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Classic Sugar Cookie Easy Recipe

These soft easy sugar cookies are full of buttery goodness that melts in your mouth with every bite! A classic sugar cookie recipe that is pillowy, soft and taste like you just brought them home from the bakery!

Sugar cookies stacked on cooling rack

There is something about a warm, fresh-baked cookie full of butter, vanilla, and sugar that makes you smile. 

Cookies are one of those things that can instantly put you in a better mood. I mean really, who doesn't like a cookie? I always get a big smile when I make our cast-iron skillet chocolate chip cookie.

Whether these baked goods are slice and bake, rolled, or cut-outs like my Nana's Sand Tarts, I like to experiment with different flavors and toppings. 

Having a good basic cookie recipe is important and this one makes the BEST chewy sugar cookies!  

classic sugar cookies

Here's what you'll need: 

Butter– using salted or unsalted butter is completely up to you. I prefer salted butter to offset the sweetness. 

Sugar (granulated sugar) 

Vanilla – play with flavors! You can make homemade vanilla, use vanilla bean paste, or flavored vanilla such as bourbon vanilla!



Baking Soda

Cream of Tartar

You can scroll down to see the recipe card but I hope you'll read through for more tips for making the best cookies every time! 

classic Sugar Cookies

 This will produce the perfect sugar cookie every time! 

  1. Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl
  2. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. 
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a separate bowl and whisk together so they are combined completely.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until combined.
  5. Chill cookie dough in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Prepare a baking sheet with my favorite parchment paper.
  8. Remove chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator and break into tablespoon pieces. 
  9. Roll dough in hands to make balls and roll in granulated sugar.
  10. Place sugar cookie balls on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Bake cookies for 11 minutes,(This cute timer will make it fun!) or until edges turn golden brown.
  12. Remove cookies from the pan with a spatula and place on a large dinner plate or tray.
  13. Cool completely. 
Sugar Cookie Balls on baking sheet

Tips for baking the best cookies

If you want a few of my baking tips for making perfect cookies, here are my must-do tips: 

Tip 1 

Cool cookies on a dinner plate: If you like your cookies soft and chewy, then follow this baking hint: cool your cookies on a plate instead of a cooling rack to keep them soft! It works every single time no matter what type of cookie you are making. 

Tip 2

Bake with parchment paper: For most cookies, line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. No more burnt cookies stuck to your pan. 

Tip 3

Use the middle oven rack for baking. Do not use the bottom rack in the oven as this will definitely overbake your cookies. The middle rack allows for the hot air to surround your pan for even baking. 

Tip 4

Rotate your baking pan. Every oven is different and to ensure a nice even bake, turn your pan around halfway through baking. This will ensure both sides of the cookie tray get proper baking temperatures. 

Favorite variations

Having a classic cookie recipe gives a great base for putting in special additions like

  • Candy: M&M's are a favorite, but you could also chop up your favorite candy bar and sprinkle on top or mix in batter.
  • Sprinkles: speaking of sprinkles, add a shake or two of colored sprinkles just before baking! 
  • Frosting: Adding your favorite frosting or icing to sugar cookies makes them a bit fancier! 
  • Nuts & Dried fruit: stir in some pecans or dried cranberries! Yum! 
  • Chocolate: add a chocolate kiss to the center just as your cookies come out of the oven, or drizzle with melted chocolate with a decorating bag. 
Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment and a star rating below. Share on Facebook or pin to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest! 

You can also join the Eat Picks community by subscribing to my newsletter to get all the latest updates! We have a great easy cooking guide at the top of this post and at the very end too! Sign up and I'll send easy recipes for you to make straight to your inbox. 

Yield: 24

Soft Easy Sugar Cookies

homemade sugar cookies are classic treats for the cookie jar. Made with homemade bourbon vanilla, this recipe turns out easy, soft & chewy sugar cookies every time!

These soft easy sugar cookies are full of buttery goodness that melts in your mouth with every bite! A classic sugar cookie recipe that is pillowy, soft and taste like you just brought them home from the bakery!

Cook Time 11 minutes
Inactive Time 30 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2-3 Tablespoons for rolling
  • 1 tsp vanilla (we used homemade bourbon vanilla)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Add vanilla and egg and mix well.
  3. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together; flour, baking soda, & cream of tartar. Add this mixture slowly into butter mixture. Combine thoroughly.
  4. Chill dough in refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Take chilled dough and break into tablespoon pieces. Roll in hands to make balls and roll in granulated sugar.
  7. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 11 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown.
  9. Remove and let sit on pan for 1 minute before placing cookie on a dinner plate to cool completely.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

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Original post: 7/11/16

Updated post: 7/9/20

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