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Healthier Sugar Cookies

This sugar cookie recipe makes soft & chewy cut out cookies that keep their shape and are healthier than most. Plus a simple icing that's just sweet enough! :: DontWastetheCrumbs.com

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4.9 from 13 reviews

This sugar cookie recipe makes soft and chewy cut out cookies that keep their shape. Perfect for your traditional cookie decorating day, these healthier sugar cookies with a simple icing are just sweet enough, and pair with other holiday favorites like Candy Cane Cookies and Snickerdoodles.






Make the Cookies:

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer OR using a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until it is very light in color, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Add 1 cup of the flour, salt, and baking powder and turn on low. Add the remaining flour and mix until the dough is no longer crumbly and starts to stick together, possibly cleaning the sides of the bowl.
  4. Wrap in a piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F and line a large cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  6. When the dough is chilled, lightly flour a Silpat mat (or your working surface) and place your dough on top of the flour, sliding it around slightly in the flour so that the underside is lightly coated. Take the same plastic wrap that it was wrapped in, unroll it, and place it on top.
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to either ⅜” thick for thicker, chewy, bakery-style cookies OR roll it out to ¼” thick for classic sugar cookies.
  8. Use the cookie cutters to cut your desired shapes. Place the shapes on the cookie sheet, leaving 1” of space between each cookie.
  9. Knead the scraps together and repeat the previous two steps until all the dough has been cut.
  10. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for 1-2 minutes more, just until the edges are barely golden brown. They might seem underbaked, but they’re not!
  11. When they’re done, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Carefully move the cookies from the pan to the cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Ice the Cookies:

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and 3 tsp of whole milk in a small bowl.
  2. Use your arm muscles to whisk very well until the icing is smooth and makes thick ribbons when you hold the whisk up from the bowl.
  3. Add the last teaspoon of milk if the icing is too thick.
  4. Either pipe the icing onto the cookies, use a butter knife to spread the icing, or use a wet finger to smooth the icing over the cookies.
  5. Let the cookies dry at room temperate for at least 2 hours before stacking.
  6. Store cookies in a container with a lid for up to one week.


  • If you’re used to very sweet sugar cookies recipes, I suggest making a batch with ½ cup of sugar. Ice and decorate as you normally do. These will be sweet for sure, and I promise you won’t notice the reduced sugar.
  • If you’re used to baking with less sugar, I suggest keeping the recipe as written, with ⅓ cup sugar. This alone will make a delicious sugar cookie that is just barely sweet. You can decorate if you want, but you will certainly notice the higher level of sweetness if you use a lot of icing or a super sweet icing.
  • If you’re used to eating fewer sweet foods AND you want to decorate the cookie, I suggest reducing the sugar in the cookies to ¼ cup. You’ll end up baking a cookie whose sweetness comes mainly from the icing, which you can control even more to adjust the level of sweetness.
  • I do not recommend using maple syrup or honey in place of sugar for this recipe. Using a liquid sweetener will result in a difficult dough to work with.