The other day I made a batch of sugar cookies intending to roll them out and cut into shapes. I used the standard Martha Stewart's recipe, but didn't have butter, so I used Smart Balance Lite Margarine. Needless to say the dough didn't get stiff enough to cut or roll, even though its been refrigerated for more than 24 hours. Is there anyway to either use this dough as is OR to add ingredients to the dough to make it more stiff?

  • The freezer, maybe?
    – rumtscho
    Nov 30, 2011 at 17:39

5 Answers 5


I don't believe you will be satisfied with any cookies you roll out and cut from this dough. That said, there are three options that may allow the dough to find a tasty future.

  1. Make a 'Mega Cookie': roll the dough out and fit it onto a pizza tin and bake. This can be decorated as one large cookie/pizza.

  2. Make 'Brownies': work the dough into an 8"x8" or 9"x13" pan and bake.

  3. 'Cupcakes': scoop a spoonful of dough into each compartment of muffin tin and bake.

Of course you will have to watch to get them done enough as the standard bake time probably won't apply.

If your recipe doesn't include eggs (or you are not concerned with the risk that raw eggs may pose) adding it to homemade ice cream would be a fourth option.

Good luck.

  • 1
    In the ice cream department, you could probably also freeze the dough and use it as a topping, or even stir it into softened storebought ice cream.
    – Cascabel
    Nov 30, 2011 at 20:13

The dough should still make edible cookies; the problem will be with spreading. So instead of cutting out shapes, just drop the dough by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake it, possibly for less time than the recipe calls for. You can still decorate the cookies, or you can keep these for munching and make a new batch (with butter!) for cutting out and decorating.


I had the same problem by using margarine instead of butter, thought it would be ok because it said it was used for baking on the package, but mine was so soft and looked up receipes where you had to refrigerate the dough so I just put in the freezer for a few mins, got a little stiff and was able to make some crooked Christmas trees into fall leaves.. happy baking.


The natural answer would be to add a little more flour. You will probably need to leave the dough out of the fridge a while to soften so you can fold/mix in the flour until the mixture stiffens sufficiently.


The method I use for the “butter shortbread biscuits” could be useful in your case, too:

  • I roll the whole dough out on the baking paper,
  • And then place it on the baking tray with the paper and there slightly cut into shapes by knife,
  • After baking, I cut the shapes again (as it is still warm and kind of soft)
  • and let the biscuits to cool before taking them out of the tray.

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