Cookies/ Dessert/ Recipes

Simple Sugar Cookies

I have a few cookie recipes up my sleeve.

In general, I like to try new things and incorporate seasonal ingredients when I can. I like to modify recipes and come up with my own unique creations. Some things though are best in their pure unadulterated form, and sugar cookies are one of those things.

And yes, I am a self-professed chocoholic but even the best of us needs some sweet vanilla comfort in our lives every so often.

In all honestly, as much as I love chocolate chip, sugar cookies are by far my favorite cookie to bake.


Because they’re so versatile! What other cookie can serve as the base for so many sweet creations? Slather these cookies with raspberry jam, chocolate or buttercream, or just enjoy one in all of it’s simplistic glory alongside a cup of hot tea….the options are truly endless.

Do I have you drooling yet? It’s all part of my master plan. hehehe

The special thing about these cookies is the combination of both granulated and powdered sugar. It gives them that old fashioned taste and charm, ya know?

This is just a combination of one cup of each. You just whisk both sugars together and try to get rid of any big clumps.

Next, add one cup of vegetable oil to the sugars, as well as a teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla and two beaten eggs. See? I told you this was easy!


Now, add this mixture to four cups of flour and stir. The dough will be pretty dry and flaky so don’t freak out. The end result will be very, very worth it.

You might actually need to get in there with your hands and work it a little if stirring is too hard. The end result should look something like this:

Roll out little balls of dough and place them about two inches apart on a baking sheet that’s either lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Then, press each cookie down with a fork and sprinkle a little sugar on each one.

What can I say? I like a little sugar in my life.

Bake at 375 for about eight to nine minutes. These cookies should stay pretty pale and chewy—you’ll know they are done when the edges start to get a little golden.

And there ya go! Bake these next time you’re craving some old fashioned comfort and let me know what fun cookie creations you come up with!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Gourmet

makes about three dozen cookies

4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract (or almond extract)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

Combine the sugars together and then add the vegetable oil, vanilla (or almond) extract, salt, eggs and baking soda. Whisk well to combine. Add the flour and stir. The dough will be semi-dry. Roll out ping pong sized balls of dough on a lined baking sheet. Press each dough ball with a fork and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 for eight minutes.

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  • Kelly
    September 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Mmmmm Nutella, so good.

  • Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore)
    September 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I’m a straight chocolate gal myself but that jam sandwich looks phenom….. next time with pumpkin butter. mmmmmmmmm

  • grocery goddess jen
    September 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Yes please.

  • Meghan
    September 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Your recipes make me want to run hope and bake cookies ASAP! Adding these to my list of must-try recipes.

  • Kristen
    September 13, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    You forgot the best line! “Here is what you need for success..” That is your signature line now.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    September 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Those are some perfect cookies. I would sell my soul for a batch right now.

  • Camille
    September 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Those cookies are gorgeous! I love how they look so cracked and… weathered. Simply beautiful.

  • Cara
    September 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I believe you have reached cookie perfection with this one.
    I love how easy they are. The toppings/fillings could be endless, I love that.

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    September 13, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Oh goodness! Those cookies look to Die For! With raspberry jam or chocolate = heaven! These will be perfect for the holidays…….or anytime actually:)

  • Kellie
    September 13, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I will have to try these, but the best sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever tried (and I’m old LOL so I’ve tried a lot) is in the book “Bread Alone”.

  • Debbie B.
    September 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Wow, I want one right now. They look fabulous and nutella is always a good choice.

  • Rhea (Greek Feaster)
    September 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    So cute. I would love to host a DIY cookie sandwich bar with these babies, jams, ice creams, frostings and lots o’ toppings. Mmmmmmm.

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary
    September 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I was drooling after the first picture! Thank god I can’t bake or I’d have to eat a whole batch this afternoon πŸ˜‰

  • Krystina
    September 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Sometimes there really is nothing better than a sugar cookie.

  • stacey-healthylife
    September 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Those look similar in texture and shape to peanut butter cookies.

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black
    September 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Those cookies look tasty!

  • hippierunner
    September 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Mmm, nutella.

  • Katie Heddleston
    September 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    These look so good Jenna! Especially that bite of chocolate on one — yummmy! Can’t wait to see if they work as a gluten free version!

  • Penny (VEGGIEtarian)
    September 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I can not wait to make those.

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate)
    September 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    You do such a good job of tempting me and making it necessary to try your recipes!

  • Erin
    September 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Holy yum! I haven’t made (or eaten!) sugar cookies in a least a couple of years, probably since Christmas 2006. That needs to change sooner rather than later.

  • Caitlin (EatFeats)
    September 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Yess sugar cookies are my favorite! I’m a vanilla girl.

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    September 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    i want the cookie with nutella:-)

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    September 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I love a warm sugar cookie. Simple, but amazing. I’ve never had one with nutella. Great idea. yum!

  • Keri @ Iron Mountain Movement
    September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I will take the ones slathered in raspberry jam please!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    i love sugar cookies too…in fact i’d say they’re probably my favorite since you really can do so much with them! i love the jam in the middle photos you have…and am most definitely drooling!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    September 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    my husband would honestly love it if you would live with us.

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    September 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Gah!! They look sooo good!! Love Nutella πŸ™‚

  • eatmovelove
    September 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I actually have NEVER been a fan of Sugar Cookies…don’t shoot! BUT – those ones with Jam ? – uh, yeah, I could do that…;)

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks
    September 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I am all about the chocolate myself, but you’re right, you can’t go wrong with a sugar cookie, and those look great. Thanks for sharing!

  • Elizabeth
    September 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Those cookies look delicious and I bet they’d be even better as ice cream sandwiches. yummy!

  • Lauren @ Health on the Run
    September 13, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I think sugar cookies are way under-rated. I’m a chocolate girl myself, but nothing beats a perfect soft plain old sugar cookie. I’ve never tried making them with powdered sugar though, so I’m excited to incorporate that into my next recipe!

    I’m curious though — every other recipe I’ve seen for sugar cookies says to refrigerate the dough (so it hardens a bit and you can roll it out), but it doesn’t look like you did. Is that not necessary with this recipe?

  • Kati
    September 13, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Yum! I don’t remember the last time I baked or ATE a great homemade sugar cookie.

  • Katie
    September 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Oooo what a cute idea to add some Nutella to the sugar cookies! I feel like they look so girly, idk why haha! Hope you had a good weekend!!

  • Susan@MomSwimBikeRun
    September 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Your baked good always make me drool!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef
    September 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    good point on the versatility of sugar cookies…. these look great!

  • Melissa
    September 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I made these right after I read your post. They were so good! Esp. slathered in rasberry jam =)))

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    September 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Those cookies look to DIE!

  • janna @ janna's keeping it real
    September 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    i don’t know whether to be really impressed, or disgusted with myself right now.

    i came across this recipe approx 15 min ago…seeing as it is almost 8pm, and entirely too late to bake, i book marked it…then, about 1 sec ago i had 4 perfect cookies going into the oven to bake. i successfully (in my book, anyway) reduced the recipe into a nice nitecap sized recipe. oh dear god please help me. this could be a terrible thing.

  • Amber K
    September 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of the sugar cookie. They don’t taste like anything to me! But I guess if you dress them up with other things, they’d be great!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    September 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    “Do I have you drooling yet? It’s all part of my master plan. hehehe”—yes, actually, you did!!!

    Nutella! Yum.
    Sugar. Yum.
    Cookies. Yum

    Really, no complaints, at all πŸ™‚

  • Katherine
    September 13, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I never thought about putting nutella on a sugar cookie! Drool.

  • Kate
    September 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Yep, I’m totally drooling. These look wonderful, especially the ones with jam in the middle!

  • lauren @ laurenINlawrence
    September 13, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I REALLY wanted a cookie tonight, and was set on making oatmeal raisin cookies until I realized I was missing the star ingredient, raisins. I put them on my list and resolved to do it later this week, until BOOM, I open the Google Reader and see that you made these beauties. SO EASY. I had the cookies in the oven (after snacking on that tasty tasty dough) and perfect sugar cookies in like 20 minutes. Clearly, I’m pretty happy about this. I made just a half recipe, and immediately froze some of them to make sure I didn’t eat the whole batch.

  • jb
    September 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    oh man, i looooove sugar cookies. definitely my favorite, even if i don’t eat them very often. also wanted to say a belated “thanks!” for your whole wheat blueberry banana muffin recipe. one of those (toasted w/ a little butter, obvi) + green smoothie = best breakfast ever. so yayys for your recipes! keep em comin!

  • Brenna
    September 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Yumm! My grandmother always made sugar cookies, pushed her thumb in the middle, and added jam. Those cookies always remind me of her.

  • Eryn Kesler
    September 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Hello! These look sooooo good!

    I am a newish runner, found your blog off my friend Meredith’s blog. thanks for sharing!

    September 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    i made 3 batches of muffins today, its all i did- i mean it was raining so why not lol. i used a lot of the same ingredients too like ur canola oil. i even put the two eggs out infront for a picture too. thats funny πŸ˜‰
    jam in, on, or with cookies is FABULOUS!!


  • Trysha
    September 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Yum! I’ve been looking for a sugar cookie recipe that doesn’t use cream of tartar. Thanks!

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married)
    September 14, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I am Definitely going to try these – especially after the cake I made my husband last night (new recipe) that turned out having the consistency of cornbread. Oops. Being the good man that he is, he ate some anyway (I think the chocolate frosting helped). But I sure would like to make him something nice so I’ll give these a try!

  • Annie D @ Annie's Simple Life
    September 14, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Too fun! I think all recipes are best when they’re ‘old fashioned’. That alone guarantees that they’re good!!

  • Megan
    September 14, 2010 at 5:20 am

    I’m not sure what looks better– your cookies or the big jar of Nutella in the background. I’ll admit I’ve been having a love affair with Nutella ever since backpacking through Europe in college πŸ™‚

  • Andrea
    September 14, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Yum. I love the Nutella idea. My boys would LOVE that as they are obsessed with it!

  • jenna
    September 14, 2010 at 5:34 am

    sugar cookies are such a wonderful classic! kids go mad for them! πŸ™‚ adults do too….;)

  • Shawna
    September 14, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Jenna, you’re killing me! I can almost taste the heavenly crumbs in my mouth. I have some black cherry jam that would be amazing on top of one or five.

  • Jillian @ Reshape Your Life
    September 14, 2010 at 6:06 am

    I used to have an awesome sugar cookie recipe but I lost it πŸ™

    I’ll have to try these!!

  • Coley
    September 14, 2010 at 6:26 am

    If I didn’t bake hello dolly bars and blueberry muffins last night I would have make room for these!! Next time:)

  • Natalia @asideofsimple
    September 14, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Thank you for bringing the glory of Nutella to light! It’s a beautiful thing =)

  • kate
    September 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Mmm Nutella!

  • MoniMeals
    September 14, 2010 at 9:15 am

    OHHHHHH MMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY GOOOODNESSSS! I only just now saw these photos! Now that is a sugar cookie, my mouth is watering for sure. Plus Nutella, oh my. Done and Done! πŸ™‚

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  • Jennifer
    September 14, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Looks so good! is there any reason that you mix by hand instead of an electric mixer? Do they come out better?

  • Sharon
    September 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I adore sugar cookies, and just happened to be looking for a good recipe when lo and behold, you posted one! These will be fabulous with some Earl Grey tea. I also happen to love “old fashioned” donuts….you know, the very plain ones with no glaze?

  • Brooke (Baking with Basil)
    September 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Nothing like an old fashioned cookie. There is something so comforting about it!

  • Krysten
    September 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I made these cookies tonight and stuffed them with nutella before I baked them. Absolutely to die for!!

  • Katie (Life... Discombobulated)
    September 15, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Jenna! Seriously! I’m going to have to stop at the grocery store TONIGHT for cookie ingredients! Every time you post a new recipe, it looks SO good, I want to run home and make it immediately! I made your chocolate chip cookies. They were amazing. These sugar cookies can’t be far behind… πŸ™‚

  • Kayla
    September 16, 2010 at 9:27 am

    My in laws were coming over last night and I wanted to have something warm and tasty to serve them. I had a little twinge of “I think I saw an easy cookie recipe on EatLiveRun the other day.” I threw these together and they were perfect! Thanks!

  • Amanda
    September 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Made them and love them. After reading your post I HAD to make them at 9:30 PM one night. I had been enjoying them in their pure sugar cookie state, but tonight I put just a small slathering of almond butter on top of one. And my love for the cookie deepened. I’m not sure if this is a good thing…

  • Julie
    September 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Ok, these were awesome! I was a little hesitant to make them because I really don’t like a dry cookie and I thought they might be a little crisp but these came out perfectly moist and chewy. I have also had some trouble with fussy sugar cookie recipes in the past- refrigerating them, rolling them out with powdered sugar, nursing them to life only to have them all form a shape-less puddle on the baking tray halfway into the cook time. This recipe was super easy and they puff up so cutely after the fork-thing. : )

    I’m also one of those people who start checking on their cookies about half-way through the baking time because, well, I really don’t like a dry cookie but these took exactly 8 mins to bake. To be honest, I think they might be my new favorite cookie recipe. (Don’t tell the brown sugar chocolate chip.)

  • Edible Rose
    September 26, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Reading this has just made me really frustrated that we are getting the kitchen done this week and I have packed all my baking stuff away! I’ll definitely try them out in my new kitchen. Time to think of fillings!

  • Laura
    October 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Just coming back to this post to write down the recipe again to take on holiday with me. I made a gluten-free version of these a couple of weeks ago, subbing in gf flour, using demerara sugar for the granulated sugar, and topping them with a simple lemon icing (icing sugar, lemon juice, rind, and a little water – totally made the biscuits!!). People LOVED them. Seriously, my grandmother is still talking about them. She took extras to share with her friends. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Katya
    October 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I am so bad at baking so this might be a silly question. I want to make these, but the yield is quite high. If I wanted to make half of this recipe, could I just half all ingredients?

    Thanks Jenna. Love your blog.

    • jenna
      October 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      well, it only makes four scones….not that high! I’ve eaten all four in the past 12 hours. But you could cut in half and just make two scones for a mini portion πŸ™‚

      • Katya
        October 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm

        oh sorry.. this is for the sugar cookie recipe..

  • Tracy
    October 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I feel compelled to write a short comment since I just made these delicious cookies!! I have been reading your blog for about two years. I accidentally stumbled upon it while sitting in my hospital bed after being diagnosed with type one diabetes at the ripe old age of 22. I goggled “healthy living” and found your post about starting a new job baking at 4am….. Anyway, as I said I have been following you for nearly two years and have found you and your blog incredibly refreshing and easy to relate to, so I’d like to thank you for that!!
    To be specific, after drooling over your recipies for months and months, I finally decided to try one of them out. I made these cookies and they were absolutely delicious. I ended up substituting about 3/4 of a cup of coconut oil for the veggie oil since I ran out of veggie oil, and they were DELICIOUS! The slight hint of coconut was a nice touch, and since coconut oil can be beneficial in controlling blood sugar I feel good about eating them!
    So, Jenna, to make a long story short (longer????) Thank you for all that you do, and for being true to yourself. You are truly an inspiration.

    • jenna
      October 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      aww so glad you liked them, Tracy! Thank YOU!

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara
    October 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Hi there!

    I just finished making these and they are great! πŸ™‚ I made these variations because it’s what I had on hand. I subbed the powdered sugar for just another cup of regular sugar and I used egg beaters instead of eggs. The result was delish! They are my favorite kind of cookie too (especially if I were to add M&M’s which I will soon!). Thanks for the inspiration!

    • jenna
      October 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      oh good! I saw your tweet and was wondering…glad they are yummy! πŸ™‚

  • Katie @ Keepingupwithkatie
    October 14, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Would these be good for cutouts? I am thinking of using this recipe for Halloween cookies! Every year, we use cut outs for sugar cookies and ice them like pumpkins, ghosts, and witch’s hats.

    • jenna
      October 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

      the dough is a little too thick for cutouts…but I am planning on featuring a cutout recipe soon!

  • Melanie
    October 15, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Jenna I made these cookies last night and wow they are delicious!! And so easy to make! The dough was a little dry but still worked well! Can’t wait to make them again. I love how they look a bit rustic and cracked πŸ™‚

  • Rachael
    October 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    BEST sugar cookie, EVER! πŸ™‚

  • Marie
    December 6, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    These are great Jenna, thanks for sharing!

  • carissa
    January 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    these were seriously one of the most delicious cookie recipes i have ever made! my sister and i tweaked th recipe a tad and added pink food coloring! they were not only tasty but so adorable, check out my post on them here:

  • Mona
    February 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    These turned out beautifully! I didn’t even bother with frosting and just ate them as they were. Definitely going to be my go-to sugar cookie recipe from now on.

  • Lorin
    February 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I just made these little beauties this afternoon and they turned out wonderful! I didn’t have any powdered sugar (blasphemous, I know) so I subbed in some organic sugar I had that’s a bit finer than regular granulated. They came out perfect at 9 minutes (mine may have been slightly large-ish ping pong balls) and tasted divine! The dog is upset he can’t have any more πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing!

  • HilaryJo
    February 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Oh my gosh these are so good!! I used almond extract (of course, LOVE that stuff), and they were perfect!! The edges melt in your mouth, the middle is chewier…so good. I made them for my hubby but I have already eaten 3!! Lets see if they last…he should be home in less than a hour!

  • amanda
    October 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

    these are divine! i used two cups of granulated sugar since I didn’t have powdered sugar and I almost forgot the baking soda until the last second and had to take the first batch of cookies off the tray and remix, but these are totally worth it! thanks!! (i love how easy and quick they are too!)

  • Sara
    November 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    These cookies are UH-mazing! Me and my sister make them at least every couple weeks they are so tasty! We always smother them in icing because we can πŸ™‚ thanks for the awesome recipe Jenna!

  • Pam
    February 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Jenna, you are a true Sugarbaker! Can you use canola oil instead of vegetable oil? Thank you for sharing these yummy recipes with us<3

    • jenna
      February 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm


  • Ally
    June 15, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Can I freeze the cookie dough?

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  • Diana
    December 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    These cookies are amazing! I made them after a friend requested me to send her sugar cookies, and my boyfriend – a complete chocoholic – preferred these over his beloved chocolate chip cookies. I also took them to Thanksgiving and everyone loved them.

    Thank you so much, Jenna!

  • Pam
    December 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Jenna! I was wondering if I could make these cookies with peppermint extract instead of vanilla and maybe add a little green food coloring?? And…if I have coconut oil do I use the same amount of oil?

    Merry Christmas!

    • Carly
      December 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      HI Pam. In my opinion I think you could certainly swap extracts and oils. See how much a normal recipe calls for peppermint extract in case you use less because it is strong. You will LOVE this recipe! If you are concerned you could always make a peppermint frosting since the cookies aren’t overly sweet.

  • Carly
    December 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Jenna! I LOVE this recipe!! I have made it twice and just made them today. I used Christmas sprinkles instead of sugar and shared them with all of my neighbors. This recipe is perfect and easy and SO good. Thank you as always. I’ve loved every recipe I have tried of yours. BIG FAN!

  • Aaryn @ Insert{Life}Here
    May 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    This recipe was JUST what I needed this Sunday. #scs (sugar cookie Sunday) is going to be a thing. Starting now.

  • Molly
    December 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Just made these! Easy and delicious.

  • Kelly
    March 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    When I made the dough it was extremely dry and my first batch came out very hard. I added milk to the remainder of the dough which resulted in a better outcome for the remainder of the cookies. Good flavour, not overly sweet therefore the jam jam idea complimented the cookies well.

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