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Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe (No Baking Soda)

soft sugar cookies

The Perfect Sugar Cookie Recipe (Without Baking Soda)

Grandma Hand’s Soft Sugar Cookies (No cookie cutter required!)

I know that you may not believe me when I say there are literally the best cookies you will ever eat and a great option for those of you who don’t want to use baking soda.

There’s also no requirement to chill — you can just form them into dough balls at room temperature. I know a lot of sugar cookie recipes require you to chill the dough, but that’s what makes these such a great recipe.

I must say, these aren’t chewy sugar cookies, like some other recipes. They are softer, buttery sugar cookies that go well with a glass of milk.

When I was younger, our visits to my Grandma’s house were always greeted with a warm, soft sugar cookie. My favorite version was and always will be just plain, but there are so many different cookies you can make them into! 

But I think they are that good they don’t need anything except a glass of milk, and it will be the best thing you’ve ever tried. They are also an easy recipe, great for putting together quickly, and the ingredients you probably already have in your fridge.

This lady is a rockstar when it comes to making the most simple dishes into something amazing. She even wrote her own cookbook back in the day that sits on my shelf and is frequently used. I, of course, asked her permission to share it with you all and she said yes. You should feel special because this one is a family treasure. 

The Softest Sugar Cookie

Recipe by Grandma Hand

Yields: 2 1/2 to 3 dozen

Prep and baking time: 1 hour


  • 1/2 c (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar (brown sugar would compromise the color and powdered sugar is too fine!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (you can also use almond extract)
  • 1 tsp double-acting baking powder (baking soda replacement and leavening agent. Feel free to use baking soda if you want.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 3 c all-purpose flour 
ingredient for sugar cookies in a bowl


  • 1. Bring the temperature of your oven to 400 degrees.
  • 2. Mix the basic wet ingredients — butter and sugar, followed by the egg, vanilla, and sour cream in a large bowl or with your electric mixer.
  • 3. Mix dry, flour ingredients in a mixing bowl and slowly incorporate them into wet ingredients. After this step, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container and chill for another day, or bake them immediately. Either way, these are easy sugar cookies!
  • 4. Form the sugar cookie dough into golf ball-sized dough balls or desired shape; roll in granulated sugar. Place on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • 5. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thickness with the bottom of a drinking glass on the cookie sheet. Make sure you leave enough space in between as they rise a little.
  • 6. Place in your oven and bake 6-8 minutes or until sugar cookies just begin to turn golden brown around edges. Tops should spring back when touched with your finger.
  • The baked cookies should be left to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes, and are best when eaten warm.


  • M&M – After cookies are flattened, press M&M’s into them.
  • Lemon – Substitute 4 tsp lemon extract for vanilla.
  • Peanut Butter – add in 1/2 c peanut butter to wet ingredients. Flatten with a fork instead of glass. 
  • Chocolate chips — For best results, add on top after cookies are flattened.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do!