Easy cut out sugar cookies won’t spread and the dough requires no chilling! Decorate them with royal icing.

iced christmas tree cut out sugar cookies in a wood box

It’s that time of year again to make Santa’s cookies. So you may wonder, “Which cookies are Santa’s favorite?” Christmas sugar cookies of course. Santa loves seeing all the creativity and love put into decorating his cookies, just ask Buddy the Elf!

Why this recipe works

You don’t need to chill the dough before rolling and cutting out cookies. The cookies don’t spread and the recipe doubles easily. These cookies are perfect for decorating and gifting purposes.

cut out sugar cookie ingredients labaled

Overview: How to make cut out sugar cookies

  1. Make the dough: Whisk the dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix to combine. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  2. Roll the dough: Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the cookie dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Use desired cookie cutters to cut dough
  3. Bake the cookies: Place cut out sugar cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 F for 8 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Looking for cookie cutters? I have a set of these round cookie cutters and these holiday ones for Christmas. You can also use this recipe to make my cut out pumpkin cookies or snowflake cookies.

photo collage demonstrating how to make cut out sugar cookie dough in a mixing bowl with hand mixer
no chill cut out sugar cookie dough rolled out with christmas tree cut outs of dough

Expert Tips

Make sure the dough thickness is even so the cookies bake at the same rate. Roll cookie dough out to 1/4 inch thick. This rolling pin guarantees even thickness.

Use cookie cutters that are about the same size. Again, this way the cookies bake at the same rate.

Dip the cookie cutters in flour before cutting the dough. This will prevent the dough from getting stuck to the cutter.

Recipe FAQ

How to store cut out sugar cookies

Place cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

How to freeze sugar cookie dough

Store dough in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap. Keep dough in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before rolling and cutting the dough.

What icing to use for sugar cookies:

Decorate sugar cookies with royal icing. If you want the icing to harden, use meringue powder however it can be hard to find. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store or specialty cook store, you can find meringue powder on Amazon.

How to decorate sugar cookies:

Transfer icing to a frosting bag fitting with a small round tip. Trace the outline of the cookie and then fill in with icing.

iced christmas tree sugar cookies in a wooden box. brown wooden houses behind box
iced cut out sugar cookies in a box

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Get the Recipe: Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Easy cut out sugar cookies won’t spread and the dough requires no chilling! Decorate them with royal icing.
5 (3 ratings)


Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • 2 ½ cups (312 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup (180 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg,, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond extract

Royal Icing

  • 2 ⅔ cups (320 g) confectioners' sugar, , sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5-6 Tablespoons warm water


Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine softened butter and confectioners’ sugar using a hand mixer.¹ Beat until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides as necessary.
  • With mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture to the bowl. The dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When touched, it has a little give, but does not stick to fingers.
  • Flour the work surface and roll dough to about 1/4-inch thick, using flour for dusting as necessary. Use cookie cutters to cut cookies and place on prepared baking sheet. Gather scraps and re-roll dough when necessary.
  • Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, rotating halfway through. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Prepare icing.

Royal Icing

  • Place the meringue powder and water in a large mixing bowl, and whip with the whisk attachment until foamy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar and whip on medium speed until very stiff and thick, about 3 minutes. The royal icing should hold a stiff peak. If necessary, thin with additional water, a drop at a time, to get the desired consistency.
  • Transfer icing to an icing bag fitted with a small round tip (I used Wilton #2). Ice the cookies and decorate with sprinkles if desired.


Store iced sugar cookies in layers between pieces of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze sugar cookie dough in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost dough in the refrigerator before rolling and baking.
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 172kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 77mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 246IU, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg

References: The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle and Baking a Moment

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