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 three to five minutes.

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

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

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

Step 6 – Using a one 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
4.48 from 80 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, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set bowl aside.
    2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 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.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 2 cup granulated sugar
  • Drop mixer speed to low and mix in the egg and vanilla until incorporated and smooth, about 2-4 minutes.
    1 egg, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 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.
    2 cup granulated sugar
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serve immediately.

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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Recipe Rating




80 comments

    • Bridgett
    • 5 stars

    I can’t stop making these! My an old friend of mine is addict and I am too! Perfect recipe!! I didn’t chant a thing! I’ll forget use this and pass it to anyone I know!! Thank you for finding the perfect sugar cookie!!

    • Dorothy
    • 5 stars

    I have been making this recipe for a year now and it’s my favorite for sugar cookies that taste and look great. But I’ve been making them wrong–I just noticed today that I am supposed to only use 1 1/2 cups sugar in the recipe and the other half to roll the cookies in! I’ve been adding the whole two cups to the dough…oh well, they are always delicious, even if the dough is a bit dry.
    They are puffy in the oven but flatten nicely while cooling. Perfect cookies, even with a little extra sugar.

    • QueenOfTheMaris
    • 5 stars

    I went along with the measurements, with few of my own experiences added in , using baby spoon for steps the said teaspoon and eyeballing. And also used two teaspoon (baby spoon) vanilla extract. Cookies rose beautifully! They taste AMAZING! COOK TIME 7-10 MINUTES @350

    • Kim
    • 5 stars

    This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe I have tried! I made 3 batches for my an old friend of mine’s soldiers and have been getting requests ever since then! They’re always hungry lol
    Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    • Diane
    • 5 stars

    I tested several sugar cookie recipes and this one is my favorite. I made the recipe ‘as is’ (no changes), and I love the flavor and texture. The cookies puff up while baking but end up thin and lightly crispy with a chewy interior. I use the Oxo 1.5 T. cookie scoop which made 28 cookies, and my bake time was 11 ½ minutes. I definitely recommend this recipe!

    • Julie
    • 5 stars

    I am going to try these, they sound perfect for what I need. And I just love your detail, thank you so much for the recipe!! Have a terrific day!

    • Mary Ann Lee
    • 5 stars

    The BEST soft sugar cookie I ever ate!!! However, before rolling the cookie ball in sugar, I dampened the ball with a little water with my fingers. It is still soft but oh so sugary. Chrisy your recipe is a big hit with my family and friends. Thank you so much for sharing. Mary Ann

    • Shantel Smith
    • 3 stars

    This isn’t the same recipe you posted in 2014, is it? If not, can I get that recipe? I believe that one only used one stick of butter and I had to use my thumb to push in the middle for the cookie to spread, is that correct?

    • Nancy Jayroe

    What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Is it required you use both?

    • Jennifer

    My batter was not dewy it was very soft mushy just not right. I just don’t know…

      • Sally
      • 5 stars

      Hi! Did you chill it for long enough? You might also not have added enough flour.

      -Sally

    • adriane reeder

    Hey I tried this recipe, can you tell me what happens if the cookies dont spread out, like what does it mean if they just stay as balls when baking the entire time?

    • Bla

    Hi. You lost me with so many bla bla. Sorry. Never got to the recipe. I scrolled to the bottom.

    • Drew
    • 5 stars

    I really like this recipe, but I want to know, can I put food coloring in it to make it a little more interesting? Or will that affect the baking?

    • judy

    hi can somebody please send me recipe for soft chewy sugar cookies.. need desperately for a bridal shower and it will not come up on my phone.. i keep getting half screen divided .. thank you

    • Layla
    • 5 stars

    Thies cookies were so delish I shared them all and everyone loved them keep up the good work!!!

    • Martha Abel

    Do these cookies freeze well?

      • Ross

      No, they will explode if frozen

        • Karhe

        Just use a fork like for a peanut butter cookie and they won’t puff up . Good cookies

    • Sarah

    I was wondering if I can use crisco instead of butter? (Lactose intolerant family). Do you think that will work with this recipe?? Thanks

      • Sarah
      • 5 stars

      For future reference for anyone lactose free, I used Crisco and 2 tablespoons of water instead of the butter and the cookies came out AMAZING. Tasted very similar to Pillsbury. They even stayed soft for man, many days. Definitely will be making them again to ship to my man on a Navy carrier. Thanks so much for the recipe!!

      • Danyell

      Try some plant based butter. There are many options, even Country Crock makes several varieties.

    • Abigail
    • 5 stars

    Ok these cookies are the BEST! I’ve been looking for the perfect sugar cookie recipe and this is it! I hate store bought cookies because they are so hard and dry! These are amazing! Thank you for sharing!

    • TT
    • 4 stars

    Not sure what i did wrong my cookies didn’t flatten. Maybe i should have flatten the balls a bit before baking. Will try another batch.

      • J

      I had the same problem! I tried making these cookies twice and followed the recipe to a T but they come out puffy like biscuits? Was very disappointed considering how great the pictures look :/

        • L. Doty

        Making for 1st time. Followed recipe exactly. Stayed in a ball. Baked for about 20min. 2nd tray flagged slightly. Still rose. Not doing again.

        • Beth

        So glad this isn’t just me!! I’ve tried this recipe a few times and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. My cookies usually look more biscuit like instead of cookie like and don’t flatten out at all. They taste okay, but to me they have a flour taste to them. Anyone have recommendations on what I’m doing wrong or how to fix it? Sugar cookies are my absolute favorite and I hate that I can’t figure them out!

    • gina

    can i use salted butter? that is all i have.

      • Chrisy

      Hey Gina! Yes, you can use salted butter, but you may want to skip the salt in the recipe or greatly reduce it (like just a pinch of salt instead of 1/2 a teaspoon).

      • Jennie

      Can’t make these fast enough. My kids love them ! Crispy and chewy they are awesome. I mix in my flour with the mixer and it comes out fine. Thank you for the recipe Chrisy! Love them.