making messes maria provenzano

I grew up making sugar cookies for every holiday!! My mom and I would either decorate them with buttercream (especially when I was younger) or royal icing if we wanted to get extra fancy. Since Easter is this weekend, I wanted to share this tradition with my kids. Spending time in the kitchen with my mom is one of my favorite memories and I am so happy that I can continue the love of cooking and baking with my kids.

We put together a video of how to make my recipe for sugar cookies. This is my take on my mom’s recipe. Something that makes her recipe stand out a bit is the fact that she uses half butter and half oil! I changed the recipe to coconut oil, instead of vegetable oil. My mom also used cream of tartar, which I don’t mind but I did some experimenting with baking powder and found that I liked using it a bit more AND I tend to have it around more often.

I like to decorate these with my vanilla buttercream recipe! It’s everything you need in life!

Tips for Perfect Sugar Cookies

*Use room temperature ingredients BUT make sure your butter isn’t too soft. I like it when butter is either room temp or slightly cold.

*Make sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl when you are mixing!

*Add your ingredients slowly. This allows everything to mix together nicely and evenly.

*Don’t over-mix….or you will have a tough cookie.

*Yes, you need to let it chill in the fridge. It’s just easier to work with that way.

*If your dough is in the fridge for over an hour, make sure to give it some time to come back to a temperature that is able to roll out. This will vary based on how cold your dough is and can even take about an hour.


  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature 

  • 1 cup coconut oil; measure at room temperature and then melt and allow it to cool

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

In a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale in color.

Slowly add in the cooled coconut oil and mix well.

Stir in the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.

Mix in the vanilla.

Slowly add in the flour mixture and stir until completely mixed in. Be careful not to over mix.

Divide dough in half and wrap it in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag. Place wrapped dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge about an hour or so before you are ready to roll it out (depending on how cold the dough is).

Roll out the dough on a floured surface using a rolling pin.

Roll it out to about 1/4 of an inch thick.

Use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes you like and re-roll the excess dough for more cookies.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Place the cookies in the fridge for about 10 minutes while you heat your oven to 350 degrees.

*Note: make sure to change the baking sheet to a room temperature baking sheet and not the one the cookies were on in the fridge. If you put a cold baking sheet into a hot oven it will lower the oven temperature and could throw off your baking process.

Place the cookies in the oven and bake.

The baking time will vary depending on how cold the dough is, but it’s roughly 9-15 minutes.

You know they are done when they have a slight browning on the bottom of the cookie and it will move on the baking sheet if you push it with your finger instead of being melted to the parchment paper.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating.