This sugar cookies recipe without baking powder calls for only 4 ingredients and results in cookies with a soft, chewy texture! All you need is flour, butter, sugar, and an egg, and you’re all set to whip up a batch of these easy sugar cookies!
Keep Calm & Make Cookies
You’ve got the inspiration to make sugar cookies. So while searching through your cupboard for the required ingredients, you realize you don’t have any baking powder! DEAR GOD NO!
You hear a comforting voice off in the distance (sounds like Hugh Grant) saying, “You don’t need baking soda or baking powder for this recipe, darling…”
What Do We Use Instead of Baking Powder?
The answer is eggs. Eggs take the place of baking powder in this recipe and act as the leavening agent.
Most sugar cookie recipes don’t use eggs and instead rely on baking powder to help puff up the cookies.
Another benefit of eggs instead of baking powder is that the cookies retain their shape more when cooked. They don’t spread out at all. What you cut is what you get.
You’re also not going to get a weird aftertaste that baking powder and baking soda can leave you with.
Will My Cookies Still Be Chewy Without Baking Powder?
Yes! The eggs will ensure you get soft sugar cookies. If you want even more control over the chewiness, you can rely on this simple formula:
More butter than sugar = extra chewy sugar cookies. More sugar than butter = crispier cookies. Feel free to adjust this recipe depending on your taste (pun intended).
Why Is This The Best Sugar Cookies Recipe?
1 – Our Cookie Dough Doesn’t Spread When Baking
Have you ever wondered why cookie dough spreads when it cooks? Believe it or not, baking soda is the culprit here. Baking soda causes your cookie to rise and spread (which is excellent for most recipes).
Since this recipe doesn’t include baking powder or baking soda, you’re entirely avoiding this issue.
2- We Chill our Sugar Cookie Batter Twice
We chill the batter twice in this recipe. Once, when the batter is fully mixed into a big ball, and second, when the cookies are cut out and on the tray, ready to bake.
We cool them for 10 minutes at this stage before putting them in the oven.
Before cooking, cooling the batter forces the butter to re-cool and reform into a hardened shape. And since it’s going into the oven in a hardened state rather than a room-temperature one, it has less time to melt.
Chilling the dough twice creates a chewier cookie with a flaky crust. Delectable!
Key Ingredients in This Recipe
This section will talk about the ingredients in a sugar cookie recipe and how each element affects the taste and texture of the sugar cookies.
Butter is the holy grail ingredient in cookies. Not only does butter ad a rich level of flavor, but it also makes your cookie crispy and flaky. Butter also has a significant impact on the cooking time of your dough. This is why chilling your dough before you cook is so important.
Keep in mind–you want room temperature butter when making the dough. Once the dough is done being mixed, you’ll want to chill it for an hour. You’ve never tasted such buttery sugar cookies!
Granulated White Sugar
Ever wonder why chocolate chip cookies are chewier than sugar cookies? It’s because they use brown sugar. Brown sugar has a higher moisture content. Our sugar cookie recipe calls for white sugar, which creates a crispier, yet still-chewy cookie.
Feel free to use sugar substitutes in this recipe for a healthier option. Whether you have diabetes or are on a specific diet, such as the vegan diet, feel free to substitute white sugar with a sugar substitute.
I talk more about sugar substitutes here.
All-purpose flour is the flour you want to use for this recipe. Other flours, like cake flour or coconut flour, will lead to a crumblier cookie. All-purpose flour is the go-to flour for most cookie recipes.
Note: When in doubt, use all-purpose flour.
Not only do eggs act as the leavening agent in this recipe, but they also bring the crucial moisture element to your cookies. Add an extra egg white if you want fluffier cookies. Alternatively, add an extra egg yolk to the recipe if you want chewier cookies.
Ahh…vanilla extract. The ubiquitous ingredient that makes everything better. If you can afford 100% natural vanilla extract, go that route. The best part is, if you can’t afford pure vanilla extract, imitation vanilla extract will do just fine.
Using an actual vanilla bean is even better!
How To Use a Vanilla Bean in Your Recipe:
Slice the vanilla bean open, length-wise, and then scrape out the interior vanilla “caviar.” Add that vanilla seeds to your dough instead of vanilla extract. This is gourmet (to use an 80s term) baking, and you’ll be able to taste the difference.
Tips For Perfect Sugar Cookies
Here’s a list of my top 4 tips for perfect sugar cookies:
Tip #1 – Measure Precisely
Of course, you need to be precise with your measurements with sweet foods, especially baked desserts. Savory foods are more forgiving when it comes to ratios of ingredients.
Tip #2 – Bake at the Correct Temperature
Bake your cookies at 350. Unfortunately, I have an old oven, so I have to compensate. I cook mine at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Just be sure to keep an eye on your bake.
Tip #3 – Have Uniform Cookie Size & Thickness
You want your cookies to be the same circumference and depth. You can use cookie cutters of similar sizes and be safe.
If you try cooking large and super small cookies, the small ones will burn before the large cookies are done baking.
Tip #4 – Give Your Baked Cookies Time to Cool
Allow your cookies to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack after baking. This will ensure that all the ingredients are set up properly. It’ll also give you time to make your frosting!
Applying frosting to cookies that are too hot will cause the frosting to melt.
What’s the Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?
Baking soda is a leavening agent, meaning it causes baked goods such as cakes, cookies, bread, and muffins to rise to their total volume. Baking powder is a mix of baking soda and an acidic substance such as cream of tartar or buttermilk.
Baking soda is the only one that has sodium bicarbonate which reacts with other ingredients in the recipe and produces bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that cause dough or batter to rise.
How To Make Sugar Cookies Without Baking Powder or Soda
Follow these simple steps to create the tastiest sugar cookie recipe ever. Remember, you can leave out the vanilla if you don’t have any handy.
Sugar Cookie Ingredients:
- Baking Sheet
- Silicone baking mat (or parchment paper)
- Cutting Board
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutters
- Stand Mixer
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
Gather the wet and dry ingredients listed above.
Step 2: Make The Cookie Dough
Start by adding 1/2 cup sugar and one stick of room-temperature unsalted butter to your stand mixer and blend until fluffy, using the paddle attachment.
Next, add one egg and one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or the goo/seeds/caviar of one Madagascar vanilla bean. Blend thoroughly.
Lastly, add 1-1/4 cups flour and a pinch of salt. Continue to mix until the dough is fully formed.
Step 3: Refrigerate Dough
After you’ve eaten a few spoonfuls of raw dough, remove the mixing bowl from your stand mixer and cover with tin foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Step 4: Roll-Out Dough & Cut Shapes
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take the chilled dough and roll it out on a marble cutting board: dust the cutting board and your rolling pin with flour.
Roll the dough out into the desired shape, or until it has an even thickness, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut out your cookies using your favorite cookie cutters. Space them out evenly in a single layer on a silicone-lined baking sheet.
Step 5: Chill Cookies for 10-15 Minutes
Place the cookie sheet in your refrigerator and cool for 10-15 minutes. This second dough “chilling” will re-harden the butter, resulting in a much better cookie bake.
Step 6: Bake
Bake your cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your oven, the total baking time can vary 10-12 minutes.
Once they’re done baking, remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack before adding frosting or eating. Bon Appetit!
Frequently Asked Questions:
In this section, I’ll cover some of the most commonly asked questions about making sugar cookies.
What Can Go Wrong?
There are three significant issues people encounter when trying to make sugar cookies without baking powder.
Common Mistake #1 – Not Cooling the Dough
When making sugar cookies, people’s most common mistake is not allowing the batter to cool sufficiently. Remember to chill the batter for at least 1 hour before rolling out and cutting. And then AGAIN for 10-15 minutes before baking.
Common Mistake #2 – Dough Is Rolled Out Too Thin
If your cookies are too thin, they’ll burn in the oven. This is a soft, gentle dough and needs to be treated as such. You want your sugar cookie dough to be uniformly 1/4″ thick.
Common Mistake #3 – Oven’s Not Hot Enough
Your oven needs to be preheated to 350 degrees. Don’t put your cookies in the oven until it’s preheated.
What Is the Best Stand Mixer for Making Cookie Dough?
I have always trusted and will always trust in my handy KitchenAid mixer. It’s beautiful, rugged, and durable. I’ve made some of the toughest (gingerbread) and easiest cookie doughs known to man, and this stand mixer keeps on trucking.
KitchenAid mixers aren’t cheap. But, they’re an investment that will last you years. I’ve had this mixer for ten years, and it shows no signs of stopping.
I encourage you to shop around and find a stand mixer that fits your budget. That said, KitchenAid mixers are almost always on sale on Amazon. They’re a kitchen tool that will genuinely up your baking game.
How Do I Store My Sugar Cookies?
I recommend storing your sugar cookies in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh for about a week if you keep them sealed. You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe container.
My family swears by the FoodSaver. We use it for EVERYTHING. And it’s saved us a ton of money over the years.
You can also make the cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it when you’re ready to bake.
Can I Make This Into a Keto Sugar Cookie Recipe?
Yes! I haven’t tried this myself, so if YOU do, please leave a comment at the end of this post and let me know how it worked out.
To make Keto Sugar Cookies, I would suggest replacing the sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener and the white flour with a keto diet-friendly flour.
Sugar substitute sweeteners I recommend are:
- Monk Fruit Erythritol Blend – a combination of two sugar alternatives
- Monk Fruit Extract – Monk Fruit extract is a natural sweetener
- Erythritol – has sugar alcohols that taste like sugar
- Stevia – natural sweetener derived from the plant species Stevia debaudiana
- Sucralose (Swerve) – artificial sweetener that is not absorbed by the body
- Yacon Syrup – a third of the calories in normal sugar
- Xylitol – sugar alcohol with a flavor similar to sugar
To create genuinely low-carb cookies, you’ll need to use a flour substitution. Popular low-carb flour replacements include:
- Almond flour – vitamin E-rich powdered almonds
- Flaxseed meal – omega-3 fatty acid rich
- Coconut flour – gluten-free ground coconut meat (learn more)
- Soy flour – protein and fiber-rich ground soy beans
If you’re looking for a keto-friendly peanut butter cookie recipe, make sure to check out my recipe here:
Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe Without Baking Powder
- 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Mix Butter & SugarAdd 1/2 cup sugar and 1 stick of room-temperature unsalted butter to your stand mixer and blend until fluffy.1/2 cup sugar, 1 stick unsalted butter
- Add Eggs, Flour, Salt & VanillaAdd one egg and one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly.Add 1-1/4 cups flour and a pinch of salt. Continue to mix until the dough is fully formed.Remove the mixing bowl from your stand mixer and cover with tin foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Roll-Out Dough & Cut ShapesPreheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.Take the chilled dough and roll it out on a marble cutting board. Dust your marble cutting board and your rolling pin with flour.Roll the dough out until it has an even thickness, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut out your cookies and space them out evenly on a silicone-lined baking sheet.Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Bake CookiesBake your cookies for 10 minutes.Once they’re done baking, remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack before adding frosting or eating.
Your Own Notes
The Golden Lamb provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.Love it? Pin it! Share on Facebook
Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Is this the best sugar cookie recipe without baking powder or soda that you’ve tried?
Till next time, Bon Appetit!
If you’re looking for more easy desserts, please check out my other recent recipes!:
6 thoughts on “Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe Without Baking Powder”
I panicked when I realized I had no baking soda for my standard Christmas cookies. I was delighted with how well these turned out. My new standard recipe!
Thank you so much! I’m so glad. Baking soda is overrated, anyway, right? 😉
These cookies are so easy and delicious! I love that they don’t require baking powder, and they come out so fluffy and delicious.
Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you like them.
The list of ingredients calls for one teaspoon of salt but in the directions it only says to use a pinch. Please help…
Hi Betsy, sorry for the late reply. I’m seeing this just now. A teaspoon is preferred. I’ll correct the recipe. My apologies!