Classic Sugar Cookies

Classic Sugar Cookies Recipe | These buttery and soft classic sugar cookies are perfect for cutting into shapes. They will quickly become a family favorite! Top them with buttercream frosting or royal icing for a holiday classic!

Today’s Classic Sugar Cookies recipe is one of our family favorites. I’m so happy to share it with you today so it can become one of yours! While Christmas cookies are front and center, these treats are perfect for any season. They are sturdy enough to hold up well in different shapes. However, they are still soft and buttery and even have a hint of lemon. You can also check out my Christmas cookies from last year, cranberry rosemary butter cookies.

Star Classic Sugar Cookies with buttercream frosting

Classic Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

I chose to keep this version of the cookies simple in this post. They are plain but pretty stars with a simple white buttercream frosting. This whipped buttercream recipe can be spread onto the cookies smoothly. The resulting look is slightly rustic for the frosting.

star cookies on a plate with a candle

I have to tip my hat to Hillary at The Cookie Countess for bringing this recipe into my world (her shop is a great resource for adorable cookie cutters and decorating materials!). Years ago, I took a really fun class with her trying to learn how to use royal icing on cookies. She gave us a print out of her classic sugar cookie recipe, which is what this is adapted from.

Classic Sugar Cookies cut into stars for Christmas

Unfortunately, I never did master royal icing. Although she was a wonderful teacher, I just don’t have the talent for it. 😉 Hence the buttercream on these. If you want to try your hand at royal icing instead of the buttercream featured here, here’s the recipe I normally use.

Classic Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

From my home to yours for the upcoming holidays, I hope these serve you well!

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5 from 1 vote

Classic Sugar Cookies

These buttery and soft classic sugar cookies are perfect for cutting into shapes and will quickly become a family favorite. Top them with buttercream frosting or royal icing for a holiday classic!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 medium cookies


Classic Sugar Cookies

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) salted butter softened
  • 2 eggs large
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 zest of one large lemon or two small
  • 5 3/4 cups flour

Classic Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tbsp heavy cream or milk


Classic Sugar Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until just incorporated. 
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix at low speed until fully blended.
  • Then add flour in thirds. Start on low speed and then increase if necessary. You’ll know your dough has been mixed enough when it pulls away from the sides of your bowl and clumps around the mixing paddle.
  • Roll out to 1/4″ thickness. Cut with your preferred cookie cutters. Place on a cookie sheet lined with slipat or parchment paper. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Allow to cool, then frost with your choice of frosting.

Classic Buttercream Frosting

  • With a stand or handheld mixer, whip butter for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. 
  • Add in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, whip until incorporated. 
  • Add vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of milk or heavy cream.
  • Add an additional two cups of confectioner’s sugar, whip until creamy and fully mixed. 
  • Assess consistency. You want a fluffy frosting for these cookies. If the mixture feels too thin, add in additional confectioner’s sugar. If it is too stiff and unworkable, you can add more milk/cream. Repeat to balance if necessary.
  • Frost your cooled cookies. 


  • You don’t need to chill this recipe.
  • It helps to bake similar sized cookies together.
  • If possible, do not use the convection setting on your oven.

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Star Sugar Cookie

Tastes of the Season Christmas Cookies

The Perfect Soft Gingerbread Cookies by Ella Claire | Buttery Shortbread Cookies with Icing Sugar by A Burst of Beautiful | German Chocolate Cake Cookies by City Farmhouse

Cranberry Orange Walnut Tassies by Inspired by Charm | Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies by Julie Blanner | All Natural Orange Almond Cookies by Tidbits | Choco-mallow Peppermint Cookies by Summer Adams Designs | Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies by Love Grows Wild

Paleo Chocolate Cranberry Cookies by Nesting with Grace | Raspberry Gingersnap Sandwiches by anderson + grant | Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cookies by Rooms for Rent | Large Thumbprint Cookies by So Much Better with Age | Rum Balls by Tidy Mom

Countdown to Christmas Cookies by House 214 Design | GF + DF Gingerbread Sugar Cookies by Zevy Joy | Christmas Shortbread Cookies by Boxwood Avenue | Double Chocolate Christmas Cookies by Nest of Posies | Almond Sugar Cookies by My Sweet Savannah

M&M Peanut Butter Cookies by Sweet C’s | Rustic Granola Cookies by Farmhouse on Boone

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