World’s Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Our World’s Best Sugar Cookie Recipe is sure to knock your socks off this Christmas! The combination of the fluffy biscuit-like dough with the super sweet glaze on top will leave your mouth watering for more!  


These are the best sugar cookies you will ever have. Seriously.


The cookie itself is soft and almost biscuit-like while the glaze icing gives it just the right amount of sweetness. Perfection.


I can say this with humility, of course, because the recipe is not mine! My friend Anne, who is the BEST baker I know, recently gave me this recipe. She made some sugar cookies for a baby shower I hosted a couple months ago. After tasting one of the leftover cookies, Prince Charming said, “This cookie tastes like the essence of childhood. You HAVE to get this recipe.”


I’ll be honest…until now, I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about in regards to sugar cookies. They seemed like A LOT of work to me and not really worth the effort. Let’s just say I stand corrected. I always thought sugar cookies were too crunchy and stiff. But these cookies are pillowy soft! And that begs the question…


How do you keep cookies soft and chewy?

Sour cream is the secret ingredient that keeps these sugar cookies soft and chewy! I know it sounds crazy, but you won’t be sorry after trying this recipe!



There are three important things to remember about these sugar cookies:


  1. Roll them out super thin. They will puff up during baking.
  2. DO NOT over-bake   Cook them for 8-10 minutes, no more. Once you pull them out, leave them for bit on the cookie sheet if you think they need a bit more time. If you overcook them, they will be hard and tasteless. You want the cookies to be super soft.
  3. Make sure you use the glaze. These sugar cookies are biscuit-like and not all that sweet on their own. Because of this, it’s important that you use a super sweet glaze like the recipe we have shared below. Other frosting recipes might not be sweet enough. The glaze recipe dries hard and shiny, which make for beautiful cookies!



World’s Best Sugar Cookie Recipe (according to Jenae)

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream (trust me…you won’t be sorry!)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I used the bottled kind, that I just bought. That’s “fresh”, right?)
5 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Mix in sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Chill dough (at least 1 hour, we “chilled” overnight)
5. Roll 1/8 thick on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. MAKE SURE you roll them out thin enough. They will puff up a little during baking, so they need to be really thin when rolled out.
6. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

*I would highly recommend freezing half of the dough as it makes A TON!


Sweet Glaze

Use this glaze in lieu of frosting. You won’t be sorry…the glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the biscuit-like cookies and dries shiny

2 c. powdered sugar
4 tsp. milk
4 tsp. corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (I actually prefer the almond extract in this recipe)

Mix together and spread on cookies. This is a GREAT icing to use with little ones because it smooths out even after its been spread on the cookie (no matter how harsh your little one was spreading it on there).


Here are a few pictures of our cookie-making process…

Such a big helper! It’s times like this I wish I had one of these (especially since it is half-off!!!)


There it is! Just yesterday….my bottle of homemade vanilla (once you try this stuff, you’ll never want the store-bought vanilla again)!


What fun is making cookies without licking the beaters afterwards??? I guess getting salmonella wouldn’t be very fun…but surely a teeny-tiny bit won’t hurt, right???




We used a baby spoon to spread the icing. My friend Sarah uses paintbrushes…which is a wonderful idea. All of my paint brushes have been painted with and I didn’t know if it was safe to use a “used” paintbrush to spread the icing.


And this is a little less than HALF the batch-Christmas trees, bells, snowmen, and boy and girl gingerbread babies. Yes, babies. Big Brother is obsessed with Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. We read it AT LEAST once a day.


World's Best Sugar Cookies

We took a plate of cookies to our local firestation as part of our 12 Days of Christmas Giving.


Checking out the ambulance at the firestation…notice the plate of cookies in the fireman’s hand. :)


Now…go try out this World’s Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. Just be sure to save some cookies for everybody else. ;)



And if you’re looking for another great cookie recipe, you MUST try this recipe for Rolo Cookies. They are my husband’s favorite!

Rolo Cookies


Originally published December 16, 2010


  1. Thanks for sharing! With 5 kids I needed a recipe that made a lot so everyone could do their share of cutting and decorating. This sounds wonderfully easy and delicious!

  2. I'll have to try this recipe! I've made some with sour cream before but the lemon juice is new. I like your thinking about the "fresh" part. :) And I hope you get a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas!! They're a must-have!

  3. I'm not sure about the cookie recipe origin, but I got a frosting recipe that is identical (and I use almond extract too – so good!) off of I especially like it because you can dip your cookie let as much drip off as you can, put it on a cooling rack, let the the rest drip off and then when you're done you have pretty shiny cookies that can be stacked up! It is a great glaze!

  4. I love sugar cookies. I make that same glaze, without the corn syrup and vanilla extract. It is very good.

    And thanks for visiting your local fire company and bringing them some treats. My husband is an EMT and they don't get enough thanks for all that they do! They appreciate it when anyone stops by, even just to say thank you for all you do.

  5. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to try this.

    I just have to say we had to take a break from our cookie making this Christmas because, as always, we tasted the yummy cookie dough while making our very first batch (different recipe) and this time all 3 that tasted it ended up sick! Only the littlest, who we didn't let taste, stayed well…BUT I'm sure I'll be tasting again – it's tradition, right?!

  6. I tried the recipe and they were so dense! More like bread than a cookie. Any idea what I did wrong? I (think) I followed the recipe to a T and I'm a decent baker :)

    Icing was perfect, though!


  7. Angela…I'm not sure! Mine didn't turn out that way at all. They almost fell apart when you bit into them. Hmmm…

    Did you chill the dough before rolling it out? Maybe too much flour?

    I'm not sure! I'm sorry they were dissapointing!

  8. Ok, Angela…I think I know your problem. The dough has to be rolled out REALLY thin because it puffs up during baking.

    I think that's probably the issue. :)

  9. I already tried these cookies. And its taste really good. It becomes my children’s favorite cookies. Thanks for your recipe.

  10. Hi I am Just about to add the flour but it doesn't say plain or selfraising – which is it? Help Hope you are out there because in a couple of minutes I will go with plain… Thanks J

  11. thanks… So nice of you to reply- I went the other way – RATS!!! but forgot the baking soda so that might have helped :P they turned out OK … really yummy and I turned some into pillow cookies by putting 1/3 of a mini mars bar in the centre- super yum.Love your web site! Got here via your comment of Made By Joel. thanks again- Julie

  12. This is the recipe I have been using for years, it truly is the best sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever tried, The worst part about sugar cookies is rolling them out, and these are so easy. I’ve made many batches of these over the years, and they never last very long!

  13. I did make these and they were great. MUST be thin though or they will bake like a cake… very fluffy. This is a great recipe if you cut them very thin. :D

  14. Using room temp butter makes for easier creaming of the sugar and butter and helps with a fluffier less dense cookie. When you use cold butter, you tend to over mix to get it to cream and the butter starts to separate making them more like a dense bread. :)

    Ours turned out perfect! This is my new favorite sugar cookie recipe. Thanks, Jenae! I’m going to make some for Taylor and send them to him at K-State!

  15. I was able to find where you are to use plain flour but what about the butter? Is it salted or unsalted?


  16. Love that recipe. It’s simple to follow, and y0u’ve given such detailed directions and hints for a better product.

  17. These cookies are NOT the best sugar cookies ever! I followed the recipe to a tee and everything worked out great besides it tasting like tasteless dough not sugar cookies. Blahhhh!!

    1. We felt like these “cookies” had zero taste….yes we added theglaze..cookies arent sweet enough… sorrybut we hated them!! In the trash they go

      1. So sorry you didn’t like them! We’ve made a couple batches already this year and they are always the first cookies to be devoured…but everyone has different tastes, I guess! I have started using almond extract instead of the vanilla extract in the glaze and that makes a difference.

  18. Hi, I wanted to try this recipe with our 3 daughters but I am wondering if the dough is super sticky? I tried a recipe once and had to throw it out because it was a sticky mess, very disappointing and I haven’t wanted to try sugar cookies again because of it – but I love them and so do our girls so I thought I would check. Thanks for your help!

    1. It shouldn’t be sticky. If it is, however, that just means you need to add more flour until you can roll it out and touch it without it sticking.

  19. Just used your recipe for my work Cookie Exchange. Let’s see if I win in any of the categories!

    Thanks for a simple but tasty recipe!

  20. I am excited to try these. Do I need to add food coloring to the icing? If so about how much? I don’t want to over do it, or not do enough! Thanks!

    1. Yes, we used food coloring. I normally just put the butter on the counter for an hour or two before I start making the cookies to bring it to room temperature.

  21. So I’m making these for a party. Instead of the vanilla I added the zest of an orange and the juice. I will be dipping them halfway in chocholate so we see how that turns out! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. These are probably the easiest sugar cookies I’ve ever made. I didn’t have sour cream so I substituted nonfat Greek Yogurt and they still were great!

  23. This has been the most frustrating experience I have ever had making sugar cookies and I have been making them for years! There is no way I can get 5 cups of flour in this mix. I have put 4 and the dough was so thick and sticky it gummed up my new mixer! I am VERY disappointed in this recipe! You need to rename it. It is definitely NOT the worlds best! The worlds most frustrating…..possibly!!!!

    1. I’m so sorry it hasn’t worked well for you…I have never had that problem before and have made this recipe dozens of times. If you ever try to make them again (which is unlikely, based on the frustration openly expressed in your comment), I would suggest just making half a batch as it seems your mixer might not be large enough to hold the capacity of the dough.

  24. Ok just tried them with the frosting and everything. These are the most horrible cookies I have ever tasted. 7 people did not like them.

    1. The glaze hardens and they can be stacked, but some icing might inevitably stick to the bottom of the cookie on top of it. You could try putting some waxed paper between layers.

  25. To all of the comments that are beyond rude. GOOD GRIEF/ is it really imperative that you write such hateful comments? I have not made these cookies however I am a very experienced cook and I would try this recipe. If I felt the way that some of these people did I would certainly disagree with taste/no pun intended. To all of the haters get a job or a hobby! From one educator to the next.

  26. I made these cookies during the Christmas Holidays- for the first time. I learned a lot! As everyone said, roll them out very thin or they will be thick & cake-like! Learned this the hard way because I did not read all the comments. :(((. With that said, this was such easy dough to roll & cut! LOVED the icing! So easy and finished cookies are beautiful! Tonight I made these for the second time- for Valentine cookies. The softened butter made the dough lighter PLUS my new stand mixer was much better at mixing in all the flour versus hand-held mixer. Just as I did my first time, I’m letting dough stay over night in fridge- halved and rolled in Saran Wrap. Will roll out & bake tomorrow! Can’t wait to have beautiful & tasty cookies this time tomorrow! Bottom line- this recipe is a keeper! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe!

  27. My dough is chilling at the moment.. But just having a few problems here. I made half of the recipe without lemon juice – cos hunny doesn’t really like its flavour. Everything was good until I added the dry ingredient. When I mixed them, it seemed the dry ingredients were way too much as it just couldn’t come together. It sort of resembled pie dough instead.. Is the dough suppose to be that way?

  28. I really like these cookies. I made them for the first time today. They started out a little sticky, but worked out just fine after I put flour down on the counter. Definitely have to roll them THIN, otherwise they puff up quite a bit. I like that they were not too sweet by themselves, because the icing really makes a difference, and it’s really sweet. My batch made about 6 dozen, but that’s great because I made them for a cookie exchange. Thanks for the recipe!!

  29. I will be trying these today to freeze for Christmas baking! I may have to leave out enough for a batch to try tonight. Because a month is an awfully long time to wait and all ;-)

  30. These look so yummy!!!:) I was wondering if I could leave the lemon juice out and add vanilla instead? Or is the lemon juice vital to the cookie outcome? Thanks!!!

    1. Not sure if it is vital, but I think it probably serves some purpose (although I’m not sure what, exactly). :) I have never made it without…but if you try it, let us know how they turn out! :) You can’t taste the lemon…I think it probably just adds some acidity to balance out the sour cream?

  31. DON”T USE THIS RECIPE. I”m sure you are a great cook Jenae, but i made these and everyone said they tasted like cornbread with frosting on them. They’re right. These “cookies” are like a tasteless, heavy biscuit that no amount of perfect frosting can rescue…… i threw the whole batch out.

    1. I’m so sorry you didn’t like them, Jenene. Did you make the cookies and the glaze or did you use a different frosting?

      I just made them this weekend and as usual, I received lots of compliments and requests for the recipe. They are our family’s favorite…but they can’t be overcooked and have to have the glaze.

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