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Bake the Classics: Perfect Vanilla Cookies Recipe

Learn how to make classic vanilla cookies with butter, sugar, and other basic ingredients. These are soft and chewy and delicious! This is also a very easy recipe, especially if you are new to baking.

vanilla cookies

My tastes have changed as I’ve gotten older. And by “tastes,” I mean taste buds. Which, I’ve never been a food snob by any means. And I’ve always like desserts.

In the past, a “dessert” meant chocolate was involved, or something rich like cheesecake. I wanted to be wowed, with the flavors bursting in my mouth.

Or along those lines.

Basically if I was going to go for the goodies, I wanted to go all the way. Something really bad for me! Something flavorful. I think you are picking up what I’m putting down!

As I’ve gone into my 40s, times have changed. I’m more open to desserts that are more subtle. It doesn’t have to completely overwhelm the senses to be tasty.

For instance, now I like rice pudding, shortbread cookies, pound cakes, custards, and more. And one of my favorite recipes to make for a tasty baked good these days?

Vanilla cookies!

So many of us (including myself) are often so obsessed with chocolate (and unique flavors like pumpkin) that we forget about vanilla desserts. And how could we? It’s such an oversight.

Whether you’re making them for a Christmas cookie exchange or just for everyday eating, this vanilla cookie recipe is going to be a new favorite.

They’re quick and easy to make, soft and chewy, plus they have a delicate vanilla flavor combined with a rich buttery taste. You’re really going to love them, I promise!

vanilla cookie recipe

Tips for Making Delicious Cookies

Are you looking to make the tastiest cookies ever? I’ve got some tips for you. Here’s what I always make sure to pay attention to. If you don’t need tips for cookie baking, you can just scroll on down.

Use Quality Ingredients

Use high-quality, fresh ingredients for the best cookie flavor and texture. You’ll for sure want to get fresh eggs, good quality butter, and pure vanilla extract (instead of imitation).

Measure Precisely

Flour is often the main dry ingredient in cookies. Measure using the scoop-and-level method, as adding too much flour can result in dry baked goods.

Bring Cold Ingredients to Room Temp

Bring ingredients like butter, eggs, and milk to room temperature before mixing. They will incorporate better, resulting in smoother batter and soft cookies. They don’t need to be warm; slightly cool to room temp is fine.

Avoid Overmixing

Mix the batter just until ingredients are combined, or the dry disappears into the wet. Overmixing can result in tough cookies.

Chill the Dough

Chilling the cookie dough in the fridge for the specified time (or even overnight) before baking allows the flavors to meld and the fats to solidify. This results in cookies with better flavor and texture. It also prevents them from spreading too much during baking.

Look for Golden Edges

Unless the recipe says otherwise, the edges of the cookies should turn a golden brown while the center remains slightly soft. This balance ensures a chewy texture without overbaking.

Cool Before Transferring

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This helps them set and avoids them becoming too fragile and crumbling apart.

vanilla sugar cookies

Remember, practicing and experimenting will help you perfect your cookie baking skills over time. Have fun and enjoy the process of creating delicious baked goods! Here’s what you’re going to need for these classic vanilla cookies.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Milk (to add to the dough if it’s dry)

Tools and Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Mixer
  • Spoon
  • Cookie scoop
  • Cookie sheet(s)
  • Parchment paper or silpat

Keep these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. They’ll last a few weeks in the refrigerator.

vanilla cookies recipe

You can also freeze them in an airtight container for up to six months. When you bring them out of the freezer, let them rise to room temperature naturally as opposed to microwaving.

vanilla cookie recipe easy

Get the printable recipe for these cookies below:

Yield: 20 cookies

Vanilla Cookies

vanilla cookie recipe

This classic vanilla cookie recipe is easy to make and perfect if you're craving something sweet.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.Preheating the oven
  2. Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy (about two minutes).Butter and sugar in a clear glass bowl with a small bowl of vanilla
  3. Next add the egg and vanilla. Mix to combine.Egg and vanilla added to butter and sugar in a clear glass bowl
  4. Add the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, and salt - to the wet and mix until just combined.Flour, baking soda, and salt
  5. Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and chill for an hour.Vanilla cookie dough ready to be chilled
  6. Scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet using a 2 T cookie scoop. Place a few inches apart.vanilla cookie dough on a baking sheet ready to go into the oven
  7. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until they are just set and beginning to turn golden on the bottom. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.vanilla cookies cooling on a wire rack


Add a little bit of milk to the dough if you roll it out and find that it's dry.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 121mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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If you enjoyed this easy cookie recipe, I’d love for you to check out these other cookie recipes that you might also like:

Almond Flour ShortbreadApple PieApricot Dark ChocolateBacon Chocolate ChipBrownie Chocolate ChipBuckeyeButterscotch Chocolate ChipButterscotch PopcornCaramel AppleChocolate Chip (Air Fryer)Chocolate Chip PuddingChocolate Chip SandwichChocolate MarshmallowChocolate Mint SandwichChocolate ThumbprintChristmas ButterChristmas LinzerCircus AnimalCotton CandyEaster M&MFunfettiGinger MolassesHalloween M&MHeath BarLemon Blueberry ThumbprintLemon Cream CheeseLemon ShortbreadNutella StuffedOatmeal Chocolate ChipOatmeal Cream PiesPaleo ShortbreadPeanut Butter BlossomsPeanut Butter Cookie CupsPeppermint FrostedPeppermint PuddingPumpkin Chocolate ChipPumpkin LinzerPumpkin SugarRed Velvet ThumbprintReese’s PiecesReindeerRitz S’moresRoloSanta CookiesSnickersWhite Chocolate CranberryWhite Chocolate Snickerdoodles

S. Thomas

Thursday 16th of November 2023

I've been baking cookies for many decades and followed this recipe exactly. I ended up with a bowl of dry "crumbs". I tried compressing them into balls and got baked lumps. Thought it might be because my "large" eggs from pastured hens were more like medium size. Made a second batch increasing the eggs to 1 1/2. Again dry bits instead of dough. After adding quite a bit of water, I was able to make tasty cookies but I'm looking for an accurate recipe.

T. Summers

Thursday 21st of September 2023

No temp included ???


Thursday 21st of September 2023

I just realize step one and two were duplicated! It's 350 and I edited it :)

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