Drop Style Christmas Sugar Cookies

These soft, chewy, and sprinkle loaded drop style Christmas sugar cookies are made with only 8 ingredients. No rolling pin or cookie cutters required!

Drop style Christmas sugar cookies

Welcome to day 8 of 2018 Sally’s Cookie Palooza! Let’s look back at all the recipes published so far in this mega Christmas cookie countdown:

Day 8 calls for 8 ingredient sugar cookies dressed up with plenty of sprinkles!

Christmas sugar cookies with red and green sprinkles

Ditch the rolling pin, toss the cookie cutters, and break out the mixer because today we’re making drop sugar cookies with Christmas sprinkles. These soft-baked cookies are perfect if you want SIMPLE and EASY sugar cookies. (Don’t we all.)

Cookie Chemistry

These drop style Christmas sugar cookies are based off of a recipe that’s already published on my blog: Soft-Baked Funfetti Sugar Cookies. These chewy sugar cookies have always been a favorite, but I often receive questions about the leaveners used. The recipe calls for baking soda and cream of tartar. Let’s work on some cookie chemistry together:

  • Give my article about baking soda vs baking powder a read. As you learn, recipes calling for baking soda must also contain an acid such as sour cream, brown sugar, or buttermilk. The acid reacts with the baking soda to create carbon dioxide, which allows the cookies to rise. Cream of tartar is our acid. I use it because it’s mostly flavorless. It also doesn’t change the texture of the sugar cookies. Baking powder already contains an acid so it doesn’t require any special ingredients.

I decided to rework the recipe and use baking powder instead of baking soda/cream of tartar. When testing cookie recipes, one problem I always face is finding the right amount of leavener. Using too much baking powder leaves a bitter aftertaste. (Which was my problem a few years ago.) Good rule of thumb I learned: use around 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1 cup of flour. Today you’ll use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.

Science is delicious.

Christmas sugar cookie dough with red and green sprinkles

Sugar cookie dough balls on Silpat baking mat

How to Make Drop Style Christmas Sugar Cookies

These are my drop sugar cookies, but with Christmas sprinkles. The process is super straightforward. Dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Sugar cookies get all of their flavor from butter and vanilla, so make sure you’re using the correct forms of each. Unsalted butter is preferred (and here’s why!) and pure vanilla extract is best.

Chilling the cookie dough is imperative. These cookies are very buttery and the colder the cookie dough, the less your sugar cookies will over-spread. The cookie dough can get a little hard after 2 hours in the refrigerator, so I recommend rolling the dough into balls before chilling. Here are all of my tips to prevent cookies from over-spreading.

Other good stuff:

  • ONLY 8 INGREDIENTS. The usual suspects: flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, butter, egg, sugar, sprinkles. That’s it. Nothing complicated or strange.
  • EASILY DOUBLED. This recipe yields about 15 large sugar cookies. You can easily double the recipe if you need a larger batch for a big family or cookie exchanges.
  • EXTRA SPRINKLES. There’s room for a mountain of sprinkles in this cookie dough. I even recommend dipping the tops of the cookie dough balls directly in more sprinkles. That’s optional, but rumor has it Santa Claus loves extra sprinkles.

Christmas sugar cookies with red and green sprinkles

Christmas sprinkle sugar cookies

So soft, chewy, holly, and jolly.

These drop sugar cookies will be a new staple in your cookie repertoire! You might also love my Christmas Cookie Sparkles, which have the most unbelievably unique tangy flavor. Or my Brown Butter Sugar Cookies with a nutty caramelized flavor. All very easy and perfect for your Christmas cookie trays!

Soft and chewy Christmas confetti cookies with red and green sprinkles! Easy sugar cookies recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What is Sally's Cookie Palooza?

Sally’s Cookie Palooza is a tradition since 2013. Every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 brand new cookie recipes as well as giveaways, the December Baking Challenge, Christmas cookie video tutorials, and so much more. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂

Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!

Print
Drop style Christmas sugar cookies

Drop Style Christmas Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15-16 large cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft, chewy, and sprinkle loaded drop style Christmas sugar cookies are made with only 8 ingredients. No rolling pin or cookie cutters required! Make sure you chill the cookie dough for at least 2 hours before baking.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles, plus more for topping*

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in 1/2 cup of sprinkles. Dough will be thick and sticky. Scoop large sections of dough (about 2 Tablespoons of dough each) and roll into balls. For extra sprinkle goodness, lightly dip the tops of the cookie dough balls in more sprinkles. Place dough balls onto a large plate or lined baking sheet.
  4. Cover and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 4 days).
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  6. Arrange chilled cookie dough balls 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough, roll into balls, and chill the dough balls in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. (See note about cookie dough chilling.) Cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Measuring CupsBaking Sheet | Silpat Baking Mat | Cooling Rack | Red Sprinkles | Green Sprinkles
  3. Sprinkles: Any sprinkles are great, but I recommend avoiding nonpareils (the little balls) as they tend to bleed their color in cookie dough and cake batter.
  4. Dough Chilling: Chilling the cookie dough is imperative. These cookies are very buttery and the colder the cookie dough, the less your sugar cookies will over-spread. The cookie dough can get a little hard after 2 hours in the refrigerator, so I recommend rolling the dough into balls before chilling. Here are all of my tips to prevent cookies from over-spreading.

78 Comments

  1. I grew up with these cookies as a family recipe, only the original recipe of my childhood calls for vegetable shortening instead of butter. But butter is so much better! I never thought of using butter till I saw this recipe. The cookies are just awesome. So tender, yet crisp, they really do melt in your mouth. I flatten mine with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar rather than with a fork. It produces perfectly smooth, gorgeous cookies. These guys are too fragile to frost (if you did manage to spread frosting on without breaking them, they would absorb the moisture from the frosting and turn unappetizingly soggy) but colored sugar sprinkles is an option.

    1. I love your cookie recipes, but also, your tips and descriptions are very helpful. Little things like “the centers will look very soft” tell me I’m on the right track! I have made two recipes of yours this year and your page is now saved in my favorites! Thank you!

  2. I made these sugar cookies this afternoon. Different recipe from what I am used to but they were awesome, this recipe is my new sugar cookie recipe! Yesterday I made the chocolate kiss cookies from your cookbook, oh so good. My husband has eaten (snuck) so many I have to make another batch tomorrow morning for Christmas Day 😉
    Thank you!

  3. These turned out perfectly! They are delicious. I made these with my 12 year old for Christmas, and she asked why we chilled the dough. I was actually able to answer her now that I know why for this particular recipe. I have learned so much from your recipes and website. Thank you and merry Christmas.

  4. Hi! If I am interested in making a sprinkle sugar cookie and had to decided between this recipe and the Soft Baked Funfetti Sugar Cookies, which would you recommend? I have ingredients to make both (cream of tartar, baking soda, and baking powder) but didn’t know if there was a difference in the outcome. I’m looking for a squishy, chewy cookie.

  5. Hi Sally,

    So I just made these cookies which, I know. Weird. It’s May. But my family isn’t too big a fan of sweet so I always reduce sugar, so I omitted the sprinkles and just made them regular drop cookies. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I modified this recipe to make giant drop cookies (divided the batter into 6 pieces), and they turned out amazing! And they tasted good too! I just did a little less than 1 1/2 tsps baking powder, added 1 1/4 tsps cornstarch, and chilled for half an hour. Oh, I also increased the baketime to 22 minutes. Other than that, everything else was the same. They really didn’t spread much, but puffed up and were very light! I would definitely make these again!

    P.S. I’d love to include a picture. Is there any way to get it to you?

    1. What a great idea, Alice! I’m so glad they turned out well! You can certainly email me a picture, post one to my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram!

  6. These cookies are one of the best I have had. This is my go to cookies to bring to any potluck. Extremely easy and fool proof!

  7. I love this recipe, it’s been a total win time & time again but trying to change it up for my aunts dietary restrictions & wondering if I can sub coconut oil for butter?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe so much! I haven’t tested this recipe with coconut oil so I’m unsure of what other changes would need to be made to the ingredients. Let me know if you try it!

  8. Hi Sally! I am thinking about making this recipe for my son’s Christmas Fair at school. We have been asked to prepare 1 kilo packages of the goodies we make. In this case, what is the average yield weight? Do I need to double the recipe?

    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Eleni, This recipe makes about 15-16 large cookies but I’m unsure how much they weigh. You can double the recipe if needed.

  9. have You ever tried adding pumpkin pie spice to this recipe for fall flavor. My daughter is a big fan of pumpkin flavored white chocolate cookies but doesn’t like cakey cookies, so I’m trying to experiment with a sugar cookie batter? Thoughts?

    1. I haven’t with these but I have added spices such as cinnamon, chai spice, or pumpkin spice to my rolled sugar cookie dough and love them all! Try adding between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon of the spices to your dough depending on how strong you want the flavor.
      You can also try these with white chocolate chips: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/
      Enjoy!

    1. I don’t recommend rolling this dough and using it for cut-out cookies. Here’s my favorite recipe for cookie cutter sugar cookies: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/best-sugar-cookies/

  10. Hi Sally,
    I just signed up to start getting your emails. Love your recipes! I tried these cookies, easy and delicious. I do have one question, why did mine never get brown around the edges at all? I baked for 12-13 minutes then took them out because I was afraid of overbaking them. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kristi! You may want to double check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer OR simply bake the cookies for an extra minute or two. As long as the edges are set and the cookies set up as they cool, you’re fine!

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