This homemade, no spread sugar cookies recipe is the only recipe I used when making cut out, decorated cookies.
It never fails me every single time and has the best texture for decorated cookies – rich butter taste without being overly greasy and sweet and holds its shape so perfectly well.
My perfectly shaped, no spread sugar cookies
The thing I like most about these cookies is that they don’t lose their shape when baking. One thing you will notice in this cookie recipe is that I do not use any raising agents - there is no baking powder or baking soda.
And the intention is to make sure the cookies do not rise. If they do, they will lose their original shape and so I prefer not to use any raising agents in my recipe. And because of this, this recipe is perfect for making decorated cookies, in the sense that whatever size I put on my tray before it goes into the oven comes out perfectly in the exact same size I put it in.
This really helps especially when I decorate my cookies with fondant and use the same cutter for cutting the cookie and the fondant. I am always able to get well-aligned sizes of the cookies and the fondant cut-outs without major adjustments and that really saves me a lot of time!
How to Make Perfect No Spread Sugar Cookies
Ingredients for the no spread sugar cookies:
- Plain flour
- Castor sugar
- Butter (salted)
- Vanilla essence
Preparing the oven and the baking trays
- Start by preparing your trays. Line them with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- While the oven is preheating, mix the cookie dough.
Mixing the no spread sugar cookies dough
- Place the butter (softened to room temperature) and castor sugar in a bowl. Beat these with a mixer until they turn light and creamy. Suffice if the mixture turns creamy. Do not beat until it's fluffy.
- Next, add the whole egg and continue beating until it's well incorporated. Scrape the sides fo the bowl so that the ingredients are all well combined. Again, do not over beat the mixture. Suffice if the egg traces are no longer visible.
- Add in vanilla essence and give the mixture a quick mix.
- At time point, if you would like to change the flavour of your cookies to lemon, coffee, or orange, add in the rinds and coffee at this stage. Omit the vanilla essence.
- Finally, add in the flour. You can add this all at once or in batches, both ways are fine. Mix the dough until it comes together.
Chilling the dough
- To stabilize the dough, form it into a ball, cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate it for about 15 minutes. 15 minutes is all you need. If you keep it too long in the fridge, it will become too hard to work with and you would need to leave it at room temperature for it to soften alittle before rolling and cutting it.
- For perfectly cut out, no spread sugar cookies, the dough should be chilled until its firm but still workable.
Rolling and cutting out the cookies
- Divide the dough into sections so that it is easier to work with. Place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll with the guide of 2 dowel rod on either side for consistent thickness. Remove the top layer of the parchment paper and cut the dough into desired shapes.
- Lift the cutout cookies and place them onto your prepared trays. Since the cookies do not spread while baking, there is no need to put them too far apart. Suffice if you leave about 1 cm gap between each cookie for easy handling.
Chilling the cut out cookies
- Once the tray is full, pop it into the fridge again to allow the unbaked no spread cookies to chill and firm up. Anytime between 15 to 20 minutes is sufficient.
- Remove the tray from the fridge and bake the cookies for about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies) until they have turned golden brown. Your actual baking time would very much depend on the size and thickness of your cookies. I prefer my cookies to be crispy, so I bake them for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you prefer soft, chewy cookies, take them out of the oven slightly earlier.
Storing and decorating the cookies
- Remove cookies from the oven and cool them on a wire rack. Let them cool down completely before frosting or decorating them.
- Keep the cookies in an air tight container.
No Spread Sugar Cookies Recipe Notes
Cookie flavor can be varied
- This recipe is for vanilla-flavored sugar cookies. You can use the same recipe to create different flavored cookies. See the notes in the recipe card below on how to adjust the recipe for lemon, chocolate, orange, and coffee-flavored sugar cookies.
Cookie dough can be chilled up to 5 days before baking
- The dough refrigerates well, not only after mixing but also after rolling and cutting. The last time I made these cookies, I refrigerated the dough for one day. The next day, I rolled and cut the cookies out, placed them on a baking tray and only baked them 4 days later. The results, absolutely delicious cookies!
Chill the cutout cookies before baking to ensure perfect, no spread sugar cookies
- To make sure the cookies don’t lose their shape, place the cutout cookies onto a baking tray and refrigerate them until they are firm, before popping them into the oven. That way, the cookies will come out baked in the exact shape you put them in.
Ensure cookie thickness is consistent for best results
- To ensure you can uniform thickness for all your cookies, place dowel rods on either side of the dough and roll it with the rolling pin resting on the sticks on either side of the rolling pin. That way, the thickness of the rolled cookies will be uniform all over and so would your cookies, after cutting them out.
Adjust the baking time for larger and thicker cookies.
If your sugar cookies are large and thick, you would typically need to increase your baking time.
Adjust the recipe for a larger or smaller cookie batch
Simply double or half the recipe given for a larger or smaller cookies batch.
Light and crispy, no spread sugar cookies
Perfect No Spread Sugar Cookies Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my no spread sugar cookies recipe. And while you are at it, don’t forget to read up my recipe notes just above. The notes will help you make the best no spread sugar cookies every single time!
No Spread Sugar Cookies
- 400 g Plain flour
- 180 g Castor sugar
- 200 g Butter salted
- 1 Egg
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
- Line baking tray with parchment paper and pre-heat oven to 170 °Celsius.
- Place butter in a clean bowl. Add the caster sugar and cream both until the mixture turns light and creamy. Do not over mix.
- Next, add the egg and continue beating until it is well incorporated into the creamed mixture. Add vanilla essence and mix again.
- Finally, add the flour in batches and mix until the dough comes together. Place the dough in a covered bowl and refrigerate until it is firm.
- Remove dough from the fridge and roll it between parchment paper or plastic sheets. Use dowel rods as a guide for the thickness of your cookies. Cut the dough into desired shapes and refrigerate them again until they are firm.
- Bake the cookies in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies) until they have turned golden brown.
- Remove cookies from the oven and cool them on a wire rack. Keep cookies in an airtight container until ready to be decorated. The cookies can also be served plain.
- Lemon No Spread Sugar Cookies - omit vanilla essence and added in 1 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon rind.
- Orange No Spread Sugar Cookies - omit vanilla essence and add in 1 tablespoon of fresh grated orange rind.
- Chocolate No Spread Cookies - reduce the flour by 50 grams and add 50 grams of cocoa powder. Sift the cocoa powder with flour before adding into the creamed cookie batter.
- Coffee No Spread Cookies - mix 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder with a few drops of hot water until dissolved. Add into the batter before adding in the flour.
And that's pretty much my no spread sugar cookies recipe.
Here are my other recipes and posts you might want to check out:
Happy baking 🙂