A recipe for old fashioned, easy-to-make sugar cookies that are sweet, soft, and loved by little ones.
Everyone loves sugar cookies. No weird flavors to deal with and no special ingredients to buy. But sugar cookies can be a big production when you do cut out shapes, royal icing, and all the rest. (I do love to do this a few times a year, and I use this cut out cookie recipe.)
This recipe is a simple drop sugar cookie recipe that’s quick to make and still delicious.
It’s perfect to make with kids, as it is over quickly, isn’t too fussy, and sprinkling sugar is fun.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Coarse or colored sugar for rolling (buy it in bulk for the best price)
Step by step
Making the cookie dough
This recipe is so simple! To get started, preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the center. If you have a convection oven, set it at 350. You can also bake two trays of cookies at once, if you switch them halfway through.
Using an electric mixer, beat the shortening, butter, and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, which will take about three to five minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium until combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, one third at a time, mixing on low. Mix until the cookie dough is just combined.
Shaping and baking
To shape the cookies, scoop the dough out about a tablespoon at a time. It will be quite soft; this is normal! Place them onto the cookie sheet with parchment paper on top about two inches apart; they will spread as they bake.
You can shape it into balls and roll them in sugar, or you can just scoop it out onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle the sugar on top.
Using a glass, press the dough balls very gently to flatten them.
Bake for 11-13 minutes until the edges are light golden brown. This will yield a soft cookie with slightly crisp edges. For a crisper, more crumbly cookie, bake up to 15 minutes.
Let them cool for a minute on the baking sheet and then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Make ahead and freeze
Like all drop cookies, the dough freezes well. Set the dough balls on a parchment baking sheet, press with the glass, and sprinkle with sugar. Then freeze them for about 8 hours, until frozen solid. They can then be transferred to a freezer bag or vacuum sealer bag to freeze for a longer period of time.
If you have a vacuum sealer, the little balls of dough will stay fresh for up to a year. If you’re storing them in a freezer bag, they will keep a month or two.
To bake the frozen dough, simply place on a prepared baking sheet and bake as directed in the original recipe, adding 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
Looking for more old fashioned cookies?
- Molasses cookies are another soft drop cookie rolled in sugar.
- If it’s almost Christmas (or even if it isn’t!), check out this list of the best vintage Christmas cookie recipes.
- Oatmeal cookies get a modern twist when you add white chocolate and cranberries.
Here’s the recipe!
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Coarse/ colored sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 375 or (350 convection). Prepare two baking sheets by lining with parhcment paper.
- Cream butter, shortening, and sugar in stand mixer for about 3 minutes, until creamy and fluffy. Scrape down sides and combine again. Add egg and vanilla, mix on medium until combine.
- Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a separate mixing bowl. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to butter mixture until combined.
- Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets. (Dough will be soft.) Gently flatten with a glass. Sprinkle with colored sugar. (Alternatively, roll in sugar before baking for sugar on both sides.)
- Bake 11-13 minutes, or until set. They will be light in color but the edges should be starting to turn golden. Store in cookie jar up to 3 days or freeze fully baked up to 1 month.
Enjoy this recipe!