By Cassie Johnston
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Last year, around this time, I posted a recipe for Perfect Frosted Sugar Cookies. That recipe is the recipe that I’ve been making for cut-out sugar cookies for years. It is, without a doubt, the most perfect sugar cookie recipe to use with all those fancy Christmas cookie cutters you have taking up space in a drawer in your kitchen.
The cookies don’t spread. They don’t discolor. They stay soft and flavorful. It’s easy to make and work with the dough. It uses simple ingredients. I believe it really is the perfect recipe for cutout cookies. It seems like lots of other folks agree with me, because that recipe continues to spike in popularity around holidays (and now I have people coming back for a second year in a row telling me that it is their must make sugar cookie recipe).
So, you’re probably thinking, if this is all true of the first Perfect Frosted Sugar Cookies, why in the world is this silly girl posting a second, different frosted sugar cookie recipe? Because, friends, Lofthouse Sugar Cookies are a horse of a different color.
Even though the husband doesn’t love the store-bought ones as much as I do, he dug my version of them. I think it’s because these cookies still taste homemade—even though they are copycatting a store brand. There is that thing that all bakery cakes and cookies have that, no matter how good they are, taste different from what you’d make in your own kitchen. I think when you take that je ne sais quoi out of Lofthouse-style cookies, they get even better. Like, I’m hesitant to call this recipe a copycat, because it doesn’t taste exactly like the ones you’d get a the grocery store. But I think they taste better. It’s not a copycat recipe, it’s a one-upper recipe.
Now, it probably goes without saying, but just in case, let me mention that these cookies are not good candidates for cutting out gingerbread men (unless you want a particularly bloated looking gingerbread man). These cookies spread, puff up, and generally expand enough that your cookie cutter shapes will mostly be useless. I tried rolling a few of them out and cutting them using a Christmas tree cookie cutter, and if you squinted, you could see the shape, but it really wasn’t worth the effort. If you want to do cutout sugar cookies, you’re looking for the Perfect Frosted Sugar Cookies recipe. If you’re fine with a run-of-the-mill circular cookie shape, please proceed.
The easiest way to shape these cookies is to take damp hands and form them into two-inch balls, and then smoosh them down flat using a flat-bottom glass. If you want a truly perfectly-circular cookie shape, you could chill the dough, roll it out to about 1/4″ thick, and then use a biscuit cutter to cut out perfect circles.
If you do end up using a biscuit cutter, make sure you don’t twist when you press down on the dough. Twisting “seals” the edges of the cookie, making it to where it won’t rise as much—leaving you with a loftless Lofthouse cookie (is that where the name comes from?). Same advice is true for biscuits. Want tall, fluffy biscuits? Don’t you dare twist that biscuit cutter.
Either way, I’ve included instructions for both methods in the recipe directions.
Oh, and the frosting? Well, it’s just your run-of-the-mill (but not really because OMGyummy) buttercream. You can flavor it will vanilla, almond, coconut, or whatever extract makes you happy. Because it’s Christmas, and at Christmas you tell the truth peppermint is all the rage, I used Nielsen-Massey Peppermint extract. It was gloriously minty and delicious! Enjoy.
3.5 from 12 reviews
Make your favorite store-bought cookie at home using this recipe for soft, sweet, and tender Lofthouse Sugar Cookies. Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.
Like all sugar cookies, watch these like a hawk in the oven! Sugar cookies go from perfectly tender and done to overbaked in only a few blinks of an eye. You’re looking for the cookies to be just barely brown on the bottom, and the top to look “set up”. Err on the side of underdone! After all, have you ever heard someone complain that their cookie was too soft and tender? Nope.
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I definitely want to try your version, thanks for sharing!
Yum! My kids always ask for these when we pass them at the store so we ill have to try making them.
Just to clarify- when you say butter is that salted butter or unsalted butter?
And I had to laugh at flattening the cookies with a glass because obviously your daughter is still little…. we have no glasses left at our house! Our kids have broken them all over the years :) Plastic and big mugs only at our place!
Either type of butter is fine! If you use salted, just omit the salt in the recipe. :)
And all of our breakables are up in very high cabinets! And they pretty much only come out for photo shoots. Ha!
These cookies look so soft and fluffy I can almost taste them! your decorations are simple, yet perfectly christmas-y!
WOW, these look great! Can’t wait to make them.
These were delicious! I am physically unable to keep them out of my hands and we might as well rename them Crack Cookies because I can’t stop eating them. I ended up leaving them in the oven for eight-ten minutes and they weren’t dry – just a little firmer.
Will the icing “set” enough so that they can be stacked and frozen? I’m looking to make ahead and freeze until I need them.
I would keep a piece of wax paper or parchment between layers, but it should hold up fine!
Should I use salted or unsalted butter in the frosting?
Either would be fine. I prefer my sweet treats to be a little salty, so I like using salted butter, but if that isn’t your think, unsalted is your best bet.
THESE ARE AMAZING!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I omit the milk in the frosting is the only thing I changed. My husband refuses to admit that these are his new favorite over my chocolate chip but he late 6 last night when I made them :)
Is the almond extract necessary in the cookie part of the recipe? I was wondering if I could just omit it.
You can leave it out, but it’s highly recommended. :)
What can I use instead of almond extract because I have an allergy?
You could just use more vanilla!
To deal with my son’s food allergies, I use imitation almond extract in place of real almond extract.
Could i use royal icing instead of the buttercream frosting? also when you flattened them with the glass was it flat after baking?
Did you try these with royal icing? If so how did it turn out ? I was going to do that as well so I was wondering how your turned out?
I’ve used royal icing several times with these cookies. It holds up. I just made some today for a graduation cookie order.
Hmm I don’t see any comments, just ads…but that has got to be a mobile thing as I’m sure this recipe has lots ofgood notes. Just wanted to leave my own two cents worth that we tried this recipe tonight and it came out very close to a PERFECT imitation.only difference is that they WERE just the tiniest bit crispy on the outside. …But barely even a little. Barely at all. (Not overcooked though; they were cooked just enough to not be doughy in the center). And MAN they cooked faster than any cookie I’ve ever made… almost instantly. We did use storebought frosting because I’ve never made a homemade frosting that I actually liked…recipe or not. I leave that to the pro bakers. But yeah, wow. I tried making these a year or two ago from a “copycat” recipe that was very highly rated but just AWFULand not even close when I made it. But this one is just fantastic. I rarely find a recipe good enough to write down (usually I can hold my own just fine without one)…But this was a keeper. Thanks for posting. :)
these cookies are almost like bread, and I had to bake them way longer than the recipe said in order for them to be baked all the way through. I followed the recipe exactly so it’s no fault of mine. upon observation though this recipe has twice the amount of flour as other lofthouse cookie recipes. between that and the amount of mixing required to get all of the flour properly incorporated, these cookies are pretty gluten heavy and thus have more of a bread texture than a cake texture. I’m probably not going to use this recipe again.
I had the same thing happen to me and im a classically trained pastry chef. IM GLAD I ONLY MADE HALF OF THE RECIPE.
My dough was also extremely crumbly, to the extent that I wondered if I added an extra cup of flour. I’m quite sure I didn’t. The finished product was fairly biscuit-like, but not nearly as bad as I expected based on the dough.
The reason your cookies may turn out “bread like” in texture isn’t because of the amount of flour. If your cookies turned out with the texture of bread, it is because you overmixed the dough. The amount of gluten in the flour doesn’t cause the reaction, the overmixing of the flour into the rest of the ingredients does. Hence, why you add it in additions, and also why you add it until just combined. Hope that helps some people!
A ‘classically trained’ pasty chef would know that a recipe that has this much flour, coupled with the fact that you want a light, fluffy texture, means do NOT overwork the batter. There is nothing wrong with the recipe. The cookies come out light, fluffy and delicious when you know to *just* incorporate the flour without overdoing it. Thanks for a great recipe that has become a family favorite!!
I definitely had to bake my cookies a minute or two longer. I’m at a bit of a higher altitude, so maybe that’s why. I’d go for 8-9 minutes. My first dozen turned out waaaaayy too dough-y, so I’m going to say that YES, there is such thing as “too soft” haha.
Is there anything else you did to change the recipe to suit it for higher altitudes? I would love to try this recipe but I haven’t gotten cookies to work right since I moved up here.
Do we need sour cream for this recipie?
I’ve never made it without it, but you can try! Let me know how it turns out. :)
These cookies did not work at all. The frosting is not good and running, followed the recipe exactly. The cookies are bland and nothing like lofthouse. Unsure are others made them but mine did not work at all b
Mine turned out the same way. The icing never hardened and was super runny and looked almost oily. They taste nothing like Lofthouse. As I was pressing them down with the glass, they kept sticking to the glass no matter how wet the glass was. I just ended up pressing them down with my fingers. I followed the recipe exactly. Not sure what happened.
These are phenomenal!! Not too sweet — the perfect vehicle for frosting!
I’m really excited to try these! Perfect for the holidays!
I tried baking these one night with a friend, and after doing a taste test we noticed that these cookies tasted too much like flour, and have barely any sweetness to them. They took longer than said to get cooked all the way through, and by that time the bottoms were black. They taste like bread more than cookies. Being labeled as sugar cookies these aren’t sweet at all. I won’t use this recipe again.
can I use yogurt instead of sour cream?
I’m wanting to make these for a group, and I was wanting to do a fall spin of something maple. Do you think maple extract would be good in the icing?
Should I do anything different because I am at 6300ft above sea level?
These cookies should not be listed as a copycat. You indicate the use of Almond extract. The real cookies are made in a nut free facility and as such are safe for those, like my on, who have nut allergies. Please put a disclaimer indicating the difference for the safety of others. Those of us who deal with this all the time know to look, but not everyone does.
Copycat means their best interpretation of the original it does not mean identical in every possible way. I sympathize with anyone who has severe allergies but she did say Almond extract….Almond is in the name. So I’m not sure how much more obvious she can make it.
Also, if you check your “Almond” Extract, several are not truly made of almonds. The McCormick brand is not. It is made in a nut free facility.
These cookies were absolutely amazing! I told myself I wasn’t going to make this recipe without a particular reason to make and give them away, but then did anyway, and now they’re sitting on the counter taunting me to eat one every time I walk by.
Also I’ve dabbled in buttercream frosting, and this is by far the best and fluffiest I’ve ever made. My husband constantly bemoans how thick and sweet buttercream frosting is, but actually really liked this one for its mildness and fluffiness. It’ll definitely be my new go to! Thanks so much for sharing!
Just wanted to clarify…does the recipe for Lofthouse Sugar Cookies actually call for 6 cups of flour? That sounds like it would be too much.
WAY too much flour… they tasted like biscuits. I am surprised how many people raved about how good they were. If I were to make it again I would not use 6 cups of flour maybe like 3 and more sugar. They tasted awful and I am disappointed I made the whole batch.
100% agree with you —you described my exact feelings
Way too much flour
Can I freeze these.? If so can I frost them first or should I wait?
Just fished making these for the kids at our Thanksgiving dinner – this recipe is a keeper, the cookie itself it not to sweet, more like a tea cookie – which I just adore! The icing Is perfection and makes plenty for all the cookies to have a nice thick layer- thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
These cookies were a DISASTER!!!!! I made these cookies for Thanksgiving but ended up throwing them all away because the cookies were doughy and bland they didn’t taste like anything! Even the frosting couldn’t save these cookies! I will never make these cookies again and I will never recommend them. These cookies are an embarrassment and anyone who eats them should be considered a victim.
The cookies taste really good! Don’t skip the almond extract, it makes them tasty!
For the first batch, I made 2” ball and they seemed too big. So I decided to make balls about 1”and a half inch, the size of a golf ball. This seemed better. I ended up with with 41 cookies.
I finished making these and just finished frosting them. How long for the icing to harden? It’s a perfect consistency but can’t stack them at all.
Tastes like regular sugar cookies. Definetly dont come close to lofthouse. Nothing really special just more fluffy than regular sugar cookies.
And the frosting just tastes like frosting like powdered sugar.
What a great lofthouse cookie, light and fluffy. The frosting is to die for, best I have ever made for cookies. Thank you so much.
Hi. Just wondering if I can freeze the dough?
Is you don’t have sourscream is that fine
Sorry, you need the sour cream!
The cookies tasted like Lofthouse until I put the icing on them and it just ruined the whole thing. ?
Lofthouse are the only store-bought cookie I’ll eat – and these are not them so I am very disappointed. I guess I’ll have to keep buying them from the store whenever I need a fix.
Hi ! Good cookies! How long do they last before they go bad? :)
Made these babies last week and sad to say they are all gone. I’m not am expert baker by any means, but these came out great and were easy to make! As usual, my butter wasn’t room temp when I started, so I softened it the best I could in the microwave. I had a little trouble getting the butter and sour cream to combine smoothly using the paddle attachment, but even with lots of little lumps the cookies still turned out great!
I ended up just using heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar to make a frosting and I’m very happy with how that turned out. I wasn’t sure how a buttercream would end up on the cookie but I think I’ll try it next time!
P. S. I was a little bummed when I ate the first one (possibly from eating so much dough and frosting beforehand), but these guys literally got better each day they sat in the tupperware and I’m so bummed they’re all gone!
Thanks for the recipe!
I made these and substituted the sour cream with half vanilla greek yogurt and half plain greek yogurt, then baked them for about seven minutes. They were a huge hit and turned out beautifully, Fantastic recipe!
I just finished making these and followed the recipe exactly. I am totally disappointed in the time and money wasted in making these. Yes they came out tender but had absolutely no flavor! It tasted like flour with frosting. My family is on a really tight Christmas budget this year and these where the only cookies we were going to make. So now I have to somehow find a way to replace the items used to make cookies we can actually eat..
These perfect little creations were delicious. Thank you for taking the time to post this recipe. I’m glad I came across it. I followed the recipe except I ommited almond extract as I didn’t have any and they still turned out perfectly. They also baked in 6 min, no issues at all. Thank you again!
Can’t wait to make these. Even more excited to give them to family and friends. Have never baked sugar cookies. With so many tips doubt I’ll have any problems. A new cookie on my menu.❣ ?????
Made with ❤ always.
sounds so yum!! Def will try!!!
How long do they last after you bake them?
Best within a few days, but they’ll go up to a week in an airtight container.
Where can you buy those?
I LOVE sugar cookies, but these look better! Thanks SO much for putting this here!
Quick question: How do you make the frosting for the cookies?
Check the recipe above – the frosting ingredients and directions are there! :)
I just wanted to let you know that this recipe allowed my teenage son with Down Syndrome to interact with us using cognitive skills. He enjoyed frosting the cookies and mixing the batter with our electric mixer, and we had a blast out of it!! I’ve shared this activity with other moms with children with special needs. Thanks so much!!!!
These are awesome!!! I made them yesterday, because my son (and I) are addicted to these in the store… this frosting is a bit different because the store one is definitely not a buttercream, it’s some sort of powdered sugar icing… but I don’t care, this icing is really good and keeps it shape! Any who YUM!
So THANK YOU!!!
Just made these and we came to the conclusion that using damp hands and a wet cup to press the cookies was unnecessary. My roommate (who prefers crunchy cookies) felt they were too moist when made this way. I made the first half as the recipe specified, and the other half dry – dry turned out just as well but not as doughy.
The cookies were delicious – well worth eating by themselves without the frosting! The downer for me was the frosting, so next time I’ll be using a different frosting – the frosting was just generally lacking in flavor and too strong in flavor of the powdered sugar. I can’t really blame you for this – it’s a pretty standard buttercream frosting but I’ve always found this type of frosting to be lacking in something (and I’m actually not sure what that is).
Thanks for the recipe though! It’s certainly going to be a favorite for us! =)
Really great recipe, we loved them. I would not reccomend making the whole batch as I made half a batch and ended up with over 30 good sized cookies. Otherwise, great.
Looking forward to trying your recipe. I tried another recipe and they came out flat. I did hand roll them abandoned barely smash them down hoping for a semi thick soft puffy cookie. This recipe has baking powdered added so maybe that’s the difference!
Ty for posting!
what’s the better way of placing the cookies on the sheet, drop or rolled?
is doing the drop cookie way better than rolled? i just wanna know which is better
The drop cookies method is way easier and faster, but either will work!
Pretty good, if I were to make them again I would probably add more sugar to the cookie dough, they came out a little scone-y. (But the frosted scone cookies are great with tea)
Only change was the amount of milk I used in the frosting (I used 3 tbsp instead).
And yes they are better than the storebought cookies!
The icing set enough to go in a cookie jar without problems which is awesome.
I didn’t like this cookie at all. It tastes bland and is a wierd texture. The frosting is too thin. I prefer regular sugar cookies you roll out.
I made these cookies and the cookie part came out perfect! Nice and chewy! But I made the frosting and even though I followed the recipe exactly it came out super liquidy and seperated into a liquid and some white stuff on top. Is there anything I did wrong that would cause this? It happens almost anytime I make frosting that should be thick and fluffy
I’m sorry. 6 cups of flour? I ended up with powder that was slightly wet and had to throw it all out. Such a waste of money.
Can I freeze these or will they get hard and taste funny?
The cookies freeze just fine—but I’d skip making the frosting until you’re ready to serve them up.
I see that your recipe is a rendition of another recipe, I noticed some difference in the measurements. what was the reason behind why you altered the recipe? just trying to decide which one to do.
I prefer a less-sweet cookie (especially when topped with frosting), and I also adjusted the flavor profile a bit (adding almond extract and removing some of the sour cream), because I enjoyed the complexity. :)
I made these cookies the other day. They aren’t bad but you do need the frosting cause without there is not much taste. Also I wonder to 6 cups of flour is too much and why not 3 because I got about 90 cookies instead of 48 cookies. That could also be a reason why there isn’t much for taste.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. They turned out amazing.
Awesome cookies, definitely mimic the store bought cookies. Exactly what I was looking for, family loved and raved about these cookies!
This is my second time making this recipe… loved it. BUT now, something got wrong and I’d like to know what I can do to fix it. The dough got too thick, like bread dough!!!
I think the top 2 culprits here would be 1) overworking the dough. If you mix it for too long, it is likely to get tough or 2) need a little more liquid/a little less flour. Make sure you are spooning the flour into your measuring cups so that you are using an accurate amount. I hope the next time works out better for you, or that you were able to salvage this batch!
I just mix up a batch but it’s time to start dinner…Question, Can I chill the dough until morning and then bake?
I would think so! You’ll just might need to let them warm up a bit before you are able to roll out the dough.
I just read through the comments looking to see if anyone else used yogurt in place of sour cream (only because I don’t want to go to the store :o)). I have been making this cookie recipe for a few years and have to say I was shocked with the negative reviews. These cookies are my all time favorite! Chocolate chip coming is close behind. ;o) People love them when I share them. Just shocked at the bad luck people had. Thanks for a great recipe, Cassie!!
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