Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Serving size:
 30 Cookies


    • 1⁄2 t
    • almond extract
    • 1 t
    • vanilla extract
    • 1
    • egg (large)
    • 1 c
    • sugar
    • 2 oz
    • cream cheese (room temperature)
    • 1 c
    • butter (unsalted, room temperature)
    • 1 t
    • lemon zest
    • 3 c
    • flour
    • 1 1⁄2 t
    • baking powder
    • 1⁄2 t
    • salt
5 minutes
Ready in
5 minutes


This is the best recipe by far that I've tried for cut-out sugar cookies. The dough handles beautifully, forming a wonderful canvas for icing and decorations. It also doubles or triples easily for extra-large batches around the holidays.

Adapted from


In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. While the mixer is running, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture until incorporated, and a dough forms. 

Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and divide in half (see note). Place each ball between two sheets of parchment, and roll out into a sheet 1/4 to 1/8-inch-thick. Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350˚F and line baking sheets with parchment. Cut cookies out with cookie cutters, and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then finish cooling on a wire rack. If icing or decorating, allow to cool completely beforehand. Store in a tightly covered container.


At this point, the dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and sealed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 30 days. Thaw 12 hours in refrigerator before proceeding with recipe.


Special Diets: 

Food Allergies: