Sugar cookies recipe

(113 ratings)

Sugar cookies are one of the easiest treats you can bake as they require only seven ingredients

sugar cookies
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories230 Kcal12%
Sugar17.2 g19%
Fat10.8 g15%
Saturated Fat6.6 g33%
Protein2.4 g5%
Carbohydrates30.6 g12%

These sugar cookies are ready in 30 minutes and each one is under 250 calories. 

Just like our easy chocolate chip cookies, we guarantee a batch of these won’t last long! The recipe makes 18 but it’s easy to scale up and we recommend doing so if you want to ensure your fair share. They use basic store cupboard ingredients, many of which you probably already have, and take only 10 minutes to cook. 


  • 350g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract




  1. Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan, Gas 5). Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Place the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then stir in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, to give a soft but not sticky dough.
  3. Using damp hands, roll the dough into balls about the size of a whole walnut. Place on the baking trays leaving plenty of space between them to spread.
  4. Bake for about 9-10 minutes or until golden and lightly cracked. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Top tips for making sugar cookies

If you like, add grated orange or lemon zest to this dough. Or why not drizzle these cookies with melted chocolate too. If the mixture is a little soft, chill it in the fridge first before rolling.

Are sugar cookies just shortbread?

Although sugar cookies and shortbread share many of the same ingredients, the two sweet treats are in fact different. Sugar cookies have leavening ingredients such as baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in them and have a more refined appearance too.

Sugar cookies are often decorated whereas shortbread has a more rustic finish with a simple scattering of sugar on top. 

How many sugar cookies should I eat?

Each cookie is 230 calories and contains 6.6g saturated fat. We would recommend you consume the cookies as an occasional treat and think that one should be sufficient to satisfy your sweet cravings.

What are cookie cutters called in the UK?

Cookie cutters might also be labelled as biscuit cutters in the UK. This recipe does not require any cutters as the dough is shaped by hand. 

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

“If you’d like to give the sugar cookies a chocolate twist, swap 50g of the flour for 50g dark cocoa powder. It will give a gorgeous, deep brown colour and a wonderful flavour too.” 

A good quality set of baking trays is every cookie-baker’s best friend. Consider upgrading your current stash to a couple of these ones from Tala. 

Tala Performance Baking Sheet - View at Amazon 

Tala Performance Baking Sheet - View at Amazon 

This baking sheet comes in medium or large. The non-stick coating means you don’t need parchment paper and as long as you hand wash, the trays should keep their coating for many years to come.

You might also like our vanilla cookies or these American Snickerdoodle cookies are delicious and easy too. For something chewier, try Millie's cookies. 

With contributions from