Misshapen Sugar Cookies! Help!

Decorating By marya92 Updated 24 Sep 2013 , 2:53am by cakeymom

marya92 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 1:55pm
post #1 of 17

I've been struggling with my sugar cookies losing their shape after I bake them. Here's my process- I chill the dough. Then, I roll it out and chill it for a half hour. Then, I cut out the cookies and freeze them for 15 minutes to an hour. Then, I bake them. All this work and they're still misshapen. What am I doing wrong?

16 replies
Mimi209 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 2:49pm
post #2 of 17

Reduce or leave out the baking powder to help your cookies keep their shape when baking.  The recipe I use calls for 2 teaspoons of baking power I only use 1/2 a teaspoon. 

aem1029 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 2:55pm
post #3 of 17

It must be something in your recipe.  Or over chilling, if that's possible?  I roll out my cookies, cut and place the pan in the freezer for 10 min before putting them in the oven and haven't had an issue.  They say that chilled dough keeps them from spreading so perhaps too much baking powder?

ddaigle Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 2:59pm
post #4 of 17

I do TONS of cookies and they are perfect.  Here's what I do...    I leave out all baking soda/powder from my recipe.    After I cut out the shapes, I put the entire tray in the freezer while I'm working on the next tray.    Then go straight from freezer to oven.    I leave them in the freezer about 15 minutes.  

JSKConfections Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:08pm
post #5 of 17

Do the cookies still taste as tender when you leave out baking powder/soda?  Or do they just not puff up as much?  Does the egg still help the dough puff a little?

ddaigle Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:11pm
post #6 of 17

I love the taste of my cookies...but I also use more almond & vanilla that asked for.   They are firm with chewy centers.  They do not puff up hardly at all...and with little they do..goes back down doing the cooling process. 

savannahquinn Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:11pm
post #7 of 17

sometimes I add a bit more flour...and you can recut with the cutter when they come out of the oven too.

marya92 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:37pm
post #8 of 17

I don't use any baking powder or baking soda in my recipe. It calls for 1 cup of butter, 1 egg, 1 cup of sugar, 2 1/2 cups of flour and 2 1/2 t. of vanilla. I chilled the dough 15 minutes and they still spread like crazy.

ddaigle Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:45pm
post #9 of 17

I'm not talking about chilling the dough....I chill (freeze) the cookies after they have been cut out.  Is that what you are doing?

Sassyzan Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:47pm
post #10 of 17

AAdd another 1/2 cup of flour.

ddaigle Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:51pm
post #11 of 17

Agree with Sassy...I use 3 cups of flour and 1 egg...1 1/2 c. sugar, 2 sticks butter, 1 T vanilla and 2 tsp almond.

marya92 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:05pm
post #12 of 17

I chill the cut-out cookies. I'll try your recipe and see if it works. Thanks!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:09pm
post #13 of 17

I use this recipe for my shaped sugar cookies, and they come out absolutely perfect every time. You don't even have to chill the dough for long if you use the parchment paper method listed in the recipe. And they taste fabulous, I always get rave reviews! 



ddaigle Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 8:19pm
post #14 of 17

LoveMeSomecake.. That's very close to just doubling my recipe....minus the baking powder.  I don't find 2tsp of vanilla is near enough for that large of a batch of dough and I must have almond.  I do remember it sure didn't spread but it wasn't as chewy as I like either.   My recipe came off of the back of some wilton cutters...but I increased the flour to 3 c...and omitted the baking soda.    So I guess it's not a wilton recipe anymore! LOL

MBalaska Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:17pm
post #15 of 17


Originally Posted by ddaigle 

I do TONS of cookies and they are perfect.  Here's what I do.......    I leave out all baking soda/powder from my recipe........

ddaigle:  absolutely! ensure the retention of the shapes by minimal change of the dough during cooking.  When you first pull the cookies out of the oven and find a bubble on top, or a small misshape, use a stainless spatula and gently guide the hot dough back into shape.......gently.


Jackie: Well dang me!  I thought 'I' was so darn inventive.  I got tired of washing Silpat silicone baking mats, so I pulled out parchment sheets, (not rolls) and never looked back. The only thing I would add is to always use a fresh unwrinkled sheet of parchment underneath the dough (so it's not wrinkled or misshapen by the previous rolling process.)



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.

NCYCKS Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 2:21am
post #16 of 17

AI use that Rolling Out Dough Tip too! Parchment can get expensive though, so I roll one glob of dough between two parchments, put in fridge, then one glob between two sheets of wax paper, put in fridge, and so forth. Don't stack rolled out sheets of dough in wax paper on top of another rolled out sheet of dough in wax paper because when they chill they stick to each other and crack when trying to break free. So do every other. Wax, parchment, wax, parchment.

Also, I agree with Sassy and ddaigle above to add 1/2 cup of flour to your recipe. That is the exact recipe I use and I have no problems and a booming side business:)

cakeymom Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 2:53am
post #17 of 17

AI have added a shortbread recipe to my repertoire, which of course, uses no leavening agents. I have had an awesome response. Only thing is that butter can go rancid if the cookie is not consumed in a very timely fashion. So I switch between this and another recipe that has very little leavening. Just depends on if I am shipping or not.


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