Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

Edited to Add: July 21, 2013 – I have a similar recipe that I prefer Softbatch Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Normally I don’t go for sugar cookies because the can be too plain, too dry, too cakey, or just too boring.

These are the opposite.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

I’ve wanted to try my hand at a soft and chewy sugar cookie recipe for awhile. Most recipes I see lately for sugar cookies tend to be Lofthouse-style copycat recipes. I do love those big bakery-style sugar cookies but didn’t feel like having to frost cookies, and those almost necessitate it. Rather than spend time frosting cookies and decorating them with sprinkles, I just baked them right in.

To make them, I referenced one of my favorite cookbooks, The New Best Recipe from Cooks Illustrated. Previously, I used their recipe for Chocolate Cookies as my jumping off place for Quintuple Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Cookies with great success, and decided to take them up on their promise of soft, thick, and chewy sugar cookies.


Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

In doing some googling, it seems they have a newer recipe that calls for melted butter, vegetable oil, and cream cheese, but that’s not the one I used. Melting butter rather than creaming generally results in thinner, flatter cookies for me. Nor did I have any cream cheese in the house when I set out to make these, so went with their cookbook recipe, and adapted it along the way.

To make the cookies, begin by creaming the butter, sugars, and egg. There’s only one tablespoon of brown sugar in the dough and I was worried that absence of brown sugar, which tenderizes and softens cookies, would be missed. In general, I really am a Brown Sugar Cookie girl because they always turn out so soft, tender, and moist, but as white sugar cookies go, these are the chewier and softer than most.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

Beat in the flour until it’s just combined and for these cookies, I used all-purpose as recommended, even though I have thing for bread flour in cookies since it makes them chewier, but I’m glad I used all-purpose.

The recipe calls for baking powder and in general, I prefer baking soda to baking power. Baking powder can create drier, cakier textures, and I can often taste the chemical leavening agents in it, but since there’s just one-half teaspoon for the whole batch, and it’s the only chemical source of leavening, I went with it.

I deviated from the recipe and threw in a heaping half-cup of sprinkles. The flatter, longer type sprinkles. Not the little balls that some people call non-pareils and that if you spill them will bounce around your kitchen floor for years and every time you think you got them all, another one appears.

Beat them in momentarily with the mixer for just a few seconds. Don’t get carried away because they could break and leech color into the dough, not that it would be a huge deal if they did.


After the dough has been properly sprinkled, it must be chilled. I chilled some overnight, and then forgot about some and left it chilling for five days before I got baking it. Both batches of cookies tasted identical.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, form balls with the chilled dough. This equates to one-and-a-half-inch diamter balls that weight between 1.10 and 1.20-ounces. The baking geek enjoys seeing how many ways I can measure a ball of dough. After scooping out about two dozen balls (my yield was 28), roll them between the palms of your hand and form smooth globes. The sprinkles give your hands a nice exfoliation in the process.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

Place eight to ten balls on a Silpat -lined baking tray and carefully and gently flatten each ball with the bottom of a drinking glass to about three-quarters of an inch high. Spraying the bottom of the glass with a bit of cooking spray, and repeating as necessary, prevents the dough from sticking to it. You can also flatten them using the palm of your hand but for the first batch or two, I did as instructed in the cookbook, and it specifically says use glass. I later tried my hand and got similar results.

It’s really, really tempting to want to squish those perfect globes down and over-flatten them but don’t do it. Stop yourself. That defeats the purpose of chilling the dough because dough going into the oven that’s too flat is going to bake into flat, thin, crispy pancakes. My cookie preference turned out to be the ones I flattened the least because they’re thicker, softer, with more tender interiors. Flatten judiciously.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

I baked some cookies at 375F as the recipe suggests, but found that to be a bit too hot. I really think 350F is the perfect temperature for cookies. The 375F cookies were crisper than I prefer, and the undersides were a bit too browned. I recommend a baking time of 350F for nine minutes. The book suggests a baking time of like 16 minutes at 375F. I can’t even imagine. I’d set off the smoke detector and then some.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

Remove the cookies from the oven when the edges are set and the centers have just barely set, even though they will appear underdone. All cookies firm up as they cool, but these cookies in particular firm up dramatically, and turn out crisper and more well-done than you think. Baking them anything over nine minutes is a recipe for a crispy cookie in my oven; baking for anything over ten minutes is a recipe for burnt cookies.

Because they’re sugar cookies, they’re more prone to burning than many other cookies. I start watching cookies of any sort by seven or eight minutes, or at least two minutes before the recommended end-time, so I can pull them out as needed. With cookies, forty-five seconds can make a big difference in the final result. Especially pale, light, buttery little sugar cookies.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

The cookies are soft and chewy as long as you don’t overbake them. They bake up quite thick, which can be tricky with sugar cookies.

They have a nostalgic and homey quality, and something about sugar cookies reminds me of my childhood and decorating cookies with my grandma, mom, and sister.

One of the reasons I don’t usually make sugar cookies is that rolling out the dough for cut-out cookies is too fussy. This recipe gives the uniformity in size of cut-out cookies, minus the hassle. Not having to frost or decorate them from the sprinkles baked right in was the way to go.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

The sprinkles add a bit of extra sweetness as well as texture and I love biting into them. They’d be a perfect Valentine’s Day cookie to make or give. That way everyone can have sprinkles between their teeth.

I love the sprinklefest.

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I've been searching for a sugar cookie recipe that produces soft and chewy sugar cookies and this one delivers. The edges are chewy and the centers are tender. The buttery flavor reminds me of the sugar cookies my grandma used to make. The sprinkles baked right in not only saves time from having to frost and sprinkle the finished cookies, but they provide additional texture, chewiness, a bit of sweetness, and plenty of smiles - these are a hit with kids and are great for parties, Valentine's Day; or use them as your sugar cookie recipe for Christmas cookies with red and green sprinkles.
Serves: 24 to 28 medium/small cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ heaping cup sprinkles, optional
  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the sprinkles and beat momentarily to incorporate (the cookies can be made without sprinkles and baked as traditional plain sugar cookies if you prefer plain cookies or prefer to decorate them after baking). Transfer dough to airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 5 days, before baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheets with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats, parchment, or spray with cooking spray; set aside. Using a 2-inch cookie scoop (about 1½ tablespoons of dough or about 1.10 to 1.20 ounces by weight), form dough mounds and place on prepared baking sheet. Roll each mound into a smooth ball, and space balls about 2 inches apart on baking sheet (8 to 10 per tray). Use your hand to flatten the balls or for neater cookies, spray a flat-bottomed drinking glass with cooking spray and use it to flatten all balls to ¾-inches in height, measuring about 2 inches in diameter. Re-spray with cooking spray as needed to prevent sticking. It's very tempting to over-flatten the balls, but don't because the cookies will spread like pancakes and become too flat and crispy while they bake. Err on the side of under- rather than over-flattening.
  4. Bake for 9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges, even if slightly underbaked in the center; the tops will not be browned and should be pale. Watch them very closely after 7 minutes as sugar cookies burn easily and I recommend not cooking longer than ten minutes because cookies will darken, crisp, and firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked for 9 minutes and have chewy and slightly crisp edges with soft centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
  5. Adapted from the The New Best Recipe cookbook

Related Recipes:

Softbatch Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Softbatch Funfetti Sugar Cookies (from scratch not a mix) - Recipe at

Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies – The flavors of Funfetti and yellow cake batter are paired in these sweet and easy blondies, complete with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, and plenty of sprinkles. They don’t rely on boxed cake mix, and the from-scratch batter can be mixed by hand in less than 5 minutes. They’re ultra moist, soft, dense, and satisfying

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies – These cookies are much more than the sum of their simple parts and ingredients and I just love them so much. They’re easily one of my new favorites from 2012. Another bonus of these soft, chewy, and easy cookies is that the batch size is only 11 cookies. Perfect for our family because we don’t need dozens and dozens of cookies just laying around

Baked Peach and Nectarine Donuts with White Chocolate Drizzle and Sprinkles– One of my favorite ways to eat sprinkles is on homemade donuts. As easy as muffins and ready in even less time

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies – The dough is rolled in a cinnamon-sugar coating and white chocolate chips are folded int0 the batter for a fun twist on classic snickerdoodles. Soft, moist, and chewy

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies– These are likely my favorite cookies on my blog. They’re soft and moist from the peanut butter, chewy with plenty of texture from the oats, and full of sweet white chocolate chips. People write frequently telling me they loved these cookies and it’s one of those recipes that’s extremely do-able and no one writes with a cookie crisis

Brown Sugar Maple Cookies – These are sugar cookies alright, just without any granulated sugar. I only used brown sugar in these rich, tender, soft and chewy cookies. The depth of flavor between the brown sugar and maple is wonderful and they stay soft and chewy for days

Do you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe? Do you like soft and chewy, thin and crispy?

Ever tried making your own Lofthouse-style cookies?

Thanks for the Pair of Deluxe Kitchen Spatulas Giveaway and Thai Kitchen Sampler Pack Giveaway entries

103 comments on “Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies”

  1. You definitely can’t go wrong with colorful sprinkles in these sugar cookies!

  2. I completely agree that frequently sugar cookies can just be a bit too boring, but these look completely delicious. Definitely going to have to make them as soon as I can get my hands on some sprinkles (oh, the challenges of living abroad!).

  3. These look so happy and colorful! Really enjoyed how you dissected the recipe and adapted different parts to your liking :)

  4. These will be perfect for Valentine’s Day and fun spring-y events! They look so moist and chewy. Love it!

  5. These look moist and chewy, the way sugar cookies should be! It’s my personal belief that the best sugar cookies require NO frosting because the cookie itself is great enough on its own. I suppose that’s because I’m one of the 5 people in the world that actually prefer the “base” (like a cookie, cake, etc.) more than most frostings. :)

    • This is a great dough base, Liz, for sugar cookies. I am happy with it! I mean, it’s a sugar cookies, not some uber soft and chewy oatmeal-molasses raisin or something but as sugar cookies go, this is as good of a dough base as I’ve found to yield softer, chewier, thicker cookies. And a good dough base (without even needing frosting) is worth it’s weight in gold…I know what you mean!

  6. Thanks for explaining how and why you adapted to the recipe to get exactly what you were looking for – great food science. Little heart sprinkles would be completely adorable for Valentine’s Day!

  7. Gah, Averie! These look amazing!!! I’m so serious! I’d usually grab chocolate before sugar cookies, but these are going to live in my head until I make them. Gorgeous!!!

  8. I have made some cookies that are just like these and I forgot how much I loved then and now I’m about to go mix up some dough and leave it to chill all day while I go to work. That’s the only way I can chill dough. If I did it while I was home, I’d eat it all before I got around to baking it. :D

    • Also? 16 minutes?!?! That’s bonkers.

      I call the long sprinkles jimmies. I have some cute fall leaves. I’m using those. There is something about sprinkles that just make things taste better, right?

  9. I love a good chewy sugar cookie. These sprinkles make them so cheerful!

  10. I’m actually a big sugar cookie girl! I love that you baked the sprinkles into these; makes biting into them even that much more fun!

  11. I prefer my cookies to be chewy not cakey so I’m pretty much enamored with these! Plus funfetti makes any day happier.

  12. There’s nothing boring in this ones for sure :) So colorful and pretty. And I love that you made research. Great work!

    • With some recipes, I go into them and really research them very well because I am picky and because I don’t want 2 dozen of anything laying around that we don’t end up eating :) Plus, now I have a good dough base I can use and I know works.

  13. Oh how these cookies brightened up my Monday morning!! I see gray skies, bare trees and brown grass and need some color. This looks like a great sugar cookie dough and really put me in the mood for spring. I remember my mom’s frosted sugar cookies–I think they had some vegetable oil and even powdered sugar in them so they were thinner and on the crisp side. My preference has definitely leaned toward soft dense cookies in recent years and with the sprinkles in there, even I could skip the frosting!

    • If I ever make sugar cookies for the holidays, I’ll use this recipe. All in all, I am never a huge sugar cookie person but this is the best recipe I’ve tried. Not having to frost them was a bonus but for the holidays, you totally could decorate them, frost them, etc. Glad they brightened up your day!

  14. Oh, sprinkles make me so happy! It’s like sugar cookies got dressed for a party. Love!

  15. Sugar cookies…those two words alone are music to my ears, and sprinkles are tiny, sugared happy pills! I’m love the simplicity of this recipe! Lofthouse recipes call for a gazillion cups of flour and yield the same amount of cookies- by the time all the dough has been formed and baked, who feels like standing for another 2 hours frosting? :P

    • “Lofthouse recipes call for a gazillion cups of flour and yield the same amount of cookies” – or some of those recipes call for 4 or EIGHT cups of flour for a batch of cookies. Some of them use 3 eggs so it’s very difficult to halve them easily or accurately so have shyed away from trying them at home. I do want to but then the another 2 hours to frost them all….yeah… :)

  16. Cutest cookies ever. Almost too cute to eat, but not quite.

  17. I love a cookie without frosting. In my book, if it doesn’t have frosting then it is totally acceptable to eat for breakfast. These look beautiful and cheery. A great way to start the day!!

  18. Averie, these cookies look killer!! I can think of about 12 people (myself included) who would love a batch…

  19. SPRINKLES!!! They made everything better. These look amazing, Averie!

  20. Yes please! Monday calls for sprinkles!! :)

  21. Wow, these look so fun and festive with the sprinkles!

  22. These are so pretty! I love sprinkles. And I lol’d when you wrote about the non-pareils. I used some last week and OMG I’m still finding them…

  23. girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl. You know how I adore sprinkles. :) Thanks for making my Monday a bit brighter!

  24. Oh my gawsh. Makes me want to head into the kitchen and bake up a batch of cookies! I love the idea of squishing down with a cup. Brilliant.

  25. How pretty are these cookies?! I am a sucker for sprinkles on anything.

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