How to bake sugar cookies…first thing

How to bake sugar cookies. Let’s start with the baking sheets. If you haven’t read that page, go ahead and click here for Best Baking Sheets. It’s a short read. There’s a link back to here when you’re done.

***video tutorial coming soon on 'How to Bake Professional Cookies'

Let’s begin.

Prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper. 

The ½ sheet baking pans comfortably hold 12-15, 3” sugar cookies and fit bread rack shelves.

This photo shows my process when cutting out more than one sheet of cookies. This allows you to be able to stack the cookie pans. Yes, those are plastic medicine cups turned upside down.

Image shows baking sheets stacked with plastic med cups

Why would you stack the sheets? Because this superb and delectable sugar cookie recipe, you’ll want to freeze completely first. When frozen, pop them in the preheated oven at 350 degrees immediately. More on that down the page.

If you don't have a bread rack, you can still use this method to dry the sugar cookies overnight or as you are decorating. This is a great space-saver!

How to bake sugar cookies…roll, cut, bake

I cut out a great many sugar cookies each week.

I was able to save considerable time rolling out the cookie dough by using this colossal rolling pin:

My cookie dough recipe makes a double batch. Before purchasing the gargantuan rolling pin, I always had to divide the dough after mixing it into 2 discs. The normal size rolling pin was too small to handle the full double batch.

I decided to search online for a bigger pin. Results? No results, EXCEPT one.

The rolling pin:

Cost: $57.99 before shipping

Where? The Cookie Countess

Was it worth the money?


The all-wood rolling pin I purchased was for ¼” thick cookies. It’s a whopping 26“ long from end to end. It has saved me so much time and frustration. No more dividing the dough. I can roll it all at once!

Image showing this large rolling pin with a double batch rolled sugar cookie dough


1. Flour your work surface.

2. Place a dough disc that is firm, not soft, on the flour.

3. Lightly flour the disc and dust away the flour with a pastry brush.

4. Roll the dough out to the thickness you like.

5. Cut with the cookie cutters.

6. Place about 1”-2” apart. This recipe does not spread, but you don’t want to crowd them.

7. If you have more than one sheet to fill, place the medicine cups in the corners, as shown in the image above, to stack them.

8. Freeze cookies solid.

How to bake sugar cookies professionally

With this recipe, you freeze the cut-out cookies solid. This ensures they won’t spread. However, there have been many times they were semi-frozen (slightly bendable) and they still didn’t spread.

A lot of times I have had the cut-out cookies in the freezer on the pans with parchment up to 3 days before baking (yes uncovered). As long as you don’t have any odors in your freezer, and nothing is above them that could fall on them, they will be just fine.

They do sell plastic lids for the 1/2 sheets. That is a great option. I've just been doing this so long that it's become second-hand to me. I don't see spending the money for myself.

However, if you do want to place the cut-out cookies in the freezer for a few days, they would assure you of no freezer odors soaking in.

The nitty-gritty on how to bake sugar cookies, the best way!

When they are frozen, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once frozen, take the pan and place it immediately into the heated oven.

For 3”-5” cookies, it should take 14 minutes. For 1”-2”, give them about 10 minutes and check them. This will depend on your oven. If your oven has hot spots in it, you'll need to rotate the pan halfway through.

To get a soft cookie, under-bake them a little. They will be slightly glossy looking on top. Don’t worry, they will continue to bake with the heat in them.

***Here are 5 tips on how to bake sugar cookies:

1. You don’t want the cookies browned at all or they will be crisp by the next day.

2. Some people will need to rotate their cookie sheet halfway through if their oven doesn’t bake things evenly.

3. Never crowd your cookies. Have at least 1” between the cookies. Crowding them can cause uneven baking.

4. Never place more than one pan in the oven. This will also cause uneven baking.

5. If you can fit 2 sheets side by side, make sure the pans do not touch each other or the sides of the oven. This is hard on the oven as well as causes uneven baking.

How to bake sugar cookies…removing cookies from the oven

Knowing how to bake sugar cookies can be a time-saver!

Contrary to what you were taught, this recipe coupled with the cookie sheets I use, you can save yourself some real time by NOT placing them on cooling racks.

That’s right, not removing them. As long as they are slightly under-baked, I remove them from the oven after 14 minutes and take them straight to my bread rack to cool on the baking sheets.

These cookies, done this way, will not turn brown on the bottoms.

Image showing no browning on bottom of cookie

After the sugar cookies are baked and well-cooled, I then place them on a Teflon sheet on top of a food dehydrator rack to begin flooding with royal icing.

If you do not have a dehydrator, using the stacked baking sheets with medicine cups can help greatly with overnight drying to save space. Some sugar cookie decorating artists place a fan on them all night.

You just baked yourself right into some delicious and mouth-watering sugar cookies! Go ahead and add this supreme royal icing that will melt in your mouth! Can't use royal icing for various reasons? Use this glaze recipe that is very close to royal icing!

Would you like to spice up your sugar cookies with different flavors? Here's a link I think you'll enjoy: Prepared Pantry

This page on How to Bake Sugar Cookies isn't the best way necessarily, but it makes it easy for me. I just hope it does for you.

Here is your link back to How to Make Professional Cookies.

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