Easy Drop Sugar Cookies

Easy Drop Sugar Cookies

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 11 mins
Chill: 30 mins
Total: 51 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 24 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
159 Calories
8g Fat
20g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 159
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 69mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 20mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whenever the mood strikes and you want to make sugar cookies, pull out this recipe. Because they are drop cookies, there's no need to roll out and cut the dough, making them fast and easy to enjoy. They're delicious as-is, or you can roll them in sprinkles or colored sugar before baking for a colorful cookie.

This recipe makes super soft, chewy, buttery, and sweet sugar cookies. A quick chill in the fridge will help keep them from spreading too much. Be sure not to overbake them to maintain their signature texture. If you'd prefer to bake up a small batch, simply freeze the remaining dough for later. You can bake directly from frozen—no need to defrost.

Make these drop sugar cookies for the holidays, Easter, Halloween, or any old day. They're easy to customize and decorate for any occasion and are a welcome contribution to a bake sale or potluck.

"There's something wonderfully nostalgic about these sugar cookies—they're sweet and perfectly soft. I especially liked them rolled in sprinkles or colored sugar for a little crunch. Add a quarter teaspoon of almond extract for a little extra flavor." —Laurel Randolph

Easy drop sugar cookies
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Multi-colored sprinkles or colored sugar, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Drop Sugar Cookies ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

    Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until creamy and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

    creamed butter with sugar

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture, mixing until all of it is incorporated. Do not overmix or the cookies will turn out tough.

    cookie dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 to 2 hours.

    cookie batter in a covered container

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

    parchment paper lined baking sheets

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  7. Scoop the dough using a heaping tablespoon or 2-tablespoon cookie scoop. Roll into a ball and, if desired, roll in colored sugar or sprinkles.

    cookie dough rolled in sprinkles, on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  8. Place onto prepared cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with your fingers.

    cookies on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  9. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, rotating the pans midway, or until cookies are puffed, no longer shiny, and lightly golden brown on the bottom.

    Easy Drop Sugar Cookies on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  10. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

    Easy Drop Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada


  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature before making these cookies.
  • Don't skip chilling the dough. Even just 30 minutes will help keep the cookies from spreading too much.
  • You can make the dough ahead of time and leave it in the fridge, covered, for up to two days before baking.

Recipe Variations

  • The sugar cookie dough is a good base for other flavors. Try replacing some or all of the vanilla extract with a different extract, such as almond, coconut, lemon or mint. Some extracts are very strong, so start with a small amount first.
  • Add some finely grated lemon zest when creaming the butter and sugar for a light citrus note.
  • Add some food gel or coloring with the vanilla extract and turn your cookies into whatever color you desire.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature.
  • The dough freezes nicely for baking later. Roll into balls (and sugar or sprinkles, if using) and spread out on a lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least an hour before transferring to a zip-top freezer bag. Store for up to three months. Bake directly from frozen (no need to defrost), adding a minute or two to the bake time.
  • You can also freeze baked cookies. Separate with small squares of parchment or wax paper and store in an airtight container or zip-top bag. Freeze for up to three months and defrost in the fridge or on the countertop before enjoying.

Why Are My Drop Sugar Cookies Flat?

There are a couple of factors that can cause cookies to flatten out in the oven. One is not using enough leavening (like baking soda or baking powder) or using expired leavening. Another is not chilling the dough long enough. If the dough is too warm, it will quickly spread in the oven and become flat.