Basic easy sugar cookie recipe

This recipe is in the short form style and is for baking great sugar cookies using American style measures and for small quantities. It makes about 18 to 24 cookies – depends upon how you thin you roll it out and the size of your cookie cutter. If you want to make more, just double all the quantities.

Sugar Cookies Good sugar cookies should be lightly browned by the cooking process, sweet from the sugar in them and used for decoration, and crisp to the bite but not dry. They are just right when they break into two pieces with a gentle snap and a small shower of crumbs if stressed along their middle.

Have you read our introduction to baking sugar cookies from the previous page? If you are a newcomer to baking go there first then follow the link back here.


Unsalted butter (softened out of the fridge for two or more hours) –1 stick, 4 oz

Caster sugar – 4 oz plus extra for decoration

Salt – ¼ teaspoon

1 egg (large)

Plain flour – 2 cups plus a bit – (see method) plus extra for rolling)

Baking powder – ½ teaspoon

Vanilla or almond flavouring – 2 teaspoons


Electric mixer


Two non-stick heavyweight baking sheets

Rolling pin

Cookie cutter to suit (8 cm diameter)

The Method

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F , Gas Mk 4 (hot oven)

Put the butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Beat on a fast setting until light and fluffy.

Add the salt and flavouring then add the egg. Add half the flour and the baking powder.

Add the remaining flour slowly. Stop adding flour when the mixture gets heavy and can just lift off the mixing bowl without sticking.

Pull the dough together into a ball, put it into the refrigerator for an hour. If you have not got time, you can skip this step.

Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness, cut the individual cookies, place on baking sheets with at least ½ inch separation.

Sprinkle with caster sugar.

Place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until a delicate golden brown.

Leave the cookies to cool on the baking trays for about two minutes. Then remove and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.