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Perfect no chill sugar cookies maintain their shape during baking and don’t require any chilling time. Plus, use any flavor extract to flavor your cookies however you like!

Several no chill sugar cookies scattered on a countertop next to a glass of milk.

I’m an impatient person. I won’t even pretend otherwise.

I grew up hearing my mother constantly tell me, “Patience is a virtue.” Usually I mentally responded with something along the lines of, “Well, being prompt is also a virtue.”

It’s really no surprise that all of my bosses, especially my restaurant managers, have always loved me for my “great sense of urgency.”

So, when I want cookies…I don’t really want to have to wait for them. The Whirling Dervish over here wants to be able to make them, throw them in the oven, and have cookies in front of my face 12 minutes later.

Waiting for dough to chill? So not my thing.

Turns out, waiting for dough to chill is soooo not my four-year-old’s thing either. A real shocker that we would have that in common.

So it only makes sense that these no chill sugar cookies are the go-to cut-out sugar cookie recipe in our house.

Frosted no chill sugar cookies on a wire rack.

My favorite no chill cut-out sugar cookies

These no chill sugar cookies are the perfect cut-out sugar cookie recipe. 

I spent months fiddling with and tweaking this recipe to make sure that the dough would hold any cutter shape without chilling. I’ve made this recipe into basic shapes (like you see here), as well as with detailed cookie cutters and even my favorite sugar skull cookie stamps

They’ve all baked up beautifully every time. 

I have even used this no chill sugar cookie recipe as a base for Chai Sugar Cookies, Stained Glass Cookies and Raspberry Linzer Cookies.

Plus, you can use any flavor extract you like in your No-Chill Sugar Cookies, allowing you to customize them to the season.

Fall? Try almond extract. Spring? Give lemon extract a try! Winter? Peppermint should do the trick.

Keep in mind that these are not a chewy sugar cookie, but rather a cut-out cookie that is perfect for icing. If you’re looking for chewy sugar cookies, try chewy lemon sugar cookies or grandma’s best sugar cookie recipe.

Bite from a no chill sugar cookie which is being held up to the camera.

I am not a great sugar cookie artist, so royal icing is not exactly my thing.

A simple buttercream icing, though? I’m all about that.

The super simple buttercream icing for my no chill sugar cookies uses the same flavor extract as the cookies for an extra hit of flavor.

While this icing does not harden like a royal icing, it will crust up, allowing you to gently stack the cookies. I do recommend separating layers with parchment or waxed paper, though, to keep things extra clean.

If you want an icing that will harden, try the icing from my chai sugar cookies instead. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you can always try your hand at royal icing!

No chill sugar cookies in star, heart, and circle shapes on a pink plate.

How to make no chill sugar cookies

This recipe comes together so much faster and easier than you’d expect a cut-out sugar cookie recipe to. That means it’s perfect for making with kids, making when you are short on time, or simply making when you are feeling impatient and hungry for cookies.

Ingredients you’ll need

This recipe uses a handful of very basic ingredients, so you probably already have what you need on hand. For the cookie dough, you will need:

  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon flavor extract of your choice
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Ingredients for no chill sugar cookies arranged on a light-colored countertop.

As I mentioned above, you can use your favorite flavor extracts to make these cookies your own. My very favorite is almond extract, but lemon and peppermint are both great options as well.

You can also omit the flavor extract for a simple (but delicious) vanilla sugar cookie. If you do, I recommend increasing the vanilla to at least 1 teaspoon, but you could add as much as 2 teaspoons.

I have also made this recipe with half brown sugar and half granulated sugar for a bit of a twist. They still hold their shape perfectly and are so delicious!

For the buttercream, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 3 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of the same flavorextract that you used in the cookies

Again, if you want to omit the flavor extract, use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla instead.

Making these cookies

To make the cookie dough, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take 3-5 minutes, so don’t try to rush it.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and flavor extract to the bowl. Beat until well combined.

Now slowly add the flour, stirring until the dough is just combined. 

No chill sugar cookie dough in a metal bowl.

Lightly flour a clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the surface and use your hands to form it into a disk. 

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough into shapes using lightly floured cookie cutters. 

Shapes cut out of a circle of no chill sugar cookie dough on a floured board.

Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets. You can also use silicone mats instead of parchment. Since the cookies won’t spread, you can place them pretty close to each other.

Bake the sugar cookies at 375°F for 10-12 minutes. They are done when the edges just barely start to turn golden. 

Baked no chill sugar cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling before you decorate them.

To make the icing, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar, then add the mix and extract.

Buttercream icing for sugar cookies in a metal bowl.

Mix until well combined. Add more milk or powdered sugar as needed if you would like the icing to be thinner or thicker. If you want to add food coloring, do so now.

Spread or pipe the icing onto the cookies and allow it to “crust up” before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Overhead view of iced no chill sugar cookies on a wire rack.

Decorating tips

I’ve already admitted that I’m not always the best cookie decorator. For me, this buttercream icing is the way to go – it gives these no chill sugar cookies a “rustic” look that I’m perfectly fine with.

If you want to use food coloring in your icing, I recommend using gel food coloring. Remember to start with just a couple of drops – you can always add more, but you can’t take it out! 

You can also add sprinkles. If using sprinkles, add them immediately after the icing, while it is still wet.

If you want to skip icing the cookies, you can add sugar sprinkles (or decorating sugar) to the cookies before baking.

You could even use frosting and turn these no chill sugar cookies into cookie sandwiches or use them to make piñata cookies.

Round no chill sugar cookie with a bite taken from it, leaning against a glass of milk.

Frequently asked questions

Yes! If you want to make the cookie dough ahead of time, you can form the dough into 1-2 disks, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

You will need to let the dough soften a bit before you’ll be able to roll it out, so pull it out of the fridge 30-45 minutes before you want to start cutting out the cookies.

Absolutely. If you want classic vanilla sugar cookies, simply increase the vanilla extract to at least 1 teaspoon (but sometimes I use 2 teaspoons). Use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in the icing.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I typed up the recipe incorrectly because there isn’t any baking powder or other leavening in it.

Nope! These no chill sugar cookies specifically don’t use any leavening so that they hold even the most detailed cookie cutter shapes while baking.

Since there’s no leavening, they won’t puff up in the oven and you won’t lose those cutter details. So feel free to use any of your favorite cookie cutters with this recipe! 

You can freeze these cookies before or after decorating. 

For freezing undecorated cookies, place the cooled sugar cookies in airtight containers or zip-top freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. 

For decorated cookies, place the cookies in airtight containers with pieces of parchment or waxed paper separating the layers. Freeze for 1-2 months.

Cookies will thaw quickly at room temperature, usually within 1-2 hours.

You could also chill the sugar cookie dough. Wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap and place it in a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Let the cookie dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Let it rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before rolling, cutting, and baking according to the recipe instructions. 

If you need to make gluten-free cut-out sugar cookies, I recommend using a 1-for-1 gluten-free blend in place of the all-purpose flour in this recipe.

Several no chill sugar cookies on a pink plate.

No Chill Sugar Cookies

Perfect no chill sugar cookies maintain their shape and don’t require any chilling time. Plus, use any flavor extract to flavor your cookies however you like!
4.42 from 63 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 47 minutes
Servings48 cookies

Ingredients
  

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon flavor extract of your choice see notes
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon same flavor extract as used in the cookies

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and flavor extract and beat until combined.
  • Slowly add the flour, stirring just until combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to form into a disk. Roll the dough to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick and cut with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or just until the edges barely start to turn golden. Remove from the baking sheets to a rack to cool before icing.
  • For the icing, beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar, then add the milk and flavor extract. Beat until combined, adding more milk or more powdered sugar as needed to achieve desired spreading consistency. If coloring, beat in food coloring. Spread onto cookies and allow to set before storing.

Notes

You can use your favorite high-quality flavor extract to customize these cookies. My favorite flavors to use in this recipe are pure almond extract or pure lemon extract. Peppermint is also a great choice for holiday cookies! If you don’t wish to use a flavor extract, feel free to add more vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste instead.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 
The icing included in this recipe will crust up but will not fully harden. If stacking cookies in a container, I recommend placing a sheet of parchment paper between the layers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

55 Comments

    1. Right?? And how often do you forget that you promised to take cookies to a shindig and find yourself scrambling at the last minute?? Wait…that might just be me…

  1. Oh! I can use the chocolate extract you gave me! Perfect for our Sunday night snack. I’m going to attempt them this weekend.

      1. That’s my plan. Assuming that I can keep someone from immediately eating all of them. Haven’t decided if I’ll ice them or not. They should freeze quite well.

  2. I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to cookies — especially sugar ones with frosting on top — I, too, am a very prompt/impatient person. I also tend to lack self control once they’re ready to eat. So that means I am literally a cookie monster.

  3. I often avoid sugar cookies just because of the rolling and long chill time, so I absolutely LOVE this. And awesome you’re working with OXO and CFKC. Two companies that are near and dear to my heart!

  4. Thank you so much for being a part of our #PureBlogLove link parties in 2014 – We plan on seeing in the new year with a BANG this Thursday evening and hope that all our favorite bloggers will join us! No worries if you cannot make it that night, remember the party runs weekly, Thursday-Monday morning!!

    1. Hi Sonia – I have never had extra dough because I have a problem called “I eat too many cookies” 🙂 That said, it can’t hurt to give it a try! I would maybe roll it into a log and wrap it up nice and tight in plastic wrap and then maybe put into a ziplock bag. That way you could just slice the cookies off and bake as needed. If you try it, let me know how it works for you!

  5. One tip I learned a few years back…. when rolling out & cutting cookies, use powdered sugar instead of flour so the don’t dry out. Can’t wait to try this recipe! I ALWAYS forget about the chill time until I’m ready to make them. And then they don’t get rolled for several days.

  6. These cookies contain no baking powder or anything else to make them rise. I made them for a family bake-off over the weekend. They were the worst. I took them to school for my students to eat, and three students asked if they had to finish eating them. If I did something wrong, I have no idea what it was. I carefully followed the directions as written.

    1. Hi Karen – I am so sorry you had trouble with the recipe! It is not uncommon for a cut-out cookie to contain no or very, very little leavening agent (such as baking powder or soda). The reason for this is that when you are cutting out shapes, you do not want the cookie to rise much, or else you will lose the shape of the cookie. The egg (which does also provide some rise) provides just enough in this type of cookie.

      I have had numerous folks make these without any issues. If you’d like to do some troubleshooting, I’d be happy to try to help you figure out what might have happened!

  7. We just made these cookies since I, too, hate waiting for cookies to chill. They worked up wonderfully, but we had a problem when they came out of the oven. The cookies were very, very hard to get of the baking sheets. Is there anything you can suggest?

    1. I use parchment under my cookies (regardless of the recipe I’m using). Sometimes if a cookie sheet is older, even the least sticky of recipes will still stick. You can even buy parchment sheets that are already pre-cut for you.

    1. Hi there – sorry you had issues! I have not had anyone else mention this issue – typically it only takes a little bit of “working the dough” into a ball to get it to come together. Perhaps your flour got a little compacted when measuring – too much flour could cause an issue like that.

      1. I had this issue. I’m really comfortable in the kitchen and this is the worst sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever tried. I added less flour and it was still dry and crumbly, so I added water and now the dough is chilling because it’s more crumbly than traditional sugar cookies. Wish I didn’t promise my kids cookies for valentine’s. This recipe just used all my butter so I have to make them work. 🙂

      2. I have made these cookies countless times without issue, as have a number of my other readers. I’m so sorry they didn’t work out for you!

  8. Hi! I decided that we needed to ring in the new year with cookies, because nothing says Happy New Year like cookies and wine. I wanted to try this recipe, since I didn’t want to spend all day waiting for the dough to chill. This was such an easy recipe and absolutely delicious! I just read some of the reviews, and I have no idea what they could have done wrong. I did make sure to use the best extract (I happened to have Nielsen Massey on hand) and used parchment paper like you suggested in the recipe. The consistency of the dough was perfect for rolling out, and I didn’t even have to use a spatula to put them on the racks to cool–they slid right off. As far as the baking powder thing…I’m quite confused over that. My two go-to recipes have been from Southern Living and Better Homes and Garden, and neither one uses baking powder for sugar cookies. I, personally, don’t want puffy cookies. Santa is fat enough without being puffier, but that’s just me. I actually had to stick some cookies in the freezer for later so I would stop eating them. Good thing that my diet starts next week. Thanks for the great recipe–it’s now my go-to recipe!

  9. Made this recipe after a disaster struck on first batch with another recipe.. I highly recommend this for new comers and experienced bakers. one idea i used and loved was using sugar instead of flour to keep from sticking, at first I was leery about this but using it with THIS recipe worked AMAZINGLY. I prefer to use a cream cheese butter cream frosting but use royal icing for professional orders unless otherwise requested.

  10. This seriously is the best sugar cookie recipe I’ve come across– I’ve tried way too many. So, thank you! It’s not overbearingly sweet at all and has a very simple yet awesome flavor and texture. In addition, the cookies keep their shapes really well.

  11. I have just made these and they came out brilliant and very tasty, i use lemon flavor, I have tried a few recipes for sugar cookies as i need to make a 100 that hold shape and taste good for my daughters wedding as favors , Thank-you they taste and look great.

  12. love this recipe! I made them today for a Christmas cookie party that I had forgotten about and they taste amazing! Thank you so much for posting this easy and delicious recipe!

  13. I was having trouble with it being very sticky. I’m not sure if I had over mixed it in the mixing bowl before taking it out. I will be retrying and seeing if I can get a different out come. I used a strawberry flavor and it tasted good. If there is anything else I can do to not make it sticky, please let me know. Thank-you!

  14. I know this is an old post, but this has been my “go-to” recipe for the last three years. I have tried close to 20 different recipes and never had the results I have with this recipe. Quick to put together, easy to roll, no spread and tastes great.

  15. Now that my sugar cookie hang over has passed.. I wanted to tell you that this is the most amazing recipe I have ever seen. These cookies came out BEAUTIFUL and SO FREAKING GOOD. I made 105 cookies for Christmas.. every single coolie was perfect. I will be using this recipe for EVERY holiday and reason that there is for cookies. haha Thank you for helping me fall in love with baking cookies again. <3

  16. Delicious & easy! I just made these cookies with my 5 y/o Grandson & he was able to roll out & cut the cookies himself. Mom will help with the frosting. Great recipe!!
    I’ll try to post a pic on PIN

  17. I just baked these yesterday,

    I’m a newbie at cookies and my cutters were quite intricate.
    Flouring them well did the trick.
    I can tell you one thing-they turned out DELICIOUS. Good thing I doubled up on the dough LOL.

    Thank you for this recipe!!!!

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