Perfect No Chill Sugar Cookies

This is the holy grail of roll out sugar cookies! I baked hundreds of cookies to arrive at this recipe!  There is no chilling required.  The cookies actually taste amazing.  The process is easy and kid friendly.  The frosting is rich and creamy but still something you can pipe on.   I have included all my best tips and a list of the baking equipment I have found works best! 

I have baked hundreds of cookies to arrive at this recipe! There is no chilling required. The cookies actually taste amazing. The process is easy and kid friendly. The frosting is rich and creamy but still something you can pipe on. This, is the holy grail of roll out sugar cookies! I have included all my best tips and a list of the baking equipment I have found works best! What if you had a recipe for roll out sugar cookies you actually loved? It should be yummy but not too sweet because you plan to frost those puppies. It should be easy because you want to have fun and not spend the day trying to time the chilling of dough. Finally, it should look beautiful when you are done.

This is that recipe. I’m dedicating it with much love to Rachel, my brother’s wonderful wife who made me fall in love with sugar cookies. I wish you many, many happy years of making cookies and somebody as wonderful as Rachel to make them with.

Make sure you check out my suggested equipment below for some good tips and check out the notes at the bottom of the recipe printable for my best tricks. I also included a printable recipe for decadent buttercream frosting that just might change your life…

My Favorite Cookie Making Equipment:

This rolling pin takes the guess work out of getting all your cookies the same thickness.  It is well constructed and costs less than $20.  It is my favorite new kitchen item this fall.

Using a quality cookie cutter will make a difference both in how easy it is to cut out cookies and how good they look afterwords.  I personally dislike the plastic Wilton cutters because they have blunt cutting edges.  Look for cutters with an easy grip system such as handles and a sharp cutting edge either plastic or metal.  I tried some by plastic cutters like this by Sweet Creations and was impressed.

I love this Side Swipe for many baking projects.  It does a great job of mixing dough together.  I just toss it in the dishwasher afterwords so clean up is easy. Unfortunately it has become more expensive recently.

Parchment Paper is a baker’s best friend!  I use it to roll out he cookies and line my baking sheets. In my experience all brands are created equal.  This is the one I use, bought at Costco in a two pack (I use a LOT of it).

Every kitchen that bakes needs two – four quality cookie sheets.  A good baking tool helps create better results where a cheep baking sheet will give you problems.  I love these sturdy ones from Calphalon.  They are non stick and dishwasher safe.

I like these Calphalon cookie racks.  Again, they are very sturdy and hold up well year after year. Most households need two. Serious bakers might like to have four.

Do you love baking cookies?  These are GF and don’t taste it.  They are also probably the easiest cookies you will EVER make!

4IngredientGlutenFreePBCookies

Perfect No Chill Sugar Cookies
 
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The number of cookies you end up with will depend on the size of cookie cutters you use. Check out the "notes" section at the bottom for great tips and tricks.
Author:
Serves: 36
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. genuine vanilla extract (never imitation)
  • ½ tsp. almond extract (never imitation)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer use the paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  3. On medium speed, beat in the egg, vanilla, almond extract, baking powder and salt.
  4. Measure the flour correctly (see note) and add to the mixer 1 cup at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
  5. Don't chill the dough!!! Divide it into two balls and roll out to exactly ¼" thick on a clean piece of parchment paper using just enough flour on your rolling pin to prevent sticking. (I suggest a rolling pin with measuring disks.) Because you are not using much flour to roll the dough out you can continue to roll it out as many times as needed until all the extra is used up.
  6. Line cookie sheets with clean parchment paper space out cookies on sheets with enough room to rise. Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes. The cookies will not be browning at all. They will be dead white but look set.
  7. As each pan of cookies is done I recommend gently lifting the parchment paper holding the cookies out of the pan and setting it on a cooling rack or allowing cookies to cool on baking sheets. Do not disturb the cookies until cool and set.
Notes
How to Measure Flour: Too much or too little flour makes bad cookies. The correct way to measure flour is to spoon it into the measuring cup and then use the flat edge of a knife to level the cup. This ensures exact measuring.
Saving Dough For Later: Yes, you can refrigerate the dough and roll it out later. You will need to knead the dough a bit until it becomes softer or allow it to come up in temperature by leaving it on the counter for about 20 minutes.
Rolling Out Dough: I have tried multiple ways of doing this. My favorite is to lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter and roll the cookies out on that. You do not need to flour the paper but will need to lightly flour your rolling pin / the top of the cookie dough. You can use the same piece of paper for the entire batch of dough. When you are done just discard the paper!
Freezing Cookies: These generally freeze well for short periods. If you want to freeze them seal them up as soon as they have cooled.

 

Buttercream Frosting For Decorating
 
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A big batch of this will make your cookies that much more amazing!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups salted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds of powdered sugar
  • ½ cup whipping cream (does not have to be heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 Tbsp. real vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whip attached beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat on slow speed until incorporated. This is a good time to use a shield or throw a towel over the mixer.
  2. Add the cream, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed until combined and then beat on medium-high speed for two - three minutes. The frosting will be fluffy and light. Taste for salt and vanilla if desired.
  3. Use at room temperature to frost cookies by spreading or piping.
  4. Leftovers can be saved in the fridge for a month of frozen for long term storage. This stuff is always great to have around!

 

I have baked hundreds of cookies to arrive at this recipe! There is no chilling required. The cookies actually taste amazing. The process is easy and kid friendly. The frosting is rich and creamy but still something you can pipe on. This, is the holy grail of roll out sugar cookies! I have included all my best tips and a list of the baking equipment I have found works best! Recipe adapted from here. 

This recipe is participating in the Weekend Potluck!

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84 thoughts on “Perfect No Chill Sugar Cookies

  1. Hi, I tried this recipe last night. We loved it. Its easy to work with,without chilling and not overpowering in almond. Just made another batch to decorate for an auction. Thanks

      • I followed your recipe exactly and it is not producing cookie dough consistency. It is too soft to roll. How can I correct this problem?

        • Hi Evy, I’m sorry you are having that problem. Odd things can impact baking but this dough is generally quite easy to work with. Did you try rolling it out or did it just look sticky? This dough does look more sticky but rolls out great for me. One thing to check is to make sure you are measuring flour correctly – the recipe has notes on that or you can look up online if you have questions. You can also try adding an extra Tablespoon or two of flour if you feel like none of the other options will work. It is not my favorite option but you could have some sort of odd issue that I can’t identify without being in your kitchen and this might solve it. Good luck!

  2. sounds easy enough. I use to work at a specialty cookie bakery. i’m still looking for that one recipe that comes the closest. was wondering if the frosting dries nicely on the cookies for packaging?

    • It is a true crusting buttercream but not a royal icing that might ship well. I think you would need to take special care with shipping it. Does that answer your question?

  3. What type of cream are you using for the icing? Light cream, heavy cream, etc? Also do you have recommendations on how to spread the icing on the cookies properly? Is there a certain tool I should use? I usually spread icing on each cookie and let my daughter decorate with sprinkles. Any other kid-friendly decorating ideas we can do? Thanks!

    • I use both standard whipping cream or heavy dream depending on what is in my refrigerator. Either will work for you! My mom always thinned her buttercream with a few splashes of milk but I think the cream makes a more fluffy and spreadable texture. I have spread mine with the back of a spoon in a hurry for pretty swirls or just a little metal frosting spatula for a smoother finish. If I was trying to make them perfect I would use a spatula to get them mostly smooth, and then spay a bit of water mist on the cookie before smoothing again with a clean spatula. This gives a more class like finish but I don’t usually get that fussy for most baking. Depending on how old your daughter is / the size of her hands sometimes it is fun to let the kiddos use small pastry bags of colored frosting. I will put just a few ounces of frosting in the bags so that they can grip it with their hands. Craft stores carry cost effective disposable pastry bags now that make it easy to give several colors. Aside from sprinkles my other favorite decorating items are red hots, chocolate chips (including green mint or white), and mini chocolate chips. Marshmallows can be cute for snow too if you put them on in thick frosting that just went on the cookie. Enjoy your time with your daughter! She will treasure these memories all her life :)

    • I think it is possible but more work as I’m sure you know. Most hand mixers have lighter duty engines and using it for the final dough could burn up the motor. The best idea would probably to use the hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar and then add everything except the flour. I would stir the flour in by hand with a wooden spoon to protect your mixer. For the frosting I think I would start with the mixer and also plan to finish with a wooden spoon. For hundreds of years people made amazing baked goods with just a wood burning oven and a whisk. Talented cooks made whipped cream and beat egg whites quite successfully. I think you could make any stand mixer recipe you wanted to without one as long as you don’t mind the extra elbow grease and are willing to put some time into it. Good luck!

  4. hi there!! We made these last night and I must say, THEY ARE AWESOME! I sadly cannot afford a stand mixer :( so I did use a hand mixer. The first batch did great with the hand mixer and then to speed up the process (because I was tripling this recipe for a party) I doubled the next batch and that was a killer. My hand mixer made it through luckily. But it would have been awesome to have had a kitchen aid or something. Anywho. They were great, i love that they kept their shape and didn’t spread much at all. Amazing taste also!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. Coming from a somewhat experienced baker, this is one of the best recipes by far.

    • Thank you! What kind feedback. I admit a stand mixer makes this a lot easier by far – particularly for double batches! I’m so glad you were able to make it work with a hand mixer. Sometimes the motors burn out on cookie dough!

    • 1/4″ I find this thickness holds up well for baking and frosting but is not so thick that it is hard to get it fully cooked. My results are always very soft and chewy.

      • Thanks Mirlandra! Now that re read the directions above, you already said 1/4″. I will make these and hope I can get the same results.

        • No worries! I think one of the great things about a blog versus a cookbook is that you can interact differently with the recipe creator! It is a neat way to experience cooking. I’m sure you will have wonderful results. These are pretty easy to bake :)

      • I agree these are great! When they came out soft and chewy I wasn’t sure if I did it right, but I guess that’s the way they’re supposed to be? I actually really like that, I usually find sugar cookies disappointing because they are too crispy. :)

        • Thank you! I like mine soft and chewy but firm enough to hold frosting. The crispy ones don’t usually seem to be quite right to me. You could bake these until they were crispy but I think they loose something…

    • I’m so glad! It is wonderful to find a recipe you love that will be a cooking staple throughout life. Thanks for letting me know :)

  5. Yum! These are really good. Every year I dread the making of the sugar cookies with my daughter. They are always horrible and tasteless. These are great! Thanks for the very helpful tip on the parchment paper! So easy!

    • I know exactly what you mean! I thought it was no fun to make sugar cookies at all until I started playing with the idea of a recipe that was not hard work and actually tasted good! I’m glad you enjoyed them too!

  6. To make a double batch or triple batch do you double/triple EVERY ingredient? Or does it only apply to some, for example:flour?

    • If you want to make a double or triple batch you must double or triple every single ingredient. When I am doing that sometimes I write the new measurements by hand to make sure I do not make a mistake while I’m baking. I have the larger size of Kitchen Aid stand mixer and a double batch fits very well in it. A triple batch might be pushing it. Depending on the mixer you have available you might want to make one batch at a time. Good luck with your baking project!

    • I wish you could – that would be so easy! But they function differently in baking. Both are leaveners but they are actually chemically different. The best option is to use what the recipe calls for in this case. Sorry!

  7. Your sugar cookie and buttercream frosting recipes are the best! Made the cookies yesterday and they are perfect and the frosting has a wonderful crust. So glad I found your website.

  8. Do these work well with a rolling pin that has shapes on it. All the recipes I’ve tried so far don’t work because when the cookie rises the shape goes away.

    • I have not used a rolling pin with shapes in it so I can’t make you any promise. However, if the cookies come out of the rolling pin the same way they would out of cookie cutters you should be fine. I tried a lot of different types of cookie cutters and even ones with smaller details came out well. Let me know how it works for you!

    • I usually buy powdered sugar in 1 or 2 pound bags and just use the right number of bags in the recipe. If you need to measure it 1 pound of powdered sugar = 3 1/2 cups. 2 pounds of powdered sugar is 7 cups. Happy baking!

  9. Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ve tried so many other sugar cookie recipes and they haven’t worked out. This one is perfect!! I’ve made 2 batches in one week; the dough is so easy to work with and they’re delicious! Thank you!

  10. I can’t wait to try your sugar cookies and icing. Can you please tell me how long the iced cookies will be good for?

    • I think cookies are best the first two days and still nice up to about seven days. Usually I keep mine in a container with a tight lid to help keep them fresh. They do not need to be refrigerated. Where you live and how you store them will make a difference. I live in Idaho and it is very dry here so I have to be careful not to leave baked goods out even for a short time!

    • I like to serve them within a few days of baking though they are still nice up to a week. Any baked good looses something over time :)

  11. Hi, I was wondering if these cookies taste good without frosting them? The cookie cutters I have are superhero symbols and if frosted would cover up the symbol. Thanks!

  12. These sound great and I’m really excited to try them! However, as measuring cups are not sized universally, (I’m in Australia) would you be able to provide cup measures by weight please?

    • I’m sorry, Anni, but I don’t have the right tools to give you those measurements. I would guess if you searched the internet you could find some good conversion charts. Lots of people want this type of conversion info. Good luck!

  13. I’m new to baking and just found and made your recipe. THANK YOU!!! It was great, I through the ingredients into my Nija Blender system with the dough attachment/speed and it whipped up in seconds. Perfect cookies with no spreading, love the hint of almond.

    Do you have a good Royal Icing Recipe that you could share???

    • I am SO glad you enjoyed this so much! Nothing like a great Sugar Cookie! I don’t have a Royal Icing Recipe that I love. It is on my list of things to develop. I had meant to get one done this fall but pregnancy slowed me down a lot more than I had expected. I’m hoping to do one sometime this year in time for the next holiday season. You could try this one if you want: http://www.favfamilyrecipes.com/royal-icing.html I have not tried it personally but I eat lots of Erica’s cooking and she always makes yummy food!

  14. I made these with salted butter but omitting the salt.
    I accidentally forgot to add about half cup of the sugar. I noticed it in a bowl on the table while I was cleaning up and the last batch were in the oven. I thought ” oh no I’ll have to make a new batch” but you know what? They were still awesome! So feel free to reduce the sugar amount by a 1/4 or even a half….. Especially if you plan on icing them.
    Everyone loved them. I think it’s the almond extract that gives it that extra yummy taste.

    • Wow! I love it when things turn out like that. Sometimes it feels like there is just grace in my kitchen for the little things. So glad you all enjoyed it. I’m totally addicted to almond extract – it adds a magic something to all sorts of foods!

  15. I used this recipe today and thought I had great success! My Granddaughter is 9 and it was simple enough for her to mix up with a little supervision. I have always used butter and vanilla flavorings but not almond. It was a nice surprise and tasted lovely. Thanks for the recipes! We have cut out cookies all set for an early thanksgiving dinner at church tomorrow.

    • It sounds like something went amiss. The dough should not be that sticky. In baking flour needs to be measured carefully or you can run into this problem. I would check the measurements and try again. The best way to measure flour is to spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife. I hope it works better next time!

  16. Finally, a sugar cookie recipe that didn’t make me cuss one time!! Bless your heart, Mirlandra, for the yummy recipe. Every year I dread hearing my son ask for these fussy cookies. After much searching and reading the positive reviews for this one, I decided I would try it. I was skeptical about not chilling the dough, but this is a keeper!!

    • You made my day! I am so glad this worked well for you and your son. There is lots in life to cuss over but cookies should not be one of those things!

  17. Hi there, do you think I could bake these. Freeze them unfrosted for a week then frost them? Thank you, looking forward to trying this out.

  18. Your recipe is delicous and oh so easy. This is the second time I have made them. They roll and cut beautifully…my only problem is I have trouble picking up the remaining dough that surrounds the cookie. I live in FL and lower the air conditioner in hopes that helps. Any suggestion?
    Thank you for all your wonderful information!

    • Awe, thanks, Susan! I am so glad they worked well for you! Here in ID we have very dry air and I have never run into that problem with these cookies. I don’t know if it is the air as you suspect or something else. If you have a silpat it might work to roll out on that and use a rubber scrapper to get the dough up? I have made the cookies in OR with moderate humidity but nothing like what you have in FL. I wish I had a better answer for you! Good luck and Merry Christmas :)

      • Thank you for your quick reply…sorry for the delay on my end but my hubby had a terrible accident…he is doing well now thank God!
        I did use a Silpat type mat this time and it was better. Well,even though the dough around the cookie is hard to pick up, the cookie itself comes out perfect and delicious.
        I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that your New Year be filled with Blessings.

        • I’m sorry to hear about the accident but so grateful to hear your husband is doing well! God is so gracious with us!!! I pray your 2017 will be healthy and well! Thanks for letting me know the silpat worked well. If you have trouble getting the dough up you could always use a spatula and just scrape it up for re-rolling. Sometimes you just have to tell the dough who is boss!

  19. These are seriously the perfect sugar cookies. I just finished making a batch and they are the perfect texture and sweetness. I haven’t made the frosting yet (my mixer just broke!), but this is definitely my go-to from now on! Thanks for the awesome recipie!

    *Easy to make
    *Easy to work with (dough)
    *Delicious!

    • Yeah! It is always wonderful to hear when these cookies meet with rave reviews! We are looking forward to making some ourselves this weekend. Thanks for sharing you experience! Have a Merry, Merry, Christmas!!!

  20. Love this recipe!!! Have been making sugar cookies for years and wanted to find one that I didn’t need to chill first. So happy I found this one!
    Easy to mix
    Rolling on parchment paper worked great
    Dough was incredibly easy to work with
    Held their shape when baking
    Almost like working with play dough, kid friendly
    Love the taste…thanks for sharing!

  21. I just found your recipe and can’t wait to try them based on all the positive reviews! I have 4 kids (3, 2, 1, & 6 mos.) so I’ve been on a hunt for a quick and easy recipe as the older ones have been asking to make cookies. I LOVE chocolate but would I be able to make these into chocolate sugar cookies? If not, that’s okay. I’m gonna make these anyways! :)

    • Oh I think you will love doing this with the kids! It is easy enough that it will still be fun with littles :) I have never made a chocolate version of these… But you are not the first to ask for one this year! I will plan to play around with the dough and see if I can develop a chocolate version that works as well! If so keep an eye out for it for next year. Happy Baking!

  22. The Calphalon baking sheets are great HOWEVER…Even though they are dishwasher safe the caustic products that clean our dishes also remove the shine from these pans. The pans still do every thing they just aren’t very pretty. (Every kitchen should have at least two of these pans)!!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Your daughter is a lucky girl to have cooking time with mom :) Thanks so much for asking about the sharing. My policy is that you may use the photo from the recipe with a link back to my original post for the ingredients and instructions. I do have to ask that the recipe not be posted elsewhere though.

    • It would be such a small difference you might not notice it. The frosting might be a bit more thin but barely. I would make that substitution any day. Enjoy!

  23. I was just wondering if the frosting would harden enough to stack the cookies? I love buttercream and would prefer not to have to make royal icing!

    • I’m a buttercream fanatic and don’t much care for royal icing. This will crust some and I suspect you could stack maybe two cookies deep? It depends on if you need them to look perfect after. Honestly I would transport them in single layers if at all possible. Generally buttercream just does not have the fortitude of royal icing. That beeing said I will do anything to serve buttercream over royal icing because it is perfection with cookies. If you end up trying to stack them let me know how it turns out!

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