Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies Recipe

Use this old fashioned soft sugar cookies recipe to make cookies just like your grandma. So delicious, these soft sugar cookies are the perfect sweet treat!

soft sugar cookies recipe

One of the hardest things for me about the COVID-19 quarantine was being separated from my dad. We were accustomed to having dinner together a few times a week, and attending mass together on the weekends. He was a champ about taking the quarantine seriously, but he was alone, so I didn’t like it at all! Anyway, I continued to cook and bake for him when I could. One day, he asked me about my mom’s soft sugar cookies. He looked for a recipe in her cookbooks, but couldn’t find one. When I checked my own recipe box, there was a card, in her handwriting, that said Drop Sugar Cookies. So I gave them a try, and sure enough, they are delicious…and very soft!

soft sugar cookies dough on parchment paper

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For the Best Soft Sugar Cookies:

  • The refrigeration step takes extra time, but don’t skip it. It’s necessary for the dough to easily come out of the scoop. The scoop I used measures 2 inches across the opening, and is considered a 50 MM scoop. Click {HERE} for my favorite cookie scoop. You can definitely use a smaller scoop, just make sure to adjust the baking time.
  • If you don’t want to purchase buttermilk, my mom used to make sour milk. For 1 cup of sour milk, put 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a measuring cup. Fill it to the 1 cup mark with milk. Stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes. Lemon juice can also be used as a substitute for the vinegar, but it will slightly change the taste.
  • This recipe makes a lot of cookies! It’s so nice because there are plenty of cookies to keep for yourself, and plenty to share as well.

soft sugar cookies recipe

soft sugar cookies on plates

Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

Use this old fashioned soft sugar cookies recipe to make cookies just like your grandma. So delicious, these soft sugar cookies are the perfect sweet treat!
4.7 from 20 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 dozen
Author: Ann Drake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 cups all purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, or bowl of a standing mixer, combine the sugars, eggs, shortening, and vanilla.
  • Beat for 2 minutes, making sure to scrape the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and flour.
  • Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in 3 increments, alternating with the buttermilk.
  • Beat just until completely mixed together.
  • Cover loosely and refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
  • Using a 2 inch scoop, drop the dough onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. The scoops should be scant, and not over-filled.
  • Carefully sprinkle sugar on each cookie dough scoop.
  • Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. The cookies will crack on top. Test with a toothpick to make sure the middle is done.
  • Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Remove to a cooling rack.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container.
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soft sugar cookies on plates

I’m not sure these cookies taste exactly like my mom’s, but my dad gave them a thumbs-up, which made me happy. These are very pretty soft sugar cookies, and easy to mix up, so I definitely recommend giving them a try. They taste like days gone by, and made me think of a simpler time. Which was, at least for me, a very good thing. Until next time…

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