fbpx Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Sugar Cookie Recipe

Sugar Cookie Recipe + Frosting and Royal Icing


Best sugar cookie recipe for bakery-style treats that hold their shape. Glazed with delicious frosting, details are added with royal icing. Both frosting and icing harden up nicely so cookies can be stacked between squares of parchment paper.


Units Scale


  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons), room temperature
  • 1 stick margarine (8 tablespoons), room temperature
  • 1 8ounce block cream cheese (full fat), softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar), sifted
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • food coloring paste in desired color(s)


  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 16ounce box powered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • food coloring paste in desired color(s)



  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter, margarine and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 30 seconds until combined. Add granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix to incorporate.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In 3 to 4 small batches, add flour mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix well after each addition, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Form two round disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap (or slip into zip-top bags with the air pushed out). Chill in the fridge for 3 hours (or overnight) until the dough is easy to handle.
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, on a lightly-floured surface roll it out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut desired shapes with a cookie cutter. For the cleanest cuts, lightly dip cutter in flour before each use. [Gather the scraps of dough together and form a disk. Wrap it in plastic and chill. IMPORTANT: The dough must be chilled so cookies will keep their shape in the oven. Roll out chilled dough and repeat cookie-cutting process.]
  6. Place cookies 1 inch apart on a parchment-paper-lined (or un-greased) cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are firm and bottoms are light golden blonde. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack. Let them cool completely before icing.


  1. Using a fork, beat together meringue powder, half the sifted powdered sugar, and warm water. Keep beating until the texture of the glaze is nice and smooth.
  2. Gradually stir in the remaining powdered sugar until the consistency of the glaze is spreadable, but not runny.  Divide the batch, as desired, and tint with food paste coloring.
  3. Glaze cookies with an even layer of frosting. Scrape off excess icing from the edges. Allow frosting to completely dry and solidify before stacking cookies between squares of parchment paper, or applying decorative touches with royal icing.


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the food paste coloring. With an electric hand mixer, beat on low speed until combined. Turn mixer to high speed and beat for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is very stiff. Divide royal icing between small bowls. Tint with desired colors.
  2. Transfer royal icing to piping bags fitted with metal tips. Pipe outlines and add details to the glazed cookies, as desired. Between uses, keep the royal icing covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.


SUGAR COOKIES: Yields 36 (2 1/2″ to 3 1/2″) cookies.

SUGAR COOKIE FROSTING: Yields 1 cup frosting.

ROYAL ICING: Yields 3 cups royal icing.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Chill Time: 3 Hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: sugar cookie recipe, royal icing, best sugar cookies, sugar cookies, bakery sugar cookies