This post was most recently updated on May 13th, 2023
Bakery Style Sugar Cookie Recipe that rivals those of any bakery. Soft, cooked through, melt in your mouth buttery. No refrigeration is necessary for dough. The reviews don’t lie—this is the best sugar cookie recipe!
Looking for our Christmas cookie decorating post? Check it out! You’ll find all the details on the tips and techniques to use for making the CUTEST decorated cookies with buttercream frosting. It’s easier than you might think!
Watch our step by step video!
Every family has a favorite sugar cookie recipe. This one is ours! Soft, nicely shaped, cooked through, and not brown or crispy on the edges. If you like these sugar cookies you’ll love our sugar cookie bars! Try our smashed sugar cookies too! Same taste—different technique. They are made by scooping out the cookie dough instead of rolling out the dough.
This recipe is a combination of our favorite sugar cookie recipes all rolled into one. We’ve been making this version for over a decade! The shortening helps the cookies keep their nicely shaped edges. Scroll to the end for some frequently asked questions about this sugar cookie recipe and for my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe to use with these cookies!
Check out our Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day versions for easy decorating tips and tutorials for kids! Lots of cut-out sugar cookie shapes and designs that are easy to decorate.
What people are saying about these sugar cookies
“I’ve made these a few times now and they are fantastic. I love that I don’t have to chill the dough! Thank you!”
“I was testing recipes for the perfect sugar cookie. Found this and it is GREAT. Taste good and hold its shape.”
“This is the BEST cut-out cookie recipe I’ve ever tried! My son is a Chef and he said it’s hands down, the best cut-out cookie he’s ever tasted. They melt in your mouth… seriously!”
Bakery Style Sugar Cookies Recipe
Scroll down for a printable version
1 c. butter softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking powder
In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer) combine butter, shortening, and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Turn the electric mixer down and add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Add baking powder. Stir in flour* and cornstarch and mix until soft dough forms.
*Start with 3 1/2 cups of flour, and if the dough seems too soft add the last 1/2 cup of flour. If the dough seems a bit dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Lightly flour your working surface and shape dough into a large ball.
Roll dough out to desired thickness using a rolling pin (I usually do 1/4- 3/8″) and cut into shapes. Add flour to the dough if it feels too sticky but a nice soft dough is what you want. Carefully transfer cut out cookie shapes with a spatula to a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Cookies will be soft. Let sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes before carefully moving to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Tip: It’s best to put uncooked cookies on cold baking sheets before baking to keep the dough firm. I like to roll out and cut all of my cookies and place them on baking sheets in the refrigerator while the other batches cook. This keeps the pans and dough chilled instead of waiting on the counter (at room temperature) to be cooked.
Scroll to the bottom of the post for our icing recipe. It’s soft and smooth, holds sprinkles great, and sets up enough to not smudge, but I would not recommend stacking these cookies more than two cookies tall. If you want icing that dries and creates a hard shell try royal icing.
Decorating Sugar Cookies With Kids!
Cookie Decorating VIDEO and Guide CLICK HERE
Looking for directions on decorating sugar cookies for Christmas? Check out our EASY step-by-step video and guide for making fancy cookies—with buttercream! We’ll share how to make a gnome, llama, tree, Christmas light, sweater and stocking!
Does sugar cookie dough need to be refrigerated?
Some recipes call for refrigeration, but this one doesn’t. If you’d like to make it ahead of time you can wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and then use it later, but this is a great last-minute recipe because refrigeration is not necessary.
Why do you use a combination of CORNSTARCH and flour for sugar cookies?
Corn starch softens the dough making it feel like a cloud. It also makes for a softer sugar cookie.
Why do you use both butter and shortening for sugar cookies?
I like using both for flavor (butter) and texture (shortening).
How long will sugar cookies last?
These will stay fresh for about 3 days, but you can freeze them for months.
Note: I make these using my kitchen-aid mixer and keep it on the entire time (on the 2nd to lowest setting). If you don’t have a stand mixer, just make sure to beat everything until fluffy before adding the flour.
Bakery Style Sugar Cookie Recipe
Bakery Style Sugar Cookie Recipe
Sugar Cookie Dough
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 Tbsp. milk
- In a large mixing bowl combine butter, shortening and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Turn mixer down and add egg, vanilla and almond extract. Add baking powder. Add flour* and cornstarch and mix thoroughly. *Start with 3 1/2 cups of flour, and if the dough seems too soft add the last 1/2 cup of flour. If it seems too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.
- Lightly flour your working surface and shape dough into a large ball.
- No refrigeration necessary.
- Roll dough out to desired thickness using a rolling pin (I usually do 1/4- 3/8″) and cut into shapes. Add flour to dough if it feels too sticky but a nice soft dough is what you want. Carefully transfer cut out cookie shapes with a spatula to a baking sheet.
- Bake on baking sheets at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Cookies will be soft. Let sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes before carefully moving to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- Whisk frosting ingredients and spread over cookies. Refrigerate any leftover frosting
I originally shared this recipe in 2013, but updated it to include new photos and a step by step video.
Lisa Richards (@greylustergirl) says
Looks delish! And I love that you don’t have to refrigerate it! Pinning as we speak!
Me too! Interesting almost a short bread and sugar cookie recipe combined! Love the no refrigeration needed
You had me at “no refridgeration necessary”. 🙂
About how many cookies does this make?
[email protected] says
Hey! It all depends on how big your cookie cutters are, and I use different shapes and sizes every time. This particular batch that I photographed made about 18 5″ pumpkins.
How long will these cookies stay fresh, I want to make them for a baby shower and would need to make them the weekend before. Do you think they will still be fresh and soft
Hi Martha! I’ve made these many many times and as long as you don’t over bake them and they are soft, they will stay good for 3 days. You can also freeze them if you need to make them more ahead of time than that!
Leann W says
whats a sub for shortening? I wont touch it with a 10ft pole….lol…..thanks
[email protected] says
Butter works great! The cookies may not keep their crisp shape as much after baking, but it won’t make a big difference. The taste is still fantastic!
Jaime L Leister says
I haven’t tried this yet, as I have 3 crisco sticks to use up, but my Grandma was reading that you can use virgin coconut oil measure for measure just like crisco….
Awesome tip! My mom swears by using coconut oil in place of most oils. I will have to try that for sure!
Jaime L Leister says
These look delicious. My Aunt brings in bakery sugar cookies each year wrapped indiviually that are really good. These look similar. I am excited about trying this recipe!
Sarah Johnson says
I’ve made these a few times now and they are fantastic. I love that I don’t have to chill the dough! Thank you!
Awesome and you’re welcome! That’s my favorite part about this recipe too! No chilling the dough 🙂
Teresa Jarrell says
I want to make these and freeze before frosting, would this work. Thank you. Teress
Yes, these freeze great!
Thank you so much for such a fast response!! =D I’m looking for a recipe to try and recreate those Smiley Face cookies you get at bakeries. Ever had them?
Pretties and Pastries says
Oooh these look so soft and yummy. I can’t wait to browse around your blog and see what else you have 🙂
Araceli Martinez says
Can cocoa powder be added to make chocolate sugar cookies? If so, how much?
Hi Araceli, I honestly don’t know since I’ve never tried that. Sorry!
Kate Guth says
So far I’ve only gotten a taste of the batter, but a couple more minutes in the oven will change that!
I hope you loved the as much as we do!
Can’t wait to try them! We miss the Eat n Park smiley cookies! We used to be able to get them when we visist Hershey Park…….We couldn’t find them the last time we went!! Hoping to make a batch of these for a family surprise on Christmas eve! Thank you!!
Do you grease the baking sheets ?
How fun, my kids LOVE to make cookies, me not so much, mostly because the clean up is so much, I need to think about preparing ingredients and such prior because when my kids are involved we get flour spilled from the pantry all the way to the kitchen counter and behind the ears!
Your cookies always look like they belong in a fancy display case!
Oh I totally hear ya! It always seems like a great idea, but half way in when he kitchen is a WRECK I start questioning my sanity! 🙂
Hi CJ! I’m not sure! I would add a bit of milk and see what that does (1 T. at a time). I hope they turn out for you!
rose marie baloh says
I have made this recipe several times and really, truly like the recipe! My question is this, after making the dough can it be refrigerated and rolled out later that day, or the next day if there are time constraints?
Hi Rose! I haven’t tried refrigerating it and always make it the same day, but I don’t see why not as long as it is wrapped to prevent it from drying out! I’m glad you like the recipe! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this recipe. I was wondering, is this icing recipe fit for decorating with piping bags? Thanks!
Hi Ellen! I think it would work in piping bags and you can adjust the powdered sugar to get the texture you’d like. Hope that helps! 🙂
Does this icing recipe set up enough to stack these cookies when done? If so how long after they are iced should they be stacked? Also do these cookies need to be refrigerated after being iced?
Hi Sarah! The icing does set up after about 20 minutes. I usually just lay the cookies on a platter laying them against each other and they do just fine, but if you are going to be stacking these on top of each other a safe bet would be a royal icing recipe with meringue powder in it. I’ve never refrigerated them because they are eaten fairly quickly (within 24 hours). Hope that helps! 🙂
Bianca Cardenas says
Is it unsalted butter I use for sugar cookies
I use salted butter. You can use unsalted as well and add 1/2 tsp. salt to the recipe.
Used this recipe for Christmas cookies this year. For the past handful of years I’ve mixed up multiple store bought mixes to make usually about 200 cut out cookies. This year, I decided to make 1 batch of homemade and that’s all.
My cookies are a little thinner than yours, but I got 103 cookies from the 1 batch! They all look great and bake up nicely!
Awesome! This is definitely my go-to recipe!
Dee P. says
For getting a nice icing so they don’t stick together even after they totally dry, would you substitute water for the milk?
I would think that might work! Honestly, I haven’t tried it with this icing before. I use water in royal icing and it helps the icing dry nice and hard.
Do you think I could substitute the fats for margarine or is the shortening vital to the taste/texture?
Hi Amy! The shortening helps them keep their shape and I always use butter in baking so I can’t say how they’d turn out with margarine, but I would think they would still taste delicious.
angie the freckled rose says
Oh yum! Looks super delicious 🙂
Can this recipe be adapted to gluten free
Hi Karen! I don’t know anything about gluten-free cooking. I’m sorry!
The BEST ever!!
I’m so glad you like them!
Polly Meaut says
I was testing recipes for the perfect sugar cookie. Found this and it is GREAT.Taste good and holds its shape .
Yay! I’m go glad that you liked them!
My new favorite sugar cookie recipe!! We did have to add a little water to the dough cause it was too dry and cracking a lot but they are absolutely delicious. We made an icing out of a tiny bit of cherry juice concentrate with water to dilute, powdered sugar, and whipping cream. Soo yummy!
Oh, I’m so glad! That cherry frosting sounds delicious!
Hi Abi! The dough should be soft like play doh once you knead it. I haven’t ever had the problem of it being too dry, but I have had other readers mention their dough ended up a bit dry a time or two. Next time decrease the flour by 1/2 cup and see what happens! I’m not sure what makes the difference from kitchen to kitchen. Maybe the size of the eggs or humidity in the air?
On the floor—-are you using self-serving or all-purpose flour? I plan on making this week!
All purpose flour.
Diana Pearce says
I was so pleased with how this recipe turned out. I forgot to get shortening, so I used coconut oil and they turned out great. I was a little leery of using that much almond extract, so I cut back on the amount a little. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
I’m so glad you liked it! Merry Christmas!
I made these today- delicious!! What was the name of bakery you liked in Yuba City? It’s where I’m from!
Small world! It was The Cookie Tree. Their cookies were SO good!
These are the BEST sugar cookie I have ever!!! They are perfectly crunchy.
I’m so glad to hear this!
Thank you for sharing your recipes. I absolutely love this one. I use hi ratio shortening & butter & nut flavoring from Cookie Gift Can Queen at Etsy & they are out of this world!! I want to make them in chocolate how can I achieve that?
Hi Kitty! Good question! I’ll have to tinker with the recipe to come up with a yummy chocolate version sometime!
jeanne BUTZIN says
This is the BEST cut out cookie recipe I’ve ever tried! My son is a Chef and he said it’s hands down, the best cut out cookie he’s ever tasted. They melt in your mouth… seriously!
Jeanne, this made my day! I’m so glad you guys liked them!
Mary Ruggiero says
these cookies look heavenly. I am on a mission to make a great sugar cookie, with icing that hardens. Over thanksgiving, my cousin spoils us all, ( 70 of us) not this year sadly, with these famous bakery cookies he orders. Can you believe he mailed every family enough cookies for each family member this year!! So, I have a tall order to fulfill! Do you use Crisco for the shortening? and can you recommend a good icing recipe? I tried an icing recipe today, and it was good, it hardened, and is nice and glossy, but I would like it harder. this was slightly pliable. This recipe called for 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teas light corn syrup, 2-3 Tablespoons milk, and 1/2 teas vanilla. Love that you have moved aroud and seen a lot. do you feel the same way? Ever wish you could have stayed put somewhere? if so, where was that? just curious. take care and thank you in advance. Mary
Hi Mary! We’ve enjoyed moving around, but I often wish that we could settle down and put down roots 🙂 Ok, so the icing that I use sets up, but isn’t hard like what you are looking for. You probably want royal icing. I’d do a Google search for “sugar cookie royal icing” and I think you’ll find what you are looking for. I use whatever brand of shortening I can find. Sometimes crisco and sometimes store brand. These cookies are soft and buttery. If you are going mail them I’d cook cook them a little longer so that they set up more. These ones, cooked as is, may be too soft. Hope that helps! Merry Christmas! 🙂
Hi – Just wanted to let you know I’ve used several sugar cookie recipes over the years, but your recipe is the best! Every time I make these, I get requests for more :). I follow the recipe as posted and they come out perfect every time.
Kathy! I’m so happy to hear this! Merry Christmas!
I too live in Yuba City! Love the Cookie Tree. I’m making the cookies now & agree with some of the comments about the dough being almost like shortbread dough. I added some water & seems to be working out. Can’t wait to frost them & give them a try. My Golden Retriever got on the counter & stole one. Bad dog!
Hi Dawn! Haha, silly dog! Yeah, I’m not sure what makes it a little dry for some. Mine always feels like play dough when I make it! Glad adding a little water helped you. Hope you guys love them!
Hi Brandi…what is the purpose of the cornstarch in this recipe?
Hi Marilyn! It gives the dough a soft, play doh like texture that is easy to work with and also helps the cookies have nice edges! If you need to leave it out you can.
I have several people who can’t have almond extract that will be eating these- can I just vanilla extract for both measurements?
Absolutely! The almond extract only adds flavor, it won’t change the dough!
I love this for my decorated cookies. Only issue I have is that they tend to be too dry. Wondering if I should try it with 2 eggs? Then when rolling out with flour they tend to crumble apart. Also hard to tell when they are done since they are so light in color unless you bake them too long. Otherwise love. Especially the alone flavoring.
Hi Molly! Instead of adding an extra egg, try decreasing the flour next time. Maybe 1/2 – 1 c. I’ve never had mine come out dry, but it could be because I live in a super humid area! I’ve always baked them 10-12 minutes with success! Every oven is slightly different and I bake mine on light metal baking sheets. Hope that helps! 🙂
I’ve never had them come out dry. Not even once, so I’m not sure why they do for some except maybe climate/humidity changes. Also, I keep my Kitchenaid mixer on the entire time and let them mix thoroughly at the end. It starts out crumbly then comes together beautifully. Kind of like shortbread (crumbly then pressed together and becomes soft). Hope that helps.
Hi Brandy thanks for getting back to me. I live in Wyoming and the humidity is very low. So I may have to reduce the flour. I’ll give it another go! Thanks happy holidays! Cheers Laura
Hi Ayla! Did you use a stand mixer or mix by hand? My dough has only ever been soft like play doh (I use a stand mixer). Just trying to figure out what the difference may have been.
Hey brandy. I used a hand mixer.
I can’t quite figure out what the issue was though because I bake hundreds of cookies every holiday season, and I always make sugar cookies using a hand mixer. I like to try to put different recipes every year. But for some reason, this was a very difficult dough to work with. Perhaps I need to give it another go!
So odd. Next time try adding a tablespoon or two of water or milk to the dough. Again, I’ve never once had a dry dough, but you aren’t the first to mention it so I wonder what makes the difference from kitchen to kitchen!
I’ve made these for the first time…. TWICE in past few days, they’re that darn good!! And I’ve shared the recipe (& cookies) with 5 other people. 2nd batch I skipped the frosting, sprinkling sugar instead.
Yay! I’m so glad!! I went to make a batch on Christmas Eve and realized I was out of butter and the stores near me were closed. It was tragic! So I owe my kids a batch to decorate this week!
I have been intiminated about making sugar cookie and icing. Will definitely give these a try. I am 75 years old and willing to try new baking. Thank you, Nancy
I hope you like them! 🙂
Pamela Ammons says
This is the first time I’ve used this recipe and I love-grandchildren and my granddaughter wants the recipe. Thanks for the fun. I do have a question want to know if you can use cardamom for flavor particularly cardamom and vanilla.
Hi Pamela! So glad to hear! You can flavor them however you’d like. I haven’t used that combination before, but I’m sure it’d be fine!
Most of the time when cookie dough comes out dry is the way the flour is measured. Spoon and level is the best for these cookies. Yum and thanks!
Correct! Sometimes I’ll fluff the flour with the measuring cup first instead of spooning. Either way adds air instead of a packed up (which is what you don’t want!)
I am 54 years old and have searched for years trying to find the very best cut out sugar cookie recipe and I will say that this is it! Finally my search is over! The cookie cutters cut beautifully and the cookies maintained their shapes! I will confess that I didn’t have shortening, so I used a margarine stick in place of the shortening. The dough still turned out perfect and yummy!!! Thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe!
This so so wonderful to hear!!
Mindy Downing says
I have been making sugar cookies all my life (i”m 70+ and really hate making them (don’t to wait while sitting in the refrigerator ) and have never really found a recipe that is great! I have to tell you this is the BEST! It’s extremely easy and best of all it does NOT have to be refrigerated prior to rolling out the dough! I won’t mind making sugar cookies again! THANK YOU so much for posting this on Pinterest!!
Mindy, this made my day! I’m so glad you liked this no-chill recipe!
Betsy Pund says
My fave !!! – I did note that my oven baked these to perfection at 350 degrees – NOT the 325 degree in recipe .
Dayna Ann Shallenberger says
I just ate the last one. I don’t dare make them again for a couple of weeks! What a delicious cookie.
Haha! I can’t make them very often either. So rich and I always eat too many! Glad you liked them!