These sugar cookies are soft and chewy and exactly like those puffy, cakey, frosted Lofthouse sugar cookies with sprinkles found in crinkly plastic packages in the bakery of your local grocery store. But waaaaay better.
These sugar cookies are exactly like the Lofthouse sugar cookies that come in the clear crinkly plastic containers at your local grocery store bakery—well, exactly like them in taste and texture but not, thankfully, in terms of the crazy long list of artificial ingredients. But just like those soft sugar cookies your kids beg you to buy, these are soft, chewy, frosted, buttery, tender, puffy, and ridiculously sweet, They’re also crazy easy to make—there’s no need to roll the dough or cut it into shapes, just drop blobs of sugar cookie dough on a baking sheet.–Sally McKenney
For the sugar cookies
Make the sugar cookies
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
- In another large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until everything is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Scoop out the dough, allowing about 2 tablespoons for each cookie, and roll it in between your palms into balls. Place the balls on a large plate, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Don't skip this step. It prevents the cookies from spreading into one another in the oven and becoming one big blob.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Place the chilled cookie dough balls on the baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will look underbaked, but they will finish baking as they cool thanks to the the residual heat of the baking sheet. (The cooled, unfrosted cookies may be frozen in resealable plastic bags for up to 3 months.)
Make the frosting
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter in a medium bowl on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Switch to low speed and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and heavy cream, kick it up to medium speed, and beat for 2 minutes. Swipe a finger through the frosting and taste. You can add more cream if the frosting seems too thick or a pinch of salt if the frosting seems too sweet.
- Spread the frosting onto the cooled sugar cookies and immediately decorate with sprinkles. (You can keep the cookies, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.)
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This big, chewy, buttery, soft sugar cookie recipe melts in your mouth with each bite. In regards to the amount of frosting, I think that's more of a personal preference. I don't like a lot of icing on cookies because it seems to take away from the cookies, so just a thin layer is sufficient for me. This recipe made a lot of frosting that I just didn't end up using. My yield was 12 cookies. The next time I make these, I'll just make a thinner frosting as an accent on top instead of a thick icing. I've already made this recipe several times. It's a fantastic cookie recipe and has gotten a lot of positive feedback from family and friends.
Originally published May 7, 2016