Super Soft Sugar Cookies

These soft sugar cookies are perfectly chewy and they’re super easy to make. No chilling required, and they’re dairy free. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

soft sugar cookies with cracked tops stacked on top of each other

Cookies seem to have become a thing for me lately. I seem to be testing a million recipes lately, and these super soft sugar cookies are so fitting for me.

No decorating required – just a bake and eat kind of dessert. That’s why I’ve been pumping out recipes like my favorite dairy free chocolate chip cookies, spicy gingersnaps and fruitcake cookies. They’re also a great way to keep a toddler whose little brother is sleeping occupied for a little while.

The best part is, that while I’ve been working on these cookies, I’ve been prepping for Christmas and participating in one of my favorite annual traditions as a food blogger – The Sweetest Season. It’s a virtual cookie exchange hosted by one of my favorite people, Erin, from The Speckled Palate.

It’s a fun way to get excited about the holiday season and do some good. The Sweetest Season has been supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for the last few years, and I’m so honored to be part of such a great holiday tradition. Learn more about the organization and how you can support it here. And, if you’re able, please make a donation to help support the cause.

soft sugar cookies with cracked tops stacked on top of each other

What is the best soft sugar cookie recipe?

There are so many different ways to make a sugar cookie. There’s soft and chewy sugar cookies, thin and crispy sugar cookies, and even frosted sugar cookies.

But, I think the best sugar cookie recipe is a soft and chewy one. I know a lot of people love thin and crispy cookies, but I’m just not one of them – at least when it comes to a classic sugar cookie.

To make soft sugar cookies, you need to get your ratio of fat and sugar just right. They are the two ingredients that have the biggest impact on the texture of a cookie, even though there’s really a lot more to it since baking is just a big science experiment.

In fact, for the longest time I made these cookies without baking soda, and I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t spreading or cracking on the top like my spicy gingersnaps do. So I did a little internet research, added some baking soda, and voila, the cookie did exactly what I wanted it to do.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make these soft sugar cookies:

soft sugar cookies with cracked tops stacked on top of each other

How do you make sugar cookies soft and chewy?

Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. This helps keep the cookies from sticking to the sheet and if there’s one thing you need to do, it’s this. You could also use a silicone baking mat if you have it.

Prep your dry ingredients. In a medium bowl (not the one you’re going to mix the dough in), whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make sure everything is evenly distributed before setting the bowl aside.

Cream the shortening and sugar. You can use butter here if you’re not dairy free (equal amounts). You want this to get nice and fluffy, so using an electric mixer really helps. This process gets air into the mixture to create a softer cookie.

Add the wet ingredients. The egg and the vanilla extract go in next. Mix them only until the egg is incorporated. You do not want to over mix the egg or you’ll end up with not-soft cookies.

soft sugar cookies with cracked tops stacked on top of each other

Gradually add the flour mixture. I recommend doing this about 3/4 – 1 cup at a time. It helps to get everything mixed a little more evenly and it also prevents your flour from flying all over the place. Keep adding until and mixing until a dough forms. It should start to come together on its own and pull away from the bowl walls.

Roll the dough. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to balls, about 2 tablespoons full. Roll balls into extra sugar and place them onto your prepared cookie sheet.

Bake the sugar cookies for 10 – 11 minutes in the oven. Keep an eye on them and remove the cookies when the tops have started to crack. They may not look fully set yet, but they will continue to cook a bit as they rest on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. After that, Transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

soft sugar cookies with cracked tops on a wire cooling rack

If you like these sugar cookies, I think you’ll love:

soft sugar cookies with cracked tops stacked on top of each other

Super Soft Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Extra sugar, for rolling


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F, and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the shortening and sugar until fluffy – about 1 minute.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 1/2 cup increments, mixing to combine and scraping sides when necessary.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, form dough into balls and roll in extra sugar. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies for 10 – 11 minutes or until cookies have spread and the tops begin to crack. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to rest for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.


  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  • Reply
    June 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Ahhhhhhh!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

    they look yummy!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Bakerita
    June 5, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Congratulations!!! That’s such exciting news 🙂 and I LOVE how cute the celebratory cookies are they – they look and sound delicious.

  • Reply
    July 21, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Is the unsalted butter a must? If i use regular butter, will they still work?

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      December 24, 2015 at 9:28 am

      I’m sorry I missed this comment! Regular butter would work, it will just cut the sweetness!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    This recipe is awful. Too chewy and they get stuck to your teeth. They also spread too far and too thinly. I even refrigerated the dough overnight to see if it worked any better. Not at all. Skip this recipe and use something different. Such a waste.

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      December 24, 2015 at 9:28 am

      I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. I’ve made it several times and they turned out just like the pictures. I wonder if you baking powder has gone bad. That would make them not rise. Again, really sorry that your cookies didn’t turn out. I know how frustrating that can be.

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  • Reply
    November 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I’m going to try this out today so I have a good recipe for Christmas I will message back and let you know how they were… can’t wait 🙂

  • Reply
    November 27, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Well I’m back , I tried the recipe and they turned out perfect I did a little modification though, i used salted butter , I added an extra 1/4 cup brown sugar because I love brown sugar in cookies and a tad bit more vanilla as I always do because the vanilla usually gets cooked out… but the texture was exactly as advertised and they taste like Christmas my fiance and I are in love with the cookies.. thank you 🙂

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      November 28, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thanks so much for all the input! I love the idea of using brown sugar 🙂 I will have to try that myself really soon. I actually just adapted this recipe to make a maple cinnamon sugar cookie, too. I’ll be posting it soon. If you’re interested, be sure to check back!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    July 26, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Hi would be trying this recipe soon read the reviews n they are great…just 1 question though was wondering if I could put these cookies in a cupcake tray instead to get the perfect round biscuit shape coz I’d like to decorate them later.

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      July 26, 2017 at 9:35 am

      I’m not really sure if there would be enough room inside a cupcake pan for the cookies to spread. You could try it, but I’m not sure if it will turn out. It might also throw the cooking time off a bit because they would end up being a bit thicker.

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    July 6, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    I’m 15 years old and I made this recipe and it was super easy to follow and my family loved the cookies that I made for them. But the baking time 10-11 min that wasn’t enough for the cookies because they were still raw when the timer went off but then I reset the time another 11 mins and they were done and cooked. The cookies were super soft and easy to eat not hard at all I give this recipe a 5 Star rating.

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