These soft, chewy, and sprinkle loaded drop style Christmas sugar cookies are made with only 8 ingredients. No rolling pin or cookie cutters required!
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? But don’t worry, we still love you too, sugar cookies!)
These drop style Christmas sugar cookies are based off of a recipe that’s already published on my blog: Soft-Baked Sprinkle 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.
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 (here’s more on salted butter vs unsalted butter, if you’re curious!) and pure vanilla extract is best. Homemade vanilla extract would be fantastic in these cookies.
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 on how to prevent cookies from 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 20 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.
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, alongside your traditional Christmas sugar cookies, of course!
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
- Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
- Yield: 20 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) 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*
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 4 days).
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Arrange chilled cookie dough balls 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- 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.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- 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. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Measuring Cups | Baking Sheet | Silpat Baking Mat | Cooling Rack | Red & Green Sprinkles
- 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.
- 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 on how to prevent cookies from spreading.
Keywords: drop style Christmas sugar cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
I love this recipe! It’s a huge hit with my family. Can I make cut out cookies with this recipe or is it better being drip cookies? Thanks!!
Hi Elle, this recipe isn’t ideal for cookie cutters, but our best sugar cookies are great for cutting shapes and decorating!
I have a printed recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction from a few years ago that has 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar and it says (cannot be omitted) and I can’t find this recipe anywhere on her blog. I’m wondering what the cream of tartar does. Thank you!
I’m just about to pull these out of the oven and they smell heavenly! My 2 year old can’t wait to leave them out for Santa
I use this sugar cookie recipe every Christmas and always love it. I also sometimes ice them with buttercream icing as well. Always a reliable sugar cookie recipe and I like you don’t have to mess with rolling the dough out.
Love them and delicious – so easy to make! I made them twice in one day. Although, I couldn’t get them to drop as much as I’d like! Any recommendations Sally? Thanks!
Hi Sam, were the cookies not spreading out enough? If so, the flour could be over measured and soaking up too much of the wet ingredients. See this post on 5 cookie baking tips and the section “What to do if my cookies AREN’T spreading?” for tips on how to fix it for future batches. Glad you enjoyed these cookies!
Hi Sally! I made six different kinds of your cookies this year, and this was a stand out. Soft, buttery, and full of vanilla flavor. They were very easy to make, since your instructions are so clear. I’ve made them for the past few years and they always come out wonderfully.
Can I roll these in sanding sugar instead of using sprinkles in the dough? If so, would the sanding sugar still stick to the chilled dough balls?
Hi Kathryn! Rolling these cookies in sanding sugar shouldn’t be a problem – do this before chilling the dough balls, like we instruct in the recipe above. You may also love our Christmas cookie sparkles recipe!
These will be added to my favourite cookie recipe
My cooklies are chillin’ the recpie is easy, can’t wait to bake them
Hi Sally! Can I use quin type of sprinkles instead of jimmies?
Hi Sophy, yes, quins will work!
Followed the recipe exactly and they were delicious! Would fine sugar sprinkles work the same as traditional sprinkles? I want to make these again for Santa, but I can only find sugar sprinkles at this point. Thank you!
Hi Laurel! We’re thrilled you enjoyed these cookies. If using sanding sugar, we would roll or dip the cookie dough balls in them instead of adding to the cookie dough.
Super yummy! I put the dough in the freezer for 40 minutes rather than wait the 2 hours in the fridge and they turned out great!
Hi! I can’t wait to try these cookies! Is there an advantage to letting the dough chill for several days? Similar to a 72 hour cookie? Thank you!
For this particular recipe, not really. Cookies with more complex flavors, such as chocolate chip cookies, benefit from a nice long chill time… beyond just solidifying the dough. (It enhances the flavors, and lets them mingle a bit.)