Cutout Sugar Cookies – Minimal Spread

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about making cutout sugar cookies is that the dough spreads as it bakes. This is always due to the leavening ingredient – ie: baking soda, baking powder, eggs; these are all examples of types of leavening agents.

While I have attempted MANY times to create an edible sugar cookie recipe without any leavening ingredient at all; but I have not been successful. Thus, I have a cutout sugar cookie recipe for you that has very minimal spread. The dough doesn’t spread out, it only slightly puffs up and rounds the edges. Also, these sugar cookie cutouts are actually tasty and soft, but not too soft that you cannot decorate them. They can be decorated with sprinkles just before you bake them, or you can frost or ice them.

The best part about this sugar cookie cutout recipe is there is no need to refrigerate the dough. You can go straight into rolling and cutting out shapes as soon as you are finished mixing the dough. If you want to make the dough ahead of time and want to refrigerate the dough, make sure to take it out and let it come to room temperature before you roll out the dough.

My kiddos love to decorate cutout sugar cookies, especially my youngest two. This year consisted of a competition of who could decorate a gingerbread man to look most like their favorite former president. Let’s just say all of their efforts resulted in a huge frosting and sprinkle mess.

Cutout Sugar Cookies

Perfect sugar cookie dough for cutting out shapes. No need to refrigerate the dough and very minimal spread when baking. The cookies stay soft on the inside making for the perfect texture of cutout sugar cookies.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 5 dozen
Calories 88 kcal


  • electric mixer
  • cookie cutters
  • rolling pin
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper or silicone baking mat


  • cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3⅔ cup all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling the dough out


  • In an electric mixer, beat the butter on high, scraping the sides every couple of minutes, for 8 minutes. This gives air to the butter and adds fluffiness to the dough when it is baked.
  • Add the granulated sugar, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat again to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • In another bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add to the butter/sugar mixture half at a time, mixing on low until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Don’t over mix.
  • On a floured surface, roll the dough into a log and then roll out with a rolling pin until the dough is approximately ¼ inch thick. Taking cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Continue this step until the dough has been used to cut out shapes. *NOTE: the more times you roll the dough and add more flour with the rolling out, the tougher the dough will become. Try to minimize rolling the dough for lighter fluffier cookies.
  • Becasue this dough barely spreads, you can squish them in together on a baking sheet pretty tightly. Still, leave some room between cookie shapes. If you are wanting to add sprinkles and not frost the cookies, now is the time to add the sprinkles before you bake them. Bake at 325°F for 14 minutes, or until the edges of the dough are slightly browned.
  • Let cool completely before frosting or icing. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 36mgPotassium: 12mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 155IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cookies, cutout cookies, sugar cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Are you more of a royal icing kind of cookie decorator or do you prefer frosting? I’ve decorated sugar cookies both ways. If I am having kiddos decorate cookies, then frosting is the way to go. My marshmallow butter cream frosting is perfect for decorating cutout sugar cookies. If you are a royal icing kind of cookie decorator, then my eggless royal icing recipe is perfect and easy.

Are cutout sugar cookies a must in your holiday baking line up? What are your favorite shapes to use for the holidays? Personally, traditional gingerbread girl and guy, stars, and ornaments are my favorite shapes. Hope y’all are having an amazing week. Stay safe, be kind, and hug your loved ones.

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