True to its name, these no fail sugar cookies are perfectly soft, thick and fluffy every single time. This is the best sugar cookie recipe because it’s easy to make and produces the softest sugar cookies you’ll ever have! Everyone needs a sugar cookies recipe that is perfect for cut-out sugar cookies — and this is it!

This sugar cookies recipe is my go-to for any of my holiday cookie needs. Whether it’s heart-shaped cookie cutters for Valentines Day or tree-shaped cookie cutter for Christmas, this is my favorite recipe! If you’re looking for a sugar cookie recipe you won’t be rolling out and cutting, you’ll love my copycat Crumbl sugar cookie recipe!

Sugar cookie dough rolled out on a gray background with cookie cutters cutting out the dough.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Perfect for any time of year! Although the cookies I show here are Christmas sugar cookies, you can use this no fail sugar cookie recipe for Halloween, Valentines Day, and Easter cookies. After all, holiday cookies are perfect for any holiday of the year!
  • No need to chill the dough. A nice perk to this sugar cookie recipe is that you don’t have to chill the dough.
  • More baking powder means softer, fluffier cookies. You can see in the recipe below that I use 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder. The baking powder helps produce that big, soft, and fluffy sugar cookie everyone loves — cookies that stay soft for days!
  • No overspread cookies. These cookies hold their shape! By freezing the cut out sugar cookies for 10 minutes prior to going in the oven, the cookies won’t overspread.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients used to make No Fail Sugar Cookies, on a gray background.
  • Salted Butter: Fat content is an important building block of any baked good. This sugar cookie recipe with salted butter gives us a delicious salted butter flavor and provides the texture for the cookie that you wouldn’t get with oil.
  • Eggs: Eggs are the binding agent in any baking recipe. They also help give a bit of lift to baked goods as well. Using 2 in this recipe means we’ll get a better incorporated dough and an additional lift.
  • Baking Powder: As noted above, the baking powder is our leavening agent in these cookies. That means, it’s the part that gives a bit of rise to the cookies. We use a little more baking powder than in traditional cookies to get a nice and thick, soft sugar cookie.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, then mix until combined.
  1. Add the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder), and mix until combined.
  1. Roll the dough out on a well floured surface. Cut into your desired shapes.
Sugar cookie dough rolled out on a gray surface with a star shape cut out from the dough.
  1. Place the cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes prior to baking.
  1. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
No Fail Roll Out Sugar Cookies on a wire cooling rack.

Recipe Tips

You can make these sugar cookies with frosting or as sugar cookies with icing — either produces a delicious cookie!

Leave these cookies plain, or try variations by adding almond extract or cinnamon to the cookies for a twist! I’m a sucker for the simple classic recipe because they literally are so soft and tasty, but it may be fun to have a variety of sugar cookie flavors.

Storing and Freezing

Store the cookies frosted or unfrosted in an airtight container or Ziplock bag at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Freeze plain or iced cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you are freezing the cookies when iced, wait until the icing has set before layering with parchment paper and storing in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. If using frosting, flash freeze the cookies on a baking sheet until the frosting is set/hard. Then store layered with parchment paper in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the freezer.

Remove from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.

Because these cookies will stay really well in the fridge or freezer, they are great make ahead sugar cookies! You can also store the sugar cookie dough in the fridge for 1-2 days prior to rolling, cutting and baking or you can store the cookie dough in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for 1-2 months prior to rolling out and baking.

FAQs

What causes sugar cookies to be hard?

It can be a few things. Over mixing the sugar cookie dough can cause the dough to be tough, therefore producing hard cookies. You can also get hard sugar cookies by over baking them. So be sure to not over mix and not over bake the cookies! This recipe gets such soft, fluffy cookies with the help of a bit more baking powder. However, even with this recipe, if you over mix or over bake, you’ll get hard cookies!

What is the trick to sugar cookies?

The trick to getting soft and fluffy sugar cookies is to not over mix the dough, not over bake the cookies and to get the perfect ratio of flour to fat content to baking powder! This recipe hits the sweet spot for all of those 🙂

Should you chill sugar cookie dough?

You do not have to chill this sugar cookie dough! It really helps save on time. Using dough that isn’t chilled helps when you are rolling the dough out and cutting the cookie dough into shapes. However, I recommend chilling the dough once it is cut into shapes prior to baking — just for 10 minutes. This helps the cookies not to spread when baked.

Sugar cookies cut into stars, candy cane, tree, and snowflake each topped with royal icing.

More Cookie Recipes

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Rolled out sugar cookie dough on a white background.
Print Review
4.93 from 14 votes

No Fail Sugar Cookies

The perfect roll out no fail sugar cookies, every single time!
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 24 cookies (may vary depending on your cookie cutter size)

Ingredients
 

Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter - softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Eggs - room temperature

Frosting

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp milk

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Roll out dough on a floured surface (keep dough about 1/4" thick, or thicker if that's what you prefer). Use cookie cutters to cut into your desired shapes. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freeze for 10 minutes.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Can frost with royal icing, store-bought icing or homemade frosting.

Frosting

  • Add all the ingredients to a medium sized bowl and beat together until combined. Add additional milk or powdered sugar to reach your desired frosting consistency.

Video

Notes

If you want to use unsalted butter that’s fine, just add 1/4 tsp salt when you add the flour and baking powder to the dough. 
Storing and Freezing: Store the cookies frosted or unfrosted in an airtight container or Ziplock bag at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Freeze plain or iced cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months. If iced, wait until the icing has set before layering with parchment paper and storing in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. If frosted, flash freeze the cookies on a baking sheet until the frosting is set/hard. Then store layered with parchment paper in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the freezer.
Remove from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.
Because these cookies will stay really well in the fridge or freezer, they are great make ahead sugar cookies! You can also store the sugar cookie dough in the fridge for 1-2 days prior to rolling, cutting and baking or you can freeze the cookie dough in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for 1-2 months prior to rolling out and baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 176kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 23g (8%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 5g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mg (14%)Sodium: 76mg (3%)Potassium: 72mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 8g (9%)Vitamin A: 266IU (5%)Calcium: 26mg (3%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!

This recipe was originally published on Nov. 29, 2017. It was republished on Nov. 29, 2021 to include additional information and photos.