4.77 from 59 reviews

Drop Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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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.

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!

cookies with frosting and sprinkles on top.

Other Christmas must-makes are these White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, and my Gingerbread Snickerdoodles. Looking for even more cookie recipes for holiday baking? Look no further than my Holiday Cookie Series!

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!
sugar cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.


  • 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 cookies in glass bowls.

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.
cookies with frosting and sprinkles on top.

This recipe is a straight forward cookie recipe and only needs 30 minutes of chill time.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Beat in the extracts.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients on medium speed just until combined.
  5. Chill the dough for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  6. Scoop the dough or roll into balls in the palm of your hands and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 375°F for 12-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool.
  9. Make the vanilla buttercream frosting. Spread on top of cooled cookies or use a piping bag.
  10. Add sprinkles on top and enjoy!
cookie dough in a glass bowl.
cookies on a baking sheet and frosting in a bowl.

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.
sugar cookies on parchment paper.


Why are these called Drop Sugar Cookies? 

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.

How long can I keep the cookie dough in the refrigerator before baking?

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.

Can I thaw the frozen cookie dough at room temperature?

I suggest thawing frozen cookie dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

How long will these drop sugar cookies last ?

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.

Favorite holiday entertainment?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

4.77 from 59 reviews

Drop Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Prep: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 52 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies
Super soft, chewy, and easy to make drop sugar cookies are perfect for the holiday season or can be made year round with different sprinkles or frosting colors.


  • 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)

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 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

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


  • 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.
    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
  • 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.
    1 1/4 cups cold butter, unsalted, 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 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.
    2 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. almond extract (or just add more vanilla)
  • 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. (Only bake 6 cookies at time, over crowding the cookies can cause them to spread)
  • 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.
    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
  • Frost cooled cookies, and top with festive sprinkles. Enjoy!
    holiday sprinkles


Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cookie (with frosting), Calories: 475kcal (24%), Carbohydrates: 58g (19%), Protein: 4g (8%), Fat: 26g (40%), Saturated Fat: 16g (100%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 106mg (35%), Sodium: 432mg (19%), Potassium: 50mg (1%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 36g (40%), Vitamin A: 815IU (16%), Vitamin C: 0.02mg, Calcium: 51mg (5%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

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.

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Can these be frozen?

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These are delicious. A huge hit with my family!

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Kayla Paxman

I was craving a nostalgic sugar cookie from my childhood. These hit the spot, the crispy edges and chewy middle were amazing! Easy to follow recipe. I will for sure be making these again!

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Initially a very good tasting cookie but using a 2-Tbsp cookie scoop was much too big. I found by the time I was halfway done eating a cookie the rich flavor got to me and I didn’t enjoy the second half as much as the first half. Next time I make these I’ll make them half the size to see if the cookies taste better on a smaller scale. Much easier to make than roll out sugar cookies but next time I’ll pipe the icing on to dress it up more. Frosted as instructed it wasn’t a very fancy Christmas cookie but it was quick doing as instructed.

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Hello! Do you have a cut out cookie recipe, perhaps?!!

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Yay!!! I will be looking forward to it SO much!


Delicious as I expected!

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Hi!! These are by far the best sugar cookies I have ever made!! I made them for a party a few months ago and had people coming up asking for the recipe!! I’m making them again because everyone loved them sooo much (me as well) 🙂 so thank you for the recipe!


What if I did want to make them into shapes? Would I chill the dough and then roll?


Decided to make these instead of traditional cut-outs. They turned out great! I didn’t have cake flour so I just increased the 2 tsp cornstarch to 2 TB, and worked just fine! So delicious. Next year I may need to make these, in addition to cut-outs.

Diana A

Could the cookies be store individually in treat bags without the frosting getting messed up?