It has been said that the Sugar Cookie is one of America’s favorite holiday cookies and I think my-crisp-on-the-outside, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside Drop Sugar Cookie will soon be one of your family favorites. Not only are they easy to make but they are temptingly delicious.
When I think of making holiday sugar cookies, I think about rolling pins, and cookie cutters, but I wanted to make a cookie that is just as good…ahem… better, but with no rolling, or cookie cutters. Get ready to just mix, chill and drop my Drop Sugar Cookies and make new holiday memories with your family.
Table of contents
If you’re looking for other holiday cookies, you can’t miss out on the classic chocolate chip cookie. This is my famous giant cookie chocolate chip cookie recipe but you can always make them smaller!
Reasons you will love my Drop Sugar Cookies
- The buttercream frosting adds a wonderful layer of vanilla infused sweetness to these cookies.
- They are easy to make since you just drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet.
- These Drop Sugar Cookies satisfy your sweet tooth with a crisp outside and chewy inside.
- These cookies will quickly become your go-to cookie exchange cookie.
- Decorate with the buttercream frosting and lots of holiday sprinkles! So fun!
- Flour: All-purpose flour is always my go to flour for cookies.
- Cake flour: I always find that cake flour adds a soft chewiness to cookies that I love.
- Cornstarch: Adding in cornstarch gives the cookie a more tender texture.
- Baking soda: It’s all about creating the right texture, and the baking soda helps create a chewy texture.
- Baking powder- Helps create a soft and thick Drop Sugar Cookie.
- Salt: Salt is a wonderful flavor enhancer, but also affects the cookies tenderness.
- Cold butter: Often times you’ll notice I use cold butter instead of softened in my cookie recipes. No more than 15 minutes out on the counter is perfect. This helps the dough stay cold and prevent cookies from spreading.
- Sugar: granulated sugar adds to the flatter appearance of the cookies
- Large eggs: I like using large eggs to add to the fluffiness of the cookies. The extra yolks also will enrich the texture and flavor of the cookies
- Vanilla extract: Never, ever forget the vanilla as it enhances all the flavors in your cookies.
- Almond extract (optional): Adds a warm nutty flavor.
Ingredients for the frosting:
- Softened butter: the butter needs to be softened so that it can be properly creamed with the sugar. The more air in the frosting, the lighter, and more fluffy it will be.
- Powdered sugar: The reason why we use powdered sugar in frosting is that it dissolves quickly and adds to the smooth texture of the frosting.
- Heavy cream: Using heavy whipping cream, and beating it for several minutes is the secret to light and fluffy frosting. You could also use whole milk if needed.
- Almond extract: Using almond extract in the cookie and the frosting to balance out these wonderful flavors from the top to the bottom of the cookie.
- Vanilla bean paste (or seeds scraped from a vanilla bean or vanilla extract): I like using Vanilla bean paste since it is a more concentrated, full bodied vanilla flavor.
- Pinch of salt: I like using a fine grain kosher salt so that it disperses evenly into the frosting.
- Holiday Sprinkles for decorating: I love using an assortment of holiday sprinkles to lend variety to the look for my cookies. I buy mine from Sweetapolita.
Step by Step Directions
This recipe is a straight forward cookie recipe and only needs 30 minutes of chill time.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the extracts.
- Add in the dry ingredients on medium speed just until combined.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Scoop the dough or roll into balls in the palm of your hands and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 375°F for 12-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
- Allow the cookies to cool.
- Make the vanilla buttercream frosting. Spread on top of cooled cookies or use a piping bag.
- Add sprinkles on top and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Never skip the step to chill the cookie dough. Chilling helps solidify the fats in the cookie which in turn, keep the cookie from spreading.
- You can refrigerate the cookie dough for up to 3 days in advance prior to baking.
- You can skip the frosting, and simply sprinkle the cookies with sugar before baking
- Make a cream cheese frosting instead of a buttercream. This cookie recipe has one of my favorite cream cheese frostings. You can even add some pink gel food coloring for a light pink frosting!
- Dress up the Sugar Cookie dough for a more festive look with nuts, cranberries, chunks of chocolate or a variety of warm spices.
Because you simply drop scoops or spoon fulls of cookie onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. You can roll them into balls in the palms of your hands for a cleaner look.
Cookie dough can be stored in an air tight container for 2 to 4 days or you can freeze the dough for up to 2 months.
I suggest thawing frozen cookie dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Drop cookies stored in single layers in an air tight container will last up to a week at room temperature, and up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. If you freeze them, they will last up to 6 months. I would leave the frosting off if you plan to freeze them.
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Drop Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cups cold butter, unsalted
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract (or just add more vanilla)
- 1 cup softened butter, unsalted
- 3 cups powdered sugar, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- pinch of salt
- holiday sprinkles
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cake flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes on medium speed or until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until the yellow disappears. Add in the vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients on medium-low speed and mix just until combined.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Scoop the dough out using a 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop (and roll into balls in the palms of your hands if you'd like too) and drop onto prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, or just until the edges are lightly browned. The middles will look soft still, that's OK!
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting. Using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on medium speed until it's creamy. About 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, almond extract and salt. Beat on low just to get it combined the increase to medium-high speed until fully incorporated. Adjust as needed, adding more powdered sugar is the buttercream is too thin or a touch more heavy cream if too thick.
- Frost cooled cookies, and top with festive sprinkles. Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.More about Tawnie