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Our family favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe is one that I make over and over again. Soft-baked, thick, and perfectly soft and chewy sugar cookies topped with almond cream cheese frosting and decorated with colorful sprinkles. The perfect sugar cookie recipe that holds it’s shape and requires no chilling time!

A cookie sheet of sugar cookies


This sugar cookie recipe is a family favorite recipe that I make over and over again. Sugar cookies just happen to be my favorite dessert! And because of that I have lots of versions of the classic recipe like these sugar cookie bars, cream cheese sugar cookies, or these easy cake mix sugar cookies

I have so many tips and tricks so you can create the most perfect sugar cookies too. My #1 tip for making this recipe is to not let them over-bake at all. When you pull the cookies out of the oven they should still be pale, puffy looking, and the middle should not look wet (which means it’s not done). So basically no color on the cookies at all.

Top these cookies with a delicious almond cream cheese frosting and don’t forget to decorate them with sprinkles. That’s the best part! 

A picture of a sugar cookie leaned on a stack of them.

A stack of sugar cookies with a the top cookie having a bite taken out of it.


Salted Butter – I soften the butter in the microwave. Place the sticks in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Every 5 seconds stop the microwave and turn each butter stick to a different side. Cook for 5 more seconds and then turn the sticks over again to another side. Repeat until softened. This softens the butter perfectly without melting it. 

Granulated Sugar

Powdered Sugar

Large Eggs

Vanilla & Almond Extract

All-Purpose Flour

Baking Powder


Cream Cheese – I think it’s best to use full fat cream cheese but you can also use lite cream cheese if you prefer. 

Heavy Cream

How to make the best sugar cookie recipe with step by step pictures for each step of the recipe.

A stack of unfrosted sugar cookies on a cooling rack.


  • Roll the sugar cookie dough out thick!

    • This is one of my top tips for making sugar cookies. If you roll the dough out thin and then cut your shapes, you will end up with thin and crispy sugar cookies. If you want the thick, soft sugar cookies then you have to roll the dough out thicker. I don’t measure, but you want to aim for about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch when rolling out the dough. Somewhere in-between is perfect. 
  • Use almond extract in this sugar cookie recipe

    • Almond extract is like the magic ingredient for the best sugar cookies. Trust me! If there is an allergy or if you just don’t like it then go ahead and use vanilla extract in its place. 
  • How do I store sugar cookies?

    • Store the frosted sugar cookies covered at room temperature. If you prefer them cold then go ahead and store them in a covered container in the fridge. If you are planning on having leftovers for awhile it’s best to store the frosted sugar cookies in the fridge because of the cream cheese in the frosting. 
    • You can also freeze them too. Freeze them unfrosted or frosted. I would not freeze these cookies with sprinkles on them as they will probably bleed into the frosting as they are thawing.  
  • My best baking tips

    • Do not wait for the cookies to be lightly browned before pulling them out of the oven. You want the cookies to be very pale still with no brown anywhere on them when you pull them out of the oven. 
    • Roll the dough out thick. This is what gives you that thick, soft sugar cookie that we all love. Not too thick because then it will take longer to bake. Aim for about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. 
    • Use any cookie cutter shape you want!
    • Use letter cookie cutters to cut out someone’s name out or to say ‘happy birthday’. I have done this before and everyone loves it! I put the frosting inside a Ziploc bag and then cut the corner off and spread the frosting on that way when I do letters. 
    • For the best creamy frosting use the heavy cream! 
    • I highly recommend using almond extract as called for in the recipe but if you don’t want to then feel free to just replace it with vanilla extract.
  • Do I use salted butter or unsalted butter in this sugar cookie recipe?

    • I use salted butter for everything! I think it adds flavor and helps balance out sweetness in recipes. Especially desserts and baked goods. 
    • With that said you can use unsalted if you prefer or if that’s what you have in your fridge. You may need to adjust the salt to your liking. 
    • The recipe was developed for using salted butter. 
    • If you want to be able to control the salt then use unsalted butter in recipes.

The number 1 tip for making a sugar cookie recipe


No Flour Monster Cookies – Monster cookies loaded with oats, peanut butter, m&m’s, and chocolate chips with no flour in them! Perfect gluten-free cookie using gluten-free oats. 

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies – Chocolate chip cookies with no egg! They use cream cheese and it makes the softest, thickest chocolate chip cookies ever.

Thick Soft-Baked M&M Cookies – Big, puffy, thick m&m cookies that just make you happy. 

Muddy Buddy Cookies – Peanut butter cookie topped with milk chocolate and dusted with powdered sugar. Just like the classic popular snack mix but in a cookie. 

Chocolate Reese’s Cookies – Chocolate cookies loaded with chopped Reese’s candy and peanut butter chips. 


A stack of sugar cookies with a the top cookie having a bite taken out of it.
Together As Family Logo

Family Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Servings 40 cookies
Our family favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe is one that I make over and over again. Soft-baked, thick, and perfectly soft and chewy sugar cookies topped with almond cream cheese frosting and decorated with colorful sprinkles. The perfect sugar cookie recipe that holds it's shape and requires no chilling time.


Sugar Cookies

  • cups (3 sticks) salted butter softened
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  • 1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper, use a silpat liner, or spray with cooking spray.
    * If you have several cookie sheets then prepare 2 or 3 of them so you can have a tray ready to go as soon as the other one is done.
  • In a large bowl with a handmixer, or use the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar until lighter in color and fluffy looking. This will take about 2 minutes of mixing.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • Add the vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix until combined.
  • Add 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed, increasing speed as needed, just until the flour is incorporated.
  • Add the remaining flour (3½ cups) and mix on low speed, increasing speed as needed and sraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Spray the countertop lightly with cooking spray and dust with flour to prevent sticking. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about ¼-½ inch thickness. Cut into preferred shape and place 12 per cookie sheet (or less depending on the size of your cookie cutter).
  • Bake for 6-9 minutes.
    You do not want the cookies to have any brown on them when you pull them out of the oven. The cookie should still be pale and slightly puffy but not browned anywhere. If the edges are slightly browned then that means you cooked them for too long. The middle should also not look wet, but rather puffy looking but still pale.
    I have found that about 6½ - 7 minutes is perfect for my oven.
  • Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 5-10 minutes and then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • MAKE THE FROSTING : Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl until creamy and combined. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and almond extract. Beat together until combined and creamy.
    If you want to add color to the frosting add a few drops of food coloring (I prefer the gel food color) at the end and then mix together until combined.
  • Frost each cookie and sprinkle the top with sprinkles. Change up the sprinkles and/or frosting color for any Holiday or celebration.


Almond Extract vs. Vanilla Extract : Almond extract in sugar cookies is like the "magic ingredient" that just makes them taste amazing. I would highly suggest using the almond extract in the sugar cookies. But if wanted, you can use vanilla extract in the frosting depending on preference. 
Heavy Cream : For the best, creamiest frosting use heavy cream. If you use anything other then heavy cream then start at 1-2 teaspoons. You will need less because any other milk will have less fat in it, which means it's thinner and you won't need as much of it for the frosting. 
Flour : I use unbleached all-purpose flour. I would not recommend using wheat flour or white wheat flour in this recipe. You can use gluten-free flour as long as it's a 1:1 ratio. Meaning 1 cup gluten-free flour is equal to 1 cup all-purpose flour in a recipe. 
Fun Variation : I love to use letter cookie cutters and spell out someone's name for their birthday OR spell out happy birthday using letter cookie cutters. You can also do numbers as well. I made these for my oldest son's 1st birthday and used a '1' cookie cutter. If you do letter or numbers, I put the frosting inside a Ziploc bag and snip the corner. I then pipe it on the number or letter. Then add sprinkles. 


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Katie Black says:

    Love the happy birthday idea! So cute!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Hey Katie 🙂 Thank You! It’s like my go-to birthday gift for VT and friends.

    2. If I used cake flour would that be okay, or could that change something?

      1. Together As Family says:

        I am not sure about cake flour. I know it’s more dense than all-purpose so I am just not sure how it would substitute for all-purpose flour. Sorry I can’t help more.

  2. Do you Refrigerated this cookie dough for a while before you roll out? If so how long to leave in refrigerator?

    1. Together As Family says:

      You can refrigerate it. If you do, be sure and take it out to let it come to room temperature before rolling it out. If you try and roll it out while it’s too cold, it will crack and will not roll out nicely. Hopefully that helps!

  3. How many cookies does this yield?

    1. Together As Family says:

      A lot!! ? I can usually get about four dozen, but it also depends on what size cookie cutter shape you are using.

    2. Mine made 5 dozen cookies. About 2 inch cookies and there was enough frosting to frost all but 2 cookies. I might have done a few to thick.

  4. May I sub in extra vanilla extract place of the almond extract?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Sure can!

      1. I followed this recipe to a T and my dough it wet and not forming.

        1. Together as Family says:

          I’m sorry! That’s the toughest part of baking is one tiny thing can mess everything up. Hopefully you were able to figure something out!

  5. Can your recipe be frozen? I did read the question about refrigeration, but I wanted to make a few weeks ahead, freeze, and pull out when needed. Thank you.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I think they could be frozen. They tend to get soft at room temperature so maybe try thawing them in the fridge before you need them?? That is a total guess because I’ve never tried freezing these so I can’t say for sure.

  6. Hi, do these hold their shape with any type of cutter?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes they do! Enjoy.

  7. Do these cookies keep their shape?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes they do. It’s why I love this recipe so much. I hope you love them.

  8. I love these cookies sooooo much!!! You have been my life saver. I am in the cake business and our local cookie lady was all booked up, I was able to save the day making my own cookies for a customer using your recipe. Thank you for this!
    And personally, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to know how to bake cookies like these. It seemed you could only buy them at the grocery store like this. Now I have the power lol!

    1. Together As Family says:

      This makes me so happy. Thanks so much for your sweet comment and I am so glad you found this recipe!

  9. I made these for a Halloween treat I was making for my family, the taste of these cookies were the best. We all loved them.
    I typically stay away from all recipes that have the words “roll out” anything. I can just purchase pie shells way to easily to deal with the mess. I guess you can say I’m dough challenged.
    This is the easiest recipe I have ever found. The dough rolls out beautifully and seems to only stick to it’s self. After cutting re-rolling out the dough Is so easy that even a beginner can do it.
    Finally, now I can bake cookies and decorate them with my grand-kids, and maybe, if they behave, we’ll let their parents join in on the fun. 😉
    Thanks so much for taking the time to post this recipe. Your time and kindness will probably become a tradition in our family.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I love hearing this! And I agree, anything that calls for rolling out or something tedious like that I tend to stay away from too. But these are so worth it! Thanks for your comment and I am so glad I could help 🙂

  10. Does the icing harden or stay soft? I’m thinking about using this recipe for a school bake sale.
    Thank you!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes it does. Just make sure you give the cookies time to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours after you frost them, then package them up.

  11. These cookies look so delicious and I can’t wait to try them! Soft-bake cookies are my favorite! So much better than thin, crispy cookies.
    I was wondering, do you think royal icing would work well on these style cookies?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes royal icing would work just fine. Enjoy!

  12. CATHERINE says:

    I have a recipe that Ian almost identical to yours except for the powder sugar. Any ideas what the powder sugar does differently your cookie? My cookie requires 2 cups of white sugar.

    1. Together As Family says:

      This recipe is a copycat recipe for SWIG sugar cookies (if you live in Utah then you know what that is). I think it makes the cookie bars softer, fluffier tasting but I am sure they would be fabulous with all granulated sugar like your recipe.

  13. Just wondering if it’s okay to cut this recipe in half. I’m not sure I need 4 dozen cookies — it’s just little ol’ me 🙂 Even if I take some to work, 4 dozen is a lot. Thanks!!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes, that should work just fine. Enjoy!

  14. Can you use unsalted butter? That’s all I have on hand right now lol. Would I need to add a little salt?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Oh for sure you can use unsalted. Yes you may need to add like 1/4 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter.

  15. After reading COUNTLESS sugar cookie recipes I ended up going with this one. Most were pretty much the same and just had a few varying things. I learned two things from all of them… keep them thick and only bake them for 7 minutes. THESE WERE SO GOOD. I made 60 ish and they are GONE after one Christmas party with maybe 20 people in attendance. I thought I would have leftovers. Lol! I paired it with a royal icing recipe and they were a huge hit. Soooo many compliments and people wanting me to make them for wedding and baby showers. Great great great.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Oh yay! I am so glad you chose to make these sugar cookies. And you are absolutely right, make the cookies thick and bake for the least amount of time as possible. It sounds like you will stay busy making these cookies for events 🙂 Thank you for leaving your comment and reviews. I appreciate it.

      1. How long will these baked cookies keep? I have a party next Saturday, but will like to bake today (Sunday). So roughly 5-6 days. Thank you 🙂

        1. Together As Family says:

          If you make the cookies, bake them, and then let them cool completely I think they would keep for 5-6 days. Make sure to cover well with plastic wrap or inside a container, and leave at room temperature. The cookies do stay soft for a long time so I think it would be fine.

    2. So glad you mentioned royal icing. I was wondering how these would do decorated with royal icing. Looking for a yummy softer sugar cookie recipe that holds shape.

  16. Do these cookies fall apart when picked up, or do they hold their shape pretty well?

  17. Hi, can you freeze any leftover dough? Like, I’m kinda iffy about halving the recipe because things go wrong on my end and it usually doesn’t end up as good, but I don’t want to bake a whole lot of cookies at once lol

  18. Hi! I’m so impressed how quickly these bake and how well they hold their shape! WOW! Any advice on how to get them to taste just a tiny bit sweeter, without compromising the integrity of the recipe or cause spreading? TIA!

  19. I have been trying different sugar cookies recipes and and yours is the best they are soft and moist I use the vanilla and raspberry extract. Thank you for a delicious cookie recipe.

  20. Made these cookies and the dough was sooo sticky, I couldn’t roll it out. What did I do wrong?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Oh darn! I actually just made these yesterday! Did you add flour to the counter top before rolling them out? In the recipe it mentions that I end up adding about 1/3 cup of flour into the pile of dough before rolling it out. The dough, right out of the mixer, should be sticky. Add extra flour as needed, while rolling the dough out, until the dough doesn’t stick to the counter. Hopefully that helps. Let me know!

  21. 5 stars
    I get so many compliments on these cookies! I do reverse the almond and vanilla measurements because I like a stronger almond flavor. I am wondering if you think I could substitute pumpkin pie spice extract for the almond for a more fall pumpkin cookie? Thanks!

    1. Lucy Pulsipher says:

      I think that extract substitute would be amazing! Please let me know how it turns out.

  22. 5 stars
    These cookies are wonderful!
    I have made countless sugar cookie recipes from my Grandma’s, my moms, and online. This is first one I’ve added powdered sugar to dough, and not sure if this was the difference or what. Made single batch expecting them to be like all others to my astonishment I had to mix up a second batch. I use a pampered chef pastry mat to roll out my doughs along with a pastry cloth on rolling pin that I had to use very little flour. They didn’t stick to mat, pin or to cutters (which I didn’t even flour) wow!!
    Even the hubby said you can make these again (but I’ll judge better once frosted lol)

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you liked them!

  23. 4 stars
    I was worried these weren’t going to keep their shape because the dough was softer than I usually use… (I added a bit more flour than called for so it would form a more solid dough) but they puffed up a little and kept their shape perfectly… lol haven’t taste tested them yet though, I’ll keep you posted!!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thanks for sharing! I hope you liked them!

  24. 5 stars
    I am making several dozen of these cookies (I love this recipe) but I ran out of all purpose flour, can I use self rising flour?

    1. Together as Family says:

      I’m not totally sure if it would work or what changes you would need to make. But I found this article and thought it could help. Let me know how they turn out!

  25. Do you ever use Royal icing with these cookies?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I don’t but using royal icing is a great idea with any sugar cookie.