The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies - NumsTheWord

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

These are The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies and require no chilling and keep their shape!  Won first place in a blind taste and texture test!



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The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

I suspect upon reading the title of this recipe, you are wondering how on earth I can claim to have The Best Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe.

Simple, I did 2 days of mass baking and then a blind taste and texture test among willing friends. 

It’s amazing how many friends are willing to be my personal taste testers when they don’t have to do any of the work.  

For years I’ve tried to find and create the best rolled sugar cookie recipe.  Every year around the holidays I tend to make 2 or 3 different rolled sugar cookies, most claiming to be the best, and every year I declare I’ve not yet found “the recipe.”


The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


So this year I was determined to find and post The Best Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe.

Over the course of two days I baked non stop six different recipes for rolled sugar cookies.  In total I had around 13 DOZEN sugar cookies in my house.  

If you think about it, the only way you have a real taste test, is to taste a variety of cookies back to back at the same time.  

If I make one this week and one next week, my memory fades and I can’t give a true comparison.


The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


I was looking for a cookie that required zero chilling.  A cookie that kept its shape when baking – I HATE cookies that become puffy and misshapen during baking.  

I also wanted a cookie that was soft and not rock hard and of course I wanted a cookie that tasted good by itself, without frosting, and of course even better with frosting.

After I whipped up all these cookies I invited a bunch of friends over to our house for a cookie decorating play date.  The kids got to decorate sugar cookies and the adults had to do a blind taste and texture test.  

As you can see from the photo, each cookie had a different shape.  This is how I could tell which cookie was which.  


The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


They didn’t know whose recipe they were eating.  Only what shape they were eating.  

Having sampled ALL the cookies (multiple times I might add) I had determined that my personal taste preference was the Cauldron cookie.  The last of the 6 batches and my own personal creation.

After making 5 batches prior, one of which was my own creation, I took what I liked from each recipe and created my own.  However I didn’t tell any of my friends this.  I let them tell me on their own which was the best.

And with great happiness everyone but one person chose mine.  The one odd person out preferred a snappier cookie than my softer texture cookie.  Which I respect.  


The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


So with excitement I am here to share with you, not my own opinion on The Best Rolled Sugar Cookie Recipe, but winner of a true blind taste and texture test.

Everyone loved the hint of almond and how soft the cookie was.  Not too soft that it crumbles upon pressure like Leaf, and not crisp and crunch like the pumpkin. Mickey (my first creation) was a neck and neck with cauldron but cauldron won out.  The soft but snappy cookie was the snowman, which is a good recipe, but a bit too snappy for me.  And heart didn’t have the best flavor.  Great texture but not flavor.

Were you able to follow any of that?  It sounds like i’m talking in code.  And I guess to some degree I am.  

What matters though is that everyone loved this recipe.  And I loved that it didn’t require chill time (a huge pet peeve of mine).  


The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


I also love that when baked and cooled, these freeze really well for use later.

Now when it comes to frosting, I feel like it’s a touchy subject in terms of sugar cookies.  

Do you prefer a glaze frosting or a soft and thick frosting?  Do you prefer one that dries hard or stays soft?

Personally, my go to frosting recipe is always my Homemade Buttercream Frosting.  It doesn’t get hard and crispy and tastes amazing.  However if you want super cute decorated sugar cookies, it may not be the frosting for you. 


The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


No matter the frosting you choose, choose this cookie.  It’s a winner in my book and Num’s official go to Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe.

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 30 Cookies, depending on size


  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour (Start with 4 1/2 cups. If dough is super sticky, add more 1/4 cup at a time until just a hint of stickyness. This will greatly depend on your altitude and humidity level)
  • Powdered Sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400*F''
  2. Prepare 2 baking sheets and set aside. This can be done by greasing them with butter or crisco, non-stick spray, parchment paper, non-stick foil or a baking mat. Whatever your preferred method is.
  3. Cream together sugar and butter for 3 minutes or until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and mix again.
  5. Add salt, and baking powder. Blend.
  6. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract. Blend.
  7. Add 2 1/2 cups flour (1/2 cup at a time).
  8. Add remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk.
  9. Then remaining flour (for a total of 4 1/2 cups). Batter should be smooth, elastic like and slightly sticky. If too sticky, add more flour a little at a time (up to 1 cup - be careful to not put TOO much flour in the dough).
  10. When ready to roll out, sprinkle surface with powdered sugar, not flour. These are SUGAR cookies. Roll them out in sugar! Roll to 1/4 in thickness.
  11. Cut out with favorite shape and transfer to prepared pan.
  12. Bake 10 minutes. Watch carefully as every oven bakes differently. You want the cookies to be a hint of golden under them, not dark golden. Edges should not start to show golden, you'll have to gently flip a cookie to see for sure.
  13. Allow cookies to cool completely then frost.


There have been questions about the buttermilk. Here are some quick answers.

1) You can use regular milk instead of buttermilk. HOWEVER we like the taste/texture better WITH the buttermilk.

2) If you don't have buttermilk on hand, then in a 1 cup measuring cup, pour 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. Fill the remaining with milk and pout this into a bowl. Let it sit for about 3 minutes, stir then pour into your batter.

(The recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of buttermilk... but the above is a good ratio, so if you feel like just adding 1/2 Tablespoon to your 1/2 cup of milk, that works too, but I figured you'd be making a double batch to share)

I hope these tips help!




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77 thoughts on “The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

  1. so far the dough is yummy – but super sticky and requiring chilling. waiting to see how they roll out after I’ve chilled them.

    • Kristen,

      As soon as I saw your comment, I knew exactly what I wrote wrong in my recipe! Dag-nab-it. Add more flour! I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this. Shoot. I had it in my head (one of those things I just instinctively do) but forgot to write it down on the recipe card! Start with 4 1/2 cups of flour. If dough is sticky, add 1/4 cup at a time until dough is no longer super sticky but more elastic like. Your dough should be good between 4 1/2 cups – 5 1/2 cups of flour. You want a hint of sticky but not need to chill dough sticky. Thanks for pointing this out. Nuts. Well it’s updated now. Thanks for pointing this out! The lack of flour will probably affect your overall cookie. Sorry!

    • just wanted to let you know that after I chilled them, rolled them in small batches while chilling the rest they came out yummy. I did have to cook them for closer to 14 minutes @400 but I live at higher altitude and it requires some adjustments..thanks for this yummy version!

    • Hi Lucy! I’ve never tried to make cookie pops with them but they should be firm enough to hold up. They are soft to the bite but not so soft that they crumble. If you do make them, leave a comment and let us know how they turned out for sure! I love this idea!

    • Hi Corrie! A baking sheet can be prepared by either greasing it with butter or crisco, spraying it with non-stick spray, lining it with parchment paper, non-stick foil or even a baking mat. Whatever your preferred method is.

  2. Hello!
    I would like to try your recipe, however you state to bake cookies on prepared cookie sheet but i don’t see directions on how to prep the sheets. Are they supposed to be greased, have parchment paper, both?

    • Hi Samantha. A prepared baking sheet is in what ever form you prefer. You can grease the pan with butter, non-stick spray, use non-stick foil, parchment paper or a baking mat. Whatever method you typically prepare baking sheets, you’ll want to do the same here. I hope that helps!

    • Bonnie, this is a great question! It’s not a habit of mine to write down what butter. I’ll update the recipe to reflect that I use Salted butter. I use salted in EVERYTHING no matter what it is. So I never think to specify it in my recipes! Thanks for pointing this out!

    • Jessica, it’s not a dumb question. I really need to get in the habit of specifying what butter in my recipes. I use Salted butter in EVERYTHING. I NEVER use unsalted butter. I’ll update the recipe! Thanks for pointing this out!

    • Jessica, yes you can. They will turn out just fine. I tried this recipe both ways, with buttermilk and without. We liked the buttermilk BETTER, but they will turn out with regular milk too. 🙂

    • You can use regular milk OR you can do pour 1 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice in a 1/2 cup measuring cup and then fill the remaining cup with milk. Pour it in a random bowl and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Then add to cookie mixture That will give you a buttermilk substitution.

      Note: I previously posted how to get 1 cup of buttermilk which caused confusions so now I’ve updated it to reflect 1/2 cup buttermilk.

      • You put 1 T lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup then fill the remaining cup with milk. The recipe calls for l/4 cup of buttermilk – isn’t that too much milk?

        • The recipe actually calls for 1/2 cup of buttermilk, divided. I just assumed everyone would want to make a double batch! You can never have too many sugar cookies! I’ve added a note on how to get the half cup for those who don’t want to double the recipe!

  3. Can they be made with butter that does not contain milk and can u use no milk. I have a granddaughter that can not have milk, whey or any milk product.

    • Hi Sandy! I’ve never tried. But if you do, let me know how it turns out. Sorry I can’t be more help. And sorry to take so long in responding. I’m WAAAY behind!

  4. If you make the buttermilk using the method described above it sounds like you end up with a cup of buttermilk. But you only use a half cup in the recipe, right? Your note about buttermilk above said just pour it in so I wanted to be sure you still just use a half cup. 🙂

  5. Hello! Loved the look of the recipe 🙂 I will defenitly try it for cookies.

    One quick question: do you think I can use it for a house? (like ginger bread house, but with this dough?)

    I’m from Portugal and we don’t have this tradition, so I would like to give some to the family as a surprise.

    Thank you, and congrats on the post 😀 YOU RULE

    • Hi Ana! I’m so sorry! I responded to your question several days ago and apparently it never posted. I honestly don’t know if this would work well as cookie house. These aren’t a crunchy cookie so I would think they may not be the best for a cookie house. Though you can give it a try. Let me know if it turns out. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  6. I would love to make these cookies, my problem is rolling the dough out to one even level. How do you roll yours out to such an equal thickness?

    • Sandy, a lot of this will depend on your homes humidity level. I would say to be safe, they will keep on the counter in a sealed container for up to 5 days and still taste fresh. If longer then store in a sealed container in the fridge. I don’t know how long from personal experience, but I’d say up to 2 weeks. Anything longer should go in the freezer.

  7. I made these cookies today and followed the recipe to a T. I have to say, I was a little disappointed. There was so much more flour than sugar that these cookies are more like short bread cookies than sugar cookies. They even taste more like flour than sugar. They also came out pretty dense. I think if I were to make them again I would definitely add less flour and chill the dough before rolling out.

    • Kerry, if they came out dense, then you put too much flour in the recipe. A good rolled sugar cookie is on that ins’t overly sweet due to the addition of frosting / icing on it which adds that extra sweetness. A drop sugar cookie is one that is rolled in sugar before baking and is sweeter because there is no frosting.

      I hope you do try this again and add less flour. Thanks for your comment.

  8. I made these tonight and finished and cooled they seemed a little dry and crumbly. Do you think too much flour or mixed too long? I was so excited for a “no chill” recipe. I use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. They rolled perfectly and look beautiful just dry….please help!!

    • Hi Tina! DEFINITELY too much flour. The dough should be slightly sticky yet elasticity. I now have a video which should help so you know what the dough should look like when rolled. Hope this helps!

  9. Hi! Made these today and they are delicious! Will thy keep until Christmas, or should I freeze some? How long between defrosting and decorating will be needed? I plan on making some royal icing. Thanks!

    • Hi Erin! I make no guarantees as a lot will have to do with where you live and the humidity level of your house, but yes they “should” keep till Christmas. To be safe, I’d put them in the fridge. Let them sit out an hour before frosting. 🙂 So glad you like them!

    • You can use any that you like. I however like my Homemade Buttercream Frosting. It’s fluffy and not a traditional sugar cookie frosting but it’s my favorite! I love the flavor of it. 🙂

      • Thank you Janelle for the best sugar cookie recipe ever! I’ve never been satisfied with recipes I have tried before but this recipe is perfection. I followed the recipe to the letter, only had to bake them for 8 minutes. I used your buttercream frosting. YUMMY!

  10. Rather than having to guess at how much flour to add based on “stickiness” of the dough and that flour hydrates from added liquids in recipe and that everyone measures flour differently, please weigh your flour so we can get that perfect result the first time. THANK YOU KINDLY!

  11. Me again. Auto correct and tablet function extremely slow and I lost my intended question. For reasons stated, would you please weigh and provide the weight of the flour. Again I thank you.

    • Thea my favorite is a fluffy Buttercream frosting which can be found on the site. Just use the search tool. 🙂 The directions will be with the recipe.

  12. Hi Janell. These are now my go to sugar cookie recipe. They turned out excellent. The dough was beautiful. You’re a gal after my own heart. I always use salted everything as well. I figure most of my recipes are handed down from my grandmas and their recipes always had salt. I never add MSG like some of their recipes.

  13. Seriously, this recipe lives up to its name! My granddaughter is 3 and I wanted to start a tradition with her so I researched recipes. I have never been too good at rolled cookies but this one was so easy. Your instructions are very clear…just “follow the yellow brick road!” I loved that you used the confectioners sugar on the surface instead of flour. I will definitely use this one year after year. The butter cream was delicious as well.

  14. This recipe is phenomenal! I too have searched years for a great, easy sugar cookie recipe. This may be my go-to. The consistency of the dough was so smooth. It was nearly like play doh. It didn’t stick, the shapes came out easily, and they baked without spreading, my ultimate foe in sugar cookies.

    Love love love!

  15. 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups flour is equal to 22.5 oz to 27.5 oz of all purpose flour.

    I like to weigh out my flour, as everybody measures their flour differently. 😊

  16. I made this recipe exactly as written, except I don’t have almond extract, so I used maple extract. Anyways, this recipe is PERFECT! I used to use a different rolled sugar cookie recipe that required refrigeration, and it was STILL super sticky and required a ton of powdered sugar to roll out.
    But I didn’t need any extra flour in this dough and didn’t need any powdered sugar when I rolled it out! And they held their shapes impeccably! LOVE THIS RECIPE. THANK YOU!!!!

    • Stephanie I’m so glad to hear this!! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea of maple flavoring! I’m going to try that when I whip these up for Valentines! Great idea! Thank you for your fabulous comment!

  17. These cookies are SO good. We made them tonight with a gluten free flour blend (1 1/2 cup rice flour, 3/4 potato starch [not flour], 3/4 cup tapioca starch/flour) and xanthan gum. They came out great. Daughter is going to decorate them tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  18. I’ve had the dough in the refrigerator since March 15th. I had a fall and didn’t get a chance to make them. Do you think the dough will still be good if it’s been in the fridge ?
    Thanks !!

    • Hi Eileen! I’m sorry to hear about your fall! I hope you are well now! Unfortunately because of the eggs I would say the dough is best to be tossed and to remake it. Great question!

    • Dee I’ve not tried the chocolate version. It’s on my to-do list but as of right now, off the top of my head, I do not know what or how much of what to make them chocolate.

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