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Best Soft Sugar Cookies

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5 from 11 votes

These old-fashioned sugar cookies are buttery, soft, chewy, and take less than an hour to make with absolutely no chill time needed! Perfect for holidays, birthdays, and any occasion in between, enjoy these sugar cookies year round!

Not to get you too excited or anything, but I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t LOVED these cookies. These soft sugar cookies require no chilling and are so easy to bake! You’ll have ready-to-eat cookies in less than an hour.

I also absolutely love how versatile these sugar cookies are! Is there a summer birthday coming up? Bring these to the party and pair with vanilla ice cream. Teacher appreciation? Deliver these in a cute box with a heartfelt note. Is it the holidays? Add these to your Christmas cookie spread this year! 

Check out my Soft, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies for another cookie recipe that takes less than an hour to make!

Why You’ll Love These Soft Sugar Cookies

Who doesn’t love a soft sugar cookie? With the perfect thickness and chewiness, these cookies will be making you come back for seconds. You’ll love these cookies for a multitude of reasons, however here are just a few: 

  • Incredible taste. Need I say more? These sugar cookies are mouth-wateringly good. Be careful, one just won’t be enough! 
  • Perfect texture. These sugar cookies are everything you look for in an excellent cookie with its buttery, soft, and chewy texture. 
  • Quick and easy. From start to finish, you will have soft sugar cookies in less than an hour! 
  • Delicious all-year. Whether you are celebrating the beginning of spring or looking for an addition for your Christmas cookie assortment, you can never go wrong with sugar cookies. They hit the spot every season of the year.

Soft Sugar Cookies Video


  • All-purpose flour – all-purpose flour helps create the dough. It’s a cookie staple of course!
  • Unsalted butter – unsalted butter adds moisture and flavor. I prefer to use unsalted butter so I can control how much salt goes into the recipe. 
  • Granulated sugar – sugar adds sweetness and contributes to the soft, delicate texture. 
  • Egg – an egg helps create structure. 
  • Real vanilla extract – vanilla adds beautiful, complementary flavor. 
  • Baking powder – baking powder helps create the perfect texture.
  • Baking soda – baking soda is also a leavening agent for the perfect texture.
  • Salt – salt enhances flavor.

How To Make Soft Sugar Cookies

Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Whisk.

    Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

  2. Cream.

    Add butter, sugar, and vanilla to the stand mixer bowl. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed for about 2 minutes until creamy and fluffy.

  3. Add.

    Add egg, mixing at medium/low speed until just combined.

  4. Add again.

    Add dry ingredients to the mixer and combine until just incorporated.

  5. Roll.

    No refrigeration needed. Roll cookie dough into balls, 2 tablespoons in size, and then roll in sugar before placing on a greased baking sheet.

  6. Bake.

    Bake for 9-12 minutes at 350 degrees until edges start to turn golden and the centers don’t look doughy.

  7. Cool.

    Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack or enjoying.Let soft sugar cookies cool on a wire rack before enjoying!

Tips and Tricks

  • Use room-temp butter. Softened butter is used in this sugar cookie recipe for its role in the creaming process. Creaming together softened butter and sugar creates air pockets, contributing to a tender, soft cookie.
  • Measure flour precisely. Before measuring your flour, make sure to fluff the flour in the bag and then use a dry measuring cup to spoon the flour into the cup. Do not scoop directly from the bag. This results in compacting the flour into the cup and adds extra flour, which can dry out your cookies. 
  • Roll the dough in sugar. Rolling the cookie dough in sugar adds an extra layer of sweetness in addition to creating a thin, crunchy exterior that is a delicious contrast to the soft interior. 
  • Don’t over-bake the cookies. Be careful to avoid over-baking the cookies as this will dry them out!

How To Decorate Soft Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are so versatile and delicious fresh out of the oven. If you want to add extra flare, decorate your cookies, especially for the holidays! 

  • Frost them with a store-bought frosting of choice, cookie icing, or the cream cheese frosting on these Pumpkin Cupcakes!
  • Roll them in a cinnamon sugar mix for a yummy snickerdoodle twist. 
  • Fold in a variety of multi-colored sprinkles for a pop of color! 
  • Melt chocolate chips or white chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle on the cookies. Let the drizzle cool to harden. 

How To Store Soft Sugar Cookies

  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 
  • Freeze baked cookies by allowing the cookies to cool completely and store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. If they are decorated cookies, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. To thaw the cookies, place on the counter and allow to thaw at room temperature for at least an hour. Freeze raw cookie dough balls in a Ziploc bag. Bake cookies right from the freezer at 350℉ for 10-14 minutes.
  • Make-ahead if you want to save time and make the cookie dough ahead, make the cookie dough and roll into balls. Store the cookie dough balls in the fridge up to 48 hours before baking. Keep in mind that refrigeration time will cause the cookies to spread somewhat less!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Why did my sugar cookies spread too much?

If your cookies are spreading too much in the oven, this may be because of too little flour. Make sure to measure the flour correctly! See the “Tips and Tricks” section for details.

Why did my sugar cookies not spread?

A few things can make your cookies not spread in the oven including using too much flour or an oven that isn’t fully preheated.

Can you make cut-out cookies with this recipe?

I would not recommend it. This sugar cookie recipe is designed for simple, drop-style cookies. If you want to add a more decorative twist, see my section on how to decorate these soft sugar cookies!

Can you use a hand mixer?

Absolutely. A hand mixer will work just as well as a stand mixer.

Do I need to chill the dough before baking?

No chilling is required! I love how quick and easy this sugar cookie recipe is without any chilling required. Makes the process that much faster!

Can you freeze unused raw cookie dough?

Yes! Place the unused raw cookie dough in a freezer-safe bag and press as much air as you can out of it before sealing. When ready, bake the cookies directly from the freeze at 350℉ for 10-14 minutes.

More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love!

Best Soft Sugar Cookies

These old-fashioned sugar cookies are buttery, soft, chewy, and take less than an hour to make with absolutely no chill time needed! Perfect for holidays, birthdays, and any occasion in between, enjoy these sugar cookies year round!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, New England
Keyword: any season, winter
Servings: 20 cookies (roughly)
Calories: 177kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace


  • Stand mixer (or hand mixer if needed)


  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour precisely measured
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus ¼ cup for rolling dough balls
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350℉. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well incorporated.
  • In the bowl of a mixer, add butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and vanilla. Turn mixer on medium speed and cream together for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl halfway through. Butter/sugar mixture should look creamy and fluffy.
  • Add egg, turning mixer to medium/low speed until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides as needed. Do not over mix.
  • Add dry ingredients to mixer, and combine until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over mix.
  • Time to bake…no need to chill the dough! Roll cookie dough into 2 tablespoon-sized balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar, and then place at least 2 inches apart on a greased (or Silpat/parchment lined) baking sheet. Dough will be sticky.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes until the middle of the cookies are just set and the edges of the cookies just start to turn light golden.
  • Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before devouring or placing on a wire rack to cool completely!



  • Freeze any unused raw cookie dough balls in a Ziploc bag. Bake cookies right from the freezer at 350 for 10-14 minutes.
  • To refrigerate cookie dough or not? I tested refrigerating cookie dough for 2 hours and not refrigerating cookie dough. I actually preferred not refrigerating dough for this recipe. The result was slightly softer, as opposed to chewier cookies. The choice is up to you!
  • Important: make sure to measure flour correctly! Use the spoon and level method by gently scooping flour into a dry measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife, ensuring accurate and consistent results every time.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Lyric
    January 24, 2022 / 6:44 pm

    Could I add white chocolate chips and sprinkles to the batter?

    • TastefullyGrace
      January 24, 2022 / 6:49 pm


      Although I’ve never tried, I’m sure you can! I’d add 1 or 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips to the batter. For sprinkles, I’d probably mix in about 1/2 cup.

      Let me know how they turn out!

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