These soft and chewy sugar cookies are so easy and so delicious, you may never want to go to the work of rolling and cutting out sugar cookies again!

I love a good traditional, cutout sugar cookie. I really do. But you just can’t beat these amazing chewy and crackly drop sugar cookies.

Roll them in sprinkles to dress them up…or leave them plain. So delicious either way!

Baked sugar cookie on sheet pan.

The dough for these sugar cookies is really straightforward:

  • butter
  • granulated sugar (no brown sugar in these cookies!)
  • egg + vanilla
  • flour + baking powder + baking soda + salt

No need to whisk the dry ingredients together beforehand. Just mix everything up in one bowl!

Glass bowl with sugar cookie dough and flour.

The dough will be soft but not overly sticky.

And it tastes ridiculously delicious. Don’t ask me how I know. 😉

Glass bowl with mixed sugar cookie dough.

Sprinkles or Not

These easy soft and chewy sugar cookies are really yummy plain.

But if you want to make them a bit more festive, roll the dough in sprinkles before baking.

Non-pareil sprinkles work best. To get them to adhere to the cookie dough, roll the ball of cookie dough in sprinkles right after it’s been rolled into a round shape so it’s still soft from the warmth of your hands.

Sugar cookie dough ball sitting in tray of sprinkles.
Cookie dough ball rolled in sprinkles on sheet pan.

How to Fix Cookies That Flatten While Baking

If drop cookies often bake up too flat in your oven (or where you live), these tips might help:

  1. Make sure the butter is at room temperature and NOT overly warm or melty when making the cookie dough.
  2. Use cold eggs.
  3. Add 2-4 tablespoons more flour to the cookie dough.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F or use convection bake (at 325 or 350 degrees F) if you have that setting on your oven.

Below you can see how the drop sugar cookies are slightly thicker when using a couple extra tablespoons flour in the dough. The puffiness means they are less chewy…but they are still soft and tasty.

Conversely, if your cookies aren’t flattening and stay too puffy, try decreasing the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and/or decrease flour by 1/4 cup.

Two halves of sugar cookies stacked on two cookies.

I can’t tell you the number of times these soft and chewy drop sugar cookies have saved me when a sugar cookie craving hits (that happens more often than I like to admit) or when I’ve needed a fast, quick, delicious cookie to save the day.

LOVE THEM.

They are reminiscent of the crackly, thin, chewy sugar cookies from Subway…but a million times better.

Sugar cookie with bite taken out stacked on top of sugar cookies.

Tried-and-True Recipe

These soft and chewy drop sugar cookies have garnered a huge fan base over the years. Over 1,000 five-star reviews prove they are a keeper!

Kim writes: Probably the best sugar cookies I have found. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Marie says: This is an amazing recipe, Mel! Had to go gluten free due to allergies and used King Arthur measure for measure and we couldn’t believe how good it was! Thank you for giving exact measurements; takes the guessing out and so easy with a scale!  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Liz writes: I love this recipe!  Soft, chewy, delicious, easy. Can’t get any better than that. I highly recommend this recipe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Baked sugar cookie on sheet pan next to cookies with sprinkles.

Soft and Chewy Drop Sugar Cookies

4.66 stars (1159 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227 g) salted butter, softened to cool room temperature
  • 1 ⅓ cups (283 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups (355 g) all-purpose flour (see note!)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar or sprinkles, for rolling

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (see note). Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until lightly and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and mix again for 1-2 minutes until the batter lightens in color. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Scoop the cookie dough into rounded balls (about 2 tablespoons in size; I use my #40 cookie scoop), roll in granulated sugar or sprinkles and place on the prepared baking sheets a couple inches apart (about 12 cookies per baking sheet).
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes until slightly crackly on top (but not much color around the edges or bottom to keep them soft and chewy).
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

Flour: for a slightly thicker/puffier cookie, add 2-4 extra tablespoons flour. 
Cookies Spreading: if the cookies spread and flatten too much while baking, try adding more flour per the note above or increase the baking temperature to 375 degrees F or use convection bake (if you have that function on your oven – see my Instagram experiment here to come to this conclusion).
Serving: 1 Cookie, Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 100mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g
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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Five stacked sugar cookies on parchment paper.