These Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies are thick and fluffy, finished off with homemade frosting. Change up the frosting and sprinkles for any holiday or occasion!
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We love all sugar cookies. Although I do love a cut-out sugar cookie like Christmas sugar cookies (and they are so fun to decorate!), there is something about those extra thick, extra soft sugar cookies that is so darn good.
They’re made with 100% Canadian dairy (look for the blue cow on your sour cream and butter to make sure!) which has the creamiest soft texture and a deliciously rich flavor that takes these cookies to the next level.
We enjoy using local dairy products in so many different recipes — from creamy soups to grilled cheese and ice cream. We love getting the kids involved and helping them to appreciate the many ways our local farmers add value to our lives and the meals on our table.
These cookies are so versatile for any occasion or even a special occasion. Switching up the colour of the frosting is so simple and you can choose any type of decorative touch you’d like (you can even stir in some rainbow sprinkles if you want to get crazy!).
We went with my girls’ favourite here: pink and sprinkles (perfect for Valentine’s Day)! Just don’t forget a tall glass of cold milk to serve them with 😀
Ingredients for Frosted Sugar Cookies:
- Salted Butter: be sure to bring the butter to room temperature so it incorporates smoothly into the dough. You can use unsalted butter but you may want to increase the salt in the dough to ¾ teaspoon.
- Granulated Sugar: you can’t have sugar cookies without the sugar!
- Sour Cream: this is a key ingredient for creating ultra soft cookies with a slightly tangy flavor.
- Egg: our binding agent which helps the cookies hold their shape.
- Vanilla Extract: adds great flavor! You can also sub for or add in almond extract if you prefer.
- All-Purpose Flour: I recommend spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it off with your finger, or weighing the flour with a kitchen scale. Too much flour can make tough cookie!
- Cornstarch: makes softer cookies
- Baking Powder: creates a lighter, softer, fluffier texture.
- Salt: offsets the sweetness and enhances the flavor of the cookies.
- Optional Frosting: to frost these cookies, you’ll whip up a simple frosting with powdered sugar (also called icing sugar), melted butter, milk, and vanilla. You can add food coloring in different colors to suit your occasion or leave it out. If you prefer to use royal icing, you can find my recipe here.
How to Make Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
These super soft Frosted Sugar Cookies take just 15 minutes to prep! Find the detailed recipe down in the recipe card.
- Combine wet ingredients: Beat together butter and sugar with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until creamy. Add in the sour cream, egg, and vanilla and continue beating until combined.
- Add dry ingredients: Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined. Be sure to mix on a low speed so it doesn’t fly everywhere!
- Chill: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour so the dough is the right consistency. This makes it easier to work with and helps the cookies to stay thick and soft while they bake.
- Portion it out: Divide the dough up into 24 rounds and place 2″ apart on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. If you don’t have parchment, use a non-stick baking mat or lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake and cool: Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 9-11 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. You want them just set on top — maybe with a slight sheen in the middle. Don’t overbake! The baking will depend on how large you scoop them.
- Frost: Whisk together sugar, melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Spread the creamy frosting over the cooled cookies and decorate as desired.
FAQs for Soft Sugar Cookies
The key to ultra soft sugar cookies is to make sure you don’t over-bake them. I recommend removing them from the oven when they are slightly puffed and dry but before they start to brown on the edges. They may look slightly underdone in the center but will finish setting up as they cool.
There are a couple of things you can do to make sure your cookies stay nice and thick as they bake. First, check to make sure that your baking powder is fresh. If it’s expired, it doesn’t help the dough rise like it should. Second, make sure you chill the dough. Colder dough will hold its shape better as it bakes, resulting in thicker, fluffier cookies. Third, make sure you weigh your flour so you have just the right amount!
This cookie dough can be used for cut-outs (I tested it!) but it does work best as a rolled cookie — since they are meant to be thick and soft (like those favorite Lofthouse Sugar Cookies), not to keep their shape. If you’re looking for the perfect cut-out cookie, check out my Christmas Sugar Cookies.
Absolutely! Making the dough ahead of time is a great way to get ahead. It will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, thaw in the fridge if frozen then portion the dough out and proceed with the recipe as instructed.
The iced sugar cookies will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I recommend storing with wax paper between the layers to prevent sticking. To serve, thaw in the fridge if frozen.
This is great if you are making them for the holiday season!
More Sugar Cookie Recipes to Try
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Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup salted butter (room temperature)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
- ⅓ cup sour cream 5-14% – higher fat will yield a thicker cookie
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all purpose flour (325 grams)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½-2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add sour cream, egg and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Add flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. A slightly soft dough should form.
- Cover dough and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll cookie dough into rounds (you can also roll out with a rolling pin and cut out, but I prefer to skip that step) and place 2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes, until they look slightly puffed and dry but are not yet browning at the edges. Don't overbake or they will become hard — they may look slightly underdone in the center but will set up as they cool.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
Sugar Cookie Frosting:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups sugar, melted butter, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Stir in additional sugar as desired until frosting is spreadable (keep in mind that because we are using melted butter, it firms up and sets as it cools).
- Spread over cooled cookies and decorate as desired. The frosting takes 1-2 hours to set, but I still recommend placing wax paper in between layers for stacking.
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Nancy Curtain says
First pan did not spread at all and were not cooked inside, despite being browned on the bottom. All the subsequent pans, I flattened the dough slightly with the back of a spatula.
Not as cake-y as I would have preferred. I notice a slight variation in ingredients between this recipe and your “Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookie” recipe, so will try that recipe another day and compare. I think your recipes are awesome – this one just wasn’t what I had hoped for.
The Recipe Rebel says
Sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Nancy.
Canan McCormick says
Made these for Valentine’s Day and they were awesome! The kids loved them, and so did we! Followed the recipe exactly. They were soft, and baked up perfectly. Thanks for a great sugar cookie recipe.
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Canan! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this review!
Dominique Gosselin says
Is it possible to use greek yogurt instead of sour cream?
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Dominique! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so it would be hard to advise. If you decide to experiment, with greek yogurt, let me know how it goes.
Hi, I was surprised how thick and they did not flattened mine were, they just seemed to crack at the top of the mound… Is that from too much flour?
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Gwen! First line of the blog post says they are thick and fluffy. It’s really hard to know what went wrong without being in the kitchen. If there was a mound, it sounds like it might be a baking powder issue.
Rudy Retamoza says
I like frosted cookies but not sprinkles.
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Rudy, you can definitely leave them off.