Sugar Cookies without Baking Powder or Soda

sugar cookies on a cooling rack

The ultimate sugar cookie recipe for perfect cut-out cookies with soft middles and crisp edges! 


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add softened butter and white sugar. Whisk the butter and sugar until it’s light, fluffy, and incorporated.
  2. To the creamed mixture, add the egg and vanilla and mix until the egg has incorporated into the mixture and you have a smooth batter.
  3. Add the flour and salt, and mix just until the flour is mixed into the buttery mixture and there is no visible white.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F and place your oven rack in the middle position. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, or by lightly flouring your surface, to about 1/4-inch for thinner cookies to 1/2-inch.
  7. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place them directly onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Knead the dough a few times to incorporate the trims, re-roll the dough, and cut out the remaining cookie dough.
  9. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. Remove from the oven when they’re slightly soft in the middle for chewier cookies, golden at the tops for cookies to frost.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool down for ten minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to fully cool down before frosting.



This recipe yields 12 large 2-inch cookies. More if using smaller cut-out shapes.