How to make vanilla sugar cookies

vanilla sugar cookies

I have had so many request on the recipe that I use when I make sugar cookies. I know there are a few popular cookie recipes out there such as the “NFSC” (No Fail Sugar Cookies) I have tried the recipe but I failed so badly with it. So what works for me is a shortbread type of cookie without baking powder. The best one, is a recipe that I have slightly adapted from Peggy Porschens fabulous cake book.

Most sugar cookies is made with sugar only. But I like to add confectioners sugar to the recipe aswell. Of course you can use only sugar for the recipe if you like.

You can make this cookie dough on the mixer but if you dont have one then it is just as easy and quick to make it with a spoon and clean hands 😉 Either way it is important that you dont overwork the dough because that can cause the cookies to spread more during baking. Use a pair of spacers (mine are from PME) when rolling out the cookie dough. This gives a perfect thickness to your cookies especially if you are making cookie lolly pop’s.

I know many like to roll out the soft dough between two sheets of parchment paper as soon it has been made and then chill the dough before cutting. Well my refrigerator is not that big to do that, so what I do is simply to take out the cold dough. Knead it lightly, roll out the dough and cut out the cookies. The most important is that you find a way that works the best for you. If the dough should get to soft. Wrap it up and put it back in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Serving Size: 56g

Calories per serving: 250kcal

Fat per serving: 116kcal

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

This recipe is inspired by many of the great bakers that have inspired me to bake.


  • (11 oz) granulated/caster white sugar
  • (OR 200 grams (7 oz) sugar and 100 grams (4 oz) of confectioners powdered sugar)
  • 300 grams (11 oz) of unsalted butter, diced.
  • 2 large eggs.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla.
  • 500-550 grams (18-19 oz) all-purpose flour, sifted.
  • Extra flour for kneading and rolling.


  1. In a bowl or in the kitchen mixer with paddle attachment, mix the two types of sugar, vanilla and the egg. Add the flour and the butter and keep mixing just until the dough comes together.
  2. Knead the dough lightly by hand on your flour dusted kitchen counter and wrap it well in cling film and put it in a plastic bag. Chill the dough for 2 hours.
  3. I always roll out my dough on a sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour and I set my oven to 325F (170C) when I bake cookies and place the baking tray in the middle of the oven.


TIP: Depending on size I bake them from 15-20 mins. You want them to be light golden brown without being raw in the middle.

You can read and learn more about cookie making and decoration techniques here:
How to make a cookie template
How to make royal icing
How to make marshmallow fondant
How to flood a cookie with royal icing
How to make a butterfly cookie
How to make a Christmas cookie ornament
How to make a Christmas wreath cookie

Happy Caking



  1. What does the confectioner sugar do differently to the sugar cookies comppared to using all granulated sugar? Most sugar cookies are baked at 350. Will baking at 325 for longer period give you a crispier cookie?

  2. Hi, I am looking to make these a few days in advance. Will they last and taste ok? How is it best to keep them? (Dry, airtight container?)

  3. Louise,

    Do you store your unbaked cookie dough in order to make it in advance? What is the best way to store (refrigerator vs. freezer) and for how long does it keep well? Thank you!! 🙂

  4. Hi, thank you for the great recipe. Just wondering if I should chill the dough in the fridge? Also, is it okay to leave the dough overnight and then bake them the next day? Thank you 🙂

  5. Hello!

    I made this cookie recipe for my Christmas cookies and it turned out perfectly! The texture is great with a little crunch and they kept their shape beautifully from my cookie cutters. This will be my go to cookie recipe from now on. Happy Holidays from the USA!

  6. Just finished baking these cookies with my 3 and 6 yr old girls. They are simply delicious. Thank you for posting. Can one use gluten free flour and still yield the same result?

  7. I love this cookie recipe! And of course your decorating tips are amazing!I want to make them ahead of time for my sons graduation party. I have to make about 50 of them. I was wondering if I could bake them, flood them with the royal icing and then freeze them?

    • I would bake the 50 cookies and then freeze them without RI. Try and organize your decoration of the cookies instead. Have all cookies laying ready for outline, flooding and drying. When they are dry do the rest of the decoration. Now, I don’t know which kind of cookies that you will be making and if they are difficult to do but I would not trust placing them in the freezer. Again decorated cookies is OK to eat if they are decorated within a month. As long as you store them correct.

  8. Hi, just wondering if I bake this recipe using the Wilton Cookie pops star pan, do I need to chill the dough first? It doesn’t need to be rolled out, just pressed in to the pan. Thanks!

  9. Amazing cookie recipe. Thanks for all your fab tutorials. I add rose essence to both cookie dough and icing. Lurrrrvly!!!

  10. Hi Louise,Thank you for your quick response to my post to you,Louise I cannot remember the post that I made my comment on.But would like to say A big Thank you to you for being a great and sharing person you are,I Know that a lot of the people on here are learning some great tips and step by steps,from you myself included thank you so much.Anne x

  11. I made the cookie dough today and used the following conversions:         7/8 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 22 tablespoons butter (2 3/4 sticks), 3 eggs (wanted to make sure that the dough was not too dry), approximately 4.5 cups sifted flour.   I added some almond extract for a little more flavor.  They really turned out great.                         

  12. I just made this cookies and they are TERRIBLE!!!  I love any kind of cookies and candies, but this recipe is not good.  But it’s ok since this is not your recipe.  However, your decoration is AMAZING!!!!!!!! Everything you make is beautiful

    • I’m sorry to hear that you find it terrible. I personally think that this is the best 😉 I hope that you have your own best cookie recipe 🙂

  13. I am right now trying your recipe!
    It smell great and we are sure it will taste as good as it smells.
    Thanks for this blog and your great ideas.

  14. How do you get your cookies to be such a nice brown color,not the icing but the cookie itself.  It is so pretty and seems a little darker than the regular vanilla sugar cookie recipe

    Thanks, I am a new follower too!  I love the site

  15. Hi Louise,
    can i just roll out e dough between parchment paper and chill it? or do i have to cling wrap it and roll out e dough later on? what’s e difference? thanks!

  16. This is the best cookie recipe I have ever tried. The shapes stay crisp and sharp and the flavour is delicious. Thank you for sharing! Claire

    • It’s hard to say when I can’t take a bit 🙂 Too much flour? Baked too long? How thick did you roll the dough out?

      My cookies are also hard, but not rock hard.

      • I rolled it out about 1/4 for the lollipop stick to fit in. Maybe too much flour. I weighed it out and it was 18.5 ounces. Is that too much? They are REALLY hard. I wasn’t sure if that is how they are suppose to be. I am actually going to have to throw them away. But I will try it again with less flour. thanks for the quick response. Your things are beautiful.

      • No, because according to the recipe it says 18-19 oz. I have used this recipe for quite some time now and have never had any problems. Did you use only granulated sugar? Or powdered and G.sugar? I find that only G.sugar cookies get a bit harder than if I used half powdered sugar and granulated. But you can try and hold back some of the flour next time. As long and you can gather the dough together it will get harder when it chill in the refrigerator. Sorry that they did not turn out great the first time.

      • No problem. I am sure it is something I did. I did use half cs and half gran. I will try less flour. Can you freeze the raw dough? thank you so much for your help. You are awesome!!

  17. Hi Louise after icing these cookies with royal icing will the cookie end up being soft since it’s left out for the icing to dry? If so, is there a way to get around this so I can have crunchy cookies with lovely royal icing? I have read somewhere that you can put the iced and dried cookies back in the oven on low heat for the moisture in the cookies to get sucked out. Have you tried this?? I’m afraid my icing will melt!

  18. Thanks for the receipe. I’m gonna try it out this weekend for my son’s 21st birthday as door gifts to all my guests.

  19. Louise,
    I never bake a cookie before, I prefer doing cakes. But now I found you…and want to try these cookies. They look great…do you have other recipe because I want to try them all…. hahahahha

  20. Rowena: It could maybe have something to do with the flour? I have for a while used another brand of flour and this just dont work well together with this recipe. When I roll out the chilled dough it do make cracks all around the edge.

  21. Hi Louise, I am making this recipe right now but I am having trouble getting them to a dough like form. They are all like crumbs even when I knead them by hand. Please help me! Thanks so much!

  22. Just to say i used this recipe and made my baby shower cookies from them! (rocking horses) They came out perfect and tasted yummeee! Thanks a lot Louise – going to keep this recipe close to heart! 🙂 Dee xx

  23. Hi Louise I’m going to try this recipe this week! Need to make some baby shower cookies! 😛 Could I just ask one thing – I’m in UK – what would be closest to all purpose flour? Plain or Self raising? Thanks a mil! Dee x PS. I just love your site! x

  24. Dear Louise, thank you very much for sharing your baking tips with us, it has really inspired me to take my baking a step further.

    I’ve always had problems converting US recipes too (we use the metric system here in Malaysia), something to remember is that different ingredients have different mass, therefore (for example) 1 cup confectioners/powdered/icing sugar DOES NOT equal 1 cup castor sugar in weight. I can’t wait to try making the cookie lollies! =)

  25. Elma: you can freeze decorated cookies as well. First you put them in the freezer in 1 layer and just on a tray. When they are frozen you pack them in layers with parchment in between. When you want to use them take them out and place them on a cooling rack to thaw.

    tiffany: Here our eggs comes in S-M-L & XL sizes. But normal size eggs is fine to use.

  26. theese thing are just so nice andd they are fun to make i made them for my friends and they loved them they want the recipe they are just sensatinoal yummy


  27. elma: You can easily freeze your un-decorated cookies. Just pack them in parchment layers in air thight boxes when they are cool. When you are going to decorate them just take them out and plac ethe cookies on cooling racks to thaw.

    I would say that you can decorate and pack the cookies up to 1-2 weeks before giving them. They will still be nice and fresh. Just remember to let the cookies dry proberly before packing that is with iced cookies for fondant cookies I always let them “dry” overnight under a clean kitchen towel before packing them. Otherwise they will get marks on the fondant.

    Good luck!

  28. Hi Louise, i would like to make this cookies as giveaway for christmas, i read in some comments that you can bake this a month before. just want to know what do you do after you freeze the cookies?do i put it back in the oven? i’ll be giving this away to around 30persons, i saw a nice cookie plate (where i will put and wrap the cookies in) in the supermarket that’s why i thought of making cookies but i can’t make it only in a day, so i’m preparing of making it weeks before christmas. please let me know how you do it so it stay fresh and crisp. thanks, i love your site very much!

  29. Candice: I always let my cookies dry over night before I continue decorating or pack them in layers in air thight containers. Always let them dry a bit longer to be sure that they are completely dry, before packing!

    Emma: This is the recipe I always use and mine taste great. It is important that when you knead the dough before chilling in the fridge use only a minimum extra flour. The same when rolling out the dough. You can of course try and only use 400g of flour next time.

  30. I’ve been following your blog for a while now and finally got round to using one of your recipes!
    The cookies I made tasted slightly floury, did I do something wrong when I was making them?

  31. Hi Louise,
    I just wanted to say that I think your site is fantastic and I’ve picked up so many great tips.
    Just a quick one though – once the cookies have dried and you have iced them, should you place them in a airtight container or should you leave them out for the icing to dry? I am making 100 cookies for a charity event and I don’t want them to go stale or soggy. Thanks in advance!

  32. Nice website! To all those who are having trouble with conversions, you may want to think about investing in a measuring cup called ‘Tala’s cooks measure’.

    I live in Australia and I am don’t want to weigh everything unless it’s for a really sensitive recipe, so this thing is really useful. It is conical in shape and lists most common dry ingredients around the brim, with their relative measurements tapering down the inside… so it measure by mass instead of volume (both g and oz). It’s quick and easy and I very rarely have trouble with conversions. Check it out at:

    or you can type the name into a google search engine to get stores that sell them in whatever country : )

  33. I tried this recipe this weekend and was delighted with it. They held their shape perfectly and I really liked them with the confectioners sugar too. Thank you!

  34. Elisa: 2 weeks is fine, 3 would also be ok. Of course they get a little bit dense but nothing that would ruin them. As long as the icing is all dry.


  36. Hi, the cookies look gorgeous, can’t wait to try them out! Is the ‘confectioners sugar’ castor sugar? (I’m not from U.S). Thanks!! (love your site!)

  37. I’m also having a hard time with the conversions, can someone please post? Possibly with the 1/2 gran sugar and 1/2 conf sugar.

    Thanks a bunch

  38. Tracy: I know there are a little different between english and australian recipes but I have made aussie recipes straight over and nothing went wrong. its more with the american recipes I have troubles.

    Look at the bottom of the post before the comments and there are links to royal icing and how to decorate cookies with royal icing.

  39. Hi Louise,

    Can you please tell me if the recipe can be made in Australia cooking measurements?

    Could you please tell me how you did the fondant/icing on the cookie. It looks gorgeous but as I am new to this I need a little help and I know I can do it.

  40. Thanks for the recipe! I just finished making them, and they are DELICIOUS! Next time I’ll have to try the sugar/powdered sugar combo.

  41. I made these cookies for easter and they were wonderful!!!!!! I bought a gram
    weighted everything. I used 1/2 sugar and 1/2 powdered sugar. Thanks for the

  42. JoAnn: No you are right and after browsing & searching on the net I think the conversion sites that I have been using have only confused me even more. I think the most accurate for me would be only to convert into oz? I found this site on my searching
    Maybe that is better for me to use? when I want to convert european recipes? I really appriciate your help on this 🙂

  43. Louise: What a great site!!!!!!! I love checking out your blog. I also am confused about the recipe convertion. Is the original recipe in metric measurements or US,
    which way did the conversion go and what measurements do you use in making these cookies? My other question is about the sugar. Do you measure your sugar or weight it? CS has a different weight or gram to cup conversion then regular sugar. They don’t wieght the same. thanks

  44. Dorothy Javellana: You can freeze the cookies up to months in advance. If not frozen then I would make them 1 month in advance.

    madelaine: No the butter does not need to be all softend and you dont need to sift the confectioners sugar. 1 recipe of royal icing is enough. When you thin it down it goes a long way.

    Yes you are right about the conversion and thank you for solving it 🙂 i have edited the post.

  45. louise, i was browsing through the 2 conversion sites you mentioned and i came across a discrepency on your flour measurement. 1 lb of flour is 453.5 grams which is 4.5 cups not 500g or 5 cups. please check if i am right. ??? thank you

  46. i have another question. if this recipe does 25-30 medium sized cookies, how much royal icing do i need? would 1 recipe be ok?

  47. hi louise, i’m going to try these cookies and decorate them for easter. i’d like to know if the butter has to be softened? and if the confectioners sugar has to be sifted?

  48. Louise,
    How far in advance can I make this cookies? I want to make eater cookies but I have a busy scheule so whenever time permits before Easter I will do it in batches. Thanks.

  49. Debbie & Kathy: I have added 1 more egg to the recipe. I hope this helps, also take the dough out 15-20 mins before maybe will helps too so that it is more easy to knead and roll out?

    Keep me updated pls. Thanks!

  50. I also tried this recipe and had the same results as Debbie. The dough was way to tough and somewhat dry and would not roll out for anything without cracking. I ended up making another recipe where the dough was much softer, almost too soft. I would love to find something with results in the middle.

  51. Wow, what a beautiful site! I LOVE to bake but haven’t done any baking or cake decorating in years. Your site and posts have inspired me. THANKS!

  52. Debbie: I looked on the conversions I used and it say that 500 g is 5 cups? 4 cups is 400 g? so it is so confusing.
    When I roll out my dough it have cracks around the edge but it dont feel’s dry. Here’s a link to the conversion:
    I hope this helps?

    SimplePleasures: the reason why I like to use half sugar and half cs is because i like the taste and texture.

    Leslie: Yes sift then measure

  53. You are my idol. Seriously. I love your site an thanks for sharing!

    Question? The flour, do you sift it then measure. Or measure before and then sift it? I’m thinking the first.

  54. Louise,

    I cannot thank you enough for this blog! I discovered it about 3 months ago and I don’t know if a day goes by that I don’t reference it 🙂

    I am having a problem with this recipe. I just tried making it and the dough is cracking all over – I can’t even roll it out. The only mistake that I may have made is the conversion of lb. to cup of the flour (I used a little under 4 cups). Would you know why it is so dry? Thank you!!

  55. You really have a natural talent for making your sweets look beautiful and elegant. I found you through The Back Burner and plan to read your blog on a regular basis. Keep up the awesome work!

  56. Lyndsay: Yeah and all the work decorating them and then they are eaten in no time lol!

    erica: Thank you

    Ash: Thank you too.

    Jodi: I hope you like it.

    Carla: Thats what my blog is for helping other cake freaks 🙂

  57. Hello Louise, congratulations for your blog!!! I’m from Brazil and I’m starting on cake designing. I’m sure that your blog will help me many times. Best regards!!

  58. Jim: I like them best with CS only and I often just eat them plain.

    becky: Awww you poor thing. Be nice to the vending machine 🙂 I was just wondering if you have received something……? Im will not say anymore.

  59. OK, I am reading this while at work…I’m starving and there are no sugar cookies here. 🙁 I might have to go buy oreos from the vending machine.
    I will make sugar cookies this weekend!!! thank you, Louise!!!!

  60. Your recipe brought back memories of my Grandmother making these very “Sugar Cookies” with confectioners sugar only. Nothing fancy for her eot even decorations on top…they didn’t last that long with us kids waiting by the oven!

  61. dpotter: You can store your cookies iced or uniced by keeping them in a airthight box layered with parchment paper in between for up to 1 month. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3-6 month. Freezer is the best esp. for uniced as they will taste freshly made when thawed.

    Kate: Just send them to cakejournal(at)gmaildotcom

    Larling: Is that soft or hard brown sugar that you use? Sounds very interesting.

    Cakebreak: It is so close to Peggy’s but I like my cookies not to be rock hard. Let me know what you think of the powdered sugar one.

  62. I’ve tried your shortbread cookie recipe and it was great. I also tried recently Peggy Porschen’s cookie (because I bought her book!) and they came out little harder than the shortbread cookies, but they tasted great. I will try using the powdered suger next time. Thanks for the tip.

  63. YIPEEEE! Thanks so much i am making some cookies for a wedding as a bonbonierre gift for the guests and the trial oones i did turned out great but the recipe was tedious and messy – i will try this one for my sons bday on the weekend!
    Thanks so much for your generousity Louise.
    p.s. – how can i show you the cookies i made for the wedding? (they were inspired from one of your photos)

  64. hey Louise, I adore your cupcakes and cookies, your site has been an inspiration!!!!! just a question with regards to storing the cookies, how long do they last iced/uniced and how do you store them ?

  65. To al of you who have asked about the 7/8 cup. First I wished that there only was ONE way in the whole world that things was meassured in. I have a few conversions sites that I use like this one

    I have just written what their conversion said. I get even more confused when I convert it to oz. because then it says 3 oz. I convert 1 oz. to 30 grams.
    So if any of you have a more religable conversion or do know what it is excact. Then please help and I will edit the post.

    for the question on this cookie is less breakable then let me tell you that I have some very very old cookie lolly pops (some from the photo above) saved and they look like they were made yesterday. So yes I think this is a very good and stable cookie recipe.

    The reason I use confectioners sugar is because the recipe is very identical to many danish recipes for butter cookies, tart crust ect. and here you use only confectioners sugar in the recipe. I have even made it with only CS and they were also fine. They could though tend to slightly “bubble” but nothing concerning.

    Rita: thank you for reminding me about baking time 🙂 I have just edited the post.

  66. How long do you bake the cookies for? I’ve been collecting your recipes and am waiting on Easter to make these lollies for my nieces and nephews school and church parties. (Gives me alittle more time to get up my courage!) You inspire me to try things I’d never dream possible, though!

  67. Dear Louise,
    I got confused with your recipe.
    Is it 7 to 8 cups of Sugar ? or 7/8ths of a cup of sugar ?
    Thanks you very much for sharing.

  68. Good to know I wasn’t the only one to fail at the No Fail Sugar Cookies, took me a long time to recover from that. lol
    Can’t wait to try your recipe once I get over this cold.

  69. I have problems with cookies too! would like to try this recipe but it is in american measurements… I never get them right as I am from the UK. will try my best and let you know how they turn out. Tracey.

  70. I got this recipe from you in the past, and it was fantastic and held up so well for decorating. I found it is important to make sure you do make them as thick as the recipe says, or some might break when you pick them up if too thin. I made 1 addition to the recipe though…I added 1 tsp of Almond Extract for some extra flavor because it was a tiny bit bland to me. Thank you for the recipe.


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