Sugar Cookie Recipe

This recipe is one of my favorites. My hubby introduced these little gems back when we were dating. The small box he dropped into my office quickly disappeared and left me daydreaming all day long for the day when I would get my hands on that sugar cookie recipe! His mom generously passed the recipe on to me and it’s been a staple here for as long as I can remember. Whenever we have a rainy day (and a stir crazy kid) we whip up a batch and let him decorate to his hearts content.

sugar cookies

Soft Sugar Cookies


  • 3-1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light. Stir in the egg, extract, sour cream, and dry ingredients.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll 1/4 inch thick. Cut using your desired shape. Place on the baking tray and cook for ten minutes or until the edges are just lightly browning.

sugar cookie recipe

Pipe your favorite frosting using a closed star tip and you can easily create a dozen roses (the edible kind) for that special someone this Valentines day! Or use a heart shaped cutter and dip half into melted chocolate. The lemon extract gives these a unique taste that is slightly addicting, but if you prefer to stick to a more traditional route you can use vanilla extract in it’s place. Or raspberry… or orange… The possibilities are endless!

If you are sticking with my original recipe try this cream cheese frosting on top. You won’t be sorry! I used a Wilton 14 Inch Piping Bag, Large Open Star Tip , & Ateco Plain Round Cutter Set to decorate these cookies!

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. MIX, MIX, MIX: Mix all of the ingredients until you reach your desired consistency.

Here’s a quick kitchen tip… make sure your cream cheese is room temp before your start to mix in the frosting ingredients. This will keep the frosting smooth and silky for piping. If  you liked this post you will LOVE these:

How to Pipe a Rose


 No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies


Strawberry Shortbread Cookies



  1. 1

    I love, love, LOVE the way you decorated these – absolutely beautiful and I LOVE sugar cookies! Win!! Pinning.

  2. 2

    Thanks for sharing my cupcakes for two as well. These cookies are gorgeous and just make me want to lick the frosting right off the screen!

  3. 3

    This is the first sugar cookie recipe I’ve seen sour cream added to dough besides my mothers. I think it makes for a soft moist cookie.

  4. 4

    I love this! It kind of freaks my husband out to add sour cream to sugar cookies, so I just do it when he isn’t looking. 😉

    • 5

      I use a little buttermilk in mine….works great! These look awesome too, might just have to give sour cream a try!

  5. 6

    I wish I could have a steady hand to do the top of my cookies like that. My hand shakes to much and those are absolutely pretty. I do love a sugar cookie very much!

  6. 10

    These cookies are so beautiful! I love sugar cookies, but I am not that good at decorating!

  7. 11

    So pretty and yummy. I’ve done roses on cupcakes forever but never thought to do them on cookies brilliant!

  8. 12

    I love sugar cookies. The piping on the cookie is so beautiful.

  9. 13

    It’s amazing how a simple swirl of frosting can mimic the look of roses. So beautiful! They almost look too good to eat… almost… you broke down my last bit of willpower at cream cheese frosting. :)

  10. 14

    So pretty! We all love sugar cookies around here. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try!

  11. 15

    Those look so good! And I love the icing on it. I wonder if my gluten free flour will work on it.

  12. 16

    How beautiful! We love sugar cookies in our house! These would be so sweet for Valentine’s Day!

  13. 17

    I’m actually making these right now and am wondering if the amount of flour is incorrect? The dough is a cake batter-like consistency (no way could it be rolled out) and I’ve been adding just a ton of flour to try and get it right. Can you please help?

    • 18

      I sent you an email. Seriously… this proves that I’m far from perfect and should start proof reading my posts before I click publish! It’s 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups of flour. I use the full extra 1/4 cup

  14. 19

    So pretty! They sound delicious too! I’m sure my kids would love them.

  15. 20

    WOW! These look so beautiful and delicious! Your pictures are really nice!

  16. 21

    Beautiful cookies! I love the gray background with the pink frosting. So pretty!
    Thanks for sharing my marshmallows!

  17. 22

    These sound amazing. I’ve never made cookies with sour cream in them. You have the cookie recipe title on the icing recipe.

  18. 24

    So pretty! Why don’t my sugar cookies ever look like this? Guess I need more practice. :)

  19. 25

    These cookies almost look too pretty to eat. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love a good sugar cookie.

  20. 26

    This cookie almost looks too pretty to eat. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I love a good sugar cookie recipe.

  21. 28

    My mom got this recipe with her sunbeam mixer over 40 years ago. It’s been a family favorite and Christmas tradition for four generations. It is the best sugar cookie recipe ever. It’s good without the icing

  22. 29

    Funny thing – I have been on the hunt for the best sugar cookie. I tried one tonight that tons of people swore by and I would never made them again. I thought they were a bore – dry and tasteless with a funky sour cream frosting. I can’t wait to try these. You sure made them pretty with the frosting!

  23. 30

    This recipe sounds delicious! I was just wondering if the dough needs to be refrigerated before cutting/shaping by any chance?

    • 31

      Nope. You can if you’d like but I don’t refrigerate my dough and don’t have problems rolling and cutting.

  24. 32

    I made a trial batch of these to see if I wanted to use them for a bridal shower in a couple of weeks. DELICIOUS! I opted for Mexican vanilla instead of lemon extract. The cookies came out perfect and the cream cheese icing was divine. I love that they are not too sweet.

    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and for sharing which tip you used to make the rose. These were so easy.

  25. 34

    These look amazing! Would love to make them for my daughter’s upcoming wedding. Do you know if I can make them and freeze them ahead of time?

    • 35

      I’ve never tried freezing them so I’m not sure. You could always try a test batch long before the wedding.

  26. 36

    these look so yummy! thank you for sharing the recipe!

  27. 37

    Hi these are so pretty! I am in charge of and event I am going to be making these for and need to transport them. Will the icing harden enough for me to stack a few?

  28. 39

    they are absolutly beautiful,

    but i have one question, in the cream cheese : with which I can replace the cream cheese? ^^

    thank you thank you

    • 40

      Since the recipe is a cream cheese frosting I’d suggest not making any substitutions. Especially with the cream cheese. But if you are looking for something a little different try the vanilla buttercream from my Vanilla Cupcakes.

  29. 41
    Cecelia says:

    I was wondering do you use unsalted butter for the cookies and icing?

    • 42
      Jesseca says:

      I probably should, but I like a little extra salt in my sweets. I use salted butter for every recipe on my site unless I specifically say unsalted.

  30. 43

    Unless I’m just missing it, about how many cookies does this recipe make? Thanks!

    • 44
      Jesseca says:

      It really depends how thin you are rolling your dough and the size of your cookie cutter. I typically get 30 cookies per batch.

  31. 45

    Any idea why the recipe isn’t showing up for me all of a sudden? I saw it earlier, but now it’s saying [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:87]. Thanks!

  32. 47
    Andrea Melville says:

    I can’t access your recipe either would love to try these they look so beautiful. thanks

  33. 49
    Joyce Susco says:

    I can not see the recipe either just all the pictures, :(

  34. 51
    Jill FCS says:

    These look beautiful and sound delicious. Do the finished cookies need to be stored in the fridge?

  35. 55
    Ashley Souvannaraj says:

    I made these cookies the other day & they turned out amazingly. Love love LOVE this recipe. Everybody gobbled them up (; Thank you!

  36. 56
    londerella says:

    Orange zest (peel) also makes them yummy. Bit of a Christmas flavour to otherwise bland cookies. Glad to see someone else looking for zing!

  37. 57

    These are perfect for my sisters upcoming bridal shower. Do you know how far in advance I can make them and store on counter?

  38. 58

    I had to add an egg and 1/4 cup of butter to get these to “cookie consistency” Maybe it’s the dry climate I live in, but as is the dough was more like sand, but with those additions it was a yummy recipe that rolled out easily.
    Since I can’t attach a picture, here’s a link to a picture of how they turned out :)

    • 59
      Jesseca says:

      They look delicious! Did you remember to add the sour cream? There have been a few times I’ve forgotten until the last minute to add that ingredient and my dough looked dry.

  39. 61

    Thank you for sharing! And the genius idea of icing a cookie this way! Is it possible to use just 1/2 cup butter, rather than 1/4 butter and 1/4 shortening? Thanks!

  40. 62

    Hi these cookies are absolutely gorgeous!! I’d like to try them but never have shortening on hand. Is it possible to substitute butter or oil for the amount of shortening?? Thanks for your help!

  41. 63

    Yum! I’m going to get dressed and go to the store right now! These look amazing and since I’m pregnant, my cravings are hard core! Lol!

  42. 64

    Your cookies look gorgeous! After baking them, how much time can I keep them before they expire ? I’m thinking about how much time in advance I can prepare them…

  43. 65

    Not only do your cookies sound amazing they are simply gorgeous!

  44. 66

    Sour cream makes all the difference in baking homemade sugar cookies! :) It’s what gives them the super moist texture and keeps them so soft. I’ve got an amazing sugar cookie recipe that has been passed down from generations that are to die for! So addicting! Lol I love the recipe that you have for the cream cheese frosting, I will definitely be baking a batch with some of that yummy frosting on them today! Thanks for sharing! :)

  45. 67

    Hi mates, its impressive post regarding educationand completely
    defined, keep it up all the time.

  46. 68

    i doubled the recipe and for some reason it was a bowl of crumbs :-(. had to keep adding and tweaking…..and now they are baked and spongey…..what did I do wrong?? :-(

    • 69
      Jesseca says:

      the last time that I made these I noticed that it does go through a crumbly stage. I kept mixing with a stand mixer until it started to come together and then used my hands to form it together a little better. I think it has something to do with the consistency of the sour cream. Sometimes it’s thicker and other times it’s runnier depending on the brand.

  47. 70

    for some reason these did not turn out for me:( once baked they were spongey like a pancake and tasted more like biscuits than sugar cookies:( I don’t know what went wrong! does this ever happen when you make them?

    • 71
      Jesseca says:

      I have never had that problem. Did you make sure you measured correctly? Sometimes I’ll accidentally grab a one cup instead of a half without thinking.

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