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Horizontal image of sugar-encrusted baked goods on parchment paper, one with a bite taken out of it.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: About 16 cookies 1x


Looking for a classic sugar cookie recipe? Soft, moist, and with just a hint of lemon zest, these are the treats you want. Get the recipe now on Foodal.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and lemon zest together at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time on low speed, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again briefly for a few seconds.
  5. Add the flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing on low speed until just combined after each addition and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  6. Use a 2-inch cookie scooper to scoop out the cookie dough and transfer to the baking sheets, spacing the dough about 2 inches apart.
  7. Slightly flatten the portioned dough mounds with a spatula or your hand. Dip a pastry brush in water and lightly brush the tops of each mound. Sprinkle the tops with a thin and even layer of sanding sugar.
  8. Immediately transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake until the cookies have spread and are puffy, about 15-17 minutes. They should not have too much color around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: sugar, cookies, vanilla, lemon zest