The Best Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies Recipe

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You’ve seen them in big box stores, often when you walk in, that iconic grocery store cookie. If you buy them this homemade version of Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies will save you money. Frost them in any color combination for Christmas, a baby shower, or in your school colors for graduation. Use color coordinated jimmies, aka sprinkles.

Soft frosted cookies on a blue platter.

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Why you’ll love this recipe

There are many reasons to love these soft frosted sugar cookies.

  • SPRINKLES! Everyone loves sprinkles. Use colored sprinkles that coordinate with the frosting colors. I used red, green, and white for the red and green frosting for Christmas. Then I used rainbow sprinkles with other frosting colors. You could do red, pink, and white with heart sprinkles for Valentine’s Day.
  • The dough does not need to be chilled prior to baking.
  • These are drop cookies. No rolling pin or cookie cutters are necessary. It’s an easy sugar cookie recipe.
  • No piping bag is needed! Decorating cookies with buttercream is very easy, especially if you use a small offset spatula to frost the cookies and then add the sprinkles.
  • It’s a versatile recipe. Add a quarter or half teaspoon of almond extract in addition to the vanilla extract.
  • Make soft frosted sugar cookies for any special occasion.

Easy sugar cookie recipe ingredients

For the cookies you need:

  • Cake Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Room Temperature Unsalted Soft Butter
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Egg Whites
  • Heavy Cream
  • Pure Vanilla Extract

For the buttercream you need:

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Confectioners’ Sugar, also known as icing sugar or powdered sugar
  • Heavy Cream
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Food Coloring
  • Sprinkles
The inside of a soft frosted sugar cookie with yellow frosting and rainbow sprinkles.

What do soft sugar cookies taste like?

Sugar cookies aren’t especially flavorful so the sweet frosting is a welcomed addition. When I shared this frosted soft sugar cookie with my kids they said they were just like the ones from Walmart and Target. They are soft, tender, and cakey.

Then I shared some with friends and they likened these soft frosted sugar cookies to copycat Lofthouse cookies.

Red and green soft frosted sugar cookies on a white platter with red, green, and white sprinkles scattered on the platter.

Can I substitute all purpose flour for cake flour?

You can but the texture and crumb will be different than if you use cake flour. If you have cake flour, use it. If you don’t there’s no need to drop everything and run to the grocery store.

You can make your own cake flour by taking out two tablespoons of flour from one cup of all purpose flour and add in two tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder to get one cup of cake flour.

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How do you store soft frosted sugar cookies?

These copycat Walmart sugar cookies will keep in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Wait until the buttercream frosting has set then store them. It’s best to store them in a single layer, but if you need to stack the frosted cookies, put parchment paper between the layers so the cookies don’t stick.

Overhead view of red and green soft frosted sugar cookies on a white platter.

How do you serve soft sugar cookies?

Serve these delicious cookies on a holiday cookie table, a wedding cookie table, for a baby or bridal shower. They are really perfect for any occasion.

Tips and Tricks for the perfect cookie

  • The best way to get your cookies all the same size is to use a cookie scoop to get the same-sized cookies. Uniform cookies will bake more evenly.
  • If you want more cookies, use a smaller cookie scoop. You may need to adjust your baking time and the number of cookies you get will be more. The smaller size is perfect for a crowd.
  • For the most vibrant colors use a quality food coloring product. Liquid food coloring won’t give you strong colors, or variety, that gel food coloring makes.
  • Bake until the soft sugar cookies are set and the edge and bottom are golden brown.
  • Line your baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for best results.
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More frosted desserts

If you’re a fan of desserts with frosting try frosted brown sugar cookies, frosted eggnog cookie bars, or frosted gingerbread bars.

Frosted soft sugar cookie being held over a platter with more cookies in the background.

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Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

A copycat Walmart sugar cookie. Soft, frosted and covered in sprinkles.
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Christmas Cookies
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 3 cups cake flour, bleached
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites, from large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting

  • cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (red, green, blue, yellow, etc.)
  • Sprinkles (Christmas or multi-colors)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  • Sift dry ingredients. Sift the cake flour and baking powder into a medium bowl and whisk a few times.
  • In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cream, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until the mixture looks pale, creamy, and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, add the egg white-cream mixture in multiple additions until combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl halfway through. Decrease the speed to low and add the cake flour mixture. Keep mixing until a soft dough forms and there are no more streaks of flour.
  • Using a 2 tablespoon, or #40, cookie scoop, drop portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave 2 inches between each dough ball as it spreads a bit.
  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies should look puffy, pale, and barely golden around the edges. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before frosting.
  • Store them in a single layer in an airtight container if you will frost them later. The container helps to seal in the moisture.

Frost the Cookies:

  • Add the softened butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start mixing on low speed to incorporate the powdered sugar. Continue mixing for 2 to 3 minutes on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the mixing bowl down. Continue mixing.
  • Frost the cookies when cool and decorate them with sprinkles. The frosting sets quickly, so add sprinkles immediately after icing a cookie.
  • Store the cookies in a single layer in an airtight container. They will last for up to 5 days at room temperature. If you must stack them, let the frosting set and place waxed paper between layers of cookies.

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