Why Is Your Sugar Cookie Dough Too Dry? 5 Delicious Ingredients To Add Moisture

Last Updated on May 10, 2022

Cookie dough sometimes can turn out dry, but why is your sugar cookie dough too dry? Sugar cookies are delicious and a common treat made in the U.S. Surprisingly, sugar cookies have only been around for a few centuries. Although it is true that cookies have existed, not sugar cookies.

If you are making sugar cookie dough and it is turning out to dry, let me help you add more moisture! Sugar cookie dough can be hard to make, especially if you are a newbie. Thankfully though, there are a few ingredients you can add to your dough in a pinch that can save your sugar cookies from being too dry and hard!

The History Of Sugar Cookies

My favorite part about cooking and baking is the history behind these dishes! Sugar cookies are fascinating because they are almost entirely new. Although cookies have existed for thousands of years, dating back to France primarily, this does not mean that they used real cane sugar.

However, as Europeans came to the Americas and found sugar cane, the production for this sweet ingredient spiked! In the end, now sugar is common and cheap where it used to only be for the rich and noble. So, how did sugar cookies start? They actually began in Pennsylvania by German Protestants!

The first sugar cookie had a religious purpose and was made with three ingredients, butter, flour, and sugar. These two ingredients were, butter and sugar were creamed making the soft and smooth sugar cookie we know today.

 Can you add milk to cookie dough?

What Does A Perfect Sugar Cookie Look Like?

Before we can learn how to save your dry cookie dough, we should understand what a perfect sugar cookie looks, feels, and tastes like. First, sugar cookies are perfectly round. While it is okay to be off in shape, the roundness comes from how we roll and place the cookie dough.

Not only are the perfect sugar cookies round, but they are also a light golden color. You should always remove your sugar cookies from the oven before they start to burn on the edges. Instead, even if the cookie dough feels ‘squishy’, this will harden as the cookie cools.

The perfect sugar cookie also tastes sweet and buttery, almost like it is going to melt in your mouth. It is a favorite in my household because of how warm and inviting sugar cookies can make you feel. The smell though has to be the best part! When you bake sugar cookies, everyone knows it too!

Reasons Why You Find Your Sugar Cookie Dough Too Dry

So, why is your sugar cookie dough too dry? Let’s talk about it! The answer to why is your sugar cookie dough too dry is likely because you are using too much flour. It is easy to get carried away when pouring ingredients. When you use too much flour though, this sucks in the moisture, leaving a dry and flaky dough that cracks.

5 Ingredients To Add Moisture

 What can I add to cookie dough to make it more moist?

1. Lemon Juice

Did you know that you can alleviate the problem of why is your sugar cookie dough too dry by adding ingredients that have natural moisture like lemon juice? While this will likely change the flavor, it is worth it since it can also safe your sugar cookie dough from being too dry! Adding too much though can cause a soggy cookie dough too.

2. Cream Cheese

What about cream cheese? If you ever have to ask yourself why is your sugar cookie dough too dry, try adding a small amount of cream cheese! It is a soft ingredient that works well and also brings a yellow and white color to sugar cookies.

It may be easier to blend cream cheese into the dough through the use of a blender.

3. Egg Yolks

Eggs are already a key ingredient in most sugar cookie recipes, so why not add more? Egg yolks are hydrating and have a lot of moisture in them. This means that using egg yolks in your recipe can bring out the moisture, while also adding a yellow coloring to the sugar cookie.

It is important though to only use egg yolks because egg whites are sticky, light, and don’t help to hydrate. Actually, using egg whites can water down your dough.

 What happens if cookie dough is too dry?

4. More Milk

Although I do recommend the use of milk, this should be done very carefully and in a limited way. When you add more milk to your recipe, this can cause your sugar cookie dough to appear creamy,  which is not the appearance you want.

When the dough is too creamy, this can make it hard for the dough to rise or hold its shape. Instead, if you try and bake a dough that is milky and creamy, then the dough will spread throughout the pan. You will have a huge, thin, and overly soft sugar cookie by the end of it.

5. Yogurt

Possibly the best ingredient to combat against the question why is your sugar cookie dough too dry is yogurt! You can use any yogurt flavor you would like. Yogurt is hydrating and has elements of milk and moisture, while also being thick enough so the dough does not feel like water or too creamy.

If you want to add interesting flavors, try a strawberry or Oreo yogurt! The flavors can transfer onto your sugar cookie, making it unique and interesting.


 Why is my cookie dough so creamy?

All in all, now that you know the question to why is your sugar cookie dough too dry, you can focus on making delicious, soft, and moist cookies. Moisture in dough is extremely important. When the dough is missing moisture, this causes cracks and breaks making the dough to hard to shape and move.

I hope that you have learned something new about why is your sugar cookie dough too dry. Let us know in the comment section if you know of any other ingredients that can help save dry cookie dough! If not, share this blog with friends and family interested in knowing why why is your sugar cookie dough too dry.


What can I add to cookie dough to make it more moist?

There are a lot of ingredients that can add moisture to a cookie. I recommend using lemon juice, cream cheese, egg yolks, and yogurt!

What happens if cookie dough is too dry?

When cookie dough is too dry, the cookie does bake, however, it also crumbles and falls apart.

Can you add milk to cookie dough?

Yes! However, you should only add a small amount if necessary. Cookie dough needs to be thick enough to stick together. If it is too creamy, then the cookie will not rise.

Why is my cookie dough so creamy?

It could be that you added too much of a liquid ingredient like water or milk.

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