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A cooling rack filled with decorated cut out sugar cookies.
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4.53 from 38 votes

Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

This is the BEST Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe you will ever try! These cookies are easy to make, delicious, and turn out incredibly soft every single time.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Christmas, cookies
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 25 cookies
Author Danielle

Ingredients

For the cut-out sugar cookies:

  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (190 grams) shortening
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: 2 batches easy sugar cookie icing

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream the shortening and sugar together for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract until fully combined, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. The mixture will be a little crumbly at first but it will come together as you continue mixing it. Once the dough comes together, use your hands to form it into a ball.
  • Divide the dough in half. Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper, add half of the dough, top with another piece of parchment paper, and roll the dough out ¼-inch thick between both pieces of parchment paper. Repeat with the other half of the dough between two separate pieces of parchment paper. This dough doesn't require any dough chilling, but if you prefer colder dough so that it's easier to work with you can place both pieces of rolled out dough between the parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Using 2.5 to 3 inch cookie cutters, cut the cookie dough into shapes and place them onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave a little room between each one. If needed, flour a thin spatula and use that to transfer the cut out cookies to the baking sheet. Re-roll any scrap pieces of dough between the parchment paper and continue cutting out shapes. Repeat with the other sheet of cookie dough.
  • Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set the bottom edges are lightly browned.
  • Cool on the baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes

Storage Instructions:  Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Make sure to let the icing fully harden before stacking the cookies.
Freezing Instructions: Divide the dough in two, flatten into two 1/2-inch thick discs, wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap, and store in a freezer-safe storage container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 45 minutes, roll each disc out between two pieces of parchment paper. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper, cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and bake as directed.
Baked cookies will also freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw to room temperature before serving. 
Flour: When measuring your flour, don’t scoop it out of the container with the measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
Shortening: I prefer to use Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening because it has a neutral flavor. Feel free to use their butter flavored version if you prefer though. Make sure your shortening is at room temperature too.
Egg: To bring your egg to room temperature quickly, place it in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Milk: I typically use whole milk, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand - 2%, 1%, skim, or even almond milk will work here!