These olive oil sugar cookies are soft and chewy with crisp golden edges. They have a unique flavor since they are made with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter!
All out of butter? Make these olive oil cookies! They're naturally dairy free and have a unique bright, herbaceous, and fruity flavor from the extra virgin olive oil. They're an unexpected yet delicious twist on the classic sugar cookie.
Olive oil isn't just for cooking savory dishes. It's a severely underrated ingredient to bake with and can be substituted for butter in most cookie and brownie recipes. These particular cookies don't require a mixer and don't need any chill time, so you can whip up a batch within 20 minutes!
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For more cookie recipes, try almond spritz cookies, chocolate chipless cookies, eggless double chocolate chip cookies, salted brownie crinkle cookies, birthday cake sugar cookies, and lavender sugar cookies.
Why This Recipe is the Best
- Olive oil cookies- Extra virgin olive oil gives these cookies a unique, bright and grassy taste, makes the centers extra gooey, and makes the edges super crisp. Olive oil is also a great source of healthy fats!
- Soft and chewy- Molasses and an extra egg yolk make the cookies irresistibly chewy and soft!
- Easy to make- You don't need a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to make the dough! You also don't need to add any chill time.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Extra virgin olive oil- Choose a high quality olive oil for this recipe since the flavor really comes through! I used Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil in testing, but I also recommend California Olive Ranch and Carapelli.
- Granulated sugar- Regular table sugar adds the best pure sugar flavor and retains moisture. You can substitute in coconut sugar if needed.
- Vanilla extract- Vanilla enhances the other flavors and rounds out the flavor profile.
- Molasses- This ingredient is a little unexpected but makes the cookies extra soft and flavorful.
- Egg + egg yolk- An egg binds the ingredients together and promotes the cookies to rise and spread. Using an extra egg yolk makes cookies super rich and extra chewy.
- All purpose flour- This type of flour gives the cookies the best texture. If needed, substitute gluten free all purpose flour.
- Baking soda and baking powder- These leavening agents work together to create a balanced rise and light texture. Baking soda is an alkaline ingredient that reacts with acidic ingredients in the dough, producing carbon dioxide gas that causes the cookies to rise. On the other hand, baking powder contains both an acid and a base, which react when combined with liquid and heat to produce gases. Make sure both are fresh, not expired.
- Sea salt- Salt is always needed when making cookies. Without it, they can be way too sweet! You can use sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, or Kosher salt- just make sure it's finely ground. If not, add another ¼ teaspoon.
- Granulated sugar: Coconut sugar, cane sugar, or caster sugar can be substituted.
- All purpose flour: Use gluten free baking flour if needed. My favorite is from Bob's Red Mill.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
For this recipe, you will need 2 large mixing bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, a whisk, and a rubber spatula. I also recommend a large 3 tablespoon cookie scoop and a food scale for the most accurate measurements.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make the olive oil sugar cookies! Before you start, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F/180C.
STEP 1: Mix the wet ingredients. Whisk the olive oil and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, creaming them together until well mixed. Then, mix in the vanilla extract, molasses, egg, and egg yolk. Whisk until everything is well combined.
STEP 2: Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
STEP 3: Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and gently fold with a rubber spatula until only a few streaks of flour are left. Then, pour in the rest of the dry ingredients and fold until no streaks of flour remain.
STEP 4: Scoop and bake. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop 6 cookie dough balls onto each prepared baking tray. Leave 2-3 inches between each cookie dough ball so they have room to spread. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown and the middle looks slightly gooey and underdone. Let the tray cool before transferring the cookies to a wire cooling rack and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Follow directions! Read the directions carefully and don't stray from the recipe. Even minor changes can alter the results!
- Use a kitchen scale. I always recommend using one for the most accurate results.
- Use high quality olive oil. Because the olive oil is the main ingredient flavoring these cookies, use a high quality one. This will guarantee the best flavor possible!
- Don’t over mix. Overmixing causes flat and dense cookies.
- Check your oven temperature. If you're having issues, you may want to check your oven temperature. Not all ovens are the same, so the baking time may be slightly different. You can check to make sure your oven is heating properly with an oven thermometer.
Here are some ingredients you can mix into the cookie dough before baking.
- Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chunks
- Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts)
- Pretzel pieces
- White chocolate chips
- Mini marshmallows
Storage and Freezing
Room temperature: Store baked cookies on the counter in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Make sure the cookies have cooled completely before storing. If they're still warm, condensation will form inside the container and effect the texture.
Freezer: Baked cookies can be frozen in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw on the counter for about 1 hour before eating.
Freezing Cookie Dough
Making the cookie dough ahead of time and freezing it is easy!
Scoop the cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Make sure the cookie dough balls and firm and then transfer them to a freezer bag and place the bag in the freezer.
Now you can bake fresh olive oil cookies whenever you want! You can make as many or as few cookies as desired. Bake them straight from frozen and add an extra minute on to the baking time.
The frozen dough stays fresh up to 1 month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! You can use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop. They will bake up quicker, so I recommend checking them for doneness around 7 minutes.
Yes, you can use cup for cup gluten free all purpose flour. I haven't tested these cookies gluten free, so let me know how they turn out!
The edges will appear set and golden when the cookies are done. The middles will still look gooey. If you prefer a crunchy, crisp cookie, bake them for longer.
You may have added too much flour. Make sure to measure your flour properly with a food scale or by spooning flour into a measuring cup and leveling off the excess. Try using a silicone baking mat or banging the pan of hot cookies on the counter a few times to encourage spreading.
More Cookie Recipes to Try
Olive Oil Sugar Cookies
- 1 large cookie scoop 3 tablespoons
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F/180C.
- Whisk the olive oil and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, creaming together until well combined. Then mix in the vanilla, molasses, egg, and egg yolk until well combined.1 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon molasses, 1 large egg, 1 egg yolk
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.2 ¾ cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients and gently fold with a rubber spatula until only a few streaks of flour are left. Pour in the rest of the dry ingredients and fold until no streaks of flour remain.
- Scoop 6 cookie dough balls on each prepared baking tray, leaving 2-3 inches between. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Let the trays cool before transferring the cookies to a wire cooling rack and enjoy!