Lofthouse-Style Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

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.

  • 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  Adding the sour cream and vanilla in a Sugar Cookie Recipe

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 Dough in Mixing Bowl

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.)

 Pink and Red food coloring for sugar cookie frosting Food coloring about to be stirred into sugar cookie frosting Pink Sugar Cookie Frosting in Mixing Bowl with Wooden Spoon

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

Frosted Pink Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles on baking sheet next to spreading knife and bowl of frosting

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.

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Comments

  • Jo

    I have tried several recipes for soft sugar cookies but these are by far the best, spot on. I used an scoop and then froze the balls on a cookie sheet and then put in plastic bag, thaw just until you can mash them, worked great! thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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!