Soft, Frosted Sugar Cookies – These soft, frosted sugar cookies taste identical to the ones you love to buy at the grocery store bakery. They are so fun to make at home and have none of the preservatives that you get in the store-bought version.
This month I turn 29 and a whole year closer to 30. Yikes. But let’s not worry about that yet. I still have year 29 to celebrate! You can expect an awesome sweet treat next week to celebrate my special day, so keep a lookout!
Okay now for today’s recipe.
Back in September, I started welcoming each new month with a cookie recipe because, well, I LOVE cookies. Let’s recap what we’ve covered so far:
- September – These perfect nutella macarons
- October – These cinnamony pumpkin snickerdoodles
- November – These cranberry cookies with white chocolate drizzle
- December – My favorite cookies of all time, monster cookies
- January – These gooey chocolate chip cookie bites with fudge frosting
For February, I thought I’d share my favorite sugar cookie (and perhaps the only sugar cookie I’ve ever loved): soft, frosted sugar cookies with pink frosting.
After falling for them early in my childhood, I’ve always been a chocolate chip cookies kind-of-gal. Sugar cookies were never enticing to me because they didn’t have enough oomph. Just boring, bland, pale cookies. Not for me.
That is, until a fateful day in 8th grade…We were having a class party and someone brought these soft sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles that they had purchased from a grocery store bakery. I was intrigued because they looked like half-cookie-half-cupcake. I tried one of those cookies and my opinion of sugar cookies changed FOREVER.
Those sugar cookies were soft, yet dense, with sweet colored frosting. Enough sugar to get my heart beating a mile-a-minute, that’s for sure. But that soft cookie is what sold me, for sure.
And now I can make them at home and eat them anytime I want! Well, I probably shouldn’t, but I’m just happy to know that I can (as is my husband). These are his favorite cookies!
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can easily make it all year long. Just switch up the color of the frosting and sprinkles to make them fit each season and/or holiday. You can even switch up the shapes, too! Hearts, shamrocks, flowers, stars, Christmas trees, pumpkins…the possibilities are endless!
This is also a great recipe to do on a day where you need some baking therapy. You can turn on some tunes, roll out some dough, bake some cookies, and take your sweet time frosting each one. I did this exact thing last weekend and it was magical. My tunes of choice: the soundtrack to La La Land. I’m obsessed!!!
You probably haven’t made very many cookies like this before. The dough is super sticky and may be tricky to manage on your first try. But fear not! I’m here to give you some tips to make sure you get it right the first time:
- This dough needs to chill overnight. Do not skip this step! The dough is really messy when we first make it so it needs to chill so you can easily roll it out and cut out circles.
- When rolling out the dough, flour your surface and rolling pin really, really well. This will keep the dough from sticking. If the dough starts to stick, form into a ball, add more flour, and roll out again. If it gets too sticky to work with, just place in freezer for a few minutes to cool it down – cool dough is easier to work with.
- This recipe makes 48 cookies. You will need to bake these cookies on two baking sheet and in two batches. These half sheet pans are my favorite baking sheets because they are big and sturdy. I use them in all my cookie recipes.
- Make sure the cookies are completely cool before you begin frosting them. Otherwise, the frosting will melt all over the place.
- To make sure the sprinkles stick, add them right after you frost each cookie because the frosting tends to dry quickly.
- When frosting cookies or cupcakes, I always recommend using an offset spatula. It helps create a smooth, even layer of frosting. Here is the small one I used for this recipe.
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Soft, Frosted Sugar Cookies
For the cookie dough:
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter salted, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups light sour cream
For the frosting:
- 1 cup butter unsalted, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- food coloring
For the cookie dough:
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
- Place softened, salted butter and granulated sugar in bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix on low until combined.
- Add all of dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Do not over-mix or the dough will get tough. The dough will be sticky. Grab plastic wrap and lay out two large sheets. Separate dough onto each sheet so you have two even piles of dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and form into a flat rectangle. Refrigerate overnight. Do not skip this step! It will be impossible to roll out the dough if it is not cold.
- The next day, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets by laying with parchment paper or using a silicone mat. Flour your work-surface and rolling pin extremely well. Don't skimp on the flour - the dough will be super sticky so we need the flour to keep it from sticking to the counter.
- Remove rectangle of dough from fridge and unwrap. Flour both sides of the dough pretty well so it does not stick as we roll it out. Roll out dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie/biscuit cutter, cut out 24 rounds from the dough. You may have to combine scraps and roll out again to achieve this. Place dough on two cookie sheets (12 per sheet), about an inch apart.
- Bake for 4 minutes, rotate, and bake for 4 more minutes until slightly golden on the edges. Do not over-bake! We want these to stay soft. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to wire cooling racks. Do not frost until completely cooled. Repeat process with second rectangle of dough.
For the frosting:
- Beat butter, vanilla, and pinch of salt until creamy and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar slowly, about 1 cup at a time.
- Add heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste frosting. If you approve of the texture, then you can skip to next step. I thought it tasted too butter-heavy so I went ahead and added 1 1/2 more cups of powdered sugar. But you should test it out slowly by adding only 1/2 cup at a time until you reach the flavor you're looking for.
- Add a couple drops of your favorite food coloring to the frosting mixture. Mix until colored. If you want a deeper color, add another drop or two.
- Once the cookies have all cooled, you can begin to frost and sprinkle them. I recommend using a offset spatula to help spread frosting on evenly and cleanly.