Want to make the easiest sugar cookies this season? These Drop Sugar Cookies are crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside — each bite is bursting with vanilla flavors. This cookie dough doesn’t need a chill, so these cookies are made and baked within 30 minutes! Makes 26 cookies.
This recipe has been a long time coming, and it’s not for lack of effort. I’ve wanted to feature an easy sugar cookie recipe like this on my site for years now.
It just took a while to get this recipe right.
It also took lots and lots and lots of testing.
But I’m pleased to present these to y’all today!
The beauty in this recipe is that it requires no refrigeration time, which means these cookies can be ready to enjoy in 30 minutes or less!
They are utterly PERFECT.
Why I love this recipe:
It’s hard not to love these soft and chewy sugar cookies for a variety of reasons…
- The vanilla flavor is on point!
- They don’t need to chill before you bake them! Hello, cookies in 30 minutes…
- You can make the cookie dough well ahead of time and freeze it. Bake ‘em off right before you want a cookie or plan to share them.
More cookie recipes to try this season: Lemon Crinkle Cookies | Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies | Quebec Maple Pecan Drop Cookies | Cranberry Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies | Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies | Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Need more baking inspiration? Check out my Cookie Recipe Index for some ideas!
Drop vs. cut out sugar cookies
Sugar cookies are a total delight, no matter which recipe you make. The simple flavor of them reminds me of childhood and good memories.
This Drop Sugar Cookie recipe is different than a traditional cut out sugar cookie recipe (like my Greek Yogurt Cut Out Sugar Cookies or All-Butter Tea Cake Cookies) because you are not using a rolling pin and cookie cutters to cut out these cookies.
You also won’t need to add easy sugar cookie icing to them, either.
Simply put, you’re using a cookie scoop to drop the cookie dough into a bowl of vanilla sugar, rolling it around until coated, and then baking them as is.
These sugar cookies are coated in that delightful sugar. They are round… and the dough cannot be rolled and cut out into shapes.
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Rimmed sheet pan or baking sheet
- Nonstick baking mat or parchment paper
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Cookie scoop
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour — we keep unbleached AP flour at our house, but you can use the regular kind, too.
- Kosher salt — I like to use a medium-grain kosher salt here. You could also use a similar size of sea salt, too.
- Baking soda — this is our leavener, which will help the cookies rise. Make sure yours is fresh.
- Unsalted butter — this is the fat for our cookie recipe. It’s important that it is unsalted so we can control the amount of salt added to the cookie batter. Set it out the butter 30-45 minutes before you plan to mix the batter so it blends easily.
- Granulated sugar — also known as white sugar, this sweetens our sugar cookie dough. There is no substitute.
- Powdered sugar — also known as confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar, this is the other sweetener for our cookies. I like using powdered sugar in the cookie dough because it combines easily with the other ingredients and also yields a really fluffy, smooth dough.
- Egg — not only does this help bring the ingredients together, but it also helps give the cookies a little fluff.
- Vanilla bean paste — this is where we’re going to get the strong vanilla scent and flavor from! It’s a investment to get a bottle of this stuff, but it adds such lovely flavor to these cookies. Vanilla extract just doesn’t pack the same punch.
- Vanilla sugar — this is the other element of vanilla scent and flavor. You can make your own by splitting a vanilla bean, scattering the seeds in granulated sugar and letting it hang out for a bit… or you can purchase it online.
Variations and substitutions:
- Make them dairy free by swapping vegan butter or shortening for the unsalted butter. While this will change the texture slightly, these cookies should work.
- Add another flavored sugar to the exterior. Offer a unique twist to these cookies by rolling them homemade flavored sugar or Lavender Sugar.
How to make Drop Sugar Cookies
Preheat the oven for 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
Combine the dry ingredients. Measure the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars. Measure the softened butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Whip until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla bean paste to the wet ingredients.
Mix until incorporated and fragrant.
Add the dry ingredients (the flour mixture) to the wet ingredients.
Start your mixer slowly, then turn up the speed until just incorporated.
Scoop the cookies using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop.
Roll the dough balls in vanilla sugar until coated, and place on the lined baking sheets.
Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until slightly golden and just set.
Cool on a wire rack before enjoying!
How to store & freeze
Store your Easy Sugar Cookies in an airtight container by themselves. (After all, flavor creep is a thing, and I like all my cookies to taste as they should.)
They will taste freshest if enjoyed within 3-4 days. I like to use these containers* (affiliate link) for cookies because they have the most wonderful airtight lids.
How to bake from frozen:
If you want to freeze cookie dough to make cookies later, you can! You should freeze the cookie dough 1-2 weeks in advance, then bake them fresh just before guests arrive.
- Chill the dough, then roll out the dough balls. Store them in the freezer until ready to bake, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar just before baking.
- I let the dough sit on the kitchen counter while I preheat the oven. Once the oven is ready, the outsides are sticky enough for the spice mixture.
- Bake frozen for 10-11 minutes, or a little longer. Keep an eye on them!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
There’s nothing like homemade cookies for the holidays… or any kind of gathering, especially ones that involve kids.
I love these Drop Sugar Cookies because they’re fun to bake—solo or with kids—and they’re fun to customize, too. While we made these
Here are some tips and tricks to making the best easy sugar cookie recipe for any type of gathering:
- Bake the cookies in advance. These cookies are delicious at room temperature, so make ‘em early and don’t fret!
- Double or triple the recipe for a crowd. You can always send friends home with extra cookies.
- Make them for a cookie exchange. You could also have them on a tray at a cookie decorating party, too.
- Learn how to Freeze Cookie Dough and freeze the cookie dough 1-2 weeks in advance, then bake them fresh just before guests arrive.
- Watch out for flavor creep! Since these sugar cookies have subtle vanilla flavor, they should be stored separately from other cookies. (Truthfully, all cookies should be stored separately and then served together later.)
Frequently Asked Questions
The difference is what you do with the cookie dough before baking. Cut out sugar cookie dough is chilled before you roll it out and cut out shapes. This drop sugar cookie dough is not chilled and you drop the dough into vanilla sugar before placing it on a baking sheet and immediately baking.
It’s called a drop cookie because you drop it onto the baking sheet before baking! It requires no additional shaping.
Use a cookie scoop to where your cookies are the same size. You may roll them between your palms to ensure they’re all roughly the same shape, but that’s not required before rolling in the sugar.
Quick tips and tricks to making the best No Chill Sugar Cookies
- Plan ahead. Set your ingredients, including the egg and butter, out on the counter at least an hour before baking. Room temperature ingredients make a huge difference!
- Double the recipe for more cookies. These sugar cookies are easy to make and excellent for sharing!
- Use a cookie scoop. Not only will it make life easier (and your hands less messy), but your cookies will be a more uniform size.
Drop Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 240g
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt 3g
- 1 teaspoon baking soda 8g
- ½ cup unsalted butter 113g
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- ½ cup powdered sugar 80g
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste 22g
- ½ cup vanilla sugar 140g
- Preheat the oven for 350°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Measure the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
- Measure the butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
- Measure in the egg and vanilla bean paste. Mix until incorporated and fragrant.
- Next, add dry ingredients (the flour mixture) into the wet ingredients. Start mixing slowly, then turn up the speed until just incorporated.
- Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the cookies. Roll in the vanilla sugar until coated, then place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until slightly golden and just set.
- Let cool on a wire rack before enjoying!