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no spread sugar cookies on a wire rack.
5 from 1 vote
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No Spread Sugar Cookie Recipe

These simple sugar cookies are perfect for cut outs, decorating with royal icing, or just eating plain! They are not too sweet, perfectly soft and chewy, and trouble-free when rolling out.
Servings 20 servings
Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 40 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Author : Cambrea Gordon


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, corn starch and baking powder and set aside.
    3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoon corn starch, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • In a stand mixing bowl, add the room temperature butter and sugar. Mix with the paddle attachment on low until JUST combined. Don't cream them together or the cookies will spread!
    1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix on low until combined.
    1 large egg, room temperature, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • Add the bowl of dry ingredients and mix on low until the dough starts to come together. When there are no more large pockets of flour, stop mixing. 
  • Grab half of the dough from the bowl and place it on top of a piece of parchment paper. Place a second sheet of parchment paper on top and press the dough down into a flat disk. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into your desired thickness and then transfer the slab to a baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you roll out the other half of the dough the same way. 
  • Leave both slabs of dough in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is cold and firm. Remove the top sheet of parchment and use your desired cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. You can rework the dough twice, but no more than that or the cookies will shrink and be tough.
  • Place the cut out cookies on a lined baking tray and place them in the freezer until frozen solid, anywhere from 10-20 minutes.
  • Bake the cookies on a lined tray space 2 inches apart for 10-13 minutes depending on the size and thickness, or until the tops look matte, dry, and slightly wrinkled. Do not let the cookies brown on the edges or they will be crisp and not chewy!
  • Allow the tray to cool completely on a wire rack before removing and decorating them.


Step by step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
PLEASE NOTE: I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your dry ingredients.

Tips for Making These Cookies

  • If you don't have a scale, spoon measure your flour- This means using a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup. This will give the most accurate results when baking without a kitchen scale.
  • Dark vs. light baking pans- baking pans conduct heat differently depending on what color the pan is. If your pan is dark/black you should decrease the heat to 325 F/163 C.
  • Only work with room temperature butter- the butter needs to be firm but still soft. Leaving the butter out longer than a few hours will result in REALLY soft butter that will make your cookies spread. The below images are examples of butter that is too soft and butter that is perfect.
  • Scrape down the bowl frequently- this will ensure all the butter is combined. Not scraping it down can leave globs of butter on the sides of the bowl that when baked will spread!
  • Use a high quality vanilla extract or paste- the high quality vanilla makes a huge flavor difference since there are few ingredients.
  • Use a room temperature egg- using a cold egg will re-solidify the butter that will form into clumps and cause the cookies to spread in random spots.

Storage and Freezing

To freeze just the dough, wrap it a few times in plastic wrap and freeze it for 2-3 weeks. Allow it to come to a soft texture in the fridge before rolling out.
To freeze the cookie cut outs, place them on a lined baking tray and freeze until solid. Then transfer the cookies to an airtight container with parchment lined between stacks of them to prevent them from sticking together.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.8g | Protein: 2.3g | Fat: 9.6g | Saturated Fat: 5.9g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 100mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 15.1g