The perfect soft and chewy sugar cookies: just the right amount of softness with a tiny bit of chewiness and a buttery vanilla taste. Simple and easy recipe.

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The best soft and chewy sugar cookies

About Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that the fall and winter holidays are all about cookies. And by cookies I specifically mean the all-time classic sugar cookie.

I mean, think about it: when it comes to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, they all have their own unique delicacies…  but only a few of those treats that can work for all holidays.

These homemade sugar cookies just happen to be one of them.

What kind of cookies does this recipe make?

I mentioned before that sugar cookies come in various types, and for this recipe, there’s another important distinction:

This recipe is for making round sugar cookies. This means this recipe is not ideal for rolled, cut-out sugar cookies. However, you can still decorate the tops of these cookies with sprinkles or royal icing.

If you’re looking for a sugar cookie recipe with dough you can roll out and use cookie cutters with, check out this one: Rolled Sugar Cookies.

Do you need to chill the dough?

This particular recipe calls for chilling the cookie dough for one hour.

I know it can be frustrating to put your baking on hold, but when it comes to cookies, chilling the dough is totally worth the impact it has on your baking.

The short explanation for chilling has to do with the butter. The firmer the butter is at the time of baking, the slower it will melt, which makes cookies less likely to spread while baking. So, as a general rule of thumb, chilling the dough will lead to more dense, fluffy cookies while not chilling will lead to flatter, chewier cookies. This is not always the case, though. Whether you need to chill depends largely on the amount of butter used AND the composition of the other ingredients.

If you’d like a more indepth explanation of chilling dough (with examples!) then check out this article: To Chill or not to Chill.

Homemade sugar cookies made from scratch

How long do sugar cookies last?

When stored in a sealed container, sugar cookies should last up to one week at room temperature. There is no need to refrigerate these cookies.

Can you freeze sugar cookies?

Yes, you totally can!

If you’d like to always have a batch of these cookies on hand, the easiest way is to freeze them for later. There are two ways you can do this.

To freeze the raw dough: 

  • Mix all ingredients, then scoop out about one tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball (the same way you would before baking).
  • Place cookie dough balls on a tray and freeze for at least two hours or until outside is no longer tacky. Once firm, transfer to a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
  • Cookie dough can be stored for up to six months. When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake like normal.

To freeze the baked cookies:

  • Bake and allow to cool completely.
  • Store cookies in a single layer in a freezer bag or storage container. If you need to stack the cookies, separate each layer with a sheet of wax paper.
  • Baked cookies and be stored for up to three months.

Notes & tips for this sugar cookie recipe

  • If you’re doing a lot of baking, I highly recommend having some silicone baking mats on hand. Baking cookies takes enough time without having to cut or measure parchment paper. Or if you prefer using parchment paper, you can try using pre-cut parchment paper sheets instead.
  • Plus, some quality baking sheets are a must for a cookie baking extravaganza!
  • For this recipe, I highly recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. This recipe would be difficult to make by hand with a whisk.
  • If you’re looking for a new take on a sugar cookie, check out this Frosted Sugar Cookie Dip!
  • Looking for rolled sugar cookies that you can cut out and decorate? Check out this recipe: Rolled Sugar Cookies.

More fun cookie recipes

How to make crinkled sugar cookies

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients thoroughly, then set the bowl aside.

Step 2 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl) cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

Step 3 – Reduce mixer speed and blend in vanilla and egg.

Step 4 – Remove bowl from mixer. Using a spatula, blend in the dry ingredients you prepared in step 1. Mix until dough is firm.

Step 5 – Chill dough for 1 hour (see notes below about chilling).

Step 6 – Using a 1 teaspoon (or up to 1 tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop out some dough, roll it into a ball, coat it with sugar, and place the cookie ball on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Repeat this still until all dough has been used.

Step 7 – Bake cookies.

Step 8 – Enjoy!

Recipe Details

Homemade sugar cookies made from scratch
4.15 from 92 votes

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

15 mins prep + 10 mins cook + 1 hr Chilling Time
188 kcal
Yields: 24 cookies
The perfect soft and chewy sugar cookies: just the right amount of softness with a tiny bit of chewiness and a buttery vanilla taste. Simple and easy recipe.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set bowl aside.
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Drop mixer speed to low and add the vanilla extract and egg to the creamed butter, mixing thoroughly.
  • Remove bowl from mixer. Using a spatula, slowly add the dry ingredients in with the butter mixture until fully incorporated. Dough should be soft and slightly dewy when ready.
  • Cover bowl and place dough in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar to a small mixing bowl and set nearby.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator. Scoop out about 1-2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll into a ball (about 1 inch wide) then toss the cookie ball in the bowl of sugar, covering the outside. Place finished cookie ball on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all dough is used, placing cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the top of the cookie begins to crinkle and the bottom sides turn a light golden brown.
  • Let cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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80 comments

    • Annie

    Can I use the dough hook on low speed to incorporate the dry ingredients instead of using a spatula? Or is it fairly easy to incorporate the dry ingredients with a spatula? I don’t want to aggravate a wrist injury!

    I see quite a few comments about the dough balls not flattenimg out, how can I make sure they do flatten out or does that just happen as they cool?

    Thanks!

    • Sydney

    they are so good

    • Tanya

    Can I add cream cheese to this recipe?

    • Natalie

    I see that the recipe calls for 2 cup size of sugar however the directions say 1 1/2 cups sugar?
    Please advise !

      • Maddie

      The sugar is divided into two different steps.

    • SCHARLA FERGUSON
    • 5 stars

    Yummy!

    • Nancy Whitford

    I made the soft and chewy sugar cookies.Used orange extract and orange zest.Made a orange glaze with confectioners sugar and orange juice.Dipped half the cookie in glaze and sprinkled orange colored sugar on it.Pretty and very very yummy.

    • Kathe
    • 5 stars

    Just use a fork like peanut butter cookies and the puffy goes away