The 7 Best Store-Bought Sugar Cookie Doughs and Mixes, According to Our Rigorous Taste Test

·8 min read

Christmas and sugar cookies go hand in hand. Not only are they great for cookie swaps and to gift your friends but decorating them with your family is also a timeless holiday tradition. And if you’ll have multiple batches making their way to your oven this winter, a store-bought starter will save you a ton of time. So which ones are worth the extra dough? We baked our way through chilled options and boxed mixes to find seven that taste like the real deal. Read on for seven of our favorites—there’s something for gluten-free bakers, frosting connoisseurs and everyone in between.

RELATED: The 13 Best Yellow Cake Mixes, Because You Deserve an Epic Birthday Cake

The Best Store-Bought Sugar Cookie Doughs and Mixes, at a Glance:

Scroll down for in-depth reviews of each.

The Methodology

Each cookie was baked according to package instructions for fair testing. Before we get into our top picks, here’s how we determined the best store-bought sugar cookie doughs and mixes for every palate:

  • Value: Is the cookie worth the money given how it tastes and what’s in it?

  • Ease: How easy is it to prepare the cookie? Are there any fussy ingredients or instructions compared to other brands?

  • Quality: Are the ingredients high quality? Does the dough or mix contain any weird preservatives or fillers? Conversely, does it contain real butter or vanilla?

  • Texture: Is the cookie crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside? Did the cookie turn out too thick or too thin? Is it tender and moist or dry and crumbly?

  • Flavor: Does the cookie taste good? Is it buttery and balanced without being excessively sweet? Do any other flavors come through?

1. Williams Sonoma Sugar Cookie Mix

Best overall

  • Value: 19/20

  • Ease of Use: 18/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Texture: 19/20

  • Flavor: 20/20

TOTAL: 96/100

Willing to splurge on a next-level sugar cookie that will have your guests asking for the recipe? This vanilla-laced mix from Williams Sonoma is at your service. The box includes a basic mix of enriched wheat flour and baking powder, plus a bag of vanilla-flavored sugar. You’ll have to work a little harder (read: you’ll need to bust out the electric mixer and let the dough chill for at least three hours before slicing and baking), but we promise it’s worth it. The cookies taste super vanilla-forward (and dare we say, homemade) and the texture is impeccably balanced, with a hint of crispness where you want it. One box will cost you $15, which is pricey compared to other supermarket brands, but it comes out to about 34 cents per cookie since each box makes 44 total.

Buy it ($15)

2. Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Cookie Mix

Best for decorating

  • Value: 20/20

  • Ease of Use: 19/20

  • Quality: 18/20

  • Texture: 19/20

  • Flavor: 17/20

TOTAL: 93/100

One of the main reasons sugar cookies are so popular during the holidays? Everyone wants to flaunt their decorating skills. This mix from Betty Crocker is just the ticket, since the cookies spread nicely. Their wide surface area gives you plenty of room for frosting, peppermints, gumdrops and all the holiday candy you can pile on. But even if you eat them plain, they won’t disappoint, thanks to their balanced texture (crisp and crackly on the outside and moist on the inside) and sweet, buttery flavor. They’re just about as wide as Pillsbury’s cookies, but nowhere near as thin, meaning you’ll have more soft, fluffy cookie to sink your teeth into under all that frosting. You’ll need butter and an egg to make the dough, but that’s it. We also love that you don’t need to wait for it to chill before baking.

Buy it ($2)

3. Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake Sugar Cookie Dough

Crispiest sugar cookie

  • Value: 19/20

  • Ease of Use: 20/20

  • Quality: 18/20

  • Texture: 18/20

  • Flavor: 20/20

TOTAL: 95/100

Some sugar cookie aficionados prefer pillowy-soft, cloud-like cookies. But if you’re all about golden-brown edges and crunch, Pillsbury’s slice-and-bake option was made for you. Not only do the cookies spread beautifully, meaning they’re prime for decorating with all the festive fixings, but they also have a nostalgic, buttery flavor with just a touch of salt (in essence, it tastes exactly how you want a sugar cookie to taste). The main ingredients in the dough are sugar, enriched bleached flour, palm oil and canola oil. All you’ll have to do when you unwrap it is slice it into half-inch-thick rounds and pop them in the oven. Did we mention the dough is also safe to eat raw because the eggs are pasteurized and the flour is heat-treated? Yeah, good luck getting the cookies in the oven.

Buy it ($3)

4. Cheryl’s Cookies Sugar Cookie Dough

Chewiest sugar cookie

  • Value: 18/20

  • Ease of Use: 20/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Texture: 17/20

  • Flavor: 18/20

TOTAL: 93/100

If you’re serving a ton of relatives or your kid’s entire class, you’ll want this two-pound bucket of dough from Cheryl’s Cookies. Aside from sheer quantity, these cookies stand out due to their fluffy centers, soft crumb and chewy texture. Their mildly sweet flavor makes them prime for sweeter icings and mix-ins like green and red M&Ms or butterscotch chips. Plus, the dough is made with real butter, along with wheat flour, eggs, baking soda and salt.

Buy it ($40/two 2-pound tubs)

5. King Arthur Baking Company Sugar Cookie Mix

Most homemade-tasting

  • Value: 19/20

  • Ease of Use: 18/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Texture: 18/20

  • Flavor: 19/20

TOTAL: 94/100

Brace yourself for vanilla-scented cookies that taste like childhood. Whether you’re making drop cookies or festive cut-outs, this gem from King Arthur Baking Company is sure to please. The blend of unbleached wheat and malted barley flours give the cookies a slight nuttiness. There’s also cane sugar, rice flour and a touch of sea salt in the mix. The cookies require a bit of patience since you’ll have to wait at least an hour for the dough to chill before baking them, but they taste super buttery and have a tender-yet-crisp texture. The cookies don’t spread as much as some others on this list because the dough was chilled, but they make for a sturdy, toothsome treat that looks perfectly imperfect, like most homemade goods. (We’d argue that their size and flavor make them prime for eating on their own instead of decorating them.) The brand also has a gluten-free sugar cookie mix, if you’re sensitive to wheat.

Buy it ($7)

6. Sweet Loren’s Sugar Cookie Dough

Best gluten-free option

  • Value: 18/20

  • Ease of Use: 20/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Texture: 18/20

  • Flavor: 18/20

TOTAL: 94/100

Gluten-free bakers (and snackers), rejoice! A Christmas miracle has arrived under your tree this year in the form of Sweet Loren’s sugar cookie dough. The dough is pre-portioned, so you won’t have to get your hands sticky rolling it into balls, or even slicing it for that matter. Instead of wheat flour, the dough stars a gluten-free blend of oat flour, tapioca flour and potato starch, which is combined with cane sugar, sustainably sourced palm oil, filtered water, natural vanilla flavor, sea salt and baking soda. Full disclosure: They’re not the prettiest sugar cookies we’ve ever seen, given their crackly tops and brownish color, but a dollop of frosting on top could fix that easily. Taste-wise, you’d have no idea they aren’t regular sugar cookies.

Buy it ($6)

7. Renewal Mill Upcycled Sugar Cookie Mix

Best vegan option

  • Value: 19/20

  • Ease of Use: 19/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Texture: 17/20

  • Flavor: 17/20

TOTAL: 92/100

Are these cookies vegan? Check. Non-GMO? Check. Gluten-free? Check. Do they fight climate change by using upcycled, plant-based ingredients? You bet. Renewal Mill’s cookie mix contains brown rice flour, potato starch, okara flour (flour made from soybean pulp), tapioca starch, garbanzo bean flour, white rice flour and organic pea starch. The mix is also infused with vanilla powder made from real vanilla beans. The dough is super low maintenance since it doesn’t need to be chilled before baking, but the cookies are definitely on the smaller side. (For context, the recipe called for using a heaping teaspoon of dough per cookie, while most other brands call for two-tablespoon scoops.) The flavor is vanilla-forward and sweet, yet there’s also something vaguely vegetal about it (it tastes almost like vegetable oil smells, if that makes sense). But if you have plant-based or vegan guests at the party, these are bound to be a hit.

Buy it ($8)

The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.

RELATED: What’s the Best Brownie Mix? Here Are 10 for Every Type of Sweet Tooth

PureWow may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from PureWow's editorial and sales departments.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting