An easy recipe for Drop Sugar Cookies. No rolling/cutting out required, no chilling, just flawless, festive, soft and chewy cookies. Recipe includes a how-to video!
The Easiest Sugar Cookies, Period.
I love a good, classic sugar cookie recipe, especially around the holidays! I look forward to making the dough, enjoy the anticipation of waiting for it to chill, embrace the floured counters and ritualistic rolling out and cookie-cutting and careful decorating with colored sugar or royal icing….
But darn it sometimes I just want a sugar cookie, fast.
This is the recipe you need when you don’t have time, or when you don’t have patience. For when you forgot about that holiday party you need to bring a dessert to (not that many of those are happening this year), or when you need to whip up something quick for Santa on Christmas Eve.
It’s absolutely, remarkably, simple. There’s no chilling, no rolling pin needed… just no patience required at all, really. These drop sugar cookies are ever-so-slightly crisp around the edges and so soft and chewy at their centers. Are you ready for this?
What You Need
Just a couple of notes on a few of the ingredients…
- Butter. Yes, that’s not a typo, this recipe uses quite a bit of butter (even more than my butter cookies!).
- Sugar. We’re using all granulated sugar for an authentic sugar cookie taste.
- Flour. Use all-purpose flour (often referred to as “plain” flour outside of the US).
- Baking soda. A little bit of baking soda helps the sugar cookies to spread just the right amount and keeps them from staying in round balls.
- Colored sugar/sanding sugar. I prefer to use coarser sugar (I like the subtle crunch the larger grains add!) but regular colored sanding sugar will work just as well.
Tip: This time of year you should be able to easily find colored sugar in the baking aisle, but I often buy fun colors from Country Kitchen Sweet Art (I get most of my sprinkles from there, too).
For the full recipe with ingredient amounts please scroll down to the recipe card!
How to Make Drop Sugar Cookies
You’re going to love how easy this one is, I haven’t shared such a simple cookie in a while:
- Cream together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.
- Separately, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3-4 parts, stirring until combined after each addition.
- Scoop dough, roll it into a ball between your palms, roll through some festive colored sugar (or try nonpareils for fun texture!) and bake.
That’s it. I told you this one was easy.
Tip: Roll each cookie dough ball through the sugar immediately after rolling into balls. The warmth from your hands warms the surface of the cookie dough and makes it easier for the sugar to adhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many reasons this could happen, but the most likely reasons include:
1) Butter that is too soft/melty (or substituting margarine). The butter should not be melty/greasy!
2) Accidentally over-measuring the baking soda (you aren’t using cute ceramic measuring spoons, are you? They’re adorable but so inaccurate)
3) Placing the cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet from the previous batch.
1) Could you have accidentally over-measured your flour? Make sure to check out my post on the right way to measure flour!
2) Did you add your flour too quickly? Add it to the butter mixture gradually so it has time to be absorbed into the dough, otherwise you could be left with a dry, crumbly dough.
You can prepare this dough up to 5 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll keep for at least a week.
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Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Easy Drop Sugar Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper². Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until creamy and well-combined.20 Tablespoons (282 g) unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until completely combined.
- Scoop dough by rounded 1 ½ tablespoon-sized balls and roll between your palms until smooth. Roll through colored sugar and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies at least 2” apart.Colored sugar
- Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 10-11 minutes. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying!
¹Unsalted butter:If using salted, reduce the salt in the recipe to ½ teaspoon
²Parchment paper:If you don’t have parchment paper, bake cookies directly on an ungreased baking sheet.
Storing:Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.