Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

BakingCookie

If you're a fan of soft and cakey Lofthouse-style sugar cookies, then this is the recipe for you! Add a generous layer of frosting and some rainbow sprinkles, and these cookies are ready for a party.

Photography Credit: Cindy Rahe

Have you ever had a Lofthouse sugar cookie? They are a soft and cakey sugar cookie with a generous layer of frosting on top, along with sprinkles.

You can find them in many grocery store bakeries, packed neatly in plastic clamshells and decorated in the colors of whatever holiday is up next. I have a soft spot for the palm-sized, pink-frosted, rainbow-sprinkled variety of my youth that my friends and I would find individually wrapped from the convenience store.

How to Make Soft Sugar Cookies

HOW TO MAKE LOFTHOUSE SUGAR COOKIES

I set out to recreate those specific Lofthouse-style cookies at home. They begin with a rich sour cream sugar cookie dough. The sour cream in the dough contributes to making these cookies incredibly soft, and it also adds a subtle tangy flavor that offsets the sweetness.

The dough itself is very soft, almost like between a batter and a dough, and that also helps result in a very soft cookie. Chilling the dough before rolling it out and then keeping it cold between baking batches is a key component for making these cookies, but well worth the effort.

THE BEST SUGAR COOKIE FROSTING

The frosting is a classic fluffy American buttercream flavored with vanilla extract, and it’s a great counterpart for the cakey, not-too-sweet cookie.

Once the frosting dries, it develops a thin crust, which makes the cookies easier to stack and store between layers of parchment.

And one final tip: Dissolving the food coloring into milk beforehand helps keep the color vibrant, but you can certainly just add it to the frosting right in the mixing bowl, too.

BETTER THE NEXT DAY!

These cookies are great the day they’re made, but seem to get even better the day after baking and frosting. The flavors meld and the vanilla comes out more, while the texture gets a little more compact and sturdy — though still very soft!

How to Make Soft Sugar Cookies frost the cookies and put sprinkles on them

MORE COOKIE RECIPES TO TRY!

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies Recipe

Print
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 11 minutes
  • Chill time: 3 hours
  • Yield: About 30 cookies

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 3 3/4 cups (510g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227g) sour cream

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (455g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring, for coloring the frosting
  • Sprinkles for decorating

Method

1 Combine the dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set to the side.

2 Make the cookie dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Beat in the vanilla and sour cream until combined. Then, in two separate additions, beat in the flour, scraping the bowl after each addition. This will create a soft and fluffy dough.

How to Make Soft Sugar Cookies cream the butter and sugar Sugar Cookie Recipe add the sour cream and vanilla

3 Fold the dough briefly in the bowl: Using a stiff rubber spatula, fold the dough a few times inside the bowl – scoop down the side of the bowl and underneath the batter, then lift up and fold the dough over on itself. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Repeat this a few times until the dough is smooth.

Homemade Sugar Cookies make the dough

4 Chill the dough: Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the dough and refrigerate the dough for at least three hours so it firms up, or up to overnight. (Transfer the dough to a separate bowl if you need the mixing bowl for something else.)

5 Preheat the oven: Once the dough has chilled and you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

6 Shape the cookies: Lightly flour the counter. Using a medium (1 1/2 tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop out some of the dough and drop on the counter. Gently roll the dough against the counter and between your hands to form a round ball. Brush off any excess flour and place the ball on the cookie sheet.

Repeat scooping and rolling more cookie dough balls until the sheet pan is filled, spacing the cookies several inches apart. Cover the remaining dough and return it to the refrigerator.

7 Press the cookies flat: Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in flour and use it to press the cookies on the cookie sheet to about 1/4-inch thick. Re-flour the drinking glass as needed to prevent sticking.

8 Bake the cookies: Bake the first tray of cookies in the center of the oven for 11 to 13 minutes. When done, the cookies should be slightly puffed, dry on the top, pale around the edges, and (when lifted with a thin spatula) barely golden on the bottoms.

Let them cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Shape and bake the remaining cookies like the first.

9 Make the frosting: Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add half of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the salt, and beat on low to combine for a minute. Add the remaining powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk, and beat for an additional minute.

The frosting should be fluffy, pale, and spreadable. If it is more stiff than you like, beat in an additional tablespoon of milk.

To color the frosting pink (or any other color), add a few drops of food coloring and mix to combine. (I used about 2 drops each of deep pink and red food gel for my cookies.)

Homemade Sugar Cookies food coloring Sugar Cookies add the food coloring to the frostingn Homemade Sugar Cookies make the frosting

10 Frost the cookies: Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies and decorate with sprinkles.

How to Make Soft Sugar Cookies frost the cookies and put sprinkles on them

11 Store the cookies: These cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, separated by layers of parchment so they don’t stick to each other.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

Products We Love

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Cindy Rahe

Cindy Rahe is the recipe maker and picture taker behind Hungry Girl por Vida. She loves to bake from scratch and make things that taste as good as they look. Cindy was born near Seoul but grew up in California and Nevada. She believes strongly in homemade birthday cakes, creamy coffee, and making room for dessert.

More from Cindy

7 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSoft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. KC

    I’ve made these 3 times and they are gone within a day. The whole family loves them!
    I want to make a huge batch for the holidays and was wondering if the dough can be frozen?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Cindy Rahe

      YAY! That makes me so happy!

      I haven’t tried freezing the dough, but maybe try it out on your next batch. I have a feeling it will be totally fine, I freeze cookie doughs often and really haven’t had any issues. I would bake them from frozen (maybe even portion the dough prior to freezing) and add a minute or two.

  2. Ruth Ann

    Oh my…hubby couldn’t wait…he had one as soon as it was cool enough.
    I’m a better pie maker than a cookie baker but I guess I’ll have to keep this in my cookbook (called ‘Mom How do you Make That’).
    A bit of a pain in the neck since even chilled they don’t firm up much more.
    Note: I used a cookie scoop and got 46 – 3″ cookies.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Beth

    Will these cookies still be good 3-4 days after baking? I’m thinking about mailing them. Thanks!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Beth! Yes, these cookies are FANTASTIC a few days after baking. (My tummy and I can attest to that.) However, I’m not sure how well they’d ship in the mail. They’re not a fragile cookie, but they’re also not super sturdy. They’re similar to muffin tops, if that makes sense? I think if you packed them fairly well so they won’t get too jostled during shipping, they should be ok. And of course, broken cookie pieces are still delicious, so I’m sure they won’t go uneaten!

  4. Jamie

    Could you gather the dough into a tube and just cut the cookies?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jamie! I think this dough is just too soft to slice like this, even after refrigeration. You might be able to do it if you freeze the tube until the dough is firm, but not all the way frozen though. If you try it, let us know how it works out!

How to Make Soft Sugar CookiesSoft Frosted Sugar Cookies