Super soft sugar cookies with a delicate vanilla flavor and texture. They’re so good that you’ll want to eat them all as soon as they’re out of the oven. You’ve been warned!
I’m going to admit something to you. I never understood the hype around sugar cookies. I thought they were too sweet, and not too flavorful. But then I tried these cookies, and I realized I was wrong. So wrong.
These cookies were born by accident. I made my original recipe and ran out of sugar, so I swapped the rest with powdered sugar. When I tried them I couldn’t believe the difference it made. They tasted better and the texture was superb. This is now my favorite recipe for sugar cookies. They’re chewy, soft, and they have a delicious vanilla flavor. I even love sneaking a taste of the dough, which is always a weakness of mine! (If this is also a guilty pleasure if yours, you must try my edible cookie dough recipe for an entire bowl full of chocolate chip cookie dough that’s 100% safe to eat).
Why are these cookies so soft?
First, I use powdered sugar in the recipe, which makes them incredibly soft–same as in my a-m-a-z-i-n-g melt-in-your-mouth vanilla pudding chocolate chip cookies. The reason is that powdered sugar has cornstarch in it, which helps give a soft texture to cookies and other baked goods. Make sure not to omit it from the recipe!
Second, I underbake the cookies to keep them soft in the center, as I do with almost all my cookies. I’m on team soft, chewy cookies, not flat, crunchy cookies. If you’re anything like me, make sure not to overbake your cookies. Don’t wait until they’re golden brown on top, but rather just slightly brown around the edges.
How to make these soft sugar cookies
- Cream butter and sugar together. Do this in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer. Blend room temperature butter with both sugars until fluffy, about 4 minutes until it’s fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla. Be sure the scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix the dough, which can result in tougher cookies (we’re going for soft and chewy here)
- Bake. Shape dough into balls and roll in granulated sugar. This adds another delicious layer to the cookies. Bake at 350°F/185°C for 10-11 minutes.
How long can you keep sugar cookies?
Unfortunately, mine never last too long to tell, but 3-5 days at room temperature is ideal. Because of their substantial shelf life, they’re an excellent option if you’re planning on shipping holiday cookies. I always recommend that if you make a large batch, place some in an airtight container, and freeze. Freezing is the best way to keep cookies fresh. If I’m craving a cookie, I’ll take one or two cookies out of the freezer and either warm them in the oven, or let them thaw to room temperature.
Tips for perfect sugar cookies
- Don’t overmix your cookie dough. This can result in tougher, more dense cookies. Combine ingredients just until they come together.
- Freeze leftover cookies or cookie dough. Baked cookies stay fresh in the freezer for 3-4 weeks, while cookie dough will stay fresh for 2 months. You can either freeze dough in a disc shape wrapped in plastic wrap or pre-roll them into balls and place in a freezer-safe container. Simply place them on a baking sheet when you’re ready to bake them and bake frozen (this will require a few extra minutes of baking time).
- Don’t omit the powdered sugar. Powdered sugar makes these cookies incredibly soft and chewy, so I highly recommend using it in addition to the granulated sugar the recipe calls for.
More Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies:
- Melt-In-Your-Mouth Butter Cookies: Perfectly buttery and decadent, these are like a dream.
- Soft, Chewy, Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies: Truly one of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes in the world.
- Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies: Tangy lemon and white chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combos, and both flavors shine in these delicious cookies.l
- Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies: One of my all-time favorite sandwich cookies (they’re incredible)!
- Nutty Mexican Wedding Cookies: A perfect afternoon cookie to eat with a cup of tea or coffee.
My funfetti cookie recipe is very similar to this sugar cookie recipe. Here’s a video of how to make these amazing cookies!
Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
These incredibly soft and chewy sugar cookies are rich, buttery, and insanely delicious.
- 2 ⅛ cups (300g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks/227g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ⅔ cup (130g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (85g) powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar on medium-low speed for 4 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract just until combined. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Do not overmix.
Place ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into balls, the size of 1.5 tablespoons each (I use this ice cream scoop for that), then roll them in the sugar and place on the cookie sheets, spacing them 2-inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes until cookies just begin to brown at the edges, but the center is still soft (you don't want to overbake them). Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months.