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Soft Sugar Cookies

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Soft sugar cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and so easy to make! These drop-style sugar cookies are also a fun baking project– little ones will love rolling them in colorful sugar sprinkles before baking.

Soft sugar cookies are by far the best kind of sugar cookie, if you ask me. These aren’t a cut-out cookie recipe, but rather a drop-style cookie that requires very little prep before they’re fresh out of the oven and ready for eating. This is the sugar cookie recipe to use when you want a sweet treat quick. 😉

Soft sugar cookies with pink and blue sugar.

Everyone needs a go-to sugar cookie in their life, am I right? We’ve had our soft chocolate sugar cookie recipe on the blog now for a couple of years (have you tried it!? SO GOOD.), and thought it was time to share a classic!

This soft sugar cookie recipe results in the perfect sugar cookie– not too sweet but with a standout vanilla flavor, soft cookie texture that still holds its shape, and an overall “buttery-ness” that makes these melt in your mouth.

Roll them in colorful sugar sprinkles for a bold, colorful cookie, or give a simple white sugar coating before baking to get that signature sugar cookie look. Note: both options are equally delicious.

The Ingredients:

These easy sugar cookies are flavored with vanilla and a just a tad of almond extract (optional, but you’ll love it!).

For the best, most tender, most soft sugar cookies there are, choose butter. In fact, there are very rare cases where we would steer you otherwise. Butter = flavor. And it’s key to this soft sugar cookie recipe.

Here’s the full ingredient list:

  • Butter, softened
  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Eggs, at room temperature
  • Vanilla extract
  • almond extract (optional)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar or colored sugar sprinkles, for the sugar cookie topping
Ingredients needed for soft sugar cookies.

Sugar cookies from scratch are simple! This recipe yields 42 cookies and the cookie dough only takes 10 minutes to prep.

Here’s a quick look at the process (but scroll to the bottom of the page to see the full recipe and ingredient amounts):

  1. Combine the sugars and butter: Preheat the oven and prep your cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients: Beat in the eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down the bowl and mix until creamy. Sift in the flour and baking soda. Mix to combine.
  3. Scoop and roll: Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough using a medium-sized cookie scoop. Roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar or colored sugar sprinkles.
  4. Bake: Place each dough ball on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. The edges should look set, just barely. Remove from the baking sheet and transfer them to a cooling rack.
Six photos showing how to make soft sugar cookies.

For the best results, follow these easy sugar cookie recipe tips:

  • Measure the flour correctly, either by lightly spooning it into measuring cups or weighing it on a food scale. Too much flour will result in dry cookies.
  • For soft sugar cookies, don’t over-bake. The edges of the cookie should have a slight hint of light golden brown. To get soft sugar cookies, they should look slightly under-baked.
  • Here’s a fun trick for storing the cookies: place them in an airtight container with a slice of bread! This will help keep the cookies soft and chewy longer. They’ll be good for up to five days.
  • If you don’t have a sifter, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together before adding them to the butter mixture.
  • Refrigerating the dough isn’t necessary unless you prefer the cookies to spread less. If so, chill them for 1 hour before baking.
  • To bake small sugar cookies, use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop and reduce the baking time by about 1 minute.
  • These sugar cookies can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.
Three sugar cookies on a tray with milk.

Our soft sugar cookies are simply irresistible, with their barely-crisp edges, soft and buttery center, and sweet, sugary texture on top. This is the cookie for everybody, a classic cookie flavor that is scrumptious in every way.

Happy baking!

Helpful tools:

Soft sugar cookies on a plate.

Some More Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

  • Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Talk about a cookie classic! Everyone’s gotta have a go-to oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, and this one’s the best! Chewy, soft, and studded with the perfect amount of raisins, one cookie (or maybe it’s one batch?) won’t be enough.
  • Easy Christmas Cutout Cookies (that hold their shape): Holiday sugar cookies that don’t puff up or spread! Use this recipe with your cookie cutters of choice for an easy cutout cookie any time of the year.
  • Coconut-Pecan Cookies: Shredded coconut and chopped pecans give these cookies a crunchy texture and so much flavor.

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Soft sugar cookies with pink, blue, and white sugar on top.

Soft Sugar Cookies

Yield: 42 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes

These drop-style sugar cookies couldn't be easier. Have fun with different colors of sugar to roll the cookies in before you bake them. Just scoop the dough, roll in sugar, and drop them on a baking sheet. You don't need to refrigerate the dough unless you want them to spread less.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping for the cookies

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar or colored sugar sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Add the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy and pale in color. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract if using. Scrape the bowl down and beat until creamy. 
  3. Sift the flour and baking soda over the batter and stir until well combined. 
  4. Use a medium-sized cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoons) to scoop balls of dough.  
  5. Roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar or fancy colored sugar. Place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. 
  6. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until the edges just look set. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a flat spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack. 
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months. 

Notes

  • Measure the flour correctly. Either lightly spoon the flour into measuring cups or weigh it on a scale. Too much flour will make the dough and the cookies dry. The dough should be fairly soft but it should not be sticky.
  • Keep an eye on the bake time. For the softest cookies, don't let the bottoms get too brown. The edges of the cookies should have a slight hint of a light golden brown.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container with a slice of bread. The bread will help keep the cookies soft and chewy longer. 
  • If you don’t have a sifter, you can combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them well to combine them before adding them to the butter mixture. 
  • If you want the cookies to spread less you can refrigerate them for an hour before you bake them. The cookies in the photo were not refrigerated and they were 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, soft and tender.
  • For smaller cookies, use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop and reduce the baking time by about 1 minute.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 42 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Frequently asked questions:

Can I use self rising flour for this recipe?

If all you have on hand is self-rising flour, here is what you need to do to make this recipe. Substitute the self-rising flour 1:1 for the all-purpose flour but do not add any salt or baking powder.

You will still need the baking soda in the same quantity. The baking soda helps with the texture and browning of the cookies. The cookies sometimes turn out a little more cake-like when you use self-rising flour.

Why did my cookies burn on the bottom?

If your oven rack is not centered in the oven then they will not bake evenly and can burn on the bottom. Another thing that will contribute to burnt cookies is an inaccurate oven. Check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer.

Another tip is to use a light-colored cookie sheet. Darker cookie sheets will absorb more heat and make it easier to burn the bottoms of the cookies. You can also use parchment paper which will act as a bit of an insulator aside from making clean up a breeze. 😉

Can I put frosting on these cookies?

You sure can. You can even make sandwich cookies with them. Spread some light and fluffy Ermine frosting between two cookies or use a simple American buttercream or chocolate cream cheese frosting.

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Nilani

Saturday 29th of May 2021

Will I be able to add a few broken macadamia nuts to the cookie dough without causing too much ‘damage’(!!) to the final outcome? I want to make some simple cookies using the macadamia nuts I have . Thank you very much Pat and Dahn!

Dahn Boquist

Saturday 29th of May 2021

That should work just fine and sounds delicious. Thanks for the question

angiesrecipes

Friday 28th of May 2021

Love sugar cookies and the colourful coating makes them even more fun to eat!

Dahn Boquist

Saturday 29th of May 2021

Thanks Angie

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