Vanilla Cookies

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My vanilla cookies are not your average sugar cookies. They are speckled with vanilla beans throughout and the flavor truly shines. They are pillowy and tender with a texture similar to snickerdoodles. In fact, I like to call them vanilladoodles!

Pile of vanilla cookies with tea setup behind

These cookies are incredibly simple to make and are wonderful to serve and eat any time of the year.


Overhead shot of vanilla cookie ingredients

To give these cookies their intense vanilla taste, I use vanilla bean paste – a syrup made using vanilla bean pod seeds and vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste can be hard to find in stores, so I suggest buying it online. An alternative to using it is to substitute 1:1 with vanilla extract and add the seeds from one vanilla bean pod.

Cream of tartar makes the cookies extra tender and also enhances their flavor with a little bit of tang.

Before they go in the oven, I roll the dough balls in vanilla sugar. I keep vanilla sugar in my pantry all of the time (it’s easy to make by just storing some vanilla beans in with your sugar). However, if you don’t have vanilla sugar, it’s totally fine to use regular granulated sugar. The cookies will still have plenty of vanilla flavor.

How It’s Made

These cookies come together so easily.

First, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar.

Hand holding whisk mixing up dry ingredients in a clear glass bowl

Then, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredient mixture a little bit at a time to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.

Next, mix in an egg and the vanilla bean paste.

Adding vanilla bean paste to a bowl of batter

Roll out cookie dough balls with about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per ball.

Then, roll each cookie dough ball in vanilla sugar (or regular granulated sugar).

Holding a cookie dough ball over a red bowl of vanilla sugar

Bake at 375 F for about 10 minutes.

When the cookies come out of the oven, they will be very poofy. While they are still warm, use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. This is for looks, but it also affects the texture of the cooled cookies.

Pressing the center of a cookie down with a spoon

Expert Tips and FAQs

Can this recipe be doubled?

Yes! It works perfectly when doubled.

Can you prepare the dough in advance?

Yes! You can make the dough balls and freeze them for months. Bring them to room temperature before rolling in sugar and baking.

How long do the cookies last?

They last for five days at room temperature. You can also freeze them for months!

Pink plate filled with vanilla cookies

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Vanilla Cookies

Tender cookies with a very strong vanilla flavor
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 140kcal
Author Stefani


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 teaspoons vanilla bean paste [paid link]
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar or additional granulated sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffly.
  • Mix in egg and vanilla bean paste until full combined.
  • Mix in dry ingredients a little bit at a time until just combined into a thick dough.
  • Using your hands, roll balls of dough about 1.5 tablespoons each.
  • Roll the dough balls in vanilla sugar and place on a parchment-topped cookie sheet, leaving about 1.5" between each dough ball.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies have poofed up – they will still be very soft.
  • While they are still warm, press down the center of each cookie with the back of a spoon.
  • Cool on a cooling rack.



If you don’t way to buy vanilla bean paste, you can substitute 1:1 with vanilla extract and add the seeds from one vanilla bean pod.
You can make the dough balls and freeze them for months. Return to room temperature before rolling in sugar and baking.
The cookies last for five days at room temperature. You can also freeze them for months!


Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Biomedissays:

    Do you want to sell it?

  2. Chris Davidsays:

    I loved this recipe so much . It’s really awesome

  3. Kathrynsays:

    2 things – lasting five days, you’ve GOT to be kidding. I haven’t made them yet and my mouth is ALREADY watering. Could maybe someone proof read this first before publishing it next time? Read the NOTES section again. lol

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