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Hi Bold Bakers!
IN THIS RECIPE: You’re about to get my tried-and-true recipe for Soft Sugar Cookies — not on the crispier side like my Best-Ever Sugar Cookies, and not exactly chewy like my Chewy Sugar Cookies, but in an incredible, simple, soft league of their own. Decorate them however you want with my included easy icing.
If you’ve been on a search for a recipe for a bakery-style soft sugar cookie, search no more! There’s something really special about mastering a classic and my Soft Sugar Cookies recipe has got all techniques to make your sugar cookie soft just the way you want it.
Decorated to the nines with colored frosting, and of course a mix of fun rainbow sprinkles, these cookies are perfect for all kinds of celebrations!
What Makes Soft Sugar Cookies So Soft
There are just a few tweaks that take sugar cookies from crisp to super soft. Just like all baked goods, these cookies are made with the same ingredients as other sugar cookies: butter, flour, sugar, egg, and baking powder, but in a slightly different ratio. That ratio is key for making them soft and pillowy.
Specifically, what makes these cookies incredibly soft is the amount of butter, which adds rich flavor, and the use of 2 eggs. Using more egg than your average sugar cookie, or shortbread recipe, makes these cookies have a tender bite. The cookies are made quickly in one bowl and bake for only 10 minutes, which means these cookies are a breeze to make.
How To Make Soft Sugar Cookies
You don’t need to get fancy to make these cookies — and you definitely don’t need to be a professional to decorate them. By the end of this recipe, you’ll be confident in your ability to get the same results I did. I’ll let you in on a little secret: decorating isn’t my strong suit, and yet these cookies look great!
When it comes to making these Christmas cookies, or really these any holiday cookies, I even skip the scoop-and-ball method after the chilling (and yes, you need to chill your dough — this is where flavor develops and it keeps your cookies from spreading too much). Instead, I opt for rolling my cookie down into a log. This log then goes into the fridge, and when it comes out you simply slice it. That’s when you bake it.
I’ve tested this recipe, gone through all the trials and tribulations so you don’t have to. Skip the fuss and get the soft cookies you’ve always wanted.
Chill Your Dough
One of the best ways to keep your cookies from spreading in the oven is to chill them first. Luckily, this has another perk — especially with cookies like chocolate chip cookies. When you chill your dough (up to 5 days!) your dough gains a whole bunch of flavor.
For this sugar cookies recipe, though, the main goal is to get the circles and shapes you want without spreading.
How to Frost Sugar Cookies
A sugar cookie is great on its own, but what Soft Sugar Cookies to the next level is frosting or the icing.
Made of powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter, this frosting is made specifically for super soft sugar cookies. It stays thick and malleable thanks to the butter, and this makes them perfect for swirling atop the cookies using a butter knife or offset spatula. After frosting, I top them with sprinkles. Optional? Yes. But just look at them and tell me if it’s really a choice!
Also, the frosting will set over time and harden on the outside — but the inside will still be soft, perfectly complementing the texture of the cookie itself.
How Long Sugar Cookies Last
My cookies keep really well covered in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. These make the most lovely gift or party favors, but once you give them a try they will also surely become a staple in your repertoire!
How to Decorate Sugar Cookies
Baking with kids should be fun and I have you covered there! Check out 3 Easy Christmas Cookies to Bake With Kids including a Snowman, Christmas Trees, and even a Reindeer!
Get More Cookies!
And don’t forget to buy my New Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook — it makes the perfect gift!
Watch The Recipe Video!
Soft Sugar Cookies Recipe
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Next, add the eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and mix until a dough is formed.
- Lay some cling wrap on your counter and spoon your dough on top and form a log. Roll up the log like a sausage and chill the dough for at least 1 hour or pop in the freezer and freeze for up to 8 weeks.
- Once your dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice the cookies around ¼ inch thick. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for roughly 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- While the cookies are baking make the icing: Using a whisk, combine the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla until you have a smooth thick icing. Color the icing with a few drops of food coloring then mix until even in color.
- Using a small offset spatula or the back of a small spoon frost the cookies then scatter over sprinkles. Allow setting for about 30 minutes.
- Once set, cover and store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.