These are my kid’s FAVORITE sugar cookies. Here’s why.
- Soft and chewy. The texture of these cookies is really what sets them apart from other recipes. They have that iconic soft and chewy center with very slightly crispy outsides.
- Ready in 30 minutes. These soft sugar cookies require no chilling, which means you can enjoy them in less than 30 minutes. Just remember to allow for extra time if you want to frost them!
What You’ll Need
This easy soft sugar cookie recipe is made with just a few pantry staples. Scroll down to the recipe card below to see measurements.
- Butter & shortening – See notes below for why both are used.
- Granulated sugar – You can’t make sugar cookies without sugar!
- Vanilla – Gives the cookies their classic flavor.
- Baking powder – Helps the cookies rise a bit in the oven.
- Salt – Balances out the sweetness.
- All purpose flour
- Powdered sugar – The base of the sugar cookie frosting.
- Milk – Thins the frosting.
Why Use Both Shortening and Butter?
You’ll notice that I use a combination of butter and shortening to make these soft sugar cookies. The shortening is key to create the soft texture. Here are a reasons why I use both:
- Spread. Shortening has a lower melting temperature which means the cookies won’t spread as much compared to using butter only.
- Flavor. Shortening has a very neutral flavor, and if you’ve had the supermarket frosted cookies, you know that the cookie itself is actually pretty bland. BUT the combo of butter and shortening gives you a subtle buttery flavor while still being mild.
- Texture. Shortening aids in the cakey texture of this cookie. It has no water, so no steaming occurs during baking, creating less gluten. Less gluten = a more tender texture. You could go all the way and use all shortening in this recipe to make an even cakier texture, but I like the sweet spot that the butter and shortening combination provides.
Here’s a quick overview of how to make these soft sugar cookies. Scroll down to the recipe card for more detailed instructions.
- Make the dough. Mix the shortening and butter for 2 minutes, then add the sugar and mix for another minute. Add in the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix until smooth then turn the mixer to low and beat in the flour.
- Bake. Drop balls of dough on a cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges just start to get golden. Cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to the wire rack to finish cooling.
- Make the frosting. Mix the butter and powdered sugar until it looks like coarse sand. Add in the milk and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
- Decorate. Add food coloring if desired and pipe onto the cooled cookies.
Tips for Success
Here are a few things I’ve found helpful to keep in mind when making these soft sugar cookies.
- Do not overmix. Once you add the flour to the dough, continue mixing just until combined.
- Avoid overbaking. These cookies bake quickly and you want to pull them from the oven just as the edges are starting to turn golden. They will continue to bake and firm up on the baking sheet.
- Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Before you transfer these to a wire rack, give them about 3 minutes to continue baking and to cool on the cookie sheet.
- How to easily fill a piping bag. If you decide to pipe the frosting on to your cookies, I recommend placing the piping bag in a large glass, folding the edges over the side, and filling it to just halfway with a spoon in the glass.
- Room temperature. These soft sugar cookies will stay fresh for up to 5 days in an airtight container on the counter.
- Freezer. Unfrosted cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months in a ziploc bag. Thaw on the counter then frost or enjoy as-is.
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- 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the shortening and butter together for 2 minutes on medium speed until smooth. Add in sugar and mix for 1 minute.
- Add in eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt and mix until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Turn the mixer to low and mix in the flour until just combined.
- Using a medium (2- tablespoon) cookie scoop, drop dough on the prepared baking sheet 2- inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to get golden.
- Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and powdered sugar together. Mixture will look like course sand.
- Slowly add in milk and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
- Tint the frosting with a few drops of food coloring if desired and spread or pipe onto the cooled cookies.
Store airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 233
- Sugar: 33.4 g
- Sodium: 71.1 mg
- Fat: 9.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.4 g
- Protein: 0.8 g
- Cholesterol: 25.6 mg
Keywords: soft sugar cookies, easy soft sugar cookie recipe