Simple Cut-Out Sugar Cookies


These sugar cookies with a sweet almond flavor are easy to make, and festive for any occasion!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What better way to welcome a special occasion than with festive sugar cookies, right?

This is a family favorite sugar cookie recipe from my dear friend and Alabama-native Steve-Anna. The almond extract in the dough and the icing gives the cookies a wonderful sweet almond flavor.

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Use your favorite cookie cutters to make playful shapes!

Bake, cool, and then dip one side in the icing to coat.

Simple Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Dough Chilling time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes 2 to 3 dozen



  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (a dry acid sometimes used in baking)


  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Food coloring


1 Make the cookie dough: Beat the butter and sugar together for 1 minute. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract, beat until incorporated. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter, stirring to blend.

2 Chill the dough: Divide dough in half, form 2 balls. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

3 Roll out the dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters: Using a rolling pin, roll out dough (about 1/2 of one dough ball at a time) on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8" thickness. Dip cookie cutters into flour; cut out shapes.

4 Bake: Place cookies on silpat lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375°F for 7-8 minutes.

5 Make the icing: Combine the sugar, almond extract and just enough milk (about 1/4 cup) to make the frosting the consistency of thin glue. Pour icing into shallow bowls wide enough for dipping cookies. Add food coloring.

6 Decorate the cookies: To decorate, dip the topside of each cookie into the icing. Remove quickly and let icing drip of excess back into the icing bowl. Let dry. Pour additional colored frosting into pastry piping, or use a plastic sandwich bag with the tip of one corner nicked off. Gently squeeze frosting on to cookies in whatever patterns you choose.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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2 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Coleen

    This recipe is my favorite. I lost my mom’s receipe, and she wasn’t home today to give it to me again. I went on line and found this same recipe. The main difference to this recipe is the cream of tartar. Be sure you don’t increase the tartar on your own as it will make the cookies over powering with tartar taste. Follow recipe to the “T” and you will be pleased for sure. Cookie monsters will clean the platter!! I try to not decorate with ugly yellow, blues, greens, and just stay with white icing, and use sprinkles and colored sugars for the hints of color. And, be sure to roll out the dough not too thin or it will be hard to decorate, and if too thick it will not do the actual cookie recipe justice!! On your first sheet of cookies to bake, watch closely to the time it takes to bake your cookies, and bake all the rest of the cookie cut-outs at the same amount of minutes to keep the entire batch consistent, and professional looking. This is a cookie that I have to make in order for Christmas to be complete at my house……

    Merry Christmas Cookie baking everyone!!
    Pray for peace, and prosperity around the world.

  2. Maybelle

    I was searching for a recipe just like my mother in laws for a long time and your second recipe did the trick I’m in cookie heaven now I will definitely use it again thank you so much for displaying it. I ran out of almond extract for the icing didn’t have vanilla so left it out. Next time i will try it with the almond.

Easy Sugar CookiesSimple Cut-Out Sugar Cookies