your history with the recipe.

    I’ve recently taken to freezing my cookies solid before baking, too, and it made *such* a difference! I also love that I can do the dough making, rolling, and cutting part of the process well ahead of time. That really comes in handy, especially if I’m making a number of different treats for a dessert table.

  3. says

    Oh wow, I came over to see your new post and I see I get a pretty great shout-out in it! Thanks so much!! In fact, we use pretty much the exact same cookie recipe, so I’ll agree… they are pretty perfect! =) Great post!

  4. says

    Rosie, thank you so much! I was just looking for the perfect cookie recipe and I would definitely use yours. I was wondering whether you could give me a link to an accurate metric/volume converter, because here in Bulgaria we don’t have the same cups as yours and I prefert to measure everything in grams.

    And one more question – how do you stack the fondant to your cookies – do you use just water or some buttercrram? :)

    Thanks in advance,

    xoxo, Irina

  5. Jennie R. says

    About what size dowels do you use? Last time I tried making sugar cookies I just tried to eyeball the thickness (bad idea!) and needless to say, my cookies didn’t turn out so well. Trial and error. But practice makes perfect, right?

  6. says

    Such beautiful cookies and photos! My kitchen is such a mess during cookie making, I’m impressed by how beautiful your setup is, I’ll have to use your parchment paper method for rolling out the dough :)

  7. says

    You rock! Thanks for all your tutorials, and recipes!! Working on your Lemon-Blueberry cake this week! Can’t wait to try the ruffled Cake piping!

    • leanne says

      hi sorry to bother you. I am having trouble with my sticks. I bought white plastic ones that said suitable for cake pops, cookies and sweets… they melt in the oven.



      • says

        Hi Leanne,

        Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with the sticks. Unfortunately, they have to be the sturdy paper variety (eg. Wilton Cooke Sticks) for baking. They work so well and won’t burn/melt in the oven. Best of luck!

        Rosie xo

  8. Juny says

    Hi Rosie,

    I absolutely love your designs and decorations. I would like to ask whether it’s ok to bake the cookies with the candy sticks together. I haven’t tried it before so I was afraid that it might melt or something.

    Thanks Rosie for this beautiful recipe. Will give it a go soon.


    • says

      Thanks for the comments, Kimberly! I’ve done a bunch of cookie decorating how-to’s on the blog so far, if you go to the “Fancy Cookies” category. As far as photo tutorial for royal icing decorating basics, I will likely do that as well!

  9. Maysem says

    This is the same recipe I use (minus the lemon extract)! I found it at Fancy Flours..under the name No Fail Sugar Cookie (as another person posted)…I also always wondered where the recipe came from exactly. It is the best sugar cookie recipe!! I agree, they are so good and I eat them plain as well…love when there are extras that don’t need to be decorated :P

  10. says

    I love making sugar cookies. It reminds me of decorating cookies at christmas time. I love the look of the decorated ones but I pretty much only eat the plain ones. This is a great tutorial!

  11. says

    I agree. Cutting and freezing the dough in advance and having a cool kitchen on that day – if there is such a thing when one is baking dozens of cookies or cakes or whatever us baking obsessed types do for hours on end – helps keep the edges beautiful and clean and the shapes discernable. I hadn’t thought of using the dowels as my rolling guide though, so thanks for that! I generally try to mix, roll, cool, cut & pop my cookies into the freezer on a day that I will not be baking. I find it is this treatment of sugar cookies that makes the biggest difference no matter what recipe I am using. I also try to have lots of healthy snacks and plenty of water on hand so I don’t fizzle out in the middle of my baking binges. I think the hardest part is keeping up my energy all the way through the end of the clean up – ha, ha.

  12. Sandra Simmons says

    I asked my friends for their best cookie cutter recipes. I got 5. I have a TON of cookies to make for my daughter’s sorority so I started with a batch of the Martha Stewart recipe. Easy to make and roll out (yes, I had already read about your dowel tip! So helpful! I am using metal skewers though!)But the taste – bland, even with the addition of Brandy. Yours was next up. A little, and I mean a little more time consuming. BUT BUT BUT! The texture and the flavor of your cooking is GREAT! So great that I stopped on this recipe and did not try any of the remaining 3!! Thank you! Let’s hope my Royal Icing part of the project comes out this well.

  13. Alison says

    My new go to sugar cookie recipe! These were amazing and thank you for the tips on rolling them out, etc. The extra time spent was well worth the final product. They were delicious and cut into bunnies and chicks are perfect to go along with Easter dinner tomorrow. I made them gluten free flour and they came out delicious. Happy Easter!

  14. Caroline says

    I was finally bit by the baking bug to keep myself occupied (and sane!) while my husband was on his last deployment to Afghanistan, so I’m still pretty new at most of these techniques. And after making Toy Story-themed sugar cookies for my son’s 2nd birthday party back in February, I was bummed that my cookies didn’t keep their shapes. I’ve learned since then to chill the dough and then cut the shapes. The tips and tutorials by you and the other baking geniuses listed above are extremely helpful and always welcome!

    I can’t wait to try this recipe in a few weeks when I help a friend with her daughter’s birthday party. My question is– would adding food coloring to this dough cause any texture/consistency changes? I have a big collection of Americolor gel food coloring and Wilton icing colors. Do you advise coloring the cookie dough? I won’t be decorating the cookies very much, but I do want the cookie themselves to be black and red. Do you suggest a specific food coloring to use, if any? Thanks and I look forward to saving MANY of your recipes to my recipe collection! :)

  15. Kim says

    When freezing the cookies after they are cut out – do you put them in the oven while frozen, or thaw out first? I love your website! You have a new follower!

  16. Virginia says

    When putting the dough on the stick, can you just press the stick into the dough at the bottom end as it lays on the tray then take some more dough and cover the other side of the stick and press it down gently then smooth it out, to save potentially pushing the cookie out of shape when trying to push the stick up through the dough?

    • says

      Virgina, I personally haven’t done it that way, because I stick to what works for me, but I imagine that method could work well. I don’t find that the cookie gets pushed out of shape with my method, but if you feel that you’d be more successful doing it that way, it may be the way to go. Hope that helps!

  17. Rebecca says

    I have stumbled across your website after your Asparagus cake made it to facebook and I followed several links back to here, I LOVE IT! I became addicted and put Max & Ruby cartoons on to entertain my son so I could read all your recipes at once. I am making these cookies right now, well, they are chilling in the fridge, right at this moment. I just wanted to say, your blog is a real treat, your pictures are wonderful, your words fantastic, and your recipes inspiring. Thank you so much, keep blogging!

  18. says

    Rosie, thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I am a terrible cook, but I followed it step by step and my biscuits turned out perfectly. My nearly 6 year old and I made some for her grandpa for his birthday (using a 7 and a 4 cookie cutter (he’s 74)) posted them to another city and they arrived completely unscathed.

    Thanks again, these are a must for all future parties.

    Kind regards


  19. says

    So ive read that on several blogs lately.. That the decrease in baking powder makes for a cookie that better holds its shape (in other words, a cookie that puffs less). For example Peggy Porschens sugar cookie recipe has no baking powder and no baking soda. So my question is, why does anyone even use baking powder in their sugar cookie recipes? and why does bakeat350 blog use 2 full teaspoons? and how does everyone then still love her cutout cookie recipe. Just curious. Im trying to figure all of this out and find the best sugar cookie recipe. Iv’e already tried sweetsugarbelles recipe. and I LOVE hers. But tonight im trying yours and then im going to try bake@350 sugar cookie recipe (which is pretty much same as ourbestbites)I guess i’ll just let you know how they all compare

    • says

      That’s true, it does work well with no baking powder. I follow all of the steps in this post, and they don’t puff up, but since the baking powder doesn’t really seem to be making much difference, I have recently started omitting it too. I’ll likely go ahead and make a note on the post–thanks for reminding me!

      • Karen says

        This was my question when I saw your recipe! It must be that because the baking powder doesn’t puff the cookie up they hold the shape better. Are the cookies still tender or are they hard? Thanks for addressing this.

  20. Elise says

    This is a great idea!! I have an anniversary coming up soon, this got me started on what to get him!! Great directions and tips.
    Let’s hope mine turn out somewhere close to being this good!! :)

  21. Adrienne says

    Hello All,
    I have been searching on the internet but haven’t found the exact answer to my question. I have 200 cookies to make for a 80th birthday party that is six days from today and I am using the photo sheets to place a pic on top of the cookie. I wanted to make the cookies today and wrap them in the cellophane bags. Do you think the cookies will be stale before Saturday? We are giving them out as favors.

    • says

      Hi Adrienne,
      I find the cookies stay quite well for a week or a bit more, so you should be just fine to make them today. I have made them here and eaten them several weeks later and they tasted great, but when making for events and others I usually do up to a week ahead. Hope this helps!

  22. tammy bigelow says

    I wanted to see if I need to use royal icing for frosting my cookies or can I use buttercream? I am doing cookie bouquets for centerpieces for my daughters baby shower.

    • says

      Tammy, I always use royal icing because it dries very dry and porcelain-like. I also prefer it because it is pure white, which makes colouring it a breeze, with no yellow undertones (making blues looks green, etc). There are crusting versions of buttercream out there, but they are a completely different frosting and I don’t make them so can’t really recommend going that route. I hope this helps!

  23. pam says

    I really admire your hard, perfect work and you also (2 kids is a lot of work too). All i wanted to know is can i reduce 50% of ur sugar cookie recipe, won’t make much of a difference in the final product.

  24. says

    Hi Rosie,

    I’m currently baking cookies as my home-made Christmas present for friends and am so glad to stumble across your blog – can’t wait to try this recipe, love the sound of adding lemon to the cookies. Just a quick question as all my cookie recipes use either caster or icing sugar. Which type would you use in this recipe – caster, icing or granulated? Thanks so much!!

    Best regards,

    p/s: your lovely cakes have converted me into buying sprinkles and food colouring!

    • says

      Thanks, Jaime! I use granulated sugar, which isn’t quite as fine as caster sugar. I imagine caster sugar would also work well for these cookies, though. I’ve added that detail to the recipe on the post. I hope this helps!

      • says

        Great, thank you for answering that, I was scrolling down the comment section to see if soemone had already asked the question. Will try and bake these cookies today! YAY! :)

  25. Cakemama says

    What size are the dowels you use for the roll-out cookies? I am guessing 1/8″?
    Would love to see more on decorating cookies with fondant, sounds like decorating with very clean lines! I like!!!

  26. Annabelle says

    I just wanted to say:

    1. AMAZING tasty recipe

    2. recipe has 6 cups flour- how big are your biscuits to only get 30 from this recipe?! i halved it as i needed 15 for a baby shower and ended up freezing half the dough- ie 1/4 recipe gave me 15 so a full would give me 60 or more!!!

    so great recipe for christmas- one batch of dough and you can make loads of presents weeks ahead (as i’m about to do)


  27. debbie says

    I currently am trying to make cookies with a cookie cutter that is 4 1/2″ tall and almost 3 1/2″ wide–how thick should I make them so that they will hold their shape? And so that they won’t seem too thin & cheap or to thick & chewy? Also, do you purchase the royal icing or make it? if you buy it, how hard is it to find? Also, is there a special spatula just for cookies–is that what it is called? I have been laid off from my job and am trying to find a way to make a little money by tapping into a niche cookie market. Your recipe sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it.

  28. says

    Hi. How many heart shape cookies did you get for this recipe? Could I half them?

    I just tried a disastrous sugar cookie recipe from a book n it turns out so hard.

    Yours looks promising. Can’t wait to try it..

  29. Sarah says

    hey rosie! i just used this recipe, and i have to say its great! even in singapore’s really hot and humid weather, this cookie held up well :)

  30. Callie says

    I didn’t take time to read through every comment so I don’t know if someone has already suggested this but King Arthur Flour has a flavoring called Fiori di Sicilia which is a citrusy-vanilla type flavoring. They say it was inspired by Italian baked goodies and I love to add it to my sugar cookies and frostings. If you haven’t already, you should give it a try!

  31. Sheila says

    This has got to be my favourite sugar cookie recipe. My whole family loves them! With my first batch, i didnt bother making royal icing as they tasted so good on their own.
    Quick question though, can you make these into bars? Is that a weird thing to ask? Haha!

  32. Monique Laura says

    Just made these today. These are “knock-your socks off” delicious. There was a slight crunch on the outside edge just enough to make you giggle with delight. In a word: OUTSTANDING! I followed the recipe exactly even though I don’t have a scale and I used imitation vanilla and these still were absolutely outstanding. Another slam dunk for Sweetapolita!

  33. Claudia Rivera says

    I have a sugar cookie recipe that I really like, but I wanted to experiment by adding lemon extract or other spices, but how do I go about figuring out how much to add. What determines the amount of spices I add to the recipe? I am new to cookie decorating and have never taken a baking class. I have searched the web for more information, but I am not able to find answers. I appreciate any help/guidance you can provide. Thank you.

    • Alanna says

      Claudia, what I usually do when I want to experiment is add in whatever I’m experimenting with in tiny amounts until it tastes right, then write a little note to myself telling me how much I used.

  34. Karen says

    I wish I would have come across your blog this morning! Instead, I’ve struggled all day on test batches for my son’s upcoming First Communion. None of my tried and true recipes came out today so I’m ready to dump them! Each of them had varying degrees of crackle on the face of the cookie and it’s driving me crazy. I’m definitely going to try your recipe! It looks fantastic and I love the crisp edges–that will be fantastic with my intricate cookie shape. Can you suggest the best way to store the cookies for a few days? I have so many to bake/ice that I have to do them in batches and I’m wondering how early I can start baking/icing before a Saturday event?

    • says

      Hi Karen!
      The great part about this type of cookie is that they stay fresh for days (and even weeks). Undecorated cookies keep well carefully stacked in resealable plastic bags (like Ziploc-style), or even an airtight container. You can definitely bake them up about a week before to be safe, and they also freeze well (if need be) if airtight. Decorated cookies do well individually in cello bags, as long as you wait about 12 hours after decorating. I hope this helps!

      • Karen S. says

        This recipe is fantastic. The cookies hold their shape perfectly, even with intricate shapes (no spread)! The little bit of lemon essence is lovely. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Now I’m off to find the perfect royal icing :)

  35. Lana says

    My daughter wants me to make cookie pops with cutout candy windows liek I do on regular sugar cookies. However my recipe for sugar cookies is not durable enough to stand up to a lollipop stick and a candy window. Do you think your dough recipe would hold up to candy cut outs?

  36. Lana says

    My daughter wants me to make cookie pops with cutout candy windows like I do on regular sugar cookies. However my recipe for sugar cookies is not durable enough to stand up to a lollipop stick and a candy window. Do you think your dough recipe would hold up to candy cut outs?

  37. Liz says

    Your recipe saved me! I wanted to make cut-out numbers for a little math celebration in my daughter’s class. The first batch of dough I used puffed up and didn’t hold the cuts, especially the holes in the 6s, 8s, 9s and 0s. Your dough worked beautifully!! And the taste is wonderful too. So glad I found you!! Thanks for sharing!

  38. koko says

    i liked your recipe and ill try it as soon as possible but please tell me how many cookies approximately yield this recipe (for instance like the heart shaped u did) and as for the cookies without sticks do i have also to put them in the freezer before baking as a major step like the cookies on the sticks ?
    thanx for your value information and directions you are sooooooooo kind to give your hard work eperience to everyone you are the best guide :)
    may God bless your hard work
    from lebanon koko

  39. says

    Hi Rosie, thank you for this special recipe! When I first stumbled upon your site I thought that everything looked too perfect to be true! Honestly, I even thought your desserts were pretend! :)) But then I decided to try your sugar cookies and I must say that they came out as perfect as they look on your pictures and were so delicious I couldn’t stop eating them. Thank you for revealing all the secrets of the recipe, they were essential. I put the recipe on my blog with a link to yours a while ago, sorry for not writing soon after but I have the extra work of translating everything and very little time to do it. In case you have time to take a look at my post, you can go to my archive, It’s the second recipe of year 2011. Thank you again, Sabrina

  40. Irma says

    Hi Rosie!
    I’m going to bake your cookies now =D I have had butter sit at room temperature overnight… is that the right amount of “softening” for a butter? Or should I have taken butter out of the fridge and followed your instructions to leave it out for 20 minutes?
    Hmmm. Maybe I should pop it back in the fridge while I get my ingredients ready.
    Or… maybe I’ll browse your website for an answer… and hope not to get distracted by all the sweet perfection! :)
    Thank you very much for all your hard work, by the way :)

  41. Helena says

    Hi there! thanks for sharing this recipe, your cookies always look so beautiful!
    I was wondering if you could freeze the dough? I made the qty specified in the recipe above but have only used 1 disc.
    Thanks! Hope to hear from you! Helena :-)

  42. Cynthia says

    I was wondering… would it still come out as great if I use salted butter? Maybe just not add the extra salt? Sorry if this is a dumb questions but I kind of new at baking cookies.
    Please help,

    • allison beyer says

      how much flour did you use? I have a feeling the correct amount is 6 cups of sifted flour (sifted into measuring cups), vs 6 cups of flour that i measured before sifting… It’s a big difference and is unclear in the recipe…

      • says

        Hi ladies,
        For this recipe, I often weigh the flour, and I use 750 g of all-purpose flour. This is definitely a way to avoid excess flour sneaking into the recipe. You can also do this by measuring cup, by sifting the flour until you have 6 cups. As a rule of thumb, if a recipe says “sifted flour,” it calls for that measurement of flour that has already been sifted. If it reads “flour, sifted” then it calls for the flour to be measured and then sifted. To be completely honest with you, I’ve done this recipe both ways, and it comes together nicely regardless. The one thing that is key is that folks measure the flour by scooping into the measuring cup, rather than scooping the flour straight from the canister–that can typically result in up to 25% more flour. Hope this helps!

  43. Laura says

    Hi, just wondering how long you could refrigerate the cookie dough for? I made some and didn’t get a chance to finish them so left the dough in the fridge about 4 days ago. Would it be alright still? Thanks

  44. says

    Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. I made these last night, following your recommendations, and my cookies came out beautiful. I also love this sugar cookie recipe. It’s one of my faves now.

    • Krystal says

      I’m pretty confident you can assume it’s white/granular. I’m sure the poster would have specified if it were brown.

    • says

      Sara, it sounds as though there was too much flour. Did you weigh the flour or measure by volume? If measuring by volume, be sure to scoop the flour from the bag/canister into the measuring cup, and then leveling it off when it’s full, otherwise (by scooping directly into the flour bag with the measuring cup, you can end up with up to 25% extra flour!). Hope that helps!

  45. aurajayne says

    First of all, thank you for posting all your yummy treats and recipes and I never tire experimenting with your foolproof recipes! :D

    I will try this recipe for my sister’s wedding favours since she requested for topsy turvy cake cookies – all 400 of it (eek)! May I know the size of the heart shape cookie cutter you used? Is it 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″? Just needed an estimate on how many times the recipe I need to make. The topsy turvy cookie cutter is about 3 1/2″ (w) x 4″ (l).

    Thanks again for you sharing your delicious bakes! :D

  46. allison beyer says

    Hi there. Could you please clarify if you mean 6 cups of flour, sifted – or 6 cups of sifted flour? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Allison,
      For this recipe, I often weigh the flour, and I use 750 g of all-purpose flour. This is definitely a way to avoid excess flour sneaking into the recipe. You can also do this by measuring cup, by sifting the flour until you have 6 cups. As a rule of thumb, if a recipe says “sifted flour,” it calls for that measurement of flour that has already been sifted. If it reads “flour, sifted” then it calls for the flour to be measured and then sifted. To be completely honest with you, I’ve done this recipe both ways, and it comes together nicely regardless. The one thing that is key is that folks measure the flour by scooping into the measuring cup, rather than scooping the flour straight from the canister–that can typically result in up to 25% more flour. Hope this helps!

  47. Shirley says

    Well, I’m afraid my comments are going to be much different from All of the above. I halved the recipe and followed directions exactly, however, my dough was quite soft, in fact there was no way I could form it into a ball. So, I just scooped half of it and plopped it onto the plastic wrap and was able to form it into a somewhat square disk and into the freezer. I did the same with the remaining half. I have no idea how I will roll them out without them sticking to the rolling pen, but I rememember Alton’s sugar cookie recipe where he used powdered sugar to roll them out. Oh, I did note that you used parchment to roll them so I will give that a try as well. I will update you later.

  48. Chic says

    Does your recipe not have baking powder?
    And that “2 cups softened to room temperature…” is actually BUTTER, correct?

  49. Jennifer says


    I really like your blog. This may sound strange but I absolutely love your rolling pin. Is it stainless steel and solid?


  50. says

    Hi Rosie,

    I am yet to try your perfect cookie recipe and I can’t wait. It’s gonna be my first time. You mentioned you often use fondant for decorating cookies, just wondering how do you store them after decorating? Can they still be put in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or I should attach the fondant pieces just a few days before the event?

    Thanks very much for all you do.

    • says

      Hi AC,
      What I find is that once the fondant is on the cookie it stays pretty pristine indefinitely, but with the fondant, I find it’s better to not keep them airtight. Covered, but with some air is best, to keep the fondant firm and porcelain-like. That being said, even though the fondant will keep looking and tasting great, the cookie of course is best airtight, so for an event, I feel good with decorating the cookies a week ahead, since sometimes it takes several days to decorate them. I also find it works very well when I’m wrapping each cookie individually for an event, because once they’re enclosed in a cello bag and tied, the cookie and fondant seem to stay fresh for at least a week. I hope that makes sense! Best of luck. xo

  51. says

    Love, love, love this recipe. I used them instead of shortbread and dipped them in chocolate. As a mom of two little girls under the age of two, I can’t always make and bake in the same day. The dough sat outside my back door (it’s cold outside) for two days. It went all flakey like pastry and I worried they would crumble but they held up beautifully. One last thing, I substituted balsamic vinegar for the lemon juice. My husband doesn’t love citrus in baking, I didn’t have any white vinegar and I thought what’s the harm. With a strawberry glaze they would be simply delectable. Maybe, you should try it out.

    Many thanks for sharing all your tips.

  52. Amber says

    Hi Rosie!

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have to ask what the cookies you found that taste like mcdonaldland cookies are called? I love those things!

  53. Ruby says

    This was a great tutorial! How far in advance can you make these cookie pops? And how should they be stored?

    Thank you!

  54. jan Boreham says

    I made these cookies to day on sticks , we are taking them to the local childrens hosptial on christmas eve they were perfrct just perfect thank you so much for the recipe x

  55. Jac says

    Hi there,

    Loveeeee your website! Just a couple of questions, i read in your comment that we need to wait for 12 hours before the decorated cookies can be packed into individual bags. So how should i store the cookies in the mean time? Another question is, how can i get the cookies to get a darker hue of brown? Thks a million!

  56. ellie says

    Help! I made this recipe and no one liked it! I thought it was delicious but everyone who tried it said it tasted bland or that the soft centers meant my cookies were “uncooked.”

    Do you think I did something wrong? I love soft cookies!

  57. Pearl says

    Again, love this version of your sugar cookies. The cookies held their shape, I made different shapes and sizes even. The only thing I adjusted was baking time, adding 1 minute longer depending on the size obviously. Now, all I have to do is decorate ’em all. Love your recipe to bits. Bookmarked forever :) Thank you once again for sharing – xxx

  58. Pearl says

    Ellie, if I may comment on yours… I too love soft cookies, but others like my hubby wants them crunchy. I just extended my cooking time 1 minute longer ++ depending on size of the cookies. Hope this helps….

  59. Maria says

    Thank you for the great recipe, I made these cookies today and they turned out absolutely prefect in form and taste – just what I was looking for! Definitely a keeper! :)

  60. Diana says

    Hi there! I was wondering if I could use vanilla bean paste (Nielsen-Massey’s) instead of vanilla for a stronger vanilla flavor- with it being a paste versus an extract, might it mess up the dough any? I know it’s such a silly question, but I am paranoid and I would hate to waste a whole batch of cookie dough! Thank you in advance!

    P.S. I made your Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies for Christmas- LOVED them! :)

  61. Valerie in Texas says

    i was wondering if I am supposed to add the extracts to the butter and sugar or after i add the flour.

  62. Mo says

    Like every recipe you post that I’ve tried, these cookies are truly perfect. Your instructions are clear and easy to follow. The photos are helpful too. I have learned much about baking from your site and have enjoyed every minute. Thanks!

  63. says

    Hi Rosie, wonderful recipe! Works great even in my humid weather. One thing though, my cookie becomes incredibly sweet after decorating with royal icing. Since i cant make royal icing less sweet, i was thinking if its possible to reduce the sugar in the cookie recipe so as to balance out the overall sweetness? Would reducing the sugar make the cookies too tough?


  64. Ashley says

    these sugar cookies are divine! i replaced the lemon extract with almond extract. perfectly delicious and simple! thank you for sharing!

  65. larissa says

    I live in Brazil and surely can;t just go to the store and buy “cookie pop”sticks so what are they exactly? are they like lolli pop sticks…plastic? i feel like plastic would be a disaster. so are they like paper straws?? or actually wooden sticks? I’d appreciate the clarification.

    • says

      Larissa, very good question.
      I’ve bought some sticks from Wilton and after researching and asking it came out that they are not to go in the oven (what a pity!).
      So what I use are wooden sticks. They do not look so nice as the white ones, but at least they are safe.
      Please Sweetopolita, tell us where to buy your wonderful stick and many thanks for the wonderful tutorial

  66. Diani says

    I love trying your recipes! You are a sweet genius!!! I have somewhat experience baking (not professionally) but your directions are so detailed, including helpful photos, you make it so easy to do it right! Every recipe of yours I’ve tried come out looking fantastic! You truly never disappoint. Thank you thank you thank you for all of your wonderful recipes and detailed instructions. keep up the great work.

  67. Bee says

    Hi everyone
    Really need help in this. I’m making cookies as give always for a coming event in about 2weeks. And I’m traveling as the event is in another country.
    I was planning to cover my cookies with fondant but now I’m scared if my cookies will not stay ok in the traveling and the time till the event.
    Please help me is it ok to use fondant in summer giveaways. If yes which recipe. And how to store my cookies so they stay fresh.
    The event is on 11 June. And I’m traveling 6th June. I have to make 200 cookies then decorate n then pack. Really need guidance as ifs my first time.

  68. Sayo says

    OMG! These cookies are amazing!!! I used to always say I would never make cookies u had to roll and cut but these have converted me. I made them for a bridal shower that is in about 5 days and I hope they will still be fresh then.

  69. Patti says

    I absolutely love this recipe and have used it many, many times. My nephew is getting married this weekend and my sister and I have been “blessed” with the task of making heart shaped wedding favor cookies using edible image labels with their names and dates on them…simply because the bride was given some of the cookies I baked and decorated for Christmas(by my sister)and thought they were delicious. Everyone that I have given these to have raved about them. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  70. Wendy says

    Hi there. This looks like a fantastic recipe and I’ll definitely be giving it a go! I saw that, way back when, someone asked about colouring the dough with Americolor gels. I want to do the same thing and also want to sort of ‘construct’ a biscuit in layers (candy stripe effect). What would you recommend to ‘glue’ the layers together and would the colors hold up in the baking process?

  71. Gina says

    Hi Rosie,
    Do you have any tips on how to pack and ship sugar cookies iced with royal icing in 85 plus degree weather? I am sending cookies out of state this week. The cookies are iced with white, red and navy royal icing. Thank you in advance.

  72. Nur Ain says

    Hi Rosie! I came across this post as I was finding for a good cookie recipe and I think I’ll try this out. And Oh btw, just wanna let you know that the link at the bottom for “Milk & Cookie Cookies” did not work. I wish you can fix that as I’m hooked on your blog and your sugar cookie arts! Thanks! :)

  73. Marlo says

    I recently made these sample cookies for an upcoming graduation party and they’re great. My only problem was that the cookies slid off the stick completely. I cut out Hello Kitty heads that were 1/4″ and 3/8″ thick with 8″ lollipop sticks. Can you tell me why the sticks slide out so easily and how do I remedy this? I can’t do the “tape the stick to the back of the bag” thing as they are not part of a bouquet and will be given away individually as favors. My climate is very humid (91% humidity today in Hawaii), so I did have to add a couple of tablespoons of flour to the entire recipe so it wouldn’t be as sticky. Not so much so that the dough was dry. Help please! I’d like them to stay on the sticks and not fall off if someone were to hold the stick with the cookie side down. Thank you!

  74. JudahBayGirlie says

    I was really skeptical that this recipe would work when I saw it did not include any leavening agent. I followed the recipe exactly and it is perfection!!!

    I ended up with solid, yet fine-crumb, buttery crisp-tender amazing cookies!! This recipe is a keeper!
    Thank you.

  75. says

    Hi! I love this recipe! I tweaked it a little and substituted about 50g of the flour with rice flour for a shorter texture. I linked back to this recipe from my blog; Hope that’s ok!

  76. Leann says


    I tried the recipe, but the dough gave me quite a hard time, as it was too soft. It might be that it was due to the very hot humid weather, as it seemed as the butter in the dough was melting even after I cooled it in the fridge. Should I add more flour if this happens?

    Otherwise, the cookies were really tasty, although very fragile. Would appreciate your help.

  77. Jax says

    I needed a “solid” recipe to prepare “100” 3″ cookie pops for a Corporate event. After researching some 20+ recipes thoroughly, this one sound like it would have the best results, especially with the “153” comments that gave it more validity. I made (4) batches to allow for any unforeseen issues.

    Following the recipe and techniques to the tee, along with the chilling methods and freezing before baking, I was surely off to a winning start. At least 90% of those baked expanded pass the desired size and seemed rather soft, so I popped them back in the oven for another 5 minutes to firm them up. Unlike #154 (Leann)I am in a moderate climate in the SF Bay.

    My conclusion was maybe there was too much fat (butter) or too much air incorporated during the creaming process.

    If you have any suggestions, please pass them on.

  78. Eggless Baker says

    Your cookies look fantastic! I’m curious to know how I can use this same recipe but making them eggless. Any suggestions would be handy :)

  79. Theresa says

    Hi Rosie! I tried your SMB, worked perfectly, so easy, I will never go back! Am trying your sugar cookies and made up the dough yesterday so it’s WELL chilled. Will it be okay to let it sit abit before trying to roll it out? It is really hard. Thanks.

  80. Jess says

    Hey, I stumbled into this recipe while looking for a fix for bad cookie dough (which I may throw out). I got some stamp style cookie cutters that are adorable from williams sonoma, but the recipe they included tastes awful (although the stamped images turn out great!) Do you think this dough maintains its shape well enough to hold a stamped image? My current favorite recipe is delicious but expands too much for a cookie stamp to work.

  81. Krista says

    These cookies held their shape perfectly!!! I needed sharp, uniform stars for my daughter’s bithday…I was pressed for time, so I’ll admit I didn’t follow the rolling/cutting/freezing steps…I chilled the dough for about an hour and rolled out it out in small batches …cooked about 12 mins and they literally DIDN’T spreading no puffing…I honestly no longer know why any other recipe would call for a leavener…thanks so much for sharing!

  82. says

    This is the ONLY vanilla cookie that TASTES this amazing. The countless others I’ve tried come nowhere near in taste and crunchy texture. You’re a rock star, and totally deserve the post title!

  83. kate says

    Hi everyone! I am from the UK and haven’t tried a proper sugar cookie, here our biscuits are crisp and snap but are sugar cookies meant to be soft? Keep thinking mine are underdone?

    • says

      Hi Kate!
      Some sugar cookie recipes are meant to be soft, but these are to be crispy and just a bit golden brown along the edges, and a tiny bit semi-soft in the middle. I used to under-bake mine for fear that they will be too brown, but I figured out that as soon as the edges *just* start to get brown is the perfect timing for a crispier cookie. Hope that helps! xo

      • kate says

        That is amazing thank you Rosie… I love them crisp and every recipe i’ve tried so far has been soft. Will give it a try! x :D :D

  84. Jill says

    When you say they can be frozen, are you talking about the baked cookies? I’m curious if the dough can be frozen for a day or two before baking. I try to do as much ahead of time as I can. I made the recipe once and it is great! I will always use this recipe now.

  85. Catherine says

    Made these cookies today and they are great! My husband is not usually a fan of sugar cookies, but he’s been eating these all evening.

  86. Janis says

    Hi Rosie, can I freeze the dough? I have left them in the fridge for a few days but wonder whether I can freeze them and use them as I go. Janis

    • Jessica says

      Did you try freezing them? I asked the same question but thought I would scroll and saw you asked too.

  87. Lily says

    My story for cookies: :)

    I have this one cookie recipe that is amazing and can be plain sugar,OR cranberry, OR chocolate chip. It turned out gorgeous(!!!!) the first time I made them. They were as soft as store-bought cookies, but tasted better, and homemade.

    I have not been able to make them the same way I did the first time,ever. Its really disappointing.

    Its like the first time made them that I put magic in them or something. Ive remembered every detail of what I did, and I still cant get it. I hope this article helps me with this magical recipe for cookies!!

  88. Nancy Nguyen says


    Any suggestions for individually packaging these cookies for appearance and freshness? Ty!

  89. Nancy says

    I’m making cookie baskets and I have all the cookies ready to be assembled in the basket. I’m using floral styrofoam for the basket filler. The basket looks fabulous, but when I move it, some of the cookies rotate/spin and end up backwards. Is there any way to firmly secure the stick so that it doesn’t move in the foam?


  90. Heather says

    I found this recipe in a google search today and have just baked these. I managed to get 50 cookie pops from the mix. Best biscuit recipe ever, with the lemon extract (I used essence, it’s all I had). Definitely “pinning” this one. Thanks for sharing, the school fundraising team will be very happy when these arrive on their tables for sale.

    • says

      Hi Jessica! Yes, you can definitely freeze the dough. Once wrapped well, I sometimes freeze mine for up to a month or so. Thaw just until not frozen but still chilled, and then continue on with the rolling steps. Hope that helps!

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  92. Di says

    I was wondering if I can half the recipe since I am wanting to try replacing the flour with gluten free flour? Will the consistency change?

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  94. samantha says

    hi there I recently made your recipe for these cookie ive noticed on my cookies that the sugar hasn’t dissolved is this normal for this type of cookie.

  95. ASOH says


    I love your work. I followed above recipe and some of your other posts in cookie making (I also referred some other sugar cookie stars’ online material) and made these Cookies But the cookies became cakey and soft after I kept them out for decorating. Any tips?

    Thank you and keep up the good job!


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