Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies — Super SOFT sugar cookies that just melt in your mouth!! To make things even better, they’re topped with the BEST sugar cookie frosting! If you’ve ever thought that sugar cookies can be boring or dry, this EASY recipe with frosting and sprinkles will change your mind!
The BEST Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
Normally I am not a big fan of sugar cookies because I feel like they’re bland, boring, dry, and fairly tasteless, but that is not the case with these frosted sugar cookies. They are some of the best sugar cookies I’ve tried. Between the tender cookies, creamy frosting, and the sprinkles, the batch disappeared quickly.
To top these soft sugar cookies, I made a simple buttercream frosting and added three drops of red food coloring. You can make the frosting any color you wish, or just keep it basic white.
I used Sweetapolita sprinkles, specifically in Flamingo Twinkle Sprinkle Medley. I adore Sweetapolita sprinkles because they are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I also used them in this colorful Unicorn Bark. Feel free to use your favorite sprinkles.
I think these frosted soft sugar cookies would be perfect to include on a holiday dessert tray, cookie platter, or for holiday cookie exchanges. Decorate them festively with red and green for the season and you’re set!
What’s in Soft Sugar Cookies?
The cookies are made with both butter and oil. When baking cakes and muffins, I always prefer to use oil rather than butter because oil keeps them softer. And the same held true for these homemade sugar cookies — so darn soft. They almost melt in your mouth.
In addition to the butter and oil, There are two kinds of sugars in these soft sugar cookies, but not the typical two kinds you’d think (white and brown sugar). Instead, there’s white sugar along with confectioners’ sugar.
I added both vanilla and almond extracts. If you don’t keep almond extract on hand, don’t worry about it. But I love it in desserts and being that these cookies have such a mild and pure flavor (no nuts, no chocolate, no peanut butter, etc.) the almond extract is a nice touch.
The recipe calls for cream of tartar and I haven’t tried the recipe without it. It’s only a couple dollars and I recommend purchasing it because it will help the cookies bake up thicker.
How to Make Soft Sugar Cookies
As with any homemade sugar cookie recipe, you’ll first need to cream together the butter and sugars. Then, add in the rest of the wet ingredients, followed by the dry.
Scoop the sugar cookie dough into balls, roll them between your hands, then press them down gently onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray to flatten them slightly. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
Once chilled, bake the cookies until the edges are set and the tops have just set. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting them.
How to Make Frosting for Sugar Cookies
This is truly the best sugar cookie frosting! It’s made with butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and a splash of cream. To make the sugar cookie frosting, simply cream the ingredients together until light and fluffy.
Can I Prep These Soft Sugar Cookies in Advance?
Yes, you don’t have to bake all the homemade sugar cookies at once and can save the dough in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 4 months before baking it off. That way you can have fresh sugar cookies as often as you’d like.
Do I Have to Chill Sugar Cookie Dough?
You have to chill the dough before you bake these soft sugar cookies so they don’t spread into flat discs. You want a sufficiently thick cookie and the way to achieve that is from a little chill time. The dough is very soft from both the butter and oil (and not tons of flour, comparatively) so chilling it before baking is the only way to go here.
Tips for Making Soft Sugar Cookies
The key to making truly amazing sugar cookies is to use really good ingredients. Use real butter, not margarine, and get your hands on pure vanilla extract (or make Homemade Vanilla Extract — it’s great!).
And as is true with any sugar cookies, don’t over bake them. The undersides will darken too much and they will dry out.
Lastly, you MUST wait for the soft sugar cookies to cool completely before frosting them. If you try to frost warm cookies, the sugar cookie frosting will slide right off.
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- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream, or as needed for consistency
- food coloring, optional (I used 3 drops red food coloring to make pink)
- sprinkles, for decorating
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the butter, oil, sugars, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and combined, about 4 minutes.
- Add the egg, extracts, and beat until combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, or your hands, form approximately 20 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten about halfway.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I use a half-sheet pan and bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 8 minutes (if your cookies are smaller than mine, reduce baking time) or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 9 to 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack. While cookies are cooling, make the frosting.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the butter, sugar, vanilla, optional salt, and beat on medium-low speed until creamy.
- Slowly add the milk or cream, as necessary, to achieve desired frosting consistency.
- Optionally add the food coloring as desired.
- Add a generous dollop of frosting to each cookie and add sprinkles to taste.
Make the Sugar Cookies
Make the Frosting
- I am comfortable storing frosted cookies at room temp for up to 5 days but if you’re not, store them in the fridge noting they will be more prone to drying out.
- Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired. If baking straight from freezer with frozen dough, you don’t have to thaw it. Bake straight from freezer, possibly adding 1 to 2 minutes to baking time if necessary.
- Extra frosting will keep airtight for at least 2 weeks in the fridge.
Cookies adapted from Taste of Home.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g
More Sugar Cookie Recipes:
Holiday Sugar Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting — Bars are faster and easier than cookies, there’s no dough to chill, and no need to form individual cookies!
Candy Cane Blossom Sugar Cookies — We’ve all had Peanut Butter Blossoms before, and these cookies are the holiday version! The cookies are soft, chewy, covered in red sprinkles, and there’s a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss in the center.
Lofthouse-Style Frosted Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies — Similar to Lofthouse Soft-Frosted Sugar Cookies, but these are for peanut butter fans. I added peanut butter and frosted them with peanut butter buttercream.
Softbatch No-Roll Holiday Sugar Cookies — These tender, buttery holiday cookies use a no-roll dough with the sprinkles baked right in so you don’t even have to decorate them!
Vanilla Pudding Sugar Cookie Bars – A sugar cookie crust topped with creamy vanilla pudding, whipped topping, and sprinkles! Change up the sprinkles to suit any holiday!
Sugar Cookie Apple Crumble Cheesecake Pie – A buttery sugar cookie crust, tangy cream cheese filling, tender juicy apples, and a crumble topping make this pie a total SHOWSTOPPER!
Funfetti Sugar Cookies — These funfetti cookies are essentially sugar cookies from scratch that have been loaded with sprinkles. They have that nostalgic boxed cake flavor but are 100% homemade!
Originally posted August 17, 2018 and reposted March 18, 2020 with updated text.