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”
Made these for our Christmas party and they were a hit. Also they were so festive and colorful. Thanks for yet another great recipe.
We love making these for Christmas! So cute!!
Can you use raw sugar in this Amish sugar cookies
I wasn’t sure about this so did a little research. Since the raw sugar is coarser and more like brown sugar, the cookies probably won’t turn out the same. If you want to give it a try, one source recommends processing the sugar to make it finer (more like white granulated sugar) and adding a little water (a teaspoon or two—but I have no experience doing this!).
A second source recommends using powdered sugar instead and weighing it to get a proper equivalent to granulated white sugar. Hope this gives you some guidance. Merry Christmas!
These are perfect holiday treats! My kids really enjoyed them!
I love how festive these cookies are!
These look like the PERFECT sugar cookies!
Holiday favorite in our house!
These bring back so many childhood memories of the holidays! So yummy!
Finally….I found the cookie recipe that’s been lost for almost 30 years! I’m not sure if the measurements are the same, but these cookies taste like the ones I miss so much! And i used the same punch bowl glass that my mom had to press the cookies down to make a bit of a star design on the cookie. These are SOOOO good I could eat the entire batch. Even if these are slightly overbaked (my last bit of dough made a tiny one), it’s just crispy deliciousness (is that a word?). These are just that good! Thanks for reviving the memories of my teenage years with this recipe….I won’t lose it again!
Oh, I’m so glad, Sharon! One of my friends was looking for this recipe for years! When she finally found it, she shared with me. Thanks for letting me know! xo
These are amazing!! I’m baking my third batch! I ran out of vegetable oil and I had to use canola I hope they turn out just as amazing !! Thanks for the recipe
I use vegetable and canola oil interchangeably, so you should be just fine! So glad you love these, too!
Sounds delish Liz!!
Love a good old-fashioned cookie – the simpler the better!
These look so fun and festive! They’ll look gorgeous on a Christmas cookie platter!
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best- these look like melt in your mouth good cookies!
These cookies are absolutely perfect! These are on my rotation for sure!
These sugar cookies look amazing! I can’t wait to make a couple batches and take them to our next get together!
These made my kitchen smell just heavenly! You know when something that wonderful makes your house smell like your mom is baking in your kitchen you wont be disappointed! The only problem with the recipe…. I need to quadruple it, we just can’t stay out of them!
What prep did you change to get the cookies in the photo? Just pressing with a flat bottomed glass didn’t give me the same look.
I rolled the dough between my two palms to get a well formed ball, then I rolled in the sprinkles. I didn’t need to oil the glass when the dough was covered in sprinkles, so I just pressed with the glass until they flattened. If yours cookies aren’t perfectly round when they come out of the oven, use a spatula to gently tap the edges into a better circle while they’re still hot. Also, they might flatten easier if you let the dough warm up just a bit at room temperature. I hope this helps!
Looks delish!!!! One question though. Can I use this recipe for cutout cookies?
I don’t think this dough would work well for cutout cookies, Janine, but I haven’t tested it myself. If you’re looking for a good recipe, this is the one I use: Best Sugar Cookies (https://www.thatskinnychickcanbake.com/best-sugar-cookies-christmasweek/)
These not only look pretty, but sound like a delicious recipe to try too. Thanks for sharing your recipe on Merry Monday. Pinned and will be one of my feature picks on the next party.