Easy Cut Out Cookies | Year Round Classic Recipe

Delicious rolled cut out cookies with a hint of lemon. These sugar cookies bake soft and fluffy. Change the cookie cutter to the season and bake year round.


Snow flake cut out cookies on a tan plate


Cut Out Cookies

It’s the holiday baking season and boy do I have a classic cookie that should be on everyone’s baking list!  Break out your stars, trees and snowflake cookie cutters for Christmas, but don’t hold back the rest of the year because you can bake these cookies for every holiday throughout the year!

These cookies are your basic sugar cookie recipe, but there is a hint of lemon extract in the dough, which gives these cookies an additional layer of flavor.

In fact, these cookies taste delicious without any sugar crystals, but it you are feeling a bit more adventurous then by all means decorate to your content.  The icing from these paw-print cut out cookies are really pretty when pooled on cookies.

Personally, I love the simplicity of adding different colored sugars!


Platter of holiday cookies for Freaky Friday virtual holiday cookie exchange


Freaky Friday Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange

Not only is it the baking season, but it’s also time for a Freaky Friday blog hop.  This event is a year-round recipe swap organized by my friend Michaela from An Affair From The Heart.

For several years Michaela has been secretly matching bloggers to sites as a fun way to peek into our peer’s blogs, and to replicate a recipe.  It’s so much fun to find recipes I know you’ll love.

During the holiday season there is one modification.  Each of us are asked to choose a treat that can be shared on a holiday cookie tray.

Seduction In The Kitchen!

This time I was lucky to be assigned to Dee from Seduction In The Kitchen.  Dee is one of the most thoughtful and helpful virtual friends to have.

Dee is a Phlebotomist by day, and just recently moved to Florida to start a new chapter in her life.  What a brave woman!

Not only does Dee have a career in the medical field, but she is also a talented baker and cook with a variety of cocktails, appetizers, delicious main dishes, and mouth watering desserts on her site. It was hard to narrow down her treats to just one.

The Maple Chai Spritz Cookies were tempting as well as her Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies.  Ultimately, I landed on her Classic Cut Out Sugar Cookies and boy am I glad I did!

Baked and decorated cut out cookies on a cooling rack


Rolled Sugar Cookies

Baking rolled sugar cookies are a breeze, but you do need to plan in advance so that the dough is nice and chilled.

Here are the steps to make rolled sugar cookies:

  1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Add in extracts and eggs and beat until well incorporated
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mix
  5. Divide dough in half, cover in saran wrap and refrigerate for several hours
  6. Roll and bake

How to prevent dough from sticking to the rolling pin

When rolling dough lightly dust the surface and rolling pin with flour or powdered sugar.  I prefer powdered sugar because it works into the cookie and tastes good.  If using too much flour it can alter the flavor of the cookies.

PRO TIP:  Roll dough between two sheets of lightly dusted saran wrap, parchment paper or a combination of the two.  If the dough gets sticky, place the parchment/saran covered dough in the refrigerator until it gets firmer.


Step by Step images on how to bake cut out cookies


How To Decorate Cut Out Cookies

These cookie are decorated with colored sugar crystals.  Simply sprinkle them on each cookie before baking.

You can also decorate with royal icing.  Set up several small bowl with different food colorings for a variety colors and frost baked cookies.  This icing hardens once dried.

Finally, when in a rush don’t feel shy about purchasing pre-made frosting or using a combination of icing and sprinkles.


Star and snowflake cut out cookies on a tan plate


Can You Freeze Cut Out Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough.  You have two options.

One – Divide dough in half and form slightly flattened circles 1 ½” – 2” thick.  Wrap in saran wrap and transfer to a freezer safe container like one of the following:

  • Freezer zip lock bag
  • Freezer container
  • Vacuum seal

Two – Roll dough and cut out to the shape of your preference.   Place cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid (at least an hour).  Then transfer to a freezer safe container, as mentioned above.

TIP:  Place parchment paper between each layer of cookies before wrapping them up.

Freeze up to 3 months.


Heart and star cut out cookies cooling on a baking rack


Baking Frozen Cookie Dough

Place dough in refrigerator night the before to thaw, then roll out and bake.

If frozen cut out cookies have been in freezer bags, then remove the cookies from the bag and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Cover and let them thaw (either on the counter or in the refrigerator) before baking.



A dozen cut out cookies on a baking rack


Take a Look at all of our Freaky Friday Virtual Cookie Exchange Recipes:


Snow flake cut out cookies on a tan plate

Cut Out Cookies | A Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Delicious cut out sugar cookies that can be enjoyed all year long. These cookies are a classic holiday treat that are delicious plain, and also festive to add sugar crystals or icing.
4.94 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 153kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • colored sprinkles or icing


  • Cream sugar and butter with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg and extracts and mix until well combined.
  • In a medium bowl sift the cream of tarter, baking soda, and flour together.  Add dry ingredients into creamed mixture and mix until dough holds together in a ball. 
  • Divide dough in half and cover with saran wrap. Cover and store in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours
  • Preheat oven to 375º. 
  • Roll dough out on surface lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar and cut with cookie cutters. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Decorate with crystals or bake plain and add icing once cookies are cooled. 
  • Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until the cookies begin turning a light brown at the edges.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before placing on a baking rack.


Recipe from Seduction In The Kitchen
Note:  Sugar alternative can be used in place of granulated sugar for a sugar free cookie. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 120mg | Sugar: 8g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.


Enjoy these soft and fluffy cut out cookies all year long! This sugar cookie dough has a hint of lemon mellowing the sugar crystals. | www.thefoodieaffair.com #cutout #cookies #rolled #sugar #bake #holiday

Hugs Sandra Signature

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  1. I like the tip to roll them out and cut them before freezing them… that will cut down on the mess when I just want a few cookies.

  2. I’m baking cookies for a holiday party for foster kids this year and these cut out cookies will be perfect and fun for the kids to decorate. Thank you for a great recipe!

  3. What a beautiful job you have done with one of Dee’s recipes! I love her food and I love how easily these can be made ahead of time and stored until Sant’s arrival. How fun it would be to make some of these Christmas cookies with you!! Merry Christmas, to one of our favorite and most talented foodie friends!