Sugar Cookies


Did the strength of baking powder become stronger in the last 25 years?  I’ve been making these deliciously tender sugar cookies for a good 25 plus years and for the last year my cookies have been coming out kind of funky.

I don’t like funky.  I like perfection (well, when I bake anyway).

So back to the drawing board I went with these cookies.  I made a batch yesterday and kept all the ingredients the same, except I cut down on the baking powder.  I went from 2 1/2 teaspoons to 1 teaspoon and added in 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter.

It made for a delicious cookie that didn’t melt all over the cookie tray.

Thank you for understanding.  Now, back into the kitchen for more holiday baking.

These sugar cookies are so moist and tender and the butter cream frosting tops them off perfectly.

Now I’ve been making these cookies since I was in college.  Yep, a very long time.  But they are so good, unlike most sugar cookies out there (just my opinion).  My mom and I have had a cookie “feud” going every since I started making these delectable little bites.  Hers are good, but she makes hers thin and crunchy, where mine are thick, moist and tender.  One thing we can agree on is the butter cream frosting.  Hey Mom, I still love ‘ya.

So many people use the royal icing, and for good reason, it makes for a beautifully decorated cookie.  However (and once again, just my opinion…I sure am opinionated today), it ruins the taste of the cookie.  I would rather have a delicious tasting cookie than something someone will only admire with their eyes.

And sugar cookies are so much fun to make.  You can make any shape and get very creative with decorating them.  The top picture is of a wedding cake.  Perfect for a bridal shower or even a wedding favor.

I used a plain terra cotta pot in the above photo and made sunflowers, then placed each one in a cellophane bag, they were very festive looking.

Here are some cute little ducks.  Fun for a baby shower.  Oh, we could go on and on, but I won’t bore you any longer.  Let’s get started on making these delicious little gems.

Make sure that your butter is at room temperature and you have a good quality vanilla extract, wait, I forgot to put out the vanilla.

I used to just put all the ingredients into one bowl and turn the mixer on and once it formed a ball I was done.  However, lately they have been turning out kind of flat, so here’s what I did a little different, and they turned out perfect.

First cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Now add your eggs and beat for another minute.  Add your vanilla, baking powder, a pinch of salt and slowly add in the flour.

Now add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time.  You don’t want a real wet dough, but you want it moist.  Give it a poke and if it feels too dry then add in one more tablespoon of milk.

Remove the dough from your mixing bowl and cut the dough into two small balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it chill in your refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.

Once the dough has been chilled roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4″ thick.

Cut into your desired shapes and place on a cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes.

The bigger cookies will take a minute or so longer, but watch them carefully.  An overdone cookie will be dry.

Let the cookies cool.  While they are cooling mix your frosting ingredients together.

You may need to loosen the cookies with a spatula.

and decorate….

until your heart…..

…feels happy….or you get too tired to continue…whichever comes first.

You will bring a lot of smiles with these delicious cookies.

You can make them for any holiday, special event or just because you love your family.  Enjoy.


Sugar Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Best sugar cookie recipe, ever.
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
  • 1½ cup white sugar
  • ⅔ cup salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons double acting baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 3¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of milk
  • Buttercream frosting
  • 1 pound of powder sugar (2 cups)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Milk-start with 2 tablespoons
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a heavy-duty mixer with the large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then add in the eggs.
  3. Once all is incorporated add the vanilla, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add in the flour. Once incorporated add the milk, one tablespoon at a time. The mixture shouldn't be too stiff or too sticky.
  5. Roll out dough on a floured surface and roll until dough is ¼" thick.
  6. Cut dough into desired shapes. On a non-stick cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for about 7-9 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. The top of the cookie will feel firm to the touch.
  7. Buttercream frosting: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and turn the mixer on low. Add the milk, start with 2 tablespoons and keep adding a little bit of milk at a time until you have reach the desired consistency. It should not be runny, but nice and fluffy with a creamy consistency.



  1. Rosemary says:

    These are the best cookies ever, I always look forward to Melissa giving these to our family!!

  2. Hi Melissa,
    These came out beautifully and are now my “go to” recipe for sugar cookies! Thanks for posting it. I was also having the “spreading” issue, so less baking powder and the cream of tartar worked. They held their shape perfectly.
    Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes!

  3. I am so glad that you enjoyed these cookies!! Hope the gang enjoys them as well! Looking forward to getting some of your special recipes, too! Have a fun and great weekend.

  4. Hi everyone. This is my very first visit to this excellent place.
    Thanks for the neat information.
    billie holiday

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