Soft Vanilla Cookies

These Soft Vanilla Cookies are rolled in sugar and are perfectly soft and chewy. You don't need a rolling pin or cookie cutters to make these delicious sugar cookies.

One of my favorite things is the smell of cookies baking on a cold day. It brings back so many memories of when I was little and would help my mom bake cookies while Christmas music played in the background.

My mom usually isn’t particular about ingredients unless she is using vanilla.  One thing I do remember about my childhood is that she always had McCormick Vanilla Extract in her cupboard.

When I got older and started cooking myself I realized how much of a difference vanilla made. There is a reason McCormick’s is called America’s favorite vanilla.

 I use it because the smell and flavor are better than a generic brand, and it is all natural.  It is also the vanilla flavor I grew up with, and no one can beat mom’s baking.

These vanilla cookies are the perfect Christmas treat. They are the softest cookie you will ever make and they taste delicious.

I gave them to the youth at my church and they were gone instantly. Hope you love them as much as we do.

How to make Vanilla Sugar Cookies:


These cookies are so easy to make. The full recipe with ingredient amounts is located at the bottom of this post.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add salt, baking powder and flour. Mix until well combined.

Cover and chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Use a glass and flatten each cookie to 1/2 inch in thickness.

Bake for 9-10 minutes, watching carefully to be sure they aren’t overcooked.  I like to take mine out before they start turning golden brown.

Let the cookies cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together all frosting ingredients until smooth then spread on top of cookies.

Immediately top with sprinkles before frosting firms up.

Enjoy!  This makes 24 cookies, so this recipe is perfect for holiday parties.

could I make this dough ahead of time?

You can always make cookie dough ahead of time. However, I wouldn’t recommend making it more than 24 hours in advance. Cookie dough can dry out really easily in the fridge, so we highly recommend using it soon.

If you do make the cookie dough ahead of time, be sure it is in an airtight container, or wrapped tightly in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to keep all the moisture in.

I would also allow it to sit on your counter 15 minutes before baking, to soften it up.

could i shape these cookies with a cookie cutter?

This dough is extremely soft. It isn’t like your other sugar cookie recipes. It would be really difficult to roll this dough out with a rolling pin.

We wouldn’t recommend it, but if you add a little more flour, to thicken the consistency of the cookie dough, you could roll it out a little easier.

Again, this is not recommended, and the sugar cookies will lose their soft texture and sweet taste.

what could i garnish the cookies with?

My go to garnish for sugar cookies is sprinkles, however, I do have a few other ideas that would taste amazing with these cookies:

  • crushed candy canes
  • crushed Butterfingers
  • crushed Andes mints
  • gingersnap cookie crumbles
  • M&M’s
  • mini chocolate chips
  • frosting designs
  • shredded coconut

Related recipe:  These Andes Mint Cookies are a holiday favorite!  Get the recipe HERE!


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looking for more holiday cookies? Here are a few of our favorites:

Cake Mix Christmas Cookies
Christmas Tree Cupcake Topper
Christmas Santa Cookies
Christmas Tree Brownies
Molasses Cookies

Serves: 24

Soft Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Soft and chewy sugar cookies that don't require a rolling pin or cookie cutters!

1 hr, 15 Prep Time

10 minCook Time

1 hr, 25 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons McCormick Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Frosting:
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • Sprinkles, for topping


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar.
  2. Mix in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  3. Add salt, baking powder and flour.
  4. Mix until well combined.
  5. Cover and chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  8. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and flatten using a glass until 1/2 inch thick.
  9. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until barely beginning to turn golden brown.
  10. Let cookies cool completely.
  11. In a large mixing bow, cream together all frosting ingredients until smooth.
  12. Frost cookies and top with sprinkles.
  13. Store in an airtight container.



4162 cal


115 g


750 g


38 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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Comment on this Recipe

32 Responses to “Soft Vanilla Cookies”

    • If they are the Nordic Ware Cookie sheets, you will LOVE them. They are great for cookies of course, sheet pan recipes like our marshmallow brownies, lunch lady peanut butter bars, and SO many more recipes. If it's a half sheet they are about 17.8 x 12.8 inches. Wash them by hand. The dishwasher will ruin them. If you wash them by hand they will stay shiny and look great for a LONG time.
  1. They were very easy to make and really tasty. Not too sweet which was awesome because the icing makes up for that. We even doubled the recipe because 24 cookies don’t last very long, especially when you’re sharing with the neighbors. BUT the recipe itself doesn’t say anything about rolling the dough balls in sugar (like the intro says) so figuring out how to smash them with a glass was tricky because they stick to the bottom really bad. Will be making these again though!
  2. I absolutely love these! They are so easy to make and I love that you can save the dough for later if you want to make a double batch and only bake half, which is what I do. They always come out perfect, even though I am not the best chef. I also love that you roll them in sugar because it gives them a nice outer layer, but if you want them to be less sugary you can just not roll them in sugar. The only concern is that they are almost exactly like store bought cookies, which some people don't like (like they don't really burn, they are crumbly and buttery at the same time). But if you are on the fence about these just MAKE THEM THEY ARE SO GOOD!!!
  3. Valerie Lee
    Excellent Recipe. I absolutely HATE cooking but sometimes I will give it a try. Maybe the reason I am not a fan of cooking is because usually the finished product doesn't come out as I expect it to. I just made these for the first time and they were wonderful! Super simple and so soft and tasty. The frosting is melt in my mouth perfect. I have already gifted some and fixin to make another batch. This time I will roll a few in sugar as suggested just for a different taste, but really these are perfect as they are. The cookies came out soft and even after 2 days, still moist. this recipe is a keeper!! Thanks so much!

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