If you’ve been looking for the perfect sugar crinkle cookies, you’ve come to the right place! This easy recipe is so fool-proof that you’ll use it again and again! It’s perfect as a sugar cookie, but with a few variations can serve as a base for much, much more!
I discovered this recipe by accident while working on a different project altogether, my Sour Cherry Thumbprint Cookies. I scoured the web and found several recipes that came close, but none was exactly what I needed. I merged a few ideas and came up with the perfect plan. But, in the middle of that journey I stumbled across what I believed was a truly simple and delicious sugar cookie.
A New Sugar Cookie Recipe
Ask anyone who knows me well and they will say I’m known for my sugar cookies. Mine, however, are usually hand-painted with Royal Icing, so they always start with my fabulous Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe, (a firmer dough).
When it comes to “drop” sugar cookies, I often used my Heavenly Snickerdoodles recipe, omitting the cinnamon. But tonight I’m thrilled and excited to announce that I’ve finally (finally!) found the perfect sugar crinkle cookie!
It’s crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and best of all. . .it crinkles! I just love that crinkle-y look!
I covered mine in sanding sugar but you could use sprinkles or even granulated sugar. I even used some of my Dreamy Buttercream Frosting on a few. (Yum!)
Why Do Some Cookies Crinkle?
Some cookies have a really smooth texture. But others, like these, are meant to crinkle. You might wonder what causes that crinkle effect. There’s a science behind it! Crinkle recipes have a top crust that dries out before the rest of the cookie finishes baking. Basically, the pressure from underneath causes the already-dried-out top to split like mini craters.
This process can be exaggerated with the use of sugar. Roll your dough balls in sugar before baking. This process helps dry out the exterior because the sugar absorbs some of the cookie’s moisture.
The end result? Crinkles!
Ready to Start Baking? Great! Let’s get going!
Let’s look at what you’ll need to bake these crinkly cookies! Most of these ingredients are probably in your pantry and refrigerator right now. And trust me when I say that this is one of the easiest cookies you’ll ever make!
Ingredients for Sugar Crinkle Cookies
- room temperature butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
- vegetable shortening
- granulated sugar
- confectioners’ sugar
- whole egg
- almond extract (or vanilla extract, your choice)
- all purpose flour
- baking soda
- cream of tartar
How to Make These Delicious Vanilla Crinkle Cookies
I love it when cookies can be whipped up in a hurry! These are a real breeze.
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
Get your cookie sheets ready. This recipe will make 24 cookies, so prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Place your room temperature butter and shortening into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment). Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, don’t worry! You can use your hand mixer or even mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula in a medium bowl. This is a relatively soft dough.
Just a note about the butter. I always use salted, but you can used unsalted butter if that’s your preference. Just add a pinch of salt to the recipe if you do.
Add both of your sugars and continue to whip until fluffy.
Next, add your egg and mix well.
Add your extract(s) and mix until incorporated.
In a separate medium bowl, combine your flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. I used a whisk to mix mine together.
Work the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into your wet ingredients, a little at a time. Be careful not to over mix.
Using a cookie scoop, shape dough into balls and then roll in the sugar of your choice in a small bowl. As I said above, I used sanding sugar but you can use sprinkles, granulated sugar (white sugar) or whatever you like.
Set the sugar-coated balls of dough onto the cookie sheet. (Make sure you put down parchment paper first!)
Use your palm to lightly press down the balls. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for ten minutes to chill.
Remove from the refrigerator and bake for 10-11 minutes or until they are golden on bottom.
Remove from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a wire cooling rack.
Wait for ten minutes and then transfer the baked cookies to the wire rack.
If you choose, you can frost them when they cool.
You don’t need to, though! They’re absolutely yummy just like they are! Then, enjoy them with a big glass of milk! (And share a few with your friends.)
Store these cookies in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Refrigerate for up to a week. Freeze in a freezer bag for up to two months. (Note: You can also freeze the cookie dough balls for later use.)
Note: Store frosted/iced cookies in single layer.
Variations on these Sugar Crinkle Cookies
These are the best cookies I’ve had in a while, but you can make them even better by switching this simple recipe up a bit! As you can see from the picture above, I made some using colored sanding sugars. Perfect for a springtime gathering!
Here are some other options using this recipe.
- These cookies will make delicious Snickerdoodles. Just add cinnamon to your sugar before rolling the dough balls.
- Looking for Lemon Crinkle Cookies? They’re easy to make! Just use Lemon Extract and a half teaspoon of lemon zest in place of almond extract.
- These cookies are excellent during the holiday season (even for a holiday cookie exchange) because they’re so easy to make! Just add red, white, and green sprinkles or drizzle with royal icing.
- Looking for chocolate crinkle cookies? Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to your dough, cutting back on the flour by 1/4 cup. Instead of rolling in granulated sugar, wait until the cookies are baked and then sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Voila! Chocolate crinkles!
- Drizzle with melted chocolate in the design of your choice. (Can you picture those on a cookie platter?)
- Remember my brown butter frosting post? That frosting would be magnificent on this cookie! For that matter, you could substitute browned butter for the regular butter in this cookie. Oh boy, talk about delicious cookies!
- Looking for something more like a Mexican Wedding Cookie? Give the baked cookies a powdered sugar coating as soon as they are cool enough to handle.
- Make a glaze of confectioners sugar and water and dip your cookies in it.
- Turn these into Thumbprint cookies. Instead of pressing the dough balls down with your palm, use your thumb or measuring spoon to form a hollow section, then fill with your favorite jam before baking.
- Substitute brown sugar for the powdered sugar and add chocolate chips to make a yummy chocolate chip cookie.
- You can’t go wrong with a great sugar cookie recipe and this is one of my favorites. I can’t wait to share these with my grandkids. They’re going to flip!
- Looking for more great cookie recipes? You’ll find them on my cookie page!
- These Butterscotch Crunch Cookies from South Your Mouth look amazing. I’d love to try them soon.
Lastly, if you love sugar cookies and want to spruce them up with cream cheese, my Golden Girls Cheesecake Cookies recipe is the one for you!
Check out this week’s offerings over at Full Plate Thursday. Bakers from all over the planet participate in this weekly recipe share. You’ll find a ton of great options there!
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- ½ cup room temperature butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
- • ½ cup vegetable shortening
- • ½ cup granulated sugar
- • ½ cup confectioners sugar
- • 1 large whole egg
- • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, your choice)
- • 2 ¼ cups flour
- • 1 teaspoon baking soda
- • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cream butter and shortening
Add sugars and mix well
Add egg and continue to mix
In separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar
Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients
Don't over mix
Scoop into balls and roll in sugar of your choice (sanding sugar, granulated sugar or sprinkles)
Place on cookie sheet and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes
Remove from refrigerator and bake at 375 for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown on bottom.
Cool on wire cooling rack.
These cookies are great with Dreamy Buttercream Frosting!