These no spread sugar cookies promise to maintain their shape while delivering a soft texture and a delightful hint of almond flavor. Ideal for decorating, these cookies are the perfect canvas for your creative icing designs or simply to enjoy as a subtly sweet treat. Try frosting these cookies with my amazing Sugar Cookie Frosting. You should also check out my Spring Flower Cookie Tutorial and pipe some beautiful flowers on your cookies.

I’ve always been fascinated by the precision of baking, especially when it comes to creating the prefect cookie that holds its shape. These no spread sugar cookies are the culmination of many experiments to find the right balance of ingredients that not only tastes fantastic but also look immaculate after baking. They’re my go-to recipe for holiday cookies, themed party treats, or any occasion that calls for beautifully decorated confections.

freshly baked no spread sugar cookies

The Chemistry of No Spread Sugar Cookies

The key to these cookies’ ability to hold their shape lies in the interaction of fats and flours. The high proportion of butter ensures the cookie remain tender, while the careful measure of flour provides enough structure to prevent spreading. Mixing the dough just enough to incorporate the ingredients helps maintain the texture without activating too much gluten, which can lead to spreading. Chilling the dough is crucial as it solidifies the fat, which minimizes spreading during the initial baking phase.

Why do my sugar cookies spread even when I follow the recipe?

Spreading can occur if the dough isn’t chilled sufficiently or if the oven isn’t fully preheated. Make sure to chill the dough as directed and verify your oven’s temperature with an oven thermometer.

Can I use margarine instead of butter for these cookies?

While margarine can be used, butter is recommended for its flavor and because it helps the cookies maintain their shape better due to its higher fat content.

freshly baked no spread sugar cookies

How long can I store the unbaked dough in the refrigerator?

The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure it is well wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

What’s the best way to decorate these sugar cookies?

Top these cookies with sugar cookie frosting after they have completely cooled. Use a piping bag for detailed designed or simply spread the frosting with a knife for a more rustic look.

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What is in no spread sugar cookies?

Unsalted Butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough or batter and it will result in an overly salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough or batter which helps with moistness, flavor and texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your treat will melt down too fast and overspread in the oven, leaving you with a greasy, flat mess. If your butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your treat too thick.

Granulated Sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter. It helps add moisture to your treat and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Almond Extract

Adds a unique sweet and nutty flavor to your dough.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.


Adds both a protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because, when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the egg white mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking, which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick treats. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters and doughs together and help them from collapsing. Unless otherwise specified, always use large eggs.

Fine Sea Salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt, it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your treat, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

All-purpose Flour

Builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It’s exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods.

freshly baked no spread sugar cookies

Storage Tips

Store the baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Ensure they are completely cool before storing to maintain their crispness.

Freezing Options

Both the dough and baked cookies freeze well. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag, storing it for up to 3 months. Freeze the baked cookies in layers separated by parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

freshly baked no spread sugar cookies

Making Ahead

For best results, prepare the dough ahead of time and chill as directed. This not only improves the flavor but also makes the baking process more manageable, especially when planning for events or large batches.

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Why make no spread sugar cookies?

Imagine a beautifully decorated platter of no spread sugar cookies, each cookie perfectly shaped and adorned with vibrant, intricate icing designs. The elegance and fun of baking and decorating is unmatched. You will love creating these flawless treats for your next special occasion.

Recipes You May Love

No Spread Sugar Cookies

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Servings: 24
No spread cookies that are soft and with a hint of almond flavor. Best topped with my sugar cookie frosting.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 1.2 cup all-purpose flour


  • In a standing mixer add the butter and sugar. Mix until combined. Then turn your mixer on high and whip for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the almond and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  • Stir the eggs in.
  • Add the salt and flour and mix on low until the dough forms.
  • Roll the dough out sandwiched between parchment paper (on bottom) and plastic wrap (on top).
  • Place the sheet of dough on a cookie sheet and place into your fridge to chill.
  • Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 1-3 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and cut out your desired shapes.
  • Place the unbaked cookies onto a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 9 minutes. Remove when done and let them sit on the pan to set for 5-10 minutes before removing.


Calories: 186kcal Carbohydrates: 25g Protein: 3g Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 34mg Sodium: 31mg Potassium: 31mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 8g Vitamin A: 256IU Calcium: 8mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

freshly baked no spread sugar cookies