Buttery Sugar Cookies Recipe

There's nothing like a sugar cookie. Simple, nostalgic, and undeniably sweet, sugar cookies have been a part of American history for hundreds of years, and they're not going anywhere anytime soon. There's something particularly appealing about the sweet, buttery nature of a sugar cookie, and they truly are beloved by both kids and adults alike. The best type of sugar cookie is undoubtedly a homemade one, and recipe developer Jennine Bryant's recipe for buttery sugar cookies adorned with sprinkles and soft pink frosting is sure to activate that sense of childlike wonder you probably felt when you had your first sugar cookie.

"These cookies are wonderful served alongside a nice cup of tea or coffee, as a nice mid afternoon treat! They are also a great addition to any picnic hamper, and they make wonderful, simple homemade gifts," Bryant says. Plus, they're fairly simple to make, and much more satisfying than cookies from the grocery store. And, thanks to their subtle pink frosting, these sugar cookies look just as appealing as they taste.

Prepare your sugar cookie ingredients

Start by getting your ingredients together. You'll need flour, two eggs, salt, granulated sugar and powdered sugar, unsalted butter, cornstarch, vanilla extract, a little water, and either store-bought or homemade sprinkles, plus food coloring, if you want the frosting to be a color other than white.

"The unique part of this recipe is the addition of cornstarch along with the flour for the cookies," Bryant reveals. "It helps to give the cookies more structure and keeps them from spreading out, which makes them great for icing and for cutting out different shapes!"

Make the dough

Cookies start with cookie dough, and this particular cookie dough starts with beating room temperature butter and granulated sugar together, either by hand or with a stand mixer, until the mixture is creamy and pale. Crack one egg (also room-temp) into the bowl, mix it in, and repeat with the second egg. Then, beat the vanilla in.

Combine the flour, salt, and cornstarch in another bowl, and add that mixture to the first bowl with the butter and sugar. Stir everything together until it looks like cookie dough, and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. "You can definitely keep this sugar cookie dough in the fridge until ready to bake cookies," Bryant adds. "The cookie dough also freezes well, as do the cookies once they have been baked and cooled. If the cookie dough is frozen it should just be taken out in good time so that it can slowly defrost in the fridge until ready for use."

Shape the cookies

Once your dough is good and chilled, take it out of the fridge. Preheat your oven to 375 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Now, it's time to roll: Scatter flour over your work surface, and roll out your dough. Cut out the cookies — Bryant's recipe suggests using a "2 ⅝-inch round cookie cutter," but she notes that there are lots of other ways to do it. "There are a whole load of different ways to cut cookies," she says. "For example a glass or a coffee mug can be used in place of a cookie cutter. Or, it would be perfectly possible to use a knife and make freestyle shapes which would be really fun, although I don't think I would be brave enough for that!" 

Place your cookies — whatever shape they end up being — on your baking sheet about an inch apart from each other and pop them in the oven.

Bake the sugar cookies and decorate

While the cookies bake, whip up the icing by stirring together water, powdered sugar, and food coloring of your choice. When the cookies are done, take them out and let them cool on a wire rack. After the cookies are fully cooled, spoon some icing onto each one and scatter some sprinkles on top. 

Enjoy your buttery sugar cookies

Technically, you should wait a bit for the icing to dry, but we won't judge if you're impatient and eat a freshly-frosted one. Either way, you've done it! You've baked some luscious buttery sugar cookies topped with sweet homemade icing.

"These cookies will last well for up to a week as long as they are properly stored. They should ideally be kept in an airtight container at room temperature," Bryant says. However, they're so good, we'd be surprised if they last that long!

Buttery Sugar Cookies Recipe
5 from 83 ratings
These buttery sugar cookies not only look and taste good, but they have a nostalgia factor, too.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pink frosted sugar cookies on wire rack
Total time: 30 minutes
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles
Optional Ingredients
  • food coloring, for the icing
  1. In a stand mixer or a medium-sized bowl, add the butter and the sugar and beat for a few minutes until lightened in color.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and mix them into the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla extract and mix everything once more.
  3. In a clean bowl, add the plain flour, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer and combine everything to form a soft dough.
  5. Place the dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.
  6. When the dough is chilled and ready to be used, preheat the oven to 375 F and line a large oven tray with baking paper.
  7. Sprinkle a clean surface with flour and roll the dough out evenly. Using a round cookie cutter (or the rim of a glass), cut out cookies from the dough and place them on the prepared oven tray, spaced roughly an inch apart.
  8. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, then take them out and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Mix the powdered sugar with the water (and food coloring, if using) and spoon this on top of the cooled cookies. Finish by adding some sprinkles and allowing the cookies to dry before placing them in an airtight container.
Calories per Serving 216
Total Fat 6.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.9 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 38.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 22.6 g
Sodium 83.4 mg
Protein 2.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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