Drop Sugar Cookies, All-Time Family Favorite

Drop Sugar cookies are soft, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookie perfection! Without even the slightest hesitation, I can declare this to be our family’s all-time favorite Christmas sugar cookie recipe.

Drop Sugar Cookies collage with one simple design cookie on the top of the image and a tray of more intricately designed cookies below it
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If you polled them, it wouldn’t be just a wide majority. I believe you would get a 100% affirmative from each of them! These sugar cookies are that good!

Frosted Drop Sugar Cookies are the first cookies to disappear out of all that I make each year. (Even the ones I hide. lol)

My Drop Sugar Cookie recipe is the one everybody wants more of. That everyone wants the recipe for. That are most often requested for parties.

They also happen to be about the easiest cookie I make. What’s better than that?

Wanna know a secret? I make these all year round, not just for Christmas. Yeah…they’re that kind of easy and delicious!

Enjoy, my friend!

frosted drop sugar cookies on Red and white checked burlap

The Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • Butter I use salted butter, but use your own preference. It doesn’t seem to affect the outcome of this drop sugar cookie recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt

For the Frosting:

rolledout cookie dough with a rolling pin on top


Can I roll out drop cookie dough?

I don’t recommend rolling and cutting drop cookie dough. Technically, you could chill it and then put it between two sheets of parchment and roll it out. Then you could cut the cookies out. After that you would need to chill the cut cookies before baking and even then, this particular dough will spread more than you typically want for cut-out cookies. Your cookies will lose any definition and design during baking. This dough was made for delicious drop sugar cookies. In a few weeks, I’ll share a good cut-out cookie recipe.

Why is there no baking powder in this recipe?

Baking powder creates a bigger rise and a lighter, “cake-like” crumb. We want these cookies to be soft and chewy, not cake-like, so I don’t use any baking powder. Baking soda is the only leavening necessary.

frosted drop sugar cookies on Red and white checked burlap

No Need for Rolling and Cutting

It was so important to me to stress that you can still have fun and nicely decorate these delicious, soft and chewy sugar cookies.

If you don’t have the tools or patience for rolled and cut-out sugar cookies, you can still create wonderful decorated cookie designs.

Last year, before our family Christmas Eve get-together, my daughters, daughter-in-law and granddaughters all got together at my house for a sugar cookie baking and decorating party.

You guys! It was so much fun and hopefully the beginning of a new holiday tradition.

sugar cookies decorated and sitting on a cooling rack

With just a basic buttercream recipe, these soft and chewy sugar cookies can be frosted and decorated to fit any occasion. We used butter knives or icing spatulas to simply spread the frosting over the tops of the cookies.

Then with some piping bags and half a dozen of the most common decorator tips, some mini M&Ms and various Christmas cookie and cake sprinkles, we set to decorating our sugar cookies.

I think everybody had great ideas and I love how varied the designs were. From the youngest to the oldest, everybody just created what made them happy. I think they turned out great!

And what a fun family time we had doing it! You guys have to plan a drop sugar cookie decorating party, this year! It’ll be a blast!

sugar cookies on Red and white checked burlap

How to Make Frosted Drop Sugar Cookies

There’s no big secret to these delicious cookies. It’s the basic cookie formula, again.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is fully incorporated.
  4. Drop them by the cookie-scoopful onto greased or lined cookie sheets.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. The trickiest part of the whole recipe will be figuring out the time for your specific oven. (When I’m figuring that out, I’ll bake one sugar cookie, just to get a feel for how the dough acts in my oven.)
decorated sugar cookies on Red and white checked burlap

How to Know When the Cookies are Done

These cookies will puff up in the oven, the tops will have lost their dampness.

When you touch one, lightly, with your finger, the top of the cookie will feel dry, but you will be able to tell it’s still super soft in the middle. That’s when you pull them out of the oven. Trust me.

Set the cookie sheet right on your cooling rack for several minutes. The cookies will finish “baking” and setting up.

As they cool, they will lose there puffiness and be flatter. The tops may even look a little “wrinkled”.

You’ve done everything perfectly. That’s exactly how they should be. After 3 or 4 minutes transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

drop sugar cookies decorated and sitting on a cooling rack

Decorating Sugar Cookies

When they are completely cool, these scrumptious sugar cookies are soft and chewy.

You can get as elaborate or as simple as you want with your decorating.

Simply spread the frosting over the sugar cookie tops and call it good. That’s what we do when it isn’t Christmastime.

Or break out the piping bags, candy and sprinkles to create your own beautiful sugar cookie masterpieces.

However you decide to decorate them, you my friend, are going to get the title of Christmas Cookie Royal Baker when you put these out for friends and family.

Yes. Be prepared for Christmas Cookie infamy. It belongs to you, now!

Much love and Merry Christmas!

drop sugar cookies decorated and sitting on a cooling rack

As always, thanks so much for being great supporters and my favorite blog readers!

If you do make drop sugar cookies using this recipe, i hope you’ll consider dropping by, again and leaving a comment on this post with a 5 star rating.

Those 5 star ratings help other readers find our recipes when they do searches on Google.

Thanks so much and happy baking!

The Recipe

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drop sugar cookies decorated and sitting on a cooling rack

Frosted Drop Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 3640 cookies 1x


Drop Sugar cookies are soft, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookie perfection! Without even the slightest hesitation, I can declare this to be our family’s all-time favorite Christmas sugar cookie recipe.


Units Scale

For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar


  1. Cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Drop by cookie scoop onto a greased or lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes.  (Cookies will be puffed up and super soft.  They will be barely dried on top.  I promise, if you want soft, chewy cookies, you need to pull them out, now.  Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack and allow the cookies to set for 3-5 minutes before taking them off the pan.  They will lose their puffiness as they settle.)
  6. To make frosting, beat all ingredients together with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, until a thick creamy frosting has formed.
  7. Frost completely cooled cookies. You can add sprinkles or decorations if you choose.
  8. Store in airtight container once frosting has set up.


These freeze extremely well.  Put wax paper between the layers if stacking.  If freezing, you can frost them, but I would avoid sprinkle decorations as those will bleed as the cookie thaws. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 min
  • Category: Desserts, Cookies
  • Cuisine: American

More Deliciously Easy Christmas Cookies and Desserts

glenda embree

About Glenda

My philosophy of cooking, and of eating, is balance. I cook what tastes good and brings joy to those who eat it, even if it’s “healthy”. There is a time and a place for all kinds of dishes. I hope you find that reflected in the recipes you discover, here. Read more...

47 thoughts on “Drop Sugar Cookies, All-Time Family Favorite”

  1. my fam’s been making these every year for our cookie decorating get-together. they’re so good! glad to find one that uses real butter. always a hit

  2. I’ve tried a few sugar cookie recipes and this one is the best. Even good without the frosting. I don’t like a crumbly cookie, and these are nice and soft. Will keep this as my go-to. Thanks!

  3. This recipe didn’t work for me. Did everything as instructed, used only 3 1/4 cup flour following directions as to have a soft but not to sticky dough. Baked 1st batch 8 minutes and still raw so gave 2 minutes more. Looked set so removed tray and set for minutes 5 minutes before removing to racks. They were undercooked and raw, disgusting to be honest. Did not raise way up as recipe I’d either and my soda is dated for next year. Next 2 batches raised a little but I cooked longer so now the edges are a little crispy but center soft. The only thing good for me personally is the frosting. Will not ever be making again. Beyond disappointed.

    • Pooh Lover, so sorry to hear about your trouble. As long as you didn’t substitute any ingredients, i.e. margarine instead of butter, etc. I can’t imagine what might have gone wrong. We just made a double batch here at home and they are as wonderful as always. It’s very possible you needed the full 3 1/2 cups of flour. Have you tested your oven temperature, recently to be sure it’s holding the temperature it’s set for? Or are you possibly at a high altitude that would require altering baking instructions. I’m at a loss for why this simple and popular recipe hasn’t worked for you. And I’m sure sorry to hear you were disappointed.

  4. I’m not the most experienced baker so I am testing cookies early this year (twist my arm, right?) These came out perfectly. I’ll be bookmarking this recipe to use from here on out! Thank you!

  5. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I made these for Christmas and they were delicious! I did have a question about the amount of powdered sugar in the frosting. After I had added about one pound, the frosting seemed to be thick enough, so I didn’t add the remaining pound (I was afraid it would become too thick to spread easily.) The frosting was delicious, I just wondered if adding the remaining sugar would have made a difference in some way.

    • Hi Ann! Thanks for stopping by to let me know you enjoyed the recipe. As far as the powdered sugar, I’m not sure. If all your other ingredients were measured exactly as mine that would have been much too thin a frosting for us. We enjoy it being able to dry and firm up in the refrigerator and have enough body to be piped if we decide to decorate more elaborately. We also spread it on fairly thickly. Nothing runs over the edges or sides of the cookie. It is a thick, but soft spread. If 1 lb. worked well for you, I would go with what is best at your house. Happy New Year!

  6. These cookies are everything a cookie should be – soft, flavorful, a great vehicle for frosting but also great on their own! I will never make another recipe!

      • Thank you! You too! One last question. The recipe says 3-3 1/2 cups of flour. How much do you typically use and/or what determines it? Planning to make these this weekend! Thanks again.


        • Hi Kristin! The time of year is a big factor in the amount of flour I use. If there is high humidity it usually takes a little more and in the winter when the furnace is going and the air is drier it’s closer to the 3 or 3 1/4 cup measurement. You want the dough to be soft, but not super sticky. It can help to bake up just one cookie for the first round to check the consistency of the dough. That way it’s easy to make adjustments before you bake a whole tray. We like them to spread a little, but not get too thin. We like a thicker, soft and chewy cookie, so I adjust the flour to be able to achieve that texture in whatever weather we’re experiencing.

    • I hope you get a chance to, Swathi. They are the one cookie that the entire family is in agreement on each holiday season. Definitely the family favorite! Thanks for stopping by to leave a note, today!


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