Basic Sugar Cookie Dough

If you find yourself searching for a sugar cookie dough recipe every year, look no further. This recipe is simple, straightforward, and downright delicious. The key to the dough is working with room temperature butter. Soft, pliable butter will whip more easily with the sugar, resulting in a creamy, fluffy base for the rest of the cookies. Once you’re finished with the dough, there’s an endless assortment of easy holiday treats you can make. Think: Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies, Pecan Logs, and Jam Thumbprints. Oh, and don’t forget the classic: cut-out cookies in all your favorite shapes.

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough 3.6 1194 5 1
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  • Makes 18 cookies
  • Hands-On Time
  • Total Time
  • Nutritional Information

    Nutritional Information

    Per Serving

    • Calories 180 calories
    • Fat 11 g
    • Sat Fat 7 g
    • Cholesterol 39 mg
    • Sodium 43 mg
    • Protein 2 g
    • Carbohydrate 21 g
    • Fiber 1 g


  1. Check 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for shaping the cookies
  2. Check 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  3. Check 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. Check 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  5. Check 3/4 cup sugar
  6. Check 1 large egg
  7. Check 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Shape into a disk and (unless otherwise specified in an individual recipe) refrigerate, wrapped, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. 
  4. Make cookies according to directions in the 10 Ideas For Sugar Cookie Dough collection. Alternately, make cutout cookies by doing the following: Heat oven to 350° F. On a floured surface, roll out each disk ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets; refrigerate until firm. Sprinkle with decorating sugar, if using, and bake until just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.