Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipes

Grandma's old fashioned sugar cookie recipes are quick and easy to make, and you can always be sure that the results will be delicious. Everyone loves these homemade cookies. They're the perfect cookie to serve on any occasion.

For special occasions, simply cut them in fancy shapes and decorate with traditional colored sugars, or icing, or top them with a candied cherry.

Whenever you're pressed for time, these cookies can be mixed, rolled out and baked within a few minutes. And, they always turn out delicious. Make a big plateful now. They're great comfort food after a long day.

Mom's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Sugar CookiesHomemade Sugar Cookies Cut in Heart Shapes
(Source: ©madredus/Depositphoto.com)

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies


1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup thick sour cream
2/3 teaspoon baking soda, add to sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3-1/2 cups flour


Mix shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla flavoring. Mix well, then add sour cream and blend well.

Then add the remaining ingredients, making sure to mix very well. Refrigerate overnight. Roll out cookie dough on floured board and cut out. Bake at 350°F for 7 to 10 minutes.

I frost them with cake frosting, but you can eat them plain or put what ever you like on top. This recipe I had given to me when I was a child, and I never have any left whenever I make them.

Prize Winning Sugar Cookies

2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, pinch of salt, flour to roll.

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, then milk. Add enough flour to roll out, sifting soda, cream of tartar, and salt into the flour. Bake 350°F. Good!

Canadian Maple Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar, 1 cup maple sugar (crushed), 1 cup butter, 2 eggs (well beaten), 2 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons baking powder, flour to make soft dough. Mix and bake at 350°F.

Delicious Sugar Cookies

Homemade Sugar Cookies Heart-ShapedMake Delicious Homemade Sugar Cookies
(PD Source: Ryzon Baking Book, 1917)

1 scant cupful (1/2 pound) butter
1 level cupful (1/2 pound) sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoonful water
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract
1 level teaspoonful baking powder
Enough flour to make a dough and roll out thin on board.

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly together with a wooden spoon. Beat eggs until very light, add to creamed mixture, beat well, add water and extract.

To one-half cupful of sifted flour add baking powder and sift into other ingredients, beat until light, and then add enough flour to make a soft dough, about two level cupfuls.

Turn out onto a floured baking board, knead lightly, roll out very thin, cut out with a cookie cutter and bake in a quick oven (375°F) for ten minutes.

These cookies are as good at six weeks as when baked. One tablespoonful of crushed caraway seeds may be substituted for vanilla extract. Sufficient for fifty cookies. —Katharine Lawrence, Ryzon Baking Book, 1917

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipe

The American Girl, Vol. V, No. 10 (1922)

Vintage Silhouette of Girl Scouts HikingGirl Scouts Happily Hiking Along a Trail
(PD Source: The American Girl, 1922)

It was in 1917 that the iconic Girl Scout cookies were first sold in the U.S. to finance activities of the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

The vanilla sugar cookies were originally baked at home by Girl Scout members under the watchful eyes of their mothers. The venture quickly became a fund-raising success story, and other troops began baking cookies to sell.

Later in 1922, the Girls Scouts of the USA published a standard cookie recipe in The American Girl magazine for making 6 to 7 dozen cookies with a suggested sale price of 30 cents per dozen.

The simple vanilla sugar cookies were baked by girls in troops across the nation, packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a logo sticker, and sold door-to-door. And the rest as they say is history.

Girl Scout Cookies

1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder

Cream butter and sugar, add well-beaten eggs, then milk, flavoring, flour, and baking powder. Roll thin, cut, and bake in quick oven (400°F). Sprinkle sugar on top. This amount makes six to seven dozen depending on the size you make them.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipes

Dr. Chase's Receipt Book (1891)

Sugar Cookie DoughRolled Sugar Cookie Dough Ready for Cutting into Shapes
(Source: ©TeriVirbickis/Depositphoto.com)

Sarah's Sugar Cookies

Sugar, 2/3 cup; butter, 2/3 cup; 1 egg; cream of tartar, 2 teaspoonfuls; soda 1 teaspoonful; hot water, 1/2 cup, to dissolve the soda; flour, sufficient.

Dissolve the soda in the water and put into the creamed sugar and butter; use only enough flour to make as soft a dough as you can roll, dusting freely.

Remarks. —This old fashioned sugar cookie recipe is from Sarah Green of Portageville, N.Y. who indicates it to be nice, if properly made. The following is also hers:

Simple Sugar Cookies

Sugar, 1 cup; butter, 1 cup; sour milk, 1 cup; soda, 1 teaspoonful. Mix soft as possible. Caraway seed is the best seasoning for sugar cookies.

Easy Sugar Cookies

Sugar, 1 cup; butter, 1 cup; 1 egg; essence of lemon; flour to roll and cut out. —Mrs. C. W. Phillips

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipe

The Perry Home Cook Book (1920)

Buttermilk Sugar Cookies

2 eggs; 2 heaping cups sugar; 1-1/2 cups buttermilk; 1 cup either butter or lard; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 heaping teaspoon soda; little nutmeg or vanilla; just enough flour to roll out easily. —Mrs. W. F. Cobbett, Sheridan, Penn.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipe

The White House Cook Book (1913)

Fine Sugar Cookies

This easy-to-make, old fashioned sugar cookie recipe was once used in the White House kitchens in Washington, so you'll want to serve these fine cookies at your house!

One cup of butter, one and a half cups of sugar, one-half cup of sour milk, one level teaspoonful of soda, a teaspoonful of grated nutmeg. Flour enough to roll; make quite soft.

Put a tablespoonful of fine sugar on a plate and dip the tops of each as you cut them out. Place on buttered tins and bake in a quick oven (375°F) a light brown.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipe

Submitted by G. Vigliotti

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Mom and I used to make these Chocolate Sugar Cookies from scratch. —G. Vigliotti


Dark chocolate, 6 ounces
Unsalted butter, 2 cups
Granulated sugar, 2 cups
Large eggs, 2
Vanilla, 2 teaspoons
All-purpose, flour 4 cups
Baking powder, 2 teaspoons


In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter together. Stir in egg and vanilla. Gradually stir in sugar until well blended.

Transfer chocolate mixture to a medium bowl. Gradually mix in flour and baking powder until mixture is smooth. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

On floured surface, roll dough to 1-1/2 inches thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on non-greased baking pan leaving at least 1 inch between cookies.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350° F. Let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before decorating.

Decorate cookies with homemade frosting and color sprinkles.

Historical Sugar Cookie Recipe

Miss Leslie's Seventy-Five Receipts (1827)

Old Fashioned Sugar CookiesOld Fashioned Sugar Cookies Warm from the Oven
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Miss Leslie's 1827 Sugar Cookies

Three pounds of Flour, sifted.
One pound of Butter.
A pound and a half of powdered Sugar.
Half a pint of Milk.
Two tablespoonfuls of Brandy.
A small teaspoonful of Pearl ash [cream of tartar], dissolved in warm water.
Four tablespoonfuls of Caraway Seeds.

Cut the butter into the flour. Add the sugar and caraway seeds. Pour in the brandy, and then the milk. Lastly, put in the pearl ash [cream of tartar]. Stir it well with a knife, and mix it thoroughly, till it becomes a lump of dough.

Flour your paste-board, and lay the dough on it. Knead it very well. Divide it into eight or ten pieces, and knead each piece separately. Then put them all together, and knead them very well in one lump.

Cut the dough in half, and roll it out into sheets, about half an inch thick. Beat the sheets of dough very hard, on both sides, with the rolling pin. Cut them out into round cakes with the edge of a tumbler. Butter iron pans, and lay the cakes in them.

Bake them to a very pale brown (325ºF). If done too much, they will lose their taste. Let the oven be hotter at top than at bottom.

These biscuits (cookies), kept in a jar, closely covered from the air, will continue perfectly good for several months.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipes

The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, Second Edition (1890)

Sugar Cookies

One egg, one cup of sugar, half a cup (scant) of butter, half a cup of milk, nutmeg to taste, two teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar, one of soda.

Make soft dough as can be handled; roll thin, and bake in quick oven (375°F). —Mrs. Ellie A. Hill

Rich Sugar Cookies

One and two-thirds cups sugar, one cup butter, three eggs, two-thirds teaspoonful soda, one small nutmeg, flour to roll. Roll thin, and bake in a quick oven (375°F).

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Two eggs, one cup sugar, two-thirds cup of butter and lard, one teaspoonful cream of tartar, one scant teaspoonful soda, two tablespoonfuls cold water.

Flavor with lemon; flour to roll. Roll thin. Bake in quick oven (375°F). —Mrs. M. A. Everett

Woman Suffrage Cook Book

Abe Lincoln's Sister-in-Law Sarah Todd Votes at Age 103Sarah Todd Votes at Age 103

The above old fashioned sugar cookie recipes are reprinted from the 1890 Woman Suffrage cookbook.

Woman Suffrage or "woman's right to vote" refers to the difficult battles fought by the Women's Suffrage movements to gain democratic voting rights and the right to run for public office.

The Grand Duchy of Finland was the first country in Europe to introduce Women's suffrage in 1907.

In Canada, most provinces granted women suffrage between 1917 and 1919, though women in Prince Edward Island waited until 1922, and women in Quebec waited until 1940.

Women in the United States were granted their suffrage in 1920.

The right to vote is so often taken for granted in today's democratic societies. So, be sure to exercise your right to vote!

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