Piped Vanilla Sugar Cookies

These cookies have a unique and irresistible texture: a little crisp at the edges, with a soft, sandy center that melts in your mouth. Every bite is a perfect balance of butter and vanilla; hints of both almond and nutmeg add signature bakery-cookie flavor. Pipe the dough for an elegant design or scoop it for a classic drop cookie appearance.

Want to reduce the carbs and calories in this recipe? Substitute our King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative for the sugar called for. See how in "tips," below.

12 mins
12 to 15 mins
2 hrs 24 mins
2 1/2 dozen 3" cookies
Vanilla Sugar Cookies - select to zoom
Vanilla Sugar Cookies - select to zoom
Vanilla Sugar Cookies - select to zoom
Vanilla Sugar Cookies - select to zoom
Vanilla Sugar Cookies - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the oil, butter, and sugars; beat until combined. Add the egg, extracts, and nutmeg, beating until smooth.

  2. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; mix until smooth. If piping the dough, skip the chilling step and transfer the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with an open star tip. If making drop cookies, cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, until it's stiff enough to scoop easily and hold its shape; overnight is fine.

  3. To assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.

  4. To make piped cookies: Pipe cookies onto the prepared baking sheet in desired shapes about 1 1/2" in diameter. If the dough feels (or becomes) too thick for you to pipe, remove it from the bag and add 1 tablespoon of water.

    To make drop cookies: Alternatively, scoop the chilled dough by the tablespoonful (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) and roll in the sugar to coat. Place the balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2" clearance among them.


  5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

  6. Dip the edges of the cooled sugar cookies in Fudge Frosting and then garnish with coarse sparkling sugar or sprinkles, if desired.

  7. Allow the cookies to set for 15 minutes before serving or transferring them to an airtight container to store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Vanilla is obviously the most important flavor in these cookies, but we suggest nutmeg and almond extract, as well. Nutmeg will give the cookies a distinctive, old-fashioned "sugar cookie taste." And we feel a small amount of almond highlights vanilla's flavor without adding any flavor of its own.

  • Here's an easy way to reduce the carbs and calories in this recipe: substitute 3/4 cup (128g) King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative for the confectioners' and granulated sugars called for and mix as directed. Since our Baking Sugar Alternative will bake and brown more quickly, reduce the recipe's suggested oven temperature by 25 degrees; and start checking cookies for doneness three-quarters of the way through the suggested bake time.