Cut Out Sugar Cookies | No Chill Recipe- (2024)

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These Cut Out Sugar Cookies are soft, thick, sinfully buttery and taste amazing whether they are decorated or not! Make easy sugar cookie cut outs that keep their shape & edges. Great for decorating with royal icing or sprinkles. This is a no-chill recipe!

Cut Out Sugar Cookies | No Chill Recipe- (1)(this post has been updated on 11/6/20)

Making perfect cut out cookies was never an easy task for me. I always had trouble with them.

The worst thing about most cut out sugar cookie recipes is, going through all the work making a batch and pulling them from the oven to find that they spread!

I can assure you, that this recipe has always given me consistent results.Since they don't spread, they maintain crisp, well defined edges which makes them perfect for decorating with royal icing.

I get RAVE reviews on these cookies all the time. They have a pillowy, soft texture and are supremely buttery. They are proof that cut out sugar cookies do not need to be hard and crunchy to hold their shape.

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This is a no chill cut out sugar cookie recipe

Having a recipe that is no-chill is very important to me. It's rare you'll find any 'have to chill' recipes on my blog...I'm extremely impatient. 🙂 Especially when it comes to cookies!

You do not need to chill these sugar cookies before sending them off into the oven.

I do however, have to caveat that if the weather is 98 degrees and 90% humidity you might want to consider cooling your dough off in the fridge for a while.

When it comes to high heat and high humidity, butter will react the only way butter knows how (melting into a mess and causing your dough to spread!) Some days, are just not good baking days. The recipe itself can only work so much magic!

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Why do Sugar Cookies Cut Outs Spread?

The primary reasons cookies spread are because the oven is too hot and the butter to flour ratio is off.

This recipe bakes at a low & steady 325 degrees, therefore the dough is not blasted with high heat to cause a quick meltdown.

There is a lot of butter in this recipe but also enough flour to hold together the fat from the butter.

If your cookies are spreading, be sure that the oven temp is correct and the flour was properly measured (spooned and leveled in the measuring cup).

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Tips for Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Tip #1: The butter needs to be at proper room temp

The foundation of perfect cut out cookies starts with the butter. If it's too cold, the butter will not mix well and if it's too warm or the butter melted, you'll end up with a dough that's way too soft. The butter needs to be perfectly soft for this recipe or else it's going to give you trouble.

I recommend letting the butter sit on the counter for as least 2 hours. Avoid microwaving butter for this recipe.

You should be able to press into it with your finger easily and it should hold the shape of the indentation. The butter should be look and feel soft but show no signs of melting.

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Tip #2: Be sure to scrape down the bowl often when mixing

Make sure that you mix the dough properly and mix it well.

Scrape your bowl several times as your mixing the dough, after each ingredient addition. Small pockets of unmixed sugar and butter like to hide so you want to make sure the dough is thoroughly mixed!

Tip #3: Roll the cookie dough evenly

Rolling the dough evenly is very important. If some spots are thicker and some spots are thinner, this will affect bake time and then you end up with a tray of some underdone cookies and some burnt cookies. ACK!

The key to rolling dough is to have steady control of the rolling pin. I generally only roll using a forward motion and apply light pressure.

When I'm bringing the rolling pin back towards me, I still glide it on top of the dough but I don't use as much force. It's harder to control the pressure going in reverse.

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You also want to be sure to always alternate the direction you roll in. If you only roll the dough in one direction, it's much more likely that it will come out uneven.

I find it's easiest to get perfectly rolled out dough by frequently switching up the sides I roll from. You can see more of this in my video at the bottom of this post.

This dough is really nice to work with. It's not sticky or tough by any means. It's soft yet easy enough to roll out. Adding just a bit of flour to your surface and rolling pin ensures a perfect roll.

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Still having trouble getting cookie dough to roll evenly?

Even when I'm being careful, it's hard to get dough perfectly even!

I recommend checking out the best rolling pin (pictured below).

It's the perfect solution to making cut out cookies. The pin itself is longer than average and the edges are notched to the perfect ¼" depth that makes wonderfully, thick cookies.

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There's zero guesswork with this awesome tool, and you'll never again worry if the dough is perfectly even or not.

How thick should I roll the dough and how do I measure the thickness

I've also always preferred a thick sugar cookie, so I roll the dough out to about ¼ inch in thickness.

You can roll it thinner if you'd like to, but I do recommend a thicker cookie if you plan on doing royal icing. It just makes it a lot easier.

Thin cookies + flood royal icing = drips & droops of icing over the sides.

Measuring the thickness of the dough is easy (skip if you're using the best rolling pin). I like to keep a clear ruler in my baking pantry to measure the thickness of the dough. I like this one because it has no edge meaning, you can measure right from the surface.

Most rulers have a little extra space before the actual measuring starts, but any ruler will do you just fine! Just be sure to account for the extra space in case your ruler has that.

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Tip #4:Do not overbake

My last secret for perfect cookies is to not overbake them.

To ensure these cookies come out perfectly soft, bake until you just start to see a light golden brown color on the edge.

Decorating Perfect Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

I grew up with sprinkles on my sugar cookies, and it wasn't until the past year where I started experimenting with Royal Icing. I've been practicing a lot and really enjoy the art of cookie decorating!

My royal icing is quite famous among friends and family. It is easy to make, has amazing flavor and dries softer than other royal icings. I’m always getting compliments whenever I use this to decorate my sugar cookies!!

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Sprinkles also work great for these cookies! Be sure to add them before baking off the cookies.

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Can Sugar Cookies be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze these cut out sugar cookies and they freeze VERY well. You can freeze the dough, you can freeze un-decorated, baked cookies and you can even freeze decorated cookies with royal icing!

I love making these ahead of time! I like to make a bunch of different shapes so I always have cookies on hand to practice my royal icing skills.

  • Baked cookies: Bare, baked cookies can be stacked and frozen in a zip lock freezer bag. Thaw on the counter for at least 1 hour before use.
  • Raw Dough: Freeze the raw dough in a large ball, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Thaw in the fridge 24 hours before use, then leave on the counter until it comes up to room temperature and the dough is pliable again.

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I also have an easy Gluten-Free version of this recipe! Click here to check it out!!


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The Best Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

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These Cut Out Sugar Cookies are soft, thick, sinfully buttery and taste amazing whether they are decorated or not! Make easy sugar cookie cut outs that keep their shape & edges. Great for decorating with royal icing or sprinkles. This is a no-chill recipe!

Cut Out Sugar Cookies | No Chill Recipe- (16)

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 35 cookies 1x


Units Scale

  • 2 ½ sticks butter (or, 1c & 4tbsp butter, softened at room temp. Salted or unsalted can be used. If you're sensitive to salt and using salted butter, consider reducing the amount of added salt by ¼ tsp)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter & sugar and light and fluffyusing a hand mixer.
  3. Add in the egg, egg yolk & vanilla. Beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder & salt.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and gently mix on low speed. Once the flour is about absorbed, add the remainder of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix and be sure to thoroughly scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl every so often while mixing.
  6. To roll out the dough, start with about ¼ of the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface (ensuring your rolling pin is also lightly floured).
  7. Roll to a ¼ inch thickness. Cut using your desired cookie cutters. Use an offset spatula to lift the cookies off the surface and place the cookies on the prepared tray. If you are decorating with sprinkles, this is when you would sprinkle your cookies.
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Since all ovens vary, I suggest starting your timer with 10 minutes and see how they look. These cookies are done when they are barely golden brown on the edges.
  9. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a baking rack to finish cooling. Decorate as desired.


Recipe by

This recipe will yield about 35, 3-4" cookies.

One key to making cookies that hold their shape is to make sure your butter is properly at room temp before mixing. If it’s too cold it won’t mix well and if it’s too warm or melted, you’ll end up with a dough that’s way too soft. You should leave the butter to sit at room temp for at least 2 hours. You should be able to press into it with your finger easily and it should hold the shape of the indentation.

  • Author: Liz at
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Cookie
  • Calories: 122

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Cut Out Sugar Cookies | No Chill Recipe- (2024)


What happens if you don't chill sugar cookies? ›

Chilling the dough is a key step in making sugar cookies, especially when you're making cut-outs. Even if you're tight on time, make sure to get the dough in the fridge, or even the freezer, even if it's only for a little while. Skip this step, and the dough will be sticky, and much harder to work with.

What is the secret to cut-out cookies? ›

Pull off the top sheet of parchment, then slide the sheet of dough onto a baking sheet, then pop it in the freezer. (You can stack as many sheets of dough onto one baking sheet as you'd like.) Sandwich your dough between two sheets of parchment, roll, then freeze; it makes cut-out cookies a breeze!

Can you roll out sugar cookie dough before chilling? ›

So, roll out the dough while it's still soft (right after mixing it together), and then chill the rolled-out dough.

Should you refrigerate cut-out cookies before baking? ›

Refrigerating the dough allows the flour to fully hydrate and helps to make the cookie dough firmer. Firm dough prevents the cookies from spreading too much, which is why chilling the dough is a crucial step for cut-out and rolled cookies.

What happens if you don't chill cookies before baking? ›

As she says, not chilling the cookie and baking at 350 degrees can result in a more crackly cookie, since the dough hasn't had enough time to absorb the flour. Chilling it for half an hour, however, gives you thicker, chewier dough.

Is it OK not to chill cookie dough? ›

There's no need to chill cookie dough for most bar cookies, unless you prefer the flavor difference. We do not recommend chilling macarons, spritz cookies, or other creations that involve a cookie press or piping; this will be much more challenging with a chilled mixture. You're crunched for time.

How do you make cut-out cookies keep their shape? ›

I can't wait to read through all of the great ideas posted there! To help cookies keep their shape, freeze them! I freeze each batch of cut-out cookies for 5 to 10 minutes before baking.

How do you keep cutout sugar cookies from spreading? ›

  1. The Rules for Making Sure Your Sugar Cookies Don't Spread.
  2. Rule No. 1: Bake at the Right Temperature.
  3. Rule No. 2: Don't Over or Under Cream Your Butter.
  4. Rule No. 3: Don't Over-Soften Your Butter.
  5. Rule No. 4: Don't Overcrowd the Baking Sheet.
  6. Rule No. 5: Make Sure Your Ingredients Have Not Expired.
  7. Rule No.
Jul 23, 2022

How do you use store bought sugar cookie dough for cutouts? ›

Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on work surface. Cut out desired shapes using floured 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 11 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.

How long should sugar cookie dough sit out before rolling? ›

After 30 minutes, take the dough out of the fridge and cut your shapes! Let the dough harden for around 30 minutes, then take the dough out. There's no need to let it come to room temperature before working with it. You can go from the fridge to your counter and immediately start cutting out shapes.

How far in advance can you make decorated sugar cookies? ›

Decorated Sugar Cookies

If you decide to leave them in the fridge, they will last about a week, but keep in mind that it's best to eat them within the first three days. When it comes to the freezer, decorated sugar cookies can be kept there as long as undecorated ones, so about three months.

Why won't my cut-out cookies hold their shape? ›

Different fats will affect the shape of your cookies, as will the temperature of the dough when it goes into the oven. Softer fat like shortening and margarine will spread more than butter, and cookies with butter in them, if refrigerated before baking, will hold their shape, even when quite thick.

Do you have to refrigerate sugar cookies? ›

Unless a recipe tells you otherwise, you should always store sugar cookies at room temperature to make sure that they taste as good on day three as they did on day one. Keep them in a cool, dry area of your kitchen; any additional humidity may change their texture, particularly with frosted sugar cookies.

What happens if you don't cool cookies? ›

Too-hot cookies can burn your fingers and mouth (melty-hot sugar is really, really hot!). Plus, you need to cool cookies to give them a chance to firm up and keep their shape. Finally, too-hot cookies will likely fall apart in your hands.

What happens if you don't chill cookie dough long enough? ›

The longer you chill the dough, the more flavor will develop. The flour will also absorb more of the moisture so the thicker and chewier the final texture will be.

How long do sugar cookies last unrefrigerated? ›

Bakery or homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature two to three weeks or two months in the refrigerator. Cookies retain their quality when stored in the freezer for eight to 12 months.

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