Lofthouse Sugar Cookies decorated in white, green, and red frosting, topped with sprinkles

These cookies are a copycat recipe of the much-loved store-bought Lofthouse brand sugar cookies. If you’ve never had one, Lofthouse cookies aren’t like your typical sugar cookie—they are somewhere in a glorious gray area between a cookie and a cupcake. They are fluffy, airy, cake-like, and have a nice, thick layer of brightly-colored buttercream frosting that is almost always covered in adorable sprinkles. It’s basically like if you took the top of a cupcake and smushed it into a cookie, you’d get Lofthouse cookies.

The reason I feel okay posting a second sugar cookie recipe after declaring my first one was “perfect” is because really, it’s barely fair that both of them are in the same category of cookie. Honestly, I think Lofthouse cookies should be a category all of their own. A delicious, sugary sweet, awesome category.

Lofthouse Sugar Cookie with green frosting and sprinkles with a bite taken out of it, in front of a plate of other cookies

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies decorated in white, green, and red frosting, topped with sprinkles

Now, I do have to tell you, that dear husband of mine isn’t a fan of these soft-batch style cookies. He says they are too cakey, and a cookie should be chewy, not like cake. And to a certain extent, I agree. Chewy is my cookie texture of choice, but I leave special room in my cookie-loving heart for Lofthouse cookies because they are just so darn good.

Even though the husband doesn’t love the original Lofthouse cookies from the store 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.

2 Lofthouse Sugar Cookies - one with green frosting and one with red - on a white napkin with a glass of milk

Can I use these for cut out cookies?

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.

Wholefully Protip

Our Frosted Sugar Cookies are the way to go if you want to use your cookie cutters—we’ve been using the recipe 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.


So how should I shape these cookies?

The easiest way to shape these cookies is to take damp hands and form the cookie dough 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-inch thickness with a rolling pin, and then use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to cut out perfect circles.

Balls of dough for Lofthouse Sugar Cookies being pressed down with an empty glass

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.

Lofthouse Sugar Cookie with green frosting and sprinkles, next to a glass of milk and a plate of cookies

When are the cookies done?

You’ll want to watch these closely, especially on the first batch (since all ovens are different). Sugar cookies go from tender to overbaked in seconds. When the cookies are ready, they should be just barely brown on the bottom and the top should look “set.”

When in doubt, err on the side of underdone—I’ve never heard anyone complain about soft sugar cookies, but people definitely notice overdone cookies!

What kind of frosting should I use?

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.

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies decorated in white, green, and red frosting, topped with sprinkles

Lofthouse Cookies Recipe

Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

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.


For the Cookies:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)

For the Frosting:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, coconut, almond, or peppermint extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring and sprinkles, optional


To make the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a scraper/paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sour cream until smooth and light in color.
  3. Add in the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until just combined.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (if using). Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three additions—mix well after each addition and scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. To form drop cookies: using damp hands, roll dough into 2" balls and place 2" apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Using a flat-bottomed glass dipped in water, press the cookie balls flat.
  6. To form rolled cookies: cover the dough and chill for 20-30 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until 1/4" thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut cookies and place 2" apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, until the cookies just begin to set up and the bottoms are lightly brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and let cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a scraper/paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and extract of choice until smooth.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition. Add in the milk and food color, and beat until fluffy and smooth. Spread onto cooled cookies and immediately sprinkle on sprinkles.


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.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. Don’t know if I did something wrong, but these cookies turned out like biscuits. There was too mych flour and the weren’t very sweet at all.

  2. I followed the directions to a “T,” and my cookies are puffy instead of flat. And not smooth on top at all. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Laura! It sounds like you did everything right! These cookies are definitely puffy. They have a soft, cake-like texture and should be domed in shape. The frosting should cover any bumpy tops, so minor imperfections are nothing to worry about. If you’d still like them to be smoother on top, we recommend taking a little extra time to roll the dough smooth, whether you’re making them as drop cookies or rolled cookies. That should help!

    2. I feel like a lot of people are changing the recipe because they want their cookies to be something other than a lofthouse cookie, which is fine, but….why try a copycat lofthouse cookie recipe and then complain that the cookies are exactly as a store bought lofthouse cookie is supposed to be?

  3. My cookies turned out absolutely perfect! I live in China, so we can’t buy the store cookies here, so I decided to try and make some for that reminiscent taste, and they tasted better than the store cookies I remember! All the negative comments can’t be true, they must have just done something wrong.

    1. Thanks, Lana! We’re so glad they turned out perfectly for you. We appreciate you taking the time to come back and tell us about it! =)

  4. I have two precious grands, 5 and 6, both on the spectrum. Store bought Lofthouse Cookies have been the families go-to treat for the boys to keep behaviors in check. I made these cookies back in February for the oldest ones birthday (rather than a cake) and they were a big hit. Then I used this recipe to make cookies with my youngest grandson, also my namesake, on Mother’s Day. (His birthday was the day before.) They were gone in a week and now the boys don’t want to eat the store bought cookies; they like Mimi’s better! Thank you for making me a hero in the eyes of my grandsons.

    1. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story with us, Barbara! We really appreciate you taking the time to come back and tell us about it. We’re so glad the cookies were a hit and that your grandsons love yours the best!

  5. I never review recipes but with the few bad reviews I read I felt it was necessary. I made these because my niece asked me to make cookies like the store. They came out fantastic! The 5 year old niece said they were better than the store! As for he flavor of the cookie without icing my husband ate them before I iced them and I couldn’t keep him away from them! Don’t not make this because of the bad reviews in my opinion they must have done something wrong.

    1. Thank you, Karen! We appreciate you taking the time to tell us about your experience. We’re so glad they turned out well for you and that your niece loved them!

      1. You’re welcome! Just came back to the recipe because I intend to make these for my daughters Baby Shower, that is how much my family enjoyed these cookies!

        1. That’s so wonderful to hear, Karen! Congratulations to you and your daughter and thanks again!

  6. 1. I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and turned out good
    2. It made 50 cookies
    3. For my 50 cookies I halved the icing recipe and it it covered about 40 of them
    4. The cookies are a little dry but the icing helps moisten them
    5. Taste is good but not like the ones at the store and is very time consuming

  7. Did anyones sour cream and butter look like it has “curdled” when they mixed it? Not sure if this is correct or if I messed something up!

  8. I baked these, and followed the recipe perfectly. It was off. After baking them, the cookies looked like biscuits, they weren’t as sweet as aspected. I have yet to put the icing on them but I doubt it will save these cookies. They weren’t sweet enough or cookie-like enough for me or my family’s pallet.

  9. I will not criticize this recipe as I feel like it would be similar to criticizing someone’s art. But just a cautionary note to anyone contemplating making these cookies, the more flour you use with regular cookie base ingredients, eg., sugar, eggs, flavorings, etc., the more diluted the actual taste of the baked product. If I use this recipe again, I will use much less flour as my cookies taste like nothing but for the flavorful icing.