Cookies, Desserts, Family Favorites

Sugar Cookie Recipe

February 10, 2014

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


Comments (88)

  • Yvonne @ TriedandTasty Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 7:55 am

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

  • Aimee @like mother like daughter Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 8:34 am

    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!

  • Joie Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:15 am

    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.

  • Debra Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

    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. 😉

    • Betty Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 8:57 pm

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

  • Lavonnia Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:49 am

    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!

    • Jesseca Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 9:59 am

      I actually think my friend frosted these for me, but I do have a tutorial on how to pipe a rose coming soon!

      • Sylvia Marin Reply

        March 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

        How to you store with frosting on them??

        • Jesseca Reply

          March 23, 2014 at 9:36 pm

          I let them sit out until the frosting slightly hardens then layer them in a storage container using wax paper in between.

  • Diane Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 10:34 am

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

  • marissa | Rae Gun Ramblings Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

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

  • Michelle F. Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

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

  • Tonya Bangart Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    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. :)

  • Tonya Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

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

  • Kandi Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm

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

  • Ondria Witt Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm

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

  • Erin Blegen Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    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?

    • Jesseca Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      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

  • Leanne Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm

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

  • MJ @ The Flying Couponer Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

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

  • kayley Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:22 pm

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

  • Elizabeth Copeland Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      February 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks for catching that Elizabeth! Looks like I wasn’t working my A game when I wrote this post last night!

  • Holly C. Reply

    February 10, 2014 at 10:04 pm

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

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  • Jill Greenlaw Reply

    February 11, 2014 at 8:01 am

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

  • Jill Greenlaw Reply

    February 11, 2014 at 8:03 am

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      February 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Thanks Jill ! You’ll love this one. It’s up in my top favorite easy desserts of all time.

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  • Cindy Reply

    February 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    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

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  • Jacqueline Reply

    March 3, 2014 at 12:07 am

    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!

  • Emily Reply

    March 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      March 17, 2014 at 11:21 am

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

  • Marsha Reply

    March 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    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.

    • Jesseca Reply

      March 17, 2014 at 11:19 am

      I am so glad they turned out well for you!

  • Pattue Reply

    March 19, 2014 at 1:04 am

    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?

    • Jesseca Reply

      March 19, 2014 at 12:21 pm

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

  • kellie Reply

    March 23, 2014 at 1:33 pm

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

  • Hollie Reply

    March 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    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?

    • Jesseca Reply

      March 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Yes. I layer a little bit of parchment or wax paper in between the layers.

  • pohelly Reply

    March 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    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

    • Jesseca Reply

      March 25, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      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.

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  • Cecelia Reply

    April 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      April 2, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      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.

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  • Krysta Reply

    April 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      April 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm

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

  • Carrie Reply

    April 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    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!

    • Jesseca Reply

      April 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      I had an issue with the plugin I was using. You should be able to see the recipe now.

  • Andrea Melville Reply

    April 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      April 17, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      You should be able to get the recipe now. Sorry about that!

  • Joyce Susco Reply

    April 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      April 17, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      All fixed. Sorry about the delay.

  • Jill FCS Reply

    May 2, 2014 at 5:43 am

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

    • Jesseca Reply

      May 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      I normally just store mine in an air tight container on the counter or a ziploc.

      • Christine Reply

        November 26, 2014 at 9:16 am

        How long are the cookies good for? They probably won’t last for more than a day in my house anyway…lol. So pretty!

        • Jesseca Reply

          November 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm

          I usually only keep mine around for a week at most.

  • Ashley Souvannaraj Reply

    May 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm

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

  • londerella Reply

    May 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm

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

  • mariam Reply

    May 14, 2014 at 10:10 pm

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

  • Amber Mae Reply

    May 29, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    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 :)

    • Jesseca Reply

      June 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      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.

      • Amber Mae Reply

        June 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        I did. Maybe I counted incorrectly when I was putting in cups of flour. My kids were being… loud… when I was making them :)

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  • June P Reply

    July 1, 2014 at 7:43 am

    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!

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  • Sara Reply

    August 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

    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!

  • Mary Reply

    August 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    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!

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  • Ana Reply

    September 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    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…

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  • Marilyn Reply

    January 2, 2015 at 8:51 am

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

  • Misty Reply

    January 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    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! :)

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  • Anita Reply

    May 1, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    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?? :-(

    • Jesseca Reply

      May 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      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.

  • REagan Reply

    June 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    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?

    • Jesseca Reply

      June 6, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      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.

  • Ceara Reply

    October 27, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I am making the cookies right now and it is way to dry, cannot roll it out, seems to need more liquid or moisture. I don’t know what to add, I read the directions over and over, double checked my work, and I think I did everything exactly like it says. Should I add more butter?

    • Jesseca Reply

      October 27, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Hi Ceara,

      I just double checked the original recipe that my mother in law gave me and all of the ingredients are listed correct, but I actually had a hard time the last time I made these. What I did was just added a tablespoon of milk. I’m working on an updated sugar cookie recipe that won’t have this problem or seeing where the ingredient list needs to be adjusted.

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