Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

You know those soft sugar cookies you find in the bakery section of the grocery store?  The ones that are always frosted with icing the color of the upcoming holiday.  You know the ones I’m talking about!   Well, this post is dedicated to those light as air sugar cookies!  I haven’t had those cookies in a couple of years  a. because they’re  kind of addicting and I think I would end up eating the whole package and b. because I’m pretty sure I would eat the whole package.

A few months ago I was perusing through the baking blog world and saw a post on The Novice Chef blog about the grocery store sugar cookies.  I’d never considered trying to make the cookies at home, after all, how can you top the soft, pillowy, sugariness you buy at the store?  But once I saw the post I figured I had to try making them!  I started searching around and found that quite a few people had tried to recreate them, each recipe varying slightly.

After looking at about ten different recipes and seeing what ingredients I had, I came up with a recipe of my own.  The cookies turned out light and fluffy and are cakeier than a traditional sugar cookie, which is what we were going for.  The frosting isn’t exactly like the grocery store kind probably because it’s fresh and I don’t think I added enough vanilla so I added more to the recipe below.  Overall the cookies are quite tasty and with St. Patty’s Day coming they are perfect iced with green frosting!

Sugar Cookie Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
2 T vanilla

4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ t baking powder

1 t baking soda
¾ t salt

Frosting Ingredients

5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 T unsalted butter at room temperature
1 T vanilla
4 T milk or cream (I’d go with cream) you may need more
Green food coloring

Soft Sugar Cookies

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment beat the sugar, butter, and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  3. Beat in the vanilla.
  4. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. With the mixer on low, beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixer, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight (I refrigerated mine overnight).
  7. After the dough has been chilled preheat your oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment.  In school we used magnets to hold the parchment to the baking sheet but at work I learned a different nifty trick- spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray and the parchment will stick right to it!

Now, some of the recipes I looked at had you roll the dough into balls, flatten them on the baking sheet, and bake them like that, others had you roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter.  I tried both and although rolling the dough into balls and flattening them is a lot easier and less time consuming, rolling out the dough and using a cookie cutter makes for a more uniform cookie with cleaner edges.

The cookie on the left was rolled into a ball and pressed down. The cookie on the right was cut with a cookie cutter.

Here's what they looked like after they were baked. The one where the dough was rolled out and a cookie cutter was used is much smoother and neater.

8. Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick and using a large biscuit cutter (or in my case a wine glass) cut out your cookies.  Arrange them on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 ½ inches apart from one another.

9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the top of the cookie is no longer glossy but is still white, you don’t want these cookies golden!

The tops are still light but the bottoms are perfectly golden.

10. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 4 to 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


  1. Using a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment beat the butter and powdered sugar together on low. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer so that the butter and powdered sugar are incorporated but you haven’t made a huge powdered sugar snow storm.
  2. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Gradually beat in the milk/cream until the frosting looks smooth but still thick.  You may need more liquid depending on the weather.  If you add too much liquid just add some more powdered sugar.
  4. Mix in the food coloring.
  5. Using an offset spatula frost the cookies and decorate with sprinkles right away or else the frosting will set and the sprinkles won’t stick.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

2 thoughts on “Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

  1. I have become a sugar cookie fan since my local grocery store offers a free sample when you check out. Your’s look much better, especially with the St. Patty’s Day frosting.

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