What’s better than delicious Soft Sugar Cookies? With this easy no-chill dough, you can have delicious cookies with minimal effort!

a batch of Soft sugar cookies with icing and crushed candy canes

If you’re looking for a delicious sugar cookie recipe that’s both easy to make and fun to decorate, look no further than these Soft Sugar Cookies. These buttery, soft and chewy cookies are sure to be the star of any cookie platter.

a stack of sugar coated soft sugar cookies

The best part is that these delicious, soft sugar cookies are super easy to make. You don’t need to roll or chill the dough – you prepare it and bake it!

They are perfect for holiday baking because they freeze well, so you’ll never have to worry about running low during celebrations. Make these cookies alongside our Chocolate Christmas Cookies, and you’ll be set for your festive baking!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Cream of tartar and baking soda add lift and help keep these cookies soft and chewy.
  • butter offers a rich, indulgent element.
  • Using vanilla adds warmth and extra depth of flavour.
  • A little salt cuts the sweetness and enhances the taste.

Ingredient Notes

flour, vanilla, butter, and granulated sugar

flour: All-purpose flour will work just fine in this recipe. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you can use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is a baking powder substitute commonly found in supermarket spice aisles.

Baking Soda: Baking soda can be substituted with a half teaspoon of baking powder plus a quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar for every 12 ounces (340g) of liquid called for in your recipe!

salt: Kosher, sea salt, or table salt will all work in this recipe.

butter: For best results, make sure to use unsalted butter in this recipe. If all you have is salted butter, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe by half.

Sugar: Use granulated or caster sugar in the cookie dough or substitute it with granulated sugar for a more caramel flavor. If you plan to coat the cookies with sugar, use raw sugar for added crunch or granulated sugar for a more delicate coating.

Eggs: You can use either large or extra-large eggs in this recipe.

Vanilla: Vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract, or imitation vanilla will all work in these cookies. I recommend using clear vanilla for a true white glaze for the icing. Alternatively, you can use almond extract in its place.

How To Decorate Your Cookies

These cookies can easily be decorated by novice and expert bakers alike. The easiest way to decorate them is to roll them in sugar or sprinkle them before baking. The baked cookies can also be iced with a simple glaze and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Why not top them with crushed candy canes for a festive holiday twist?

soft sugar cookies with four different decorations - sugar-coated, coated in sprinkles, iced with white glaze, and iced with crushed candy canes

However you choose to decorate them, you’ll find the process is easy and stress-free. We’ll walk you through all of these options below.

Step By Step Directions

Make sure that the oven is preheated to 375°F/190°C.

Put the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined. Set aside.

a bowl with the mixed dry ingredients

Using a mixer, cream sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.

creamed butter and sugar in a mixer

Once the sugar and butter are light and fluffy, add the eggs.

egg added to the creamed sugar and butter

Beat until smooth scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper as needed, then add the vanilla.

the vanilla bean paste being added to the butter mixture

Beat the mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl as you need to, with a rubber scraper if necessary. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches until just combined. The dough will be thick.

the Soft Sugar Cookies dough in a bowl

Then, roll the dough into balls that are 1¼-inch balls in diameter. If making iced cookies, leave the dough balls as they are. Or you can roll them in sugar or sprinkles.

a ball of dough being rolled in sugar

Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet at a distance of 2 inches apart from one another. For a flatter cookie, press down the dough slightly before baking using your palm or the bottom of a glass. To make a puffier cookie, leave the balls intact.

a drinking glass pressing the dough ball onto a cookie sheet

Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are set. Then remove the cookies from the cookie sheet onto a wire rack to cool.

Soft Sugar Cookies cooling on a cooling rack

For The Icing

Whisk together the sugar, milk and vanilla, adding extra milk as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. Remember that a little milk goes a long way, so try to keep it slightly thick (see the image below).

icing flowing off a fork into a bowl

Either dip or spoon the icing on top of the cooled cookies.

a Soft Sugar Cookie being dipped into a bowl of icing

You want the icing to be thick enough to coat the cookies well.

If you ice the cookie and the icing appears too thin, add a little cornstarch to thicken it and allow it to rest for a few minutes.

a woman holding an iced cookie over a bowl of icing

If you are using sprinkles to decorate, add them to the wet icing.

Let the icing harden before serving.

a stack of Soft sugar cookies with icing.  A is a bite missing from the top cookie

Storage & Freezing Instructions ❄

The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze for up to three months. Just thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
The baked Soft Sugar Cookies can also be frozen. Simply arrange the cookies in a single layer over a baking tray, then pop them into the freezer until they are firm. Once they are solid, move them into a freezer-safe container or bag.

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
ENJOY!

Erren’s Top Tips & Variations

  • Make sure your butter is softened before you start – if it’s too cold, the cookies will be dense instead of soft.
  • Don’t overmix the dough, or the cookies can turn out tough instead of soft.
  • Use a cookie scoop to make uniform sized cookies and avoid any misshapen cookies.
  • Make sure your oven is preheated before you start to bake the cookies. A hot oven helps create a crispy edge and soft center.
  • Let the cookies cool on the pan for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps keep their shape and prevents them from breaking apart.
  • For a chewier cookie, reduce the baking time by 2 minutes.
  • For crispier cookies, increase the baking time by 1 to 2 minutes. Keep an eye on them while they’re baking, so they don’t burn! The edges should be lightly browned but not too dark.
iced sugar cookies on a cooling rack

Let’s Make
Soft Sugar Cookies

These soft, chewy sugar cookies are rich, buttery and incredibly delicious. They can be decorated with icing, or they can be rolled in sugar or sprinkled.

Prep15 minutes

Cook12 minutes

Total27 minutes

Ingredients

For A Sugar or Sprinkle Coating (option 1)

Prevent your screen from going dark

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

  • Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

  • Using a mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper as needed.

  • Add the eggs and beat until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper as needed.

  • Mix in the vanilla.

  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches until just combined. The dough will be thick.

  • Shape the dough into 1¼-inch balls. At this point, you can roll them in sugar or sprinkles or move on to the next step if you’re making iced cookies.

  • Place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  • For a flatter cookie – press the dough down slightly before baking with your palm or the bottom of a glass. For a puffier cookie, leave the balls intact.

  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

For Iced Cookies

  • Whisk together the ingredients for the icing, adding extra milk as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency (a bit of milk goes a long way, so try to keep it slightly thick.)

  • Spoon the icing on top of the cooled cookies.

  • If using sprinkles, add them immediately to the wet icing. Let the icing harden before serving. You can store cookies for up to five days in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 236 (12{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Carbohydrates: 41g (14{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Proteins: 3g (6{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Fats: 7g (11{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Saturated Fat: 4g (25{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Polyunsaturated Fats: 0.4g| Monounsaturated Fats: 2g| Trans Fats: 0.2g| Cholesterol: 38mg (13{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Sodium: 172mg (7{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Potassium: 58mg (2{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Fibers: 0.5g (2{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Sugar: 29g (32{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Vitamin A: 223IU (4{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Calcium: 12mg (1{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})| Iron: 1mg (6{ebea9d5847bd78db73673675e8a4786d1e11955363e2960615a0efdb904da7cb})

Nutritional Data Disclaimer

Erren’s Kitchen is written and produced for informational intentions only. We are not certified nutritionists, and the nutritional information found on this site has not been assessed or authorized by a nutritionist or the FDA. The nutritional information found in our recipes is offered as an estimate and should not be considered a guarantee or fact. The estimated data is provided as a courtesy and calculated through a third-party online nutritional calculator, spoonacular API. Although we do our best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered rough estimates. Many factors, such as brands or products purchased and the nutritional fluctuations that naturally occur in fresh produce, can alter the effectiveness of the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, various online calculators provide different results depending on their particular algorithms and nutrition fact sources.
To obtain the most precise nutritional information in a provided recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the exact ingredients you are using when preparing the recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.