EASY, no-fail sugar cookies with powdered sugar are perfect for cookie decorating.
The perfect cut-out sugar cookie for cookie decorating! These sugar cookies with powdered sugar instead of granulated are buttery, delicious, and keep their shape in the oven.
more cut-out cookies
Be sure to also check out our:
- cream cheese cut-out cookies
- cut-out sugar cookies with granulated sugar
- dark chocolate cut-out cookies
sugar cookies with powdered sugar
I've been a cookie decorator for over twenty years, and these sugar cookies with powdered sugar are my go-to recipe every time!
I adapted the original recipe for cut-out sugar cookies from my vintage Betty Crocker Cooky Book for my other site, TheDecoratedCookie.com. It's made without baking soda or baking powder (so they keep their shape beautifully and never spread.)
And instead of granulated sugar, it calls for powdered sugar, also called confectioner's sugar or icing sugar.
When I add almond extract along with the vanilla extract, everyone goes nuts for this recipe.
The result is a thick, buttery, almost-shortbread-like cookie that is a perfect canvas for decorating cookies with royal icing or sugar cookie icing.
The recipe is rollable, freezable, shippable.
ingredients and tools to make sugar cookies
For the dry ingredients, you'll need all-purpose flour and salt. That's it! Because the cookies are more similar to shortbread, no baking soda or powder is used.
While most bakers use unsalted butter to make cookies, my personal preference is to use salted butter. I like the extra bite of salt.
You'll also need confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar or icing sugar) and large eggs.
You may stick with only pure vanilla extract, but adding almond extract enhances the flavor.
You’ll need several baking trays.
Line your trays with parchment paper for best results.
While our recipes provide both the metric and non-metric amounts, for best results, we recommend a digital scale.
I use an oven thermometer for accuracy. (This is how I know my oven runs 25 degrees cold.)
You will need a rolling pin to roll out the dough.
And of course, cookie cutters!
How long do sugar cookies last?
Cut-out sugar cookies with powdered sugar for cookie decorating last a good bit longer than drop cookies (such as chocolate chip cookies). If you keep the cookies in an air-tight container in a cool area away from sunlight (a refrigerator isn't necessary) they can last up to 3 weeks.
For optimal freshness, I would make and give the cookies within the first few days, however. Also note, the decorated royal icing may start to fade or the colors may bleed a bit after a week or two.
can I freeze cut-out sugar cookies?
Yes! You may freeze the dough, baked cookies, and baked and decorated cookies up to three months.
To freeze the dough, place it in a freezer-safe ziplock. Let thaw in the refrigerator. When you're ready to bake, let the dough sit at room temperature until it's still cold but pliable.
To freeze the baked cookies or baked and decorated cookies, place in a single layer in freezer-safe Ziplocks to freeze. When ready to thaw, let the cookies thaw at room temperature INSIDE the SEALED Ziplock. Open only when fully thawed.
what icing should I use to decorate cookies?
For best results, decorate cookies with royal icing. Royal icing is made with egg whites or meringue powder and powdered sugar. Royal icing, if left overnight, dries well enough to handle, package, and even ship cookies.
An alternative to royal icing is this sugar cookie icing recipe which is made with powdered sugar and milk.
how do I decorate cookies?
- For BASIC COOKIE DECORATING INSTRUCTIONS, click here.
- You might also find this post all about FOOD COLORING useful.
- This Beginner Cookie Decorating e-course from The Sugar Academy contains everything you need to know as well as a printable packet.