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Yay! These are soft, chewy, sprinkle loaded drop sugar cookies made from only 8 ingredients. No rolling pin or cookie cutters required! To prevent over-spreading, make sure you chill the cookie dough balls for at least 2 hours before baking.

stack of drop sugar cookies with sprinkles

We all know and love sugar cookies. Rolling pin, cookie cutters, decorating galore. It’s all so much fun, especially around the holidays.

Drop Sugar Cookies

But what about sugar cookies of the *other* variety? Roll the cookie dough into balls and bake them drop-style. No fancy equipment or decorating required, unless you consider the mountain of sprinkles on top. (Is it even a sugar cookie if there’s no sprinkles?)

Today let’s ditch the rolling pin, toss the cookie cutters, and break out our mixers because it’s time to for drop style sprinkle sugar cookies. These buttery cookies are soft-baked, simple, and mega chewy. I can’t wait for you to try them!!

drop sugar cookies with sprinkles on a cooling rack

Video Tutorial

Cookie Chemistry

These drop style sugar cookies are based off of a familiar recipe: Soft-Baked Sprinkle Sugar Cookies. They’ve always been a favorite, but I often receive questions about the leaveners used. When testing cookie recipes, one problem I always face is finding the right amount of leavener. That recipe calls for baking soda and cream of tartar.

If you’re interested, it’s helpful to read my baking soda vs baking powder article. As you’ll learn, recipes calling for baking soda must also contain an acid such as sour cream, brown sugar, cream of tartar, or buttermilk. The acid reacts with the baking soda to create carbon dioxide, which allows the cookies to rise. In that recipe, I use cream of tartar because it’s mostly flavorless and doesn’t change the texture of the sugar cookies.

I reworked the recipe. Now I use baking powder instead of the baking soda/cream of tartar combination. (Baking powder already contains an acid so it doesn’t require any special ingredients.) Using too much baking powder leaves a bitter aftertaste, which was my problem a few years ago. Good rule of thumb I’ve learned since then: 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 definitely delicious.

stack of sprinkle sugar cookies

sprinkle sugar cookie dough rolled into balls on a white plate

How to Make Drop Sugar Cookies

You only need 8 ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, butter, egg, sugar, and sprinkles. That’s it! For extra flavor, feel free to add a splash of almond extract.

Preparing the cookie dough is easy. Whisk dry ingredients in one bowl and beat wet ingredients in another. Combine everything together. Sugar cookies get all of their flavor from butter and vanilla extract, so make sure you’re following the recipe closely. Proper room temperature butter is imperative.

Chilling the cookie dough is another non-negotiable. These drop sugar cookies are very buttery and the colder the cookie dough, the less they’ll 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 more tips to prevent cookies from over-spreading.

stack of drop sugar cookies with sprinkles

*Extras*

  • Easily Double the Recipe: This recipe yields about 20 medium cookies. You can double the recipe if you need a larger batch for a birthday party, bake sale, or other event.
  • Extra Sprinkles: We’re definitely testing the limits on “how many sprinkles is too many sprinkles?” here. You can skip the sprinkles or load them up like I do. I also like to dip the tops of the cookie dough balls into sprinkles before chilling/baking.

These drop sugar cookies will be a new staple in your cookie rotation! If you’re looking to use your cookie cutters, try my best sugar cookies instead.

drop sugar cookies with sprinkles on a pink plate

Print
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stack of drop sugar cookies with sprinkles

Drop Style Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

You can make these soft, chewy, sprinkle loaded drop style sugar cookies 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

Scale
  • 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*

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 12-13 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
  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. I used these naturally colored sprinkles in the pictured cookies. If desired, you can leave out the sprinkles for plain drop sugar cookies.
  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.

Keywords: sugar cookies, sprinkles

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. They seem really good but is there any other ingredient that could substitute the little sprinklers? Love how they look but not a fan of the flavor! Thanks !

    1. Hi Andrea, you can simply leave out the sprinkles for plain drop sugar cookies! Enjoy!

  2. I searched low carb cookies and this recipe popped up. Would you consider developing as actual keto or low carb cookie? The world would be forever thankful.

    1. Hi Madeline! How strange this recipe popped up for that search term. I have very little experience baking low carb or keto recipes. Instead, I recommend finding an expert on the topic whose low carb recipes would likely be much better than anything I try to create!

    2. Here’s a recipe that I do weekly for my diabetic mother:

      Mix in a bowl:
      – 164g brown butter, room temperature or normal butter
      – 128g Erythritol
      – 1 tsp Vanilla
      – 2 eggs

      Mix on another bowl:
      – 336g Almond flour
      – 1/2 tsp salt
      – 1/2 tsp xanthum gum
      – 1/2 tsp baking soda

      Mix the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

      Add 140g sugarfree chocolate chips and 140g nuts or a pack of blueberries

      Bake 350F 12-13minutes

  3. How large are these cookies in diameter? I asked a few weeks ago but never received an answer!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Robin, we haven’t measured these cookies. Perhaps about 2.5 inches in diameter?

  4. Hi, my son wants a sugar cookie pizza style cake for his birthday, I LOVE these cookies, so you think they could be pressed in a pan and baked?

  5. I did not try this recipe yet, but can I use a whisk instead of a stand mixer?

    1. Hi Lian, a whisk will not be strong enough to mix the dough, but you would use a wooden spoon or a hand mixer. If using a spoon, it will just take some arm muscle!

  6. I followed this recipe perfectly, even measured the flour correctly but they did not spread at all like Sally’s from the photos. I was reading past comments and saw that a few other people had the same issue. I was hoping Sally could do a remake of this recipe, update it and share it again!

  7. I read your comments before I baked these delicious cookies tonight so I decided to smush the balls (just a bit) with the bottom of a measuring cup. It worked and my cookies were beautiful~ they looked just like the ones in Sally’s picture!

  8. Very popular recipe and so easy to make. Baked for events. Only problem is there aren’t any left for me to take home.
    PS I liked your old name much better. It was unusual and more memorable. When I google recipes it would always catch my eye and I knew I found a recipe worth trying.

    1. Thank you so much, Sue! So glad these are a hit. sallysbakingaddiction.com is still the website URL and Sally’s Baking/Candy/Cookie Addiction are the names of my books. Sally’s Baking Recipes is now the umbrella for it all. 🙂

  9. My 3 year old loves to bake and like most kids, LOVES sprinkles! We have made these multiple times now. They are so easy (although he detests the 2 hour chill, ) and look so colorful and yummy. They are just a lot of fun!! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Delicious, but thick
    I made these cookies for my boyfriend, and he loved them. however the recipe did not yield 15 cookies. i rolled the dough into a log, cut the log in half, rolled the logs again and cut the dough and rolled it into balls. i made like 24 cookies it was insane. i guess because of the 2 hour chill time, it resulted in very thick cookies. they were absolutely delicious. but like i said they were very thick they did not flatten entirely but they were amazing. i had a question. if i did it the same way….and decided to cut the dough into 4 logs and make the cookies half the size i made them before, would they still bake the same? like if i made the dough balls smaller would i still bake them at the same temp for the same time and they would still come out the same…?? or because they are a smaller size would they bake faster and i should cut the time? help

    1. Hi Kristina, the recipe should yield about 20 cookies. If you make them smaller, reduce the baking time by a couple of minutes, and take them out of the oven when the edges are very slightly browned, but the centers are still soft. They’ll continue to set on the baking sheet for another 5 minutes before you move them to a wire cooling rack. Hope this helps!

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