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. margarine in place of butter will work, but cookies may be softer and not crisp and will spread slightly more, but not too bad. Either way, these are some great cookies! I would reccomend 2 sticks butter and two sticks margarine, I use a half and half combo all the time with cookies.

  2. Does anyone know how long you can refrigerate this dough? I just found some I had tightly wrapped in my frig but it’s been there maybe 10 days. It’s hard as a rock. I have no problem tossing it out but if it’s still good I’ll use it.

  3. I will not use any other sugar cookie recipe, because this one is the best! I love that it is so simple and tastes so great. I would only use all purpose flour, real salted butter, and large eggs. I do not use salt. I always roll between 2 sheets of wax paper before chilling, too. These cookies come out perfect every time. I like to use MMF on the cookie. The sweetness really complements the cookie.

  4. this is really a no fail recipe!! every once in a while, I must add a little more flour and they come out a little dry, but other than that, never a problem!! I am going to try the chocolate version today!! I usually ice mine with buttercream, they are never too sweet!!!

  5. Just halfway through making a batch of these (half baked, half still chilling in the fridge) and have had to try one- GORGEOUS!! My baby girl had a mouthful too and was prising my hand open looking for more!
    My only problem, and its nothing to do with the recipe, is that I cut circles out but by the time I lift them onto my baking sheet they’re not quite such perfect circles. Maybe I’m rolling it too thin. Ho hum- still tastes great though and as I’m an at home baker, doesn’t matter if they look home made ;)

  6. Lemmers- If you roll it out on to parchment paper and cut out the circles and then just remove the excess dough you can just place the parchment paper with the cut circle on the cookie sheet with out disturbing the shape. Then they just pop right off of the paper!

  7. true…holds their shape…..good taste…..My problem…..My problem forever and ever so any hints will be great….sugar cookies are always hard for me….I like chewy cookies….others make them and they are chewy…I’ve tried thicker, I’ve tried lower temp……What is the problem?

  8. i just tried this recipe tonight. it was VERY dry and crumbly. I couldnt even get it to hold together after chilling for 2 hours. I was at a loss and then started to add water a few drops at a time until it somewhat came together. it finally rolled out without crumbling an they baked, held their shape wonderfully and taste amazing. i will use this recipe again but i think i will cut back on the flour or use jumbo eggs as stated by autiecakes. we have a very dry climate here so that could have been a factor.

  9. I used this recipe last weekend for my son’s dinosaur birthday cookies and they came out great! Next time I’ll try adding lemon zest as mentioned earlier in the comments for added flavor. Thanks!

  10. I have made the no fail sugar cookies many of time and have always turned out great.
    However i haves a few questions to ask:
    l) Can I use Vegan butter sticks instead of real butter and can I use Energ Egg Replacer instead of real eggs?????????

  11. I tried this recipe once and wasn’t a fan of it, like others said, very crumbly, etc. I have tried it two more times and it is definitely a different texture to work with. The more I have worked with it, the better it is. One thing I think I will try the next time is a little less flour or one more egg.

    When rolling these out, they are cold enough that I just start with a big chunk and start working it out with the rolling pin. It just takes a little time to adjust from other recipes I’ve used, but like I said, it is getting easier to use.

    If you only make this once and are ready to toss it out or give up, don’t, just keep trying!

  12. If its crumbly i would use less flour. I never refridgerate my dough after mixing. What I do is mix my dough, roll and cut out shapes, put on cookie sheet, and then put the cookie sheet in the refridgerator for about 8 mins, then bake, holds its shape nicely! I only use this recipe and I love it!

  13. I have used a similiar, although not the exact, recipe for years and the dough can be hard to handle at times. What my mother taught me is to substitute some of the butter with shortening and it is easier to roll out than using all butter. My recipe also calls for another egg. These cookies are addictive, for sure.

  14. I lost my wonderful sugar cookie recipe when we moved two years ago. I’ve been trying recipe after recipe since. I have to say, trying this one thrilled me! The dough was wonderfully easy to work with. It rolled out nicely, although did become crumbly after a few times of rolling the “scraps” and unlike my old recipe, could not be mixed into an unrolled portion to stop it. Made for a bit of waste, but nothing too horrible. It baked beautifully–spread a little on the larger, thicker cookies, but nothing at all on the average size cookie cutter and I had used stamps with many fine details, came out PERFECT. Baked evenly and easily. Nice texture when done. HOWEVER, I’m disappointed in the taste. With frosting, pretty good. Without, a bit bland. I thought it might just be me, but my husband and all 4 kids thought the same thing. Any way to make this a bit sweeter for when you don’t want to frost???

  15. I had a really hard time rolling out between the parchment paper. It kept sliding all around the counter, and then it would get stuck and I’d dent the dough with the rolling pin. It also doesnt state what tickness to use in order to get your 5 doz 3 inch cookies.

  16. I did want to say though that I didnt find it crumbly at all, it was very soft and nice to work with. I sifted my flour first so I think that helped, I also used jumbo eggs. my issue is more with the instructions.

  17. I tried this recipe for the first time today, using half butter/half margarine. Just wanted to see the difference from an all butter recipe. I can taste a slight difference, but boy, are these cookies yum. I used CK’s Butter Vanilla emulsion instead of regular vanilla, and I think it added a great flavor. My dough was kinda soft, (I think from the margarine), but I always use parchment paper to roll, so it wasn’t a problem. Not much spreading. My new favorite sugar cookie recipe! Thanks for posting it.

  18. I made the dough 2 days ago and wrapped it and put it in the fridge. I couldn’t make them until tonight though and I let them sit out for about 10 minutes. It was sooo crumbly and very difficult to work with. I warmed it a bit by kneading it with my hands. I made the first batch (very crumbly) and they burned at 7 minutes. Made the 2nd batch thicker and they were ‘eh’ at 6 but broke most of the petals (flower cutter) when I transferred them. Just an overall mess but my daughter loved playing with the dough so it was still fun time! I’ll stick to my good ol’ sugar cookie recipe on the side of the bag of sugar! :)

  19. Made some of these today and they were great!!!This is now my favorite sugar cookie recipe.Had some dough left over and plan on making some more tomorrow using different cutters!

  20. I am a first time sugar-cookie-maker and I was apprehensive about making these after reading so many reviews regarding crumbly dough. However, I had no problems whatsoever. I followed the advice below the recipe and rolled about a fourth of the dough out between two sheets of wax paper. No crumbling and no mess. Also, however, I did not refrigerate my dough before rolling it out. I made the dough, rolled it, cut my cookies & put them on a sheet, then put the entire sheet in the fridge. While those were in the fridge, I rolled out more dough and cut. By the time the second batch was cut, I put the first batch in the oven, second batch in the fridge and started rolling out the third batch. The cookies baked wonderfully and there was hardly any spreading. Regarding the taste, these are not too sweet and they are light. The texture is fantastic – not hard, but with a slight crunch. ♥ these cookies. Thanks so much!

  21. I made this recipe with half butter and half margarine and chilled it for 45 minutes. (I only made half a recipe) The dough did fine being rolled out on to a flour dusted counter top. I was amazed at how well the cookies held their shape while baking. Everyone loved the taste and wanted to know what the recipe was that I used! :)

  22. 1st time….. PERFECT! This will be my go to recipe from here forward! I used the between two pieces of parchment method, easy to roll, great finish. Thank you for posting.

  23. gosh this is alot of mix lol i cut it in half the cookies came out amazing!! not to sweet not salty nice and soft I had no problem rolling it… thanks

  24. I have used this recipe many times and my family loves it. I use half vanilla and half almond flavoring and they are delicious. I roll mine out between parchment paper that I place on my largest silpat liner so it doesn’t shift around. If you don’t have a silpat you can wet the counter just a tiny bit so the parchment will stick but not get wet. I roll mine about a quarter inch thick and they are nice and soft.

  25. This is the greatest receipe. I made 700 petroglyph cookies for my nephew’s graduation. It was alot of work but using the hint when rolling them out makes the process go really fast.

  26. Last night I made this recipe for the 2nd time and it is FANTASTIC! I’m making cookie pops and they are the perfect consistancy and hold the shape. This is my new go to cookie dough recipe.

  27. Hmmm…i kinda like them but not quite convinced. I’m not sure where I went wrong. The dough, crumbly. Refridgerated for a very short time to chill the dough, and it was hard! i added a little water to be able to roll the dough, and when baked, they spread a little and tasted too flour-ey. I was hoping to make them for my son’s bday party this saturday but I’m not sure how to fix this dough. I’ve got half of it left in my fridge. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  28. I love this recipe and it is now my go to sugar cookie recipe. I made them for my dad’s birthday party and covered them with MMF. Everyone loved them. And they stayed soft and I actually still have a few all wrapped up (bday) was Sept 5th) and they still taste fresh and delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  29. So, I tried this and I love the fact that it holds its shape, However I did as stated in directions, and I love the taste but I think they are to hard, I used 1 cup less flour, because I noticed others saying the were to hard. That didn’t seem to make a difference, I won’t give up. I’ll try with 1cup less flour and more eggs. If anybody has ideas please share.

  30. you have to knead it before you roll it, it shouldn’t be crumbly at all. The flour needs to be just regular cup NOT PACKED, if you packed than you get too much flour and yes they will become very dry. the heat of your hands warms up the butter. Make sure you roll it out between 2 pieces of wax paper and they are COLD or frozen before you bake them.

  31. This is one of the best sugar cookie recipes I’ve tried….EVER! They taste amazing and they do hold their shape superbly……at 3 just to make sure! LOL! I used a large snowflake cookie cutter and halfed the recipe to test it out. The cookies held the intricate details of the cookie cutter without any spread at all. I did allow my oven to preheat, as always, for at least 30 minutes, and rolling between parchment is the easiest procedure and you don’t have to use any extra flour for rolling which can potentially dry out the dough and give a flour taste after baking! Will be using this recipe for now on!! Thank you for sharing the recipe and for all the other posts. They help in the learning process!

  32. I made some cookies for a Christmas party last week that did Not old their shape and have been looking for just such a recipe as this – Thank you for posting this and for all the comments!

  33. I left out the salt completely and used salted butter. Great, great recipe! So tasty! I just tossed mine in sugar and sprinkled with disco dust while slightly warm (but not too soft) and they were so, so cute. Baby shower shapes. Sparkling stars, firetrucks, teddy bears, puppies…way cute! Use the parchment! I rolled as many sheets as I could and left them in the fridge until I was ready. It was so easy. Couldn’t ask for more!

  34. so i have been using this recipe for some time now and finally got the hang of it. i now only use extra large eggs and all the flour stated in the recipe. this seems to work just right for me. the dough does not come out dry at all anymore. also i have started rolling it out between very thin cutting mats that i get from the dollar store and putting them straight into zip top bags that are slightly bigger than the mats. i then pop them in the freezer to firm them up. with this method i dont need to flour the mat at all. its great because i can pull them out of the freezer and cut right on the mat and then transfer the cookies straight to the baking sheet and in the oven in very little time.

  35. In order to make them into pops…Roll dough thicker than normally and bake a drop longer. When they come out of the oven, quickly stick the sticks into the cookie, being careful not to slant the stick so it doesn’t come out the top of the cookie or bottom of the cookie. Let it cool a couple minutes on the pan, then transfer to a sheet. The cooling process will hold the stick in the cookie and not let the cookie spin.

    I use this recipe only when I am doing pops since I find it has a bland taste but is really good with a sweet cookie icing. I have another great recipe for sugar cookies that are good to either eat plain, sprinkled with sugar, or frosted with icing.

  36. I’ve been tinkering with this recipe for a few months now and everyone loves these cookies. I’ve even been asked to make cookies for parties and for favors. I do add high quality vanilla now as it makes a BIG difference in taste. I change up the combinations of the flavorings depending on the occasion. BUT…i have also noticed that they do spread a little at times and if the butter is too “melty” the cookies spread too much. This recipe has definitly turned my interest into cookie decorating.

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