The BEST Scented No Cook Play Dough

The BEST Scented No-Cook Play Dough | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Gracen and I may have just stumbled upon the best. play dough. recipe. ever. today while combining my old go-to with a few other ideas we found around the net….  Now I know I said similar things about this recipe, but this new one involves no cooking (win!) and smells delish (double win!)

We did have to make a trip to the grocery store beforehand, as a couple of the ingredients are not things we regularly keep on hand, but it was well worth the trip.  This is by far the softest, squishiest, smoothest, nicest feeling {and smelling} play dough I’ve ever come across.


{this post contains affiliate links}

Now before I share the recipe, I want to say that there are LOTS of factors at play when making play dough at home.  It seems like it should be a simple enough task {and I promise that it is}, but there a few things to consider and I want to be sure that your play dough turns out well.  Believe it or not, things like the elevation at which you live, the weather / humidity where you are, and how you measure your flour can all affect whether your dough turns out too sticky, too dry, or just right.

For the purpose of this recipe, know that I measure flour by scooping a heaping amount of flour into my stainless steel measuring up and pressing it down into the cup on the inside of the bag.  Thus, my flour is fairly packed down in the measuring cup.

Also know that if your finished play dough turns out too wet, you can save it by adding a little bit of extra flour, bit by bit (just go slow here – you can overdo it quickly!) and kneading it in.  At the opposite side of the spectrum, if your dough seems too dry or tough, you can add moisture  and soften it up by adding tiny bits of one of the wet ingredients (boiling water, oil, or glycerine) at a time, again being careful not to overdo it.

The BEST Scented No-Cook Play Dough


  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of glycerine
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water (measured in a dry measuring cup – this is important as wet and dry measures aren’t the same and using a wet measure will likely make your play dough too sticky)

*If using Kool-Aid or Frosting Creations, additional food colouring is not needed.  You can also skip Kool-Aid / Frosting Creations all together and use the gel colouring for a coloured but unscented dough.  Or leave out all three  for a unscented, natural coloured dough.

Place all of the ingredients, save the boiling water, in a bowl and whisk well.  Measure the water using your dry measuring set and add it to the bowl.  Give the mixture a quick mix with a wooden spoon, banging off it off every once and a while.  At this point, the mixture may seem too wet and sticky to make good play dough… Do not fret!  Leave the semi-mixed dough on the counter to cool for 5 or so minutes.  Afterwards, dump the mixture out onto the countertop and knead really well.  You’ll know you’re done when the dough is fully cooled, soft and squishy, and the super smooth.



FIY:  Kool-Aid is a powdered drink mix that you add sugar and water to make ‘juice’ and Frosting Creation Flavour Mix is a powder used to flavour store-bought icing.  Both can be used in this recipe to scent AND colour the play dough, but they can easily be left out for a natural, unscented dough or replaced with food colouring for a coloured, but unscented dough.

FIY #2:  Non-edible glycerine is readily available in the first aid section of most grocery stores  and edible glycerine is available where cake making supplies are sold.

FIY#3:  This play dough will last for months if stored at room temperature in an air-tight container or bag. Do not refrigerate or store near a heat source or on top of the fridge.

FIY #4:  When making this play dough, we use dry measuring cups only – even when measuring the boiling water.


Are you following us on Facebook and Instagram?

We’d love to have you!

46 thoughts on “The BEST Scented No Cook Play Dough

    1. Sugar-free Jello or Duncan Hines Frosting Creations would work too. If you don’t mind it not being scented, just use food colouring. :)

  1. Hi there, I live in Australia & I’ve never heard of kook aid or gel food coloring? Could they go by another name here?

    1. Hey Deb! Hmmm… Probably not! Kool Aid is simply a powdered drink mix you add sugar and water to, so something similar would work. Do you have Jell-O there? The sugar-free kind works the same as Kool Aid would. And gel food colouring is just a concentrated food colouring. Any type of food colouring will do!

  2. Thank u for this! I can’t seem to find kool aid where we are so I made the first batch without scent – turned out just like store-bought play dough! Now the trick is to get my 11 month old to actually play with the dough (he’s the squeamish kind) :| Great recipe anyways!

  3. Thank you for this recipe!!! I’m going to make it today :) I do work with a few kiddos who sometimes put things in their mouth. Do you happen to know if glycerine is safe if a small amount was ingested? I don’t really know what it is

    1. Hey Jen! To my knowledge, there are two types of glycerine… One is purchased in the baking aisle along with cake making supplies, food colouring, etc. and is edible. The other, purchased in the first aid section, is not. I haven’t had much luck finding the edible kind in regular grocery stores, though craft shops do carry it with their cake making supplies usually. If you’re in a pinch, just do without and add a tiny bit more oil if needed. The glycerine adds a beautiful shine and stretch to the dough, but you can make it without also. Enjoy!!

      1. Thanks for mentioning that I can do without the glycerine. I found the answer to my question.

  4. Ok, so I have tried this, we loved it the first time we used it. Then I put it in a small plastic container and when we tried to use it again 2 days later it was all sticky and way too soft. Am I doing something wrong or is it supposed to be only used once?

    1. I had the same problem, but I taked mine on travel and the weather was very hot so I thought that this was the reason… I don’t know.

    2. No, definitely not meant to only be used once, Bettina! Though I have had this happen before… How did you store it? If possible, you want to keep it in a dry, cool place, but not in the fridge. I’ve had mine go mucky when accidentally stored near a heater and when I put it in the fridge to experiment.

      1. I’d guess that you were right, Taisa! I had a batch go really soft and sticky when I accidentally stored it near a heater before.

      2. Oh … thanks so much for the reply. Well, I stored it in an airtight container which perfectly fit the amount of dough but stored on top of the fridge. I didn’t think it was too warm there but might well have been. Will give it another try and see what happens in a different place.

        1. Oh yes – it may be that! I know that ours gets warm up there. Try again and let me know how it goes. Fingers crossed it won’t do it again.

  5. Hi, I want to try this receipe but cream of tartar isn’t commonly used where I live, can I substitute it with something?

  6. When you are making multiple colors, do you make one big batch and add in the color after you’ve mixed it, or do you make a separate batch for each color?

  7. I made four batches and every single one was so sticky. I gave it a good, long kneed. My hands were caked, table caked. For all of them, I had to add a lot more flour. At least 1/2 cup, maybe more. What did I do wrong. Only thing I altered was I used gel food coloring. Help!!!!

    1. Thanks for posting this. I also plan on using gel food coloring and it helps to know to add an additional 1/2 cup of flour.

  8. Love this recipe. I made 3 batches, all with food colouring rather than Koolaid because its not readily available in Australia and I had food colouring on hand, and all turned out great.

  9. Hi!
    I’m spanish and some of ingredients have a different name here. Could you put photos of all of ingredients? This way I can find some similar here, in Spain.

  10. Hi Jen! We met five or so years ago when I first illustrated my book, Times Two and you so generously shared about it on your blog! (Hi!) I love your blog and your idea of making scented play-dough but am having a difficult time finding kool-aid packets in Vancouver?! I’ve only found the liquid! Any tips? Thanks so much!

  11. I’m in the same boat as timestwobook! Also in vancouver and unable to find powder packets of koolaid. Any idea who still carries them in the lower mainland? I’m only finding liquid too :(

    1. I don’t think they’re carried here anymore unfortunately. :/ And neither are the Frosting Creations packets. I know my friends can still get powdered Kool-Aid packets in the States…

  12. I absolutely love this recipe! I make it regularly for my grandchildren. It has turned out so well each time. I do not use the kool-aid powder even though it is readily available here in the states. I also get my glycerine at my local chain store, Vitamin Shoppe.
    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe!

  13. I made this as well used gel food couloring. I had a big mess! Let cool for 5 mins. Hands were also caked. I kept adding more and more flour. Don’t know what I didt wrong.

  14. Hey Jen, just curious if the koolaid does any staining? I was thinking of having it out on our kitchen table but didn’t want it to discolor it at all.

  15. I had to add about 1/2 cup of flour, but after adding a little at a time while kneading it turned out perfectly. I used King Arthur’s flour and gel food coloring.

  16. I plan on making this tomorrow after I pick up glycerin, but was wondering about your flour measurement. It can measure so differently. I was wondering how much you use if you were to weigh it? It will allow me to do it a bit more consistently! Thank you!!! :)

  17. I LOVE this Playdough and the kit idea! Here in Norway we don’t have Kool Aid in regular stores so i used vanilla essence and rose essence instead (took away the same amount of water as the amount of essence I used). Wilton food colouring (gel) was added after I split the dough in “correct sizes” (3 or 4 colours). I had to use around half cup more flour than the recipe, the dough got very soft and smooth! I put each colour in small plastic bags before I put all of them in a zipper bag. My 8 year old boy made a kit last night to give as a birthday present to a girl in his class. We gonna use this recipe and make some Play Dough kit for christmas present this year!

    Thank you so, so much for sharing recipe and ideas ❤️ Love from Norway

  18. I love this recipe! I was just wondering if you ever make a double or triple batch and if so, does doubling the recipe affect anything?

  19. For those that can’t find Kool Aid or powdered drink mix, I use Colorations liquid watercolor when making my Playdough and I add a few drops of essential oils (like lemon, peppermint or lavender) or vanilla extract or apple pie spice for fun scents. You could also use McCormick’s food coloring to add color to your playdough!

  20. Quick note- keep this away from dogs. This is enough salt to be toxic. My dog got into it and she’s gone now

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.