(Last Updated On: April 19, 2023)
A delicious and easy recipe for sugar cookies that the whole family is going to love and the kids can help make them too. The kids will especially love putting all of that frosting sweetness over the top of the cookies.
So get the kiddos some food coloring and let them make different colors of frosting. What a fun afternoon that will be for them, not to mention when they get to eat one after all the hard work they did preparing them.
This recipe for sugar cookies makes a big batch of cookies, about 77, so you can freeze some of them, or cut this recipe in half.
These are the sugar cookies my mother made for us kids when we were growing up. We loved them, and so did our friends, maybe that’s why she made such a big batch at a time. 🙂
Key Ingredients Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookies Dough
- 3 sticks of butter (1 and 1/2 cups)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not shown)
- 5 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
Sugar Cookies Frosting
- Powdered sugar frosting and sprinkles (not shown)
Step-By-Step Sugar Cookies Instructions with Photos
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Melt the Butter
Put 3 sticks of butter, or 1 and 1/2 cups, in a bowl and then put it in the microwave to melt for 50 or 60 seconds, depending on your microwave. Keep checking the butter since your microwave may have more or less power than ours does.
2. Add Sugar to the Butter
Transfer the melted butter into a medium-size bowl, then add 2 cups of sugar together with the melted butter. Mix thoroughly.
3. The Eggs
Put 2 eggs in the bowl together with the butter and the sugar. Mix.
4. The Milk and Vanilla Extract
Add 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract together with the butter, sugar, and eggs mixture. Mix.
5. Mix it Up
So far, we have melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract in the bowl. Stir all of this together well.
6. Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Pinch of Salt
Put 5 and 1/2 cups of flour in a different bowl. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and a pinch of salt together with the flour. Blend thoroughly together.
What’s a Pinch of Salt?
Let’s talk about a pinch of salt for a minute. What exactly is a pinch of salt? Well, I checked on the internet to make sure I got the facts straight for y’all. Some information said a pinch of salt is using 2 fingers – your thumb and index finger – then grab some salt and whatever amount you pinched up in your 2 fingers, it comes out to be 1/16 of a teaspoon, then again, other information said 1/8 of a teaspoon.
Therefore, I decided to go get my salt and do a pinch-of-salt test to see. No matter how many times I did the 2-finger pinch-of-salt test, it filled my 1/8 of a teaspoon halfway up, so I figure the answer is 1/16 of a teaspoon.
So there you have it, I’m sticking with 1/16 of a teaspoon. However, not all fingers are created equal. I understand totally and I figure that everyone’s fingers can be different sizes, so that’s a whole different discussion for a later date. 😉
7. Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients
Add the flour mixture a little at a time together with the butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract mixture. Stir until it becomes kind of hard to mix it, then use your hands to shape it into a ball of dough.
8. Cookie Dough for Sugar Cookies
Take the cookie dough out of the bowl and lay it on a lightly floured surface such as a cutting board or a dough mat, or even the kitchen countertop. We used the kitchen table.
9. Roll the Dough
Get the rolling pin out and start rolling the cookie dough starting from the middle and then rolling out towards the end of the dough. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour on the cookie dough as you roll so the dough won’t stick to the roller.
Keep rolling the dough out from the middle outwards in all directions until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. If you roll it out thinner than that, of course, the cookies will be thinner, but also the cookies will be crispier and not as soft after baking them in the oven.
Life’s not perfect, so we did have a couple of thinner cookies in the batch, and a couple of family members liked them the best, the others liked the thicker softer ones. See, some mistakes can make everyone happy!
10. Making Circles
The next step is to cut out the cookie shapes. You can use any cookie cutters you have. The more different shapes you can make sounds like so much fun for the kids. We just used a small cup. The granddaughters and I each had a cup and we were cutting out cookie circle shapes like crazy.
With the surface lightly covered with flour, dip the edge of the cookie cutter into the flour. Then push the cookie cutter into the dough, and slightly wiggle it around just a little bit on the surface of the flour before taking the cookie cutter out of the dough. This will make it easier to pick up the cookie shape to place it on the cookie sheet, shown in the next step below.
11. Cookie Sheet
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Place about 12 cookie shapes on the sheet pan. Of course that could be different if your shapes are a little bigger than our shapes. A good rule of thumb, if you don’t want your cookies to bake into each other, is to leave about 1 and 1/2 to 2 inches between each cookie since some cookies will expand outward during baking and we don’t want these cookies to run into each other.
The spaces between each cookie don’t have to be exact, or perfect. Unless you are making these cookies for a recipe bake-off contest, believe me, they will get eaten way too fast for anyone to notice the different shapes or square edges.
12. Sugar Cookies
Bake the cookies in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. They should be just barely turning brown when the 12 minutes is up. Leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for about a minute, then place the cookies on a cooling rack for about a minute to cool.
13. Don’t Forget the Frosting & Sprinkles
These sugar cookies are fun to make and the granddaughters loved putting the frosting and sprinkles on them. They had so much fun mixing up the different colors for the frosting too. And getting to put those sprinkles on top of the frosting was the kicker to a fun-filled afternoon in the kitchen. Click here for the powdered sugar frosting recipe we used for these cookies.
The kids loved making this recipe for sugar cookies, and they love the taste of them too, heck, the adults love the taste too. But, I must warn you, eating one cookie just isn’t enough, but eating 2 cookies is just right! 😉
This recipe for sugar cookies makes a lot of cookies, 77 to be exact. But that wasn’t a problem because the kids on the soccer team got to eat some too, and it was a big hit with them. Speaking of cookies, make another big hit with your family, friends, and guests when you make our ranger cookies, loaded with rolled oats, raisins, and rice crispies. Yum!
Easy Recipe for Sugar Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave for about 50 to 60 seconds.
- Transfer the melted butter into a medium-sized bowl, then add the sugar to the melted butter. Mix.
- Add the eggs to the butter and sugar. Mix.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract to the butter, sugar, and eggs. Mix.
- In a different bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix.
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients to make the cookie dough.
- Take the cookie dough out of the bowl and lay it on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin about 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Cut out cookie shapes.
- Spray cooking spray on a cookie sheet.
- Place 12 cookie shapes on the cookie sheet.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until the top of the cookie is barely browned.
Out of the Oven
- Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about 1 minute.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them sit for about a minute to cool.
- Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough.
- Decorate the cookies with frosting and sprinkles.
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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