NFSC – No Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe


This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters. The dough holds its’ shape and won’t spread during baking. Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.

No Fail Sugar Cookie – NFSC


  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar (white granulated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.
  2. Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)
  3. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees F (176 C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3″ cookies.

HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess

  • Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.
  • Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator.
  • Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut.
  • Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.

About the author jackie

139 Responses to “NFSC – No Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe”

  1. I made my Christmas cookies this year with is recipe. I must say the best SC recipe I’ve found. And I did like you suggested, after it was mixed, I layer out a ball of dough between 2 wax papers and tolled it out to the thickness I needed, then left it in the fridge for a few hours. Had no problem what so ever cutting them. They came out beautifully and none broke. Also 6-7 mi urea in the oven turned them out perfectly! Thank you again for posting it!

  2. I LOVE this sugar cookie recipe. I have had trouble with sugar cookies in the past and have avoided them for a while. But a customer asked if I could make them to go with some other wedding cookies I was doing for her and this is the recipe I used. I could not believe how easy they were!! Rolling out between the two sheets of parchment made it super easy to roll and they baked beautifully. This will be my go to recipe from now on.

  3. I don’t normally make sugar cookies, I’m not a big fan but made this recipe over X-mas and used some pretty fancy, detailed cutters. These cookies held their shape better then I could have imagined. The cookie straight from the oven was a little bland for my liking, but once decorated with royal they were the perfect sweetness. We also brushed a few with an egg wash and sprinkled colored sugar on them before baking, they had an interesting texture, the egg wash made the outside crisp but still left the inside of the cookie moist and cake-like. They were really good.

    Next time I make them I will use vanilla bean paste to get a more concentrated flavor, and rolling between parchment is key. I couldn’t roll them the regular way.

  4. Tried this receipt for my VERY FIRST TIME making sugar cookies…AMAZING!!!! They turned out PERFECT and taste great! I added about 1/2 cup more of flour, cut the salt in half and used almond extract. Tomorrow, I will attempt to decorate:p Pictures to follow. Wish me luck!

  5. Made sugar cookies the first time tonight with this recipe. Loved them except for one problem…Once I pulled them out of the oven they had large air bubbles on the top. Is this normal? Anyone else have this issue and any ideas on how to fix it? I’m going to be decorating them tomorrow so hope the royal icing will still look smooth.

  6. I follow the recipe and directions for rolling, chilling and cutting to the letter and have never ever been disappointed. These are the best cookies ever. I made my first batch for a bridal shower (iced in white and stamped with a blue bird) and they were such a success, that I got ten more orders the next day! Now I have an order for 150 “apple: cookies for teacher appreciation day at the local high school! Thanks for sharing such a fab and seriously NO FAIL recipe

  7. Followed the recipe exactly and the cookies came out perfectly! Didn’t have any problems with crumbling when I rolled them out. For reference, I used extra large eggs so I think that might be the problem some people are running in to. Definitely roll in between parchment paper, its great and no mess.

  8. Made the cookies yesterday. After reading some of the reviews I used just 5 1/2 cups of flour. The only problem is that I ate about 5 cookies yesterday (quality control!) These cookies are really really good.

  9. Can someone tell me if I need to sift the 6 cups of flour. I have to make poodle cookies for a little girls 1st birthday on Saturday and I don’t want to make any mistakes. PLEASE HELP :)

  10. I used these recipe twice now! Perfect cookies….I’ve even frozen the remaining batter and used it weeks later….I use the almond flavoring and decorate them with fondant…

  11. Thanks a lot for this recipe. My first attempts do sugar cookies were total failures before. But with this recipe and the tips to roll out the dough it was a pleasure to make them and to eat them.

  12. I make this recipe every time for my sugar cookies. I always make sure the butter is softened, I never sift my flour, I use 2 tsp. Princess Emulsion and 1 tsp. vanilla. To guage thickness, I use two of the large paint stir sticks (like the ones you would use to stir up 5 gallon buckets of paint, and yes- they are clean, never used for anything else). They come out the perfect thickness every time!

  13. Something New–Something Fail-Safe! I am going to bake these tonight for an order for later this week to see if they work FOR me and not WORK me. Wish me luck! I’ll report back with post and photos.

  14. I have tried this recipe but for me it seems to spread a bit when baking. The dough has a great texture and is a dream to work with and the flavor is perfect. I do not understand why my cookies are spreading though. Could this be not enough flour? I tried reducing the baking powder but that did not help much. Any ideas? Thanks.

  15. People need to READ the recipe through first – then line up all the items. After reading the posts it seems most of the questions/problems can be solved easily.
    Replacing butter: with margarine – use same amount margarine as indicated for butter in recipe.
    Salty taste – the recipe calls for UNSALTED butter – if using margarine use UNSALTED margarine.
    For vegans
    Vegan margarine is simply margarine that does not use animal dairy products like milk. Look for margarine that has a kosher symbol and the word PARVE. Anything with that word is non dairy, guaranteed and not even made on equipment where dairy has ben used.

    When rolling out dough that has been refrigerated you do not want to use too much flour on the surface of rolling pin. It makes the dough tough. Use the cheapest wax paper or if you have the money use parchment one on the bottom and one on the top. The dough will roll out well. Make the cut outs. and keep the cut cookies on the wax paper. Lift carefully and slide onto the cookie sheet. If you want to roll the dough first and then slide on the cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 15 minutes the dough will not spread.
    I think extra large or even jumbo eggs would be the right size eggs to use. The composer of the recipe should have stated a size.
    replacing eggs with Ener-G, Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer, or ground flax seed read directions of water to replacer formula and add as if using eggs.

    There are three ways to handle flour
    1. if it does not mention sifting don’t sift at all.
    2. if the recipe states 2 cups sifted flour – sift the flour first and then measure 2 cups.
    3. If the recipe state2 2 cups flour, sifted – measure 2 cups and then sift it.

    I hope this was helpful

  16. In New Zealand we use gram or ounce measurements for butter. I’d love to try this recipe but want to be accurate… I wondered if anyone knew the weight equivalent of 2 cups unsalted butter? Thanks :)

  17. I am going to make these this afternoon – am looking forward to comparing them with my other ‘go-to’ recipe.

    Two hints that I have found helpful are that sugar cookie dough usually does not take kindly to rough handling; they can become tough. Gentle encouragement with the rolling pin helps make for a soft cookie. Be careful on the re-rolls not to incorporate too much extra flour, too.

    Second – that a cold cookie sheet will help the cookies hold their shape while baking. If you put a second batch of cold cut-outs on a warm cookie sheet, they’ll almost certainly spread. As soon as I take a sheet out of the oven, I slide the parchment off onto a towel laid out on the counter, and put the sheet in the fridge to cool down again. I always use parchment or silpats. Just think – no cookie sheets to clean!!! How awesome is that!

    I also invested in a huge marble floor tile that I glued rubber feet on to the bottom side. I stick this in the fridge or freezer while I make and chill the dough, then take it out and roll the cookies out on it instead of the counter. This also works well with pie crust.

  18. INTERESTING reading al the comments. As a pastry chef I would like to reply and give all a little info. The brand of flour you use can make a difference. Measuring CORRECTLY is important. Since you are not weighing the ingredients, you must use a dry 1 cup measuring cut . Use a 1/4 or 1/2 cup to dip into the flour and pour this into the 1 cup measuring cup. Then level off the top by running a knife/spatula across the top of the cup. DO NOT pounce the cup down to level, then add more to fill it up to the rim as this will pack the flour down and you will be using more flour than called for. . Salty taste can come from the baking powder too. Make sure it is fresh and you are not using more than what a recipe calls for. Use measuring spoons. 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon. Better to use the 1 Tabl. Use unsalted butter as you can control the amount of salt you add (salted butter will keep for a longer time; markets can stock pile it. ALSO if using margarine, MAKE SURE IT IS 100% margarine, NOT a spread or whipped. Getting harder to find 100% margarine. Good luck to all and hope these hints help. I haven’t made the recipe, just saw the site. When I do make it, I will also post. Chef~

  19. ONE MORE hint…ROLLING OUT DOUGH. Roll the dough out onto baking parchment. Use cutter, leaving 1-2 inches inbetween, then REMOVE the dough AROUND your cutout, leaving your cooking on the parchment. Your cookies will stay in shape as you are not transferring them. As other have commented, you can then put the sheet in refrigerator for cookies to chill before baking. Then pop into hot oven to bake. Cakedreamer 101 made a very important comment…DO NOT put your cookie dough onto a hot baking sheet that just came out of the oven, as the cookie will start to spread. Have two or more cookie sheets to alternate.

  20. ONE MORE hint…ROLLING OUT DOUGH. Roll the dough out onto baking parchment. Use cutter, leaving 1-2 inches inbetween, then REMOVE the dough AROUND your cutout, leaving your cooking on the parchment. Your cookies will stay in shape as you are not transferring them. As other have commented, you can then put the sheet in refrigerator for cookies to chill before baking. Then pop into hot oven to bake. Cakedreamer 101 made a very important comment…DO NOT put your cookie dough onto a hot baking sheet that just came out of the oven, as the cookie will start to spread. Have two or more cookie sheets to alternate.

  21. I halved this recipe yesterday because just wanted to test adding different flavors to my sugar cookie. The thing I like about this recipe is that is rolls well.

    *SIDE NOTE: I used parchment paper yesterday because I finally got some via Amazon, but two weeks ago when I was in a pinch, I used foil and wax paper. Foil on the bottom, wax paper on the top. I placed the rolled dough on my sheet, used the cutters, removed the excess and baked them on the foil. Nothing happened to them. They didn’t cook faster or brown too quickly (IMHO)

    If you want a very nice flavor for the fall, add 1/4 tsp of ground cardamom (sifted with dry ingredient) and orange zest (added after butter was creamed with sugar and egg) to taste (I used 1 tsp, but the hubby didn’t taste any orange, so i’ll use more next time). Also, its difficult to obtain, but using vanilla beans really sent the flavors of my cookies over the top. For the half batch I used one whole bean and a splash of vanilla extract. I can’t even explain how good these came out.

    If you want to try your hand with the actual bean, buy them from eBay. I got 30 beans for $10 and free shipping (Seller has 100% rating). You can YouTube how to open and scrape it (easy peasy). I am so happy with my little additions that its going to be my signature cookie from now on.

    *IMPORTANT: The measurement for the cardamon is for the full recipe listed above. I used 1/8 tsp in my half batch yesterday and it was perfect.

  22. Well, I have read every comment. I feel fully educated on how exactly to prepare and bake these cookies and I can’t wait to try. I have a small bit of advice for some of you posting questions: Read ALL of the comments before asking your questions. I see the same issues asked and answered over and over. It must be frustrating for the author. Thank you for the Recipe!

  23. I just want to thank you for taking the time to post this recipe and to thank all of the posters for the tips! I have learned so much from reading all the posts! Thanks again, Ladies!

  24. I don’t usually do decorated cookies – but a client asked for them to go with a cake I’m making. Before I try this recipe, I’d like to know the general texture of the baked cookie – soft, crisp, cakey, dry? I’ve tasted lots of decorated sugar cookies – like the large ones found in cookie bouquets – and I always think the cookie itself is very dry and tasteless, with all of the flavor coming from the icing. I want the cookie to taste wonderful on it’s own – and not be dry. Is this the recipe for me?

  25. There is no need to use a leavener such as baking powder. I use the same recipe without baking powder- and 3 tsp is a lot! I add milk a tablespoon at a time if my mixer is struggling. I also roll it out right away between parchment paper and pop it in the freezer if I’m in a rush. By the time the oven is heated, it’s ready to use. My cookies keep their height and width and never move!

  26. Thanks to everyone for such great tips….one more question…what does one cup of the flour weigh?
    Sometimes my dough comes out drier or moister,and I think it is because the “cups” of flour are varying weights.Thanks again for your help.

    • Hi,

      One cup of flour = 140g. So 6 cups = 840g.

      6 x 250ml= 1500ml

      1500ml x 140g/250ml = 840g

      White granulated sugar 250ml (1 cup) = 200g

      Butter 1 cup = 230g

      500ml x 230g/250ml = 460g
      500ml x 200g/250ml = 400g

      Hope that helps. I have a conversion table. Let me know if there is any other ingredient that you need the weight for.

  27. Why Cake Central NFSC web sites does it call for either 1 teaspoon of baking powder and on another cake central site it calls for 3 teaspoons of baking powder??? Everything else is the same…. I just spent three hours baking-even putting the cut out cookies in the freezer and they Spread… Flowers looked like blobs and tulips…could not tell they were tulips…this was a recipe on cake central which called for the three teaspoons of baking powder…then I Just found this cake central site…both written by same person…I do not mean any offense…I just threw everything away…partially because I was mad and I really need these made, baked and decorated-Tonite! I need your website to be accurate, whether it was found on the site or on a search engine…

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