Classic Sugar Cookies Without Baking Powder

This is the best sugar cookies recipe – perfect for making soft, classic sugar cookies that hold their shape! These cookies are a must make!

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

I’m a huge fan of creating treats for every occasion, especially delicious ones. These classic sugar cookies are perfect for taking to your next event or party! They are totally easy to make and fun to decorate.

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When I was little one of my most favorite things to do around the holidays was decorate sugar cookies with my grandma. She was the most creative person I know and was always baking yummy treats or making fun crafts.

Her traditional sugar cookie recipe is one that I have used my entire life. It is fool proof and has only changed a little over the years as we have recipe tested and tweaked.

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

These classic sugar cookies are made without baking powder but are still light and fluffy! We use baking soda as the leavening agent to create perfectly soft sugar cookies every time.

Pretty much every holiday season I share a new sugar cookie recipe that is inspired by my grandmas recipe. So this year I thought that I should give you the basics to start from. A classic sugar cookie recipe – complete with all of the cookie making tips from our kitchen!

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Before we start mixing, rolling and baking the most delicious cookies, lets chat about the supplies that you will need!

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  • KitchenAid Stand Mixer – a mixing bowl and hand mixer works just as well however a KitchenAid stand mixer has been a staple in my kitchen for years.
  • Baking sheets – I like these large sheet pans from Wilton with the deep sides. They are very versatile and can be used in multiple ways!
  • Parchment paper – using parchment paper to line your cookie sheets is the best way to prevent the cookies from sticking! I reuse each sheet of parchment multiple times.
  • Rolling pin – I like to use a wooden rolling pin but this comes down to personal preference.
  • Mixing bowls – glass mixing bowls are my favorite because I can see what is happening while mixing.
  • Measuring cups and spoons – I am forever losing and buying new ones!
  • Cookie cutters – there are a ton of different cookie cutter shapes now. Have fun with these!
  • Icing bottles – I much prefer to use icing bottles over piping bags whenever I am decorating my sugar cookies.
  • Wire cooling rack – this one is perfect for cooling the cookies quickly.
Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe
  • Use room temperature ingredients to help create a light and fluffy dough. The butter should be softened, not melted. Melted butter will create harder, flat cookies. The egg should rest outside of the fridge for at least two minutes.
  • Chilling the dough after mixing is very important. Having chilled dough helps the cookies to maintain their shape during baking. Store the dough, covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge between rolling. If the sugar cookie dough becomes too soft and malleable, place it in the fridge to firm up.
  • Most ovens are a bit different and cook times many vary depending on a variety of factors like the thickness of your cookie. Try a test bake the first time that you make them and set the timer for five minutes to start. Check on the cookies and allow them to bake longer at one minute intervals until the edges start to just slightly brown. I get the best results baking these easy sugar cookies 7 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack before icing otherwise the frosting will melt right off of the cookie.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 day, for a week in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer. I like to place layers of parchment paper between each single layer of cookies to help prevent them from sticking together.
Valentine Sugar Cookie Bar Process
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

sugar cookie process

2. In a large bowl with electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients. Add room temperature butter, large egg, milk and extract. Mix on medium speed until a soft dough forms.

sugar cookie process

3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour. This helps to prevent the dough from spreading too much in baking.

sugar cookie process

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dust your surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to 1/4″ thickness.

sugar cookie process

5. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes from the dough. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

Coffee & Donut Sugar Cookie Process

6. Bake cookies until they are lightly brown around the edges, about 7 minutes.

Sugar Cookie Process
Coffee & Donut Sugar Cookie Process

7. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.

This easy sugar cookie recipe makes about 40 large cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Allow the cookies to completely cool before decorating with your favorite frosting or icing. I love to use this easy royal icing recipe, it makes for the most beautifully decorated sugar cookies!

Be sure to set aside enough time to decorate these cookies, you may even want to spread it over a few days. Make it a family event that will likely become an annual tradition like it is at our house.

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Check out these fun cookie ideas:

If you love this Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe, please give it a five star review and help me share it on Facebook or Pinterest so that others can enjoy it too!

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Classic Sugar Cookies

Yield: 40
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

This is the best classic sugar cookie recipe - my grandmothers no fail recipe that is perfect for making cookies to decorate with royal icing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients. Add butter, egg, milk and extract. Mix on medium speed until a soft dough forms.

3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour. This helps to prevent the dough from spreading when baked.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Dust your surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to 1/4" thickness on the floured surface.

6. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes from the dough. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake until the cookies are lightly brown around the edges, about 7 minutes.

8. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool before decorating with royal icing.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

All values are approximate and based on ingredients used by the recipe writer. Always calculate your own individual nutritional values for the most accurate calculation.

Did you make this recipe?

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about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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