Old-Fashioned Amish Sugar Cookies
Soft and tender Amish Sugar Cookies are just what you need with your glass of milk! A perfect treat for any occasion.
I decked out these melt-in-your-mouth Soft Sugar Cookies in red and green sprinkles for the holidays, but they’re just as delicious rolled in simple granulated sugar or any kind of sprinkles your heart desires!
Why You Must Make
- This is a beloved sugar cookie recipe that’s been around since the 1700s originating with the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch.
- Soft sugar cookies are always a hit. There are those who don’t like chocolate, ginger or mint, but buttery, vanilla-flavored sugar cookies are universally loved.
- They can be jazzed up with sprinkles for any holiday.
- Pantry Staples – Sugar, Flour, Salt
- Powdered sugar – The cornstarch in powdered sugar helps make tender cookies.
- Butter – At room temperature for easy incorporation. It shouldn’t be so soft that it looks oily. Provides the classic, buttery flavor. Some recipes use shortening instead, but they definitely don’t taste as good.
- Vegetable oil (I used canola) – Adds moisture to the cookies.
- Eggs – Also at room temperature for easy incorporation
- Vanilla – Use real vanilla extract for the best flavor. Artificial vanilla will taste fake.
- Baking soda – Helps the dough rise. But it also needs an acid in the recipe to be activated.
- Cream of tartar – Provides the acid (tartaric acid) needed to activate the baking soda. If you don’t have this on hand, use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice for every 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a recipe.
My family loves the classic, frosted, cut-out sugar cookies for the holidays. There are also these festive Pinwheel Cookies which are also sugar cookies but made of two different colored doughs layered, rolled, and cut to make beautiful spirals. These Amish cookies are just as delicious, but with a totally different texture.
Not chewy like my frosted cookies, nor “short” like the classic shortbread cookies, but uniquely wonderful. Despite the lack of frosting, they got rave reviews from the troops. If you’re looking for a new, classic cookie to bake, give these homemade cookies a try!
- Besides butter, these old-fashioned sugar cookies have a cup of oil as one of the ingredients. I used canola oil, but any mild vegetable oil would work.
- Some recipes use shortening, but butter provides a much better flavor, so always use butter.
- PRO-Tip: An overnight chilling helps the flavors meld and the gluten settle. Don’t try to bake them without chilling first as the cookies will be too flat and not as tender.
- PRO-Tip: I used a Cookie Scoop (affiliate link) so that all the cookies would be the same size, then rolled the dough into balls.
- I did not need to dip the glass into oil when I rolled the cookies in sprinkles but definitely do that when pressing down on the plain cookies.
- Find a flat-bottomed glass to do the pressing.
- The key is to press the cookies just until the edges start to separate slightly. The plain ones above were pressed too thin. But, thankfully, I had 5 dozen to practice on!
- Like with most of my cookies, I baked these on Half Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper Baking Sheets. The parchment prevents sticking and makes cleanup a breeze.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, just make sure to press the dough with an oiled glass so they bake up with a flat surface that will make frosting them easier! Don’t roll in sprinkles if you plan to add frosting, but you can dust the frosted cookies with sprinkles before the frosting sets.
Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Yes, these freeze well. You have two options. Freeze baked cookies in airtight containers or freezer Ziploc bags with the air removed for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. If you use sprinkles, do a test run with a cookie or two to make sure the brand of sprinkles you use doesn’t bleed when defrosting.
Alternatively, you can scoop out dough balls, freeze them on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours, then put them in a freezer Ziploc bag, removing excess air. The dough will also keep for about 3 months. Defrost the dough balls in the bag in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
You May Also Like:
- Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies from Saving Room for Dessert
- Molasses Cookies AKA Chewy Gingersnaps!
- Rosettes Cookies
- Meringue Cookies
- Pecan Tassies or Mini Pecan Pies
- Plus How to Host a Cookie Exchange
- More Holiday Recipes
Amish Sugar Cookies Recipe
These Amish Sugar Cookies are the comforting, delicious cookies your grandmother used to bake!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix together the sugar, powdered sugar, butter, and vegetable oil. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
- In another bowl, whisk together, the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture until it's all incorporated.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill a few hours or overnight.
- To make, line baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325º.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in colored sugar or sprinkles if desired.
- Place on baking sheets.
- With a flat bottom glass, first dip the glass in vegetable oil, then sugar before flattening each dough ball. Press down just until the edges separate slightly. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar if desired.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
For more decorative cookies, roll dough balls in festive colored sugar or sprinkles.
If your cookies are covered in sprinkles, you won't need to dip the glass in oil to compress the dough balls as the glass won't stick.
Serving Size:2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g
67 Comments on “Old-Fashioned Amish Sugar Cookies”
I refrigerated overnight for the first time instead of just a couple hours and we can’t get the sprinkles to stick to the dough. Andy thoughts or ideas? I have made this recipe several times and we love the cookies but they aren’t as festive without the sprinkles:)
Just let the dough warm up a bit and I think they’d stick. Maybe roll out dough balls, cover with plastic and give them a half hour or so to sit out. Hope that will work for you!
Can i use an alternate oil to vegetable oil? Olive or coconut maybe?
Hi, Audra, I think olive oil will be too flavorful, but I think the coconut flavor would be OK even if you have a subtle taste of it after they’re baked.
Hands down BEST sugar cookies EVER. Thank you for this recipe! They are so pretty and so yummy, buttery, crisp and chewy all at the same time. AND the toddlers could all help and we actually had FUN! This is going into my must have at Christmas list! I’m making another batch to send to school tomorrow. Happy Christmas!
Question: do these freeze well? Thanks!
Yay!! I’m so glad they were a hit. Yes, they should freeze very well (unless you use sprinkles that might bleed as they defrost)—for up to 3 months. Merry Christmas to you, too!
My husband is Amish and I love finding recipes that he remembers when he was a little boy
Do you know what our favorite part is? Biting into the chewy cookie but having the little crunch from the sprinkles. It’s such an addictive texture.
These cookies not only look pretty stacked on top of each other with their matching colors, they look delicious as well. Love!
This has always been a favorite treat at my house! Always a hit whenever I make them!
Can this be doubled? How should they be stored and for how long ? Hopeful this is long lost recipe I got from school cook book????
Yes, you should be able to double the recipe. They’ll keep 3-4 days at room temperature in an airtight container or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Hope these come close to your old favorites!!!
A holiday wish for you and your family to have the best healthy happiest season ever an much of the very same through the new year all the best Claudia
I made these today, after chilling overnight, and they were wonderful! The dough is so fluffy and yummy. They were easy, very festive and reminded me of cookies I had as a child. I did have to stick the dough in the freezer for a bit after the 3rd dozen, since it was getting so warm in the kitchen. The dough becomes too soft when not a little chilled. And I wasn’t sure what they should look like when finished, but I found just the slightest browning and just a little softened worked well as they harden once cool. I will be saving this recipe for next year for sure! It’s so nice not to make royal icing! Thanks so much for sharing and Merry Christmas!????
Merry Christmas to you, too, Ashly! Thanks for the lovely review!!
Lizzy ! what beautiful sugar cookies ! like all yours recipes, yesterday I post my first Christmas recipe !!! xo
Absolutely love the video, nicely done! These sugar cookies look so cute and delicious!
Hello, Liz! These Amish cookies look so tempting, yum! I have one question, though. My daughter is allergic to eggs. Do you think I could substitute with baking powder and vinegar? Or what would you recommend? Thank you in advance!
Oh, gosh, I wish I had an answer for you! I know there are all sorts of egg substitutes, but I’ve never tested any. If you’ve found one that works in cookies, I’d give it a try—-maybe just a half a recipe so you don’t waste the ingredients if it doesn’t work. Sorry I’m couldn’t be of more help! Good luck!
These cookies look amazing. I love the way you’ve decorated them.
My dough is pretty wet and after rolling in sugar/ sprinkles and dipping cup in oil they are sticking to the glass…Help… What could be wrong? It is warm today so I just turned on the air…
I’d pop the dough into the fridge and let it chill. Even put any dough balls in the refrigerator to let them chill before baking. Hope that helps, Melynda!