10 Kitchen Tip: Soft Sugar Cookie Secrets

This snowflake is from my favorite Soft Sugar Cookie recipe.  I have used this recipe for many years and have shared it with my friends over the years.

I love a crispy, buttery, flaky sugar cookie, but this soft, melt in your mouth, almost cake-like, is still my favorite.

People ask me, "What is the secret?  Sour cream?  Butter?"  It is none of these.  Today, I will share my baking AND decorating secrets for this fabulous cookie.  Are you ready?

Flour.  Too much will make your cookies dense and dry.  Too little will have you fighting the stickiest cookie dough on earth.

The best way to measure your flour is to scoop it with a spoon and shake it over your measuring cup and level it with a straight edge: table knife, ruler, what have you.

When rolling your CHILLED dough (another secret), use only enough flour on the counter, top of your dough and rolling pin.

Cookie Cutters.

Choose cutters with straight, tall sides.

Which one?

The green tree, definitely.

Choose a cutter that has less definition.

Why?  The cookie will puff up and you will lose some detail.

Which one?

The red star, of course!

Here's a test.  Which cookie cutter is best for this dough? The mitten or the snowman?

Let's see, straight, high sides.  Check.

Definition?  I would choose the mitten.

Why?  The brim of the snowman's hat would "grow" into the top of his hat, resulting in a blob of sorts.

Find the thinnest flat spatula or pancake turner that you can find.

This really helps transfer the cut cookies onto your baking sheet.

Oh, and make sure that it is large enough to support your cut cookie.

You don't want your cookie to droop and stretch over the edges of the spatula, do you?


Once your cookies are cut out, save all the scraps into one pile.

When all you have is a pile of scraps, gently knead the pieces together and re-roll.

Make another pile of scraps.  This way, you don't add too much flour into the dough, keeping your cookies soft and tender.

Cookies are done when lightly touched with your finger.

If your finger leaves a dent, add a minute or two.

If the cookie springs back up, it's done.

Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Are you ready to decorate and have fun?  I am.

I love this Sugar Cookie Glaze.   It is soft, yet holds its shape.

Outline your cookie with a cake decorating bag/tip or with a Wilton Squeeze bottle, which is my favorite tool.  It makes outlining fast and easy.  Let the glaze sit for a few minutes.

Next, pour, or spoon on a dab of this wonderful glaze into the middle of your cookie.

Spread it out as far as you can, using the tip of a table knife or spoon.

This is called flooding.

To reach the corners or nooks and crannies of your cookie,
use a toothpick.

This is what happens when there is too much glaze and the dam breaks.

Causing over flooding....

Not to worry, though.  I just let it set and then scraped it off.

There you have it.

A couple of naked cookies, ready to decorate with Butter Frosting.  Have fun!


  1. So many great tips...thanks for sharing! And now you've really got me in the mood to make my cut out sugar cookies.

  2. I absolutely love the look of the "flooded" icing. My goal is to practice this exact tutorial and learn how to decorate some awesome cookies. Thanks for the tips!

  3. That was so helpful! I am going to try this. Pinkie Promise!

  4. I love stop by your blog! These cookies look not only wonderful to eat but beautiful too.

  5. Love the look of the icing. AND a sugar cookie is one thing that I can actually bake. LOL.

  6. Thanks for all the great sugar cookie hints! I want to try decorating them with the flooding trick, it makes them look so good!

  7. My 3.5 year old son and I made your cookies together, and they are indeed the best sugar cookies I've ever made. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!!

  8. Erin, it's comments like yours that make my day! I'm so glad you enjoyed your sugar cookie experience ~ I love this glaze because it is soft, yet holds its shape.

  9. Love the tips! I definitely need help when it comes to cookies. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I just made my mother's recipe for soft sugar cookies - they are the best!


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