Basic Sugar Cookies - Tried and True Since 1960


This sugar cookie recipe with self-rising flour is from my backwoods Mississippi grandmother. My mom kept the recipe, and we grew up eating raw cookie dough before snacking on the cookies during the holidays. This will always be my basic cookie dough recipe. It's quick and easy to make with everyday ingredients in the most sparsely-stocked kitchens. You don't have to be a master chef to get a batch of these light and buttery cookies to turn out well. Royal icing is recommended, but these are also wonderful without icing.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
4 dozen cookies


  • 3 cups self-rising flour

  • 1 cup butter at room temperature

  • 1 cup white sugar, or more to taste

  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Beat flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth, about 5 minutes. Wrap and chill dough in the refrigerator, 2 hours to overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

  3. Roll dough out on a floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin; use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Place cookies onto baking sheets.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until cookie bottoms are lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.


I've always been told that everything in baking turns out better if you let the refrigerated ingredients come to room temperature. I'm a good kid, so I do what I'm told. I let the butter and eggs sit out for about 15 to 20 minutes.

I like to use about 2 cups sugar in this recipe, but I'll never tell my grandmother that! If you don't double the sugar and keep it at 1 cup, you'll get an airy shortbread that goes well with raspberry jam, another favorite cookie of mine. It's so simple, yet it looks and tastes like a million bucks.

Kids love rolling out this dough and cutting the cookies. I helped my mom when I was little, and she did the same with her mom. It's so simple and easy to make this a family tradition. You'll never know how much joy you'll have until you try it with your kids. For added fun, you can add food coloring to the dough.

My grandmother likes to bake the cookies in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until the edges turn brown and crispy. I prefer to bake them at 275 degrees F (135 degrees C) until the bottoms are light golden brown for a crumbly, slightly soft texture.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

81 Calories
4g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 48
Calories 81
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 142mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 14mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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