sugar cookies on blue plate with brown parchment paper and more sugar cookies in the background

The rolled sugar cookie are the easiest sugar cookies to make in my opinion. You don’t chill the dough or use cookie cutters. It’s what I think of as a classic sugar cookie.

If you’re looking for other types of sugar cookies, try these cut out sugar cookies or frosted sugar cookies

Even though all of these recipes are considered to be sugar cookies, each recipe is different and unique. For example, you wouldn’t be able to use cookie cutters to make fun shaped cookies using this recipe. A cut out sugar cookie recipe requires cold, chilled dough, unlike today’s recipe, which there is no chilling of the dough.

This classic sugar cookie recipe is rolled in sugar before baking. You can use granulated sugar or any colored sanding sugar – think red & green sanding sugar for Christmas or any color that coordinates with the holiday. You can also roll the dough in sprinkles before baking. 

sugar cookie dough ball being rolled in sugar

Ingredients

  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure in cookies
  • cornstarch: gives the cookies an ultra soft texture because it makes the crumb more delicate. Adding cornstarch also helps keep the cookies from browning. 
  • baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the dough, affects browning and flavor
  • salt: enhances the other flavors in the cookies
  • unsalted butter: adds flavor and and tender texture
  • granulated sugar: adds sweetness, flavor and encourages browning
  • egg: binds the ingredients together
  • vanilla and  almond extract: adds good flavor, don’t skip the almond extract! 

How To Make Sugar Cookies

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar, with an electric mixer.  Add in the egg and extracts, beat again to combine.
  3. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low or by hand with a spatula.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Place 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl for rolling the cookies. Use a cookie scoop to form balls. Roll each ball in the sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. 
rolled sugar cookies on blue plate with glass of milk in the background

Baking Time Suggestions

For the cookies in the photos, the dough balls were about 3 heaping tablespoons, so that’s a large cookie! I baked those for 12-14 minutes. 

If you make smaller dough balls, you should reduce the baking time otherwise the cookies will be over done.

Total Time Required

  • 15 minutes to make the cookie dough
  • 12-14 minutes to bake
  • 15 minutes to cool

How To Store Cookies

Store drop sugar cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.

drop sugar cookies scattered on brown parchment paper with bowl of sugar on right side

How to Freeze Sugar Cookie Dough

  • Form the dough balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with silicone mat. You can place the dough balls close together since you won’t be baking them.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cookies are frozen solid, about 1 hour.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to a ziplock freezer bag. Label the bag with baking directions.
  • Freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
  • To bake: remove the dough from the freezer. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Roll the balls in sugar and bake for 12-14 minutes. Frozen cookies may need to bake for 1-2 minutes longer than non frozen cookies.
amish sugar cookies lined up in a curve on white platter

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

I have made these cookies multiple times with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour with great success.

How to Properly Measure Flour for Cookies

  • Fluff the flour with a fork
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup
  • Use a butter knife to level the measuring cup

Sticking the measuring cup straight into the bag of flour will result in too much flour to be packed into the cup, which can result in dry cookies.

rolled sugar cookies on blue plate with glass of milk in the background

Tips

  • Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method.
  • Use room temperature butter for easier creaming of the butter and sugar.
  • Use a cookie scoop to form cookie dough balls.
  • Bake cookies on a silicone baking mat.

More Cookie Recipes

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Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Yield: 12-14
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

Rolled sugar cookies are a classic sugar cookie recipe that’s easy to make because they are rolled in sugar before baking. You don’t chill the dough or use cookie cutters for this drop sugar cookie recipe. Roll the cookies in colored sanding sugar for different holidays!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar, with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add in the egg and extracts, beat again to combine, 30 seconds.
  3. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low or by hand with a spatula.
  4. Place 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl for rolling the cookies. Use a cookie scoop to form balls. Roll each ball in the sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a silicone lined baking sheet. Bake in batches as needed. 
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes. 

Notes

For the cookies in the photos, the dough balls were about 3 heaping tablespoons, so that’s a large cookie! I baked those for 12-14 minutes. 

If you make smaller dough balls, you should reduce the baking time otherwise the cookies will be over done.