The Best Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies Recipe

Wondering how to make soft and chewy sugar cookies? Then you have to try this easy cookie recipe. These simple sugar cookies don’t need to be chilled and stay wonderfully soft & chewy for DAYS! It’s my best sugar cookie recipe!
A cooling rack with freshly baked sugar cookies

MY FAVORITE SOFT SUGAR COOKIES

So I feel like I’m a tad bit late with these cookies, since I just missed Christmas and all, but the truth is that sugar cookies are good all year round. In fact, next to a good Snickerdoodle, chewy sugar cookies are a total favorite of mine any day of the week. I feel like Cutout Sugar Cookies are the Christmas version of a sugar cookie while a classic drop cookie, like this one, is the year round version, you know?

And as with any classic, simple cookie that doesn’t hide behind frosting or anything, it really needs to be just right. Soft and chewy for days, my friends. I don’t want some cookie that’s great for a day or so and then you have to toss them. No, these will call to you from the kitchen counter until they’re all eaten – and it could be 4 or 5 days later (if they last that long).

A row of soft sugar cookies in a small wire basket

WHAT MAKES THESE THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES?

I tested SO many versions of these sugar cookies, I’m pretty sure my mother in law (who watches the twins while I work), thought I was losing my mind. I’d be all, “Just one more version!” and then a week later there’s still new batches on the counter.

But seriously, I love a good old fashioned soft sugar cookie. Like, for reals. So it just had to be right. And I’m happy to say these are it. These sugar cookies are:

  • Not too thin
  • Not too thick
  • Soft and chewy
  • Delicious!
  • And they stay good for DAYS.

In fact these soft sugar cookies are dangerous because you want to keep eating them all! Let’s talk about how to make them.

The Best Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies - a must-have recipe for any good sugar cookie fan! These cookies require no chilling, they're quick and easy to make, buttery and full of vanilla, and wonderfully soft and chewy for DAYS!

WHAT MAKES A COOKIE SOFT & CHEWY?

Baking Soda + Baking Powder

Sugar cookies can easily turn out dry or too cakey. In all my testing, I found that my favorite sugar cookies were ones that used a combination of baking soda and baking powder – and just a bit more soda than powder. Nothing wrong with using just one or the other – I have done both in other cookies. In fact, I have an all baking soda Coconut Sugar Cookie that is delicious! But for the straight up vanilla bakery-style sugar cookie, the combo works best. Baking powder only = thicker and cake-y. Baking soda only = chewy and thin. A combo = just right.

White Sugar + Brown Sugar

The other big thing here is the sugar. Naturally a sugar cookie is going to use white granulated sugar. It’s just how it is. But part of what makes a cookie chewy is a high moisture content. Brown sugar has more moisture than white sugar, because it contains a little bit of molasses. You don’t want to overdo the brown sugar here, but I swapped out two tablespoons of white sugar for brown sugar and the result was fantastic. It makes a much softer and chewier cookie that stays fresh longer.

And just a little tidbit about baking cookies – it’s amazing how much of a difference such a small change can make to a cookie. Just two tablespoons! When I used all white sugar, the cookies didn’t spread as much (less moisture). When I used just a bit of brown sugar, they spread just enough AND stayed soft for DAYS! And when I used just a bit more brown sugar, the flavor started to get a bit too off track and they spread more than I wanted, leaving me with a little thinner cookie with less defined edges. So I totally suggest sticking with it as I have it. The best!

The Right Amount of Flour

The other important part of a chewy cookie is having enough flour. You have to have enough flour to support the moisture content, but not too much to make it dry. A tight balance, but it’s well achieved here.

A stack of homemade sugar cookies on a blue cloth

HOW TO MAKE SOFT SUGAR COOKIES

So one of the best parts of these cookies is that they are quick and straight forward to make.

  • Start by creaming the butter and sugars together until it’s light in color and fluffy. You’ll actually be able to see the lighter color, so don’t quit mixing until you see it.
  • Next you’ll add the egg, then the vanilla extract.
  • Now add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Mix it until it’s all combined, but don’t over mix it. Over mixing any batter or dough can lead to toughness.
  • Divide the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls of dough and roll them in a little bit of granulated white sugar. Place the balls onto a cookie sheet (I like to line my cookie sheets with silicone baking mats) and bake them!

This is a No Chill Sugar Cookie Recipe

That’s right – there is no need for chilling the cookie dough or even pressing the balls flat. They spread perfectly on their own. These two features make these cookies perfect for spur of the moment baking!

How Long to Bake Soft Sugar Cookies

Mine baked just enough at 7 minutes, but keep an eye on them to see how they do in your oven. I removed mine when they had spread nicely, looked just done enough without looking undercooked, and the edges weren’t quite golden.

A cooling rack with sugar cookies

These sugar cookies are the perfect example of a treat that doesn’t have to be fancy to be awesome. In fact, I think something simple like this is one of the most impressive things when done well and right. And these are SO right!

HOW TO DECORATE YOUR COOKIES

  • If you’re looking to make sugar cookies for a holiday or an event, these cookies would be great rolled in sprinkles, instead of sugar. Use any color you like!
  • If you simply can’t have a sugar cookie without it being frosted, check out my royal icing or my vanilla buttercream frosting. Even my cream cheese frosting would make a tasty addition. Any of them would be delicious!
  • For another fun spin on the sugar cookie, add some sprinkles for a confetti sugar cookie!

Six soft sugar cookies on a cooling rack with sugar sprinkled on the counter

TIPS FOR THE BEST COOKIES

Although this soft sugar cookies are super easy to make, there are a few simple tricks you can use to make sure that your cookies come out perfectly. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Make sure your butter is the right temperature. Room temperature can be a little misleading if your house is too warm or too cool. Your butter shouldn’t be so soft that your finger goes right through it if you press on it, but it should also be able to make an imprint. If it won’t, or it barely does, it’s likely too cold still.
  • Be sure to use just two tablespoons of brown sugar. It adds just enough additional moisture to the cookies to help them spread correctly and stay soft and chewy for days!
  • Don’t over mix the dough after you add the flour. It can over develop the gluten and cause the cookies to not spread as nicely or be tough.
  • Make sure your cookie dough balls are 1 1/2 tablespoons each or you’ll want to adjust the baking time. I also found that size to be just right for spreading well.

How to Freeze These Cookies

These cookies freeze nicely too! Just let the baked cookies come to room temperature, then pack them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. Thaw them in the fridge or on the counter when you’re ready to eat them.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative to a cutout sugar cookie, or simply looking to cure a craving for a good soft and chewy Sugar Cookies, these are sure to be your new favorite easy sugar cookie! They stay soft for days and have the ultimate chewy-factor!


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BEST Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookie Recipe | Easy No Chill Cookie Recipe
Recipe

Best Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 30-32 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

If you’re wondering how to make soft and chewy sugar cookies, then you have to try this recipe. These cookies require no chilling, are easy to make, and stay wonderfully soft and chewy for DAYS!


Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups (358g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp (233g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp (28g) light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar (additional for rolling)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. You should be able to see the change in color happen and know it’s ready.
  4. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is well combined. It will be thick and shouldn’t be sticky. Do not over mix. Once it’s well combined, use a rubber spatula to help it come together to form a more cohesive ball.
  7. Create 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Gently roll into a ball, then roll each ball in the additional sugar to coat. Set the balls on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. The cookies will spread and the centers will look soft, but should look done. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden. Don’t over bake. The cookies will be a little puffy when you take them out of the oven but will fall a bit as they cool.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 4-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

The sugar amounts are important for these cookies. If you chose to use all granulated sugar, rather than a little brown sugar, the cookie won’t spread quite as much and will be a little thicker and a little less soft.

Be sure to measure the flour accurately. The best way is by weight with a food scale, but if you don’t have one, give your flour a stir, then scoop it out with a measuring scoop. Do not pack it into the measuring cup.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Cookie
  • Calories: 126
  • Sugar: 8.4 g
  • Sodium: 79.3 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.7 g
  • Protein: 1.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 21.1 mg

Keywords: soft sugar cookies, how to make sugar cookies, best sugar cookie recipe, easy sugar cookie recipe, homemade sugar cookies

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Enjoy!

The Best Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies - a must-have recipe for any good sugar cookie fan! These cookies require no chilling, they're quick and easy to make, buttery and full of vanilla, and wonderfully soft and chewy for DAYS!

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Recipe rating

1,010 Comments
  1. Damen

    Good morning and Happy Holidays!! I’m the cook and baker in my house.  Can this recipe be used for Christmas Cookies?  I’m sure it can.  I would just have to roll out the dough and use the cookie cutter molds.  Just wondering!! 

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried it as cut outs before. I would think they would spread a little too much. But some people have said that they tried it and it worked well.

  2. Jessie

    I’ve never made a sugar cookie before (from Australia, they’re not a big thing here) but these were delicious and perfect, exactly how I hoped they’d be.

  3. Amy Balestrazzi

    Hi! I need to make an extra batch! Can I put dough into fridge for the night and then bake in the morning?

    1. Stacey

      Hi I got alittle confused and just want to make sure, to have the cookie chewy , do I include the 1 Cup and 2 tbsp of granulated sugar with the 2 Tbsp of brown sugar ? 
      Or just 1 cup of granulated white sugar with 2 Tbsp of brown sugar ? 

  4. Ashley R Cress

    I followed the recipe exactly and I can’t roll dough into balls very very very sticky now I don’t know what to do I don’t want to waste it cuz I don’t have anymore sugar

  5. Jonnie

    This recipe looks delicious. I am planning on making a spiraled cooking for Christmas (with plain, green, a red “layers”). I usually use a recipe for cutout sugar cookies when I do this, but I love the idea of the cookies being softer and chewier. Do you think this recipe would work for that, or do you think the extra working in of the food coloring and rolling out the layers would make it too tough? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Gosh, hard to say. I’m not sure that the cookies would work as well. Because you slice and bake a spiral cookie like that, they may spread a good bit more. I’m just not sure without trying it.

    2. Amy Ziller

      These cookies are amazing! I did have the sane problem with mine nit spreading but I didn’t weigh my flour, but I didn’t mind, easy fix to flatten them. I will make these again my family LOVED these cookies.

  6. ShaRon

    Can you use self-rising flour with this recipe?  If you don’t have plain flour? Also I only have salted butter? I want to make these now. Please telling me how?

    1. Lindsay

      You can use salted butter, you will just want to leave out the additional salt. But self raising flour would give you a different result. I’m not exactly sure how much leavener is in the flour so it would be hard to tell you how to adjust for it.

  7. Dani

    I just made these the other day & for some reason my cookies came out very flat which made them bake too close to each other . They tasted great , they were just flat as paper. Do you know why they came out flat ? I followed the recipe 

    1. Lindsay

      It’s really hard to say. It could be not enough flour or too much butter, etc. If you made the cookie balls larger than 1.5 tablespoons they can also spread too much. It’s hard to say for sure without seeing everything but hopefully that helps.

  8. KELLY K NESS

    I’ve just made this recipe and i have a couple of suggestions. First, these cookies are amazingly wonderful. Could you perhaps say what size grade the egg you use is? For example, i used a jumbo egg (thought i picked up some medium sized ones but alas). Perhaps that accounts for some difference in recipe results. For example i had to use about a tbsp more flour to make the right dough texture. Also, i wasn’t sure at first how large to make the raw cookie balls before baking. One place says 1.5 tbsp and one place says 1.5 inches. I have never really been good at sizing the raw cookie but i think those are vastly different measurements. My first batch was 4 cookies that are huge and took about 15 minutes to bake…though they did work fine other than that. The second batch i used a bit more than half the raw dough per cookie and those seem to be sized correctly, though i did still bake them about 9 minutes. I love the shimmery sugared surface and the delightful texture. I also added 1 tsp cinnamon, 2/3 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp ground cloves, and its amazing. Enjoy and thanks so much.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m sorry, I thought egg size was in there but I’ve updated it. It should be a large egg, which is pretty standard.

      Number 7 says 1.5 tablespoons, which is the correct size. Where do you see 1.5 inches?

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  9. Lisa

    So glad you’re enjoying this recipe Lindsay! Your husband is lucky to have a wife who preps extra for him

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12