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+ servings
stacked sugar cookies glass of milk
4.39 from 13 votes

Cracked Sugar Cookies

Rich and buttery Cracked Sugar Cookies get their name from the way the tops crack after baking.  They are soft and chewy with a bit of a crisp exterior.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cracked sugar cookies, sugar cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 217 kcal
Author Janet Barton


  • 1 lb. butter (4 sticks) softened
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookie dough in


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.  Lightly grease cookies sheets or line with parchment paper.  Set aside.

  2. Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the yolks and vanilla. 

  3. Sift the dry ingredients together, then add to the batter in 4 parts, mixing well after each addition.  Add the last remaining cup 1/4 cup at a time until the dough will easily roll into a ball.  If too much flour is added, the cookie will not flatten out while baking.

  4. Form dough into balls or use a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop to form cookies. Roll in the extra 1/2 cup sugar and place on prepared cookie sheets. 

  5. Bake for approximately 10-13 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies

Recipe Notes

These chewy soft sugar cookies can be baked perfectly the very first time they are made.  I have found a few tricks to make that happen.

  • Softened butter should still hold its shape but dent when pressed. 
  • Use unsalted butter.  This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of baking soda which will give the dough enough salty flavor.
  • After adding sugar be sure to beat for 3-4 minutes. Don't rush this step.
  • The biggest error one can make with this recipe is adding too much flour.  Add flour in four parts.  When adding the last part, I like to add it in 1/4 cup increments because I rarely use the full 5 cups of flour.  That's why the recipe states 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour.  We all measure flour differently.  I like to stir the flour to lighten it up then gently spoon into the measuring cup and scrape off excess with a knife.  Don't pack the flour into the measuring cup.  If too much flour is used, the dough will not flatten out. 
  • Use an ice cream scoop to measure out the dough.  This will make every cookie the same size and they will bake uniformly and look fabulous.
  • Don't over bake the cookies.  The cookies will mound up then flatten out near the end of baking time and will be slightly golden around the edges.


Nutrition Facts
Cracked Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 217 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 152mg6%
Potassium 38mg1%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 360IU7%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.