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This easy sugar cookie recipe tastes delicious topped with homemade frosting. It is a delightful little cookie with sweetness in every bite that melts in your mouth.

(Last Updated On: September 8, 2022)

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.

Five Sugar Cookies on a plate.

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

Ingredients for sugar cookies.
Ingredients for sugar cookies.

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.

Melted butter in a bowl for sugar cookies.
Melted butter in a bowl.

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.

Stir melted butter and sugar together in a bowl.
Stir melted butter and sugar together in a bowl.

3. The Eggs

Put 2 eggs in the bowl together with the butter and the sugar. Mix.

Two eggs are added to the bowl with the butter and the sugar.
Two eggs are added to the bowl with the butter and the sugar.

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.

Milk and vanilla extract is added to the melted butter, sugar, and eggs.
Add milk and vanilla extract to the melted butter, sugar, and eggs.

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.

Melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract stirred together.
Melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract stirred together.

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.

Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.

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.

Flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
Mix the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract in the bowl.

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.

A ball of cookie dough on a floured surface.
A ball of cookie dough on a floured surface.

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!

Rolling out the cookie dough.
Roll out the cookie dough.

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.

Cookie dough shapes on a floured surface.
Cookie dough shapes on a floured surface.

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.

Cookie dough shapes on a cookie sheet.
Cookie dough shapes on a cookie sheet.

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.

Sugar cookies on a cooling rack.
Sugar cookies on a cooling rack.

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.

Frosted Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack.
Sugar cookies with frosting on a cooling rack.

Final Thoughts

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! 😉

Five frosted sugar cookies on a plate.

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 from Scratch

Easy Recipe for Sugar Cookies

Flo
This easy sugar cookie recipe tastes delicious topped with homemade frosting. It is a delightful little cookie with sweetness in every bite that melts in your mouth.
5 from 3 votes
Cost $4
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings 77

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 sticks of butter (1 and ½ cups)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wet Ingredients

  • 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.

Dry Ingredients

  • In a different bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix.

Cookie Dough

  • 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.

Bake

  • 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.
  • Makes about 77 cookies.

Recipe Notes

  • This is the recipe we used for the frosting – Powdered sugar frosting
  • This is a large batch of cookies, about 77, you may want to cut this recipe in half.
Keyword cookies, frosted cookies, sugar cookies
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