EASY Sugar Cookies Recipe (No Chill, No Spread) + Tips - Cooking With Karli (2024)

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Updated on 11/1/2023

If you’re looking for a simple, NO CHILL, NO SPREAD Sugar Cookie Recipe that stays soft and chewy.. You’ve officially found it! Made by literal MILLIONS every single year, this Sugar Cookie has it all.

EASY Sugar Cookies Recipe (No Chill, No Spread) + Tips - Cooking With Karli (1)

The Best Sugar Cookies

This Sugar Cookie Recipe is not only a staple at my house, but the same is true for kitchens WORLD WIDE!! This cookie recipe is quick, easy to follow and only includes 6 staple ingredients. I have made these cookies myself hundreds (if not thousands, if I’m being honest) over the last 8 years and I know this will become your go-to Sugar Cookie Recipe, too.

I know, cut out cookies can seem a little intimidating, but trust me, this is 100% beginner friendly. It is nearly impossible to mess this recipe up- it is so forgiving! Before you know it, you’ll be making Sugar Cookies for every possible occasion- the possibilities are endless!

EASY Sugar Cookies Recipe (No Chill, No Spread) + Tips - Cooking With Karli (2)

Easy Sugar Cookie Ingredients

  • Butter– I always use salted butter, because who wants to buy a secondary kind of butter just for cookies and baked goods? If you typically use unsalted and that is what you plan on using, add a pinch or two of salt to the cookie dough. 🙂
  • Granulated Sugar– Granulated sugar is all you need for this recipe.
  • Egg– just one egg.
  • Vanilla– I LOOOOOVE vanilla so that is what I typically flavor my cookies with. Feel free to get creative here, though. Almond extract, cake batter, peppermint.. possibilities are endless.
  • All-purpose Flour– No special flour needed! Just good ol’ all-purpose. I haven’t tested it myself, but readers have let me know that this recipe works great with King Arthur’s 1:1 GF Flour!
  • Baking powder– The baking powder will give the cookies the slightest rise and puff while baking while keeping them super soft.

Yes, that is it!! Only 6 ingredients that I bet you have on hand right now!

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How to make Sugar Cookies

Making your sugar cookie dough is so simple. First, I’d recommend using astand mixer if you have one. If not, an electric hand mixer with some elbow grease will work, too.

  1. The first step is to cream the butter and sugar together for a full 2 minutes. You want this extremely light and fluffy!
  2. Next, scrape sides and add in your egg and vanilla.
  3. Finally, add in your flour and baking powder. The dough will look dry, just keep mixing. Mix, mix, mix and it will come together! The dough should be the same consistency as play-doh. If it is too dry, add some water (1 tsp at a time). If it is too wet, add some flour (1 tsp at a time). This dough is SO forgiving.
  4. Roll and cut your dough into your desired shape and size.
  5. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350° F until the cookies are no longer wet and glossy on top and have puffed up ever so slightly. The exact timing will depend on how large the cookies are that you are baking- generally it is somewhere in the 7-11 minute range.
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How to roll and cut Sugar Cookie Dough

My favorite way to roll the cookie dough is on a silicone baking mat, that way you don’t have to flour your surface. If you don’t have a large silicone baking mat, dust your countertop with flour and then use a rolling pin to roll your dough out.

For this recipe, what you cut is what you get. They will not spread, they will just ‘puff’ every so slightly during the baking process. If the cookies are smaller, I will roll a little thinner, about 1/4 of an inch. If I am making large, 4-inch round cookies (like pictured here) I roll them out closer to 1/2 inch thick.

Use your desired cookie cutter to cut out your shapes and arrange them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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How to bake a soft Sugar Cookie

The key to making soft sugar cookies is this- do not over bake them! This recipe will yield a very soft and chewy cookie as long as they are not over baked. Keep a close eye on the cookies, you’ll want to pull them out of the oven when the tops are no longer glossy and they have puffed up. If you wait until the edges start turning golden brown, they are overcooked and will be dry.

Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Decorating Homemade Sugar Cookies

Decorating sugar cookies is the best part! This is really where they take on personality. Sometimes I just frost them, sometimes I add sprinkles. Pretty piped flowers happen a lot, too. Sometimes I go really overboard, though. Like on holidays. Holidays are meant for overboard cookies, right?

Check out some fun holiday inspired sugar cookie decorations below!

What frosting should I use with this Sugar Cookies Recipe?

I always, always,alwaysfrost my sugar cookies with a crusting vanilla buttercream. This cookie will hold up to Royal Icing if that is what you prefer to use. I like buttercream because, to me, it tastes better and it is so much faster and easier!

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Easy Sugar Cookies storage

Store un-frosted sugar cookies in an air tight container until ready to frost. They can be stacked and just placed in a zip top bag. They will stay fresh while waiting for their frosting for 2-3 days. If you want to keep them longer than that, I would freeze them. They can be frozen for up to 3 months!

If you want to store frosted sugar cookies just overnight until you are ready to serve them, I usually just leave them on my counter and put plastic wrap over the cookies and try to seal it onto the counter.

Can I freeze Sugar Cookies?

Yes. They can be frozen with or without frosting. Either way, I suggest freezing in a single layer on a cookie sheet for about 1 hour and then at that point the cookies can be stacked and frozen without the cookies sticking to each other. I usually just store in freezer zip top bags, but occasionally I will vacuum seal them.

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Sugar Cookie FAQs

What makes a sugar cookie a sugar cookie?

A sugar cookie is a cookie that only uses granulated sugar to sweeten the cookie. Frequently, sugar cookies are also rolled out with a rolling pin and cut into shapes using cookie cutters prior to baking.

Are sugar cookies supposed to be soft or crunchy?

This depends on the recipe you are following and what you want your desired outcome to be. Personally, I like my sugar cookies to be soft and chewy. Following this recipe you will yield a soft and chewy sugar cookie.

How do you get the perfect lines on sugar cookies?

This has a lot to do with the ingredients that are in the recipe you are using. With this recipe, your cookies will hold shape and not spread while baking.

What makes sugar cookies soft or hard?

The combination of ingredients and the temperature of the oven along with the bake time. Fats (like butter) and liquids will affect the texture of the cookie.

Why are my cookies flat?

Flat cookies is a result of excessive butter or sugar, over mixing the dough or baking at too low of a temperature.

What’s the difference between a sugar cookie and a regular cookie?

If by ‘regular’ cookie, you mean a chocolate chip cookie, the difference is mainly in the sugar. Sugar cookies only use granulated sugar while most ‘regular’ cookies use both granulated and brown sugar while also including mix ins like chocolate chips

What’s the difference between sugar cookies and butter cookies?

the texture and flavor profile of butter cookies is much different than sugar cookies.

Are sugar cookies better with butter or shortening?

Butter gives a richer flavor and a thick and chewy texture. I personally think butter is better for sugar cookies.

Why are they called sugar cookies?

They are called sugar cookies because all of the granulated sugar in the dough gives the cookie it’s signature light color and sweetness of the cookie.

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EASY Sugar Cookies Recipe (No Chill, No Spread) + Tips - Cooking With Karli (12)



4.72 from 337 votes

No-Fail Easy Sugar Cookies (Perfect Shapes Every Time!)

By: Karli Bitner

If you're looking for a simple, NO CHILL, NO SPREAD Sugar Cookie Recipe that stays soft and chewy.. You've officially found it! Made by literal MILLIONS every single year, this Sugar Cookie has it all.

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes minutes

Servings: 36 cookies


  • 1 cup (222g) butter room temperature
  • 1 cup (233g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups (456g) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 batch Sugar Cookie Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. (180°C)

  • Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer for a full 2 minutes.

  • Scrape sides and add in vanilla and egg. Mix until combined.

  • Add flour and baking powder to the bowl. Mix slowly at first gradually getting faster until the dough comes together. The texture should be like Playdoh. Add a little flour or water if needed to get it to a soft, pliable consistency.

  • Use a rolling pin and roll the dough onto a floured surface until 1/4-1/2 inch thick, depending on the size of your cookie cutter. (The cookies will not rise while baking, they will not get thinner while baking. Roll out to your desired FINISHED thickness.)

  • Use cookie cutters and cut out desired shapes. Transfer the cookies to an un-greased cookie sheet.

  • Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 7-11 minutes or until the centers are puffy and no longer glossy. Pull the cookies out of the oven BEFORE they start turning brown. If they turn brown, the cookie will be dry and 'crackery' instead of soft and chewy.

  • Frost with your favorite Sugar Cookie Frosting and Enjoy!



Tip: When gathering up the dough scraps, wet your hands and then ‘knead’ the dough until it is soft and playdoh like again. This dough is great to work with, there is no such thing as over kneading this dough!


Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Homemade Sugar Cookies recap

Here is a little recap of why this recipe is the recipe you need. Why it is, indeed, perfect and the best!

  1. The dough is super simple. Now that I have the recipe memorized, I can throw the dough together in 5 minutes flat.
  2. NO CHILLING THE DOUGH. I can’t be the only one who never has patience for dough chilling.. right?
  3. You want a horse sugar cookie? After these bake, you’ll still have a horse cookie. Not some lumpy unicorn looking thing. 😉 These cookies keep their shape!
  4. Soft, soft, soft, soft, SOFT. Oh, and chewy.
  5. They are still sturdy, even though they are soft & chewy.
  6. The cookies are an amazing base for some serious frosting work. Here is my absolute favorite Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe!
EASY Sugar Cookies Recipe (No Chill, No Spread) + Tips - Cooking With Karli (13)

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How do I make sure my sugar cookies don't spread? ›

  1. The Rules for Making Sure Your Sugar Cookies Don't Spread. Chef Smith says that there are several easy mistakes that can lead to Christmas cookies spreading while they bake. ...
  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.
Jul 23, 2022

What ingredient makes cookies not spread? ›

Too Much Flour

This may seem counterintuitive—after all, isn't flour a key ingredient in baking? Yes, but if you add too much flour, your cookies won't spread as they bake. Too much flour causes the dough to become dry and crumbly, which prevents it from flattening out during baking.

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

It can depend on the type of cookie dough, but for the most part, chilling the dough makes it keep its form, and if it has butter in it, prevents the butter from melting. If you don't chill the dough, it will be much softer and not keep its shape as well, both before and during baking.

How do you make thick cookies that don't spread? ›

A low proportion of sugar relative to flour reduces spread, keeping the cookies thick. A high proportion of mix-ins helps thicken the dough.

Why are my no spread cookies spreading? ›

Mixing Butter & Sugar

If your butter is under mixed, it won't have the air pockets to hold it's shape. If it's over-mixed, the air pockets decrease in size and are unable to hold their shape in the oven—causing your cookies to spread. It's best to cream butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

How do I make my cookies sp

If you make cookies with butter, and chill one batch before it goes into the oven, you'll find that the room temperature batch spreads more.

Should I use baking soda or baking powder in cookies? ›

Baking soda is typically used for chewy cookies, while baking powder is generally used for light and airy cookies. Since baking powder is comprised of a number of ingredients (baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, etc.), using it instead of pure baking soda will affect the taste of your cookies.

What ingredient holds cookies together? ›

Flour is the main ingredient that provides structure in a cookie – without it, there would be no cookie! The gluten in flour forms a web of sorts – the framework that catches the air bubbles/gasses given off during rising. This helps provide the structure.

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

A few minutes at room temperature should make it malleable enough to roll out this enough for cutting, and the process of working the dough with a rolling pin will warm it a bit more.

Do you leave sugar cookies out overnight? ›

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.

Can you over mix sugar cookie dough? ›

Dry – “Dry” or “Crumbly” dough is a product of over-mixing or using too much of any ingredient during the mixing process. This can be reversed by adding one to two tablespoons of liquid (water, milk or softened butter) to your mix.

What is the secret to thick cookies? ›

I have 2 tips that I've found make these cookies the best… Cold Butter – taking your butter straight from the fridge and cubing it before adding it to the mixing bowl helps the cookies stay thick and not spread while baking. Cornstarch – the cornstarch added to the dough helps the cookies be thick but not dry.

What is the best flour for cookies? ›

Pastry Flour: An unbleached flour made from soft wheat, with protein levels somewhere between cake flour and all-purpose flour (8 to 9 percent). Pastry flour strikes the ideal balance between flakiness and tenderness, making it perfect for pies, tarts and many cookies.

What happens if I put too much butter in my cookies? ›

But one unexpected error bakers can make is adding too much of a good thing, butter. Although butter generally makes it all better, bakers who go overboard with it are dooming their cookies to a greasy and crumbly texture.

How do you keep sugar cookies flat? ›

To prevent flat sugar cookies that spread into little puddles, it's important to make sure your butter is at a COOL room temperature. Your sticks of butter should give slightly when pressed with your finger but still hold their shape. To be precise, your butter should be 67°F.

Why do my sugar cookies flatten out? ›

If your cookies come out of the oven looking flat, you may not have adequately chilled the dough before baking. Chilling times may vary depending on the cookie you're making, but you should typically chill cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours before you pop it in the oven.

Why are my sugar cookies going flat? ›

If your cookies repeatedly turn out flat, no matter the recipe, chances are your oven is too hot. Here's what's happening. The butter melts super quickly in a too-hot oven before the other ingredients have firmed up into a cookie structure. Therefore, as the butter spreads so does the whole liquidy cookie.


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