The BEST Lofthouse Sugar Cookies are soft and puffy cookie perfection. They are thick, cakey, sugar cookies smothered with sweet bakery-style frosting and tons of sprinkles.
Copycat Lofthouse Sugar Cookies
I know, I’m going a little crazy lately when it comes to these sugar cookies, but I just can’t help myself! They’re sooo good! I first made these back December, shared them in February. It’s ridiculous how easy, customizable, yummy and kid-friendly they are.
Did I mention they taste just like Lofthouse sugar cookies? Oh yeah! Sweet, soft, puffy and twice the size of your average sugar cookie… it just doesn’t get any better than this! Today I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks to making these amazing cookies.
They’ll be gone in the blink of an eye, they’re that good! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and that you’ll love them as much as we do!
Ingredient Tips for the Perfect Sugar Cookie
Almond Extract: The combination of both vanilla and almond extract is what gives these cookies their sweet bakery taste. Don’t skip the almond extract ok? It’s definitely necessary!
Egg White: The white adds an extra lightness.
Cake Flour: The cake flour is essential to creating the soft and pillowy texture of these cookies, do not use only all-purpose or you will be very disappointed. Trust me!
Cream of Tartar: The cream of tartar helps in the leavening process and gives these cookies a distinct flavor. I think all sugar cookies/snickerdoodles should have cream of tartar in them!
- Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter. If you use salted butter then you don’t need to add any additional salt. If you use unsalted butter, consider adding an ⅛ tsp of salt.
- Almond extract: If you don’t have or prefer almond extract, you can use additional vanilla extract or even a citrus extract, although this will really alter the flavor.
Shortening: You really need to use shortening in this recipe to get the right texture. You shouldn’t substitute butter or lard for this. It will give the wrong texture or in the case of lard give off a weird taste.
How to Make Lofthouse Sugar Cookies
Let’s start with the dough. First, you’re going to need a stand or hand mixer to make these.
COMBINE. You’ll want to combine the sugar, butter, shortening into the bowl of your mixer (or a large mixing bowl).
CREAM. Cream them together until they get nice and fluffy, about 2 minutes on a high speed. (Note: You’ll know it’s perfect when it looks nice and pale in color. The purpose of creaming these ingredients is to create little pockets air in the butter/shortening which help create steam in the baking process and allow these cookies to stay nice and puffy.)
ADD. Once creamed, add the vanilla extract and almond extract to the mixture. Add the egg and the egg white (the white adds an extra lightness) and mix just until combined.
COMBINE. Now in a separate mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients which include cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt.
WHISK. Whisk (or sift) the dry ingredients together, then slowly and gradually add them to your wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.
CHILL. Now comes the not so fun part. Cover your dough with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. I know, right?! But if you don’t let this dough firm up it won’t hold its shape in the baking process… and we’re kind of going for thick puffy cookies.
PREP. Once your dough has chilled and is nice and firm, go ahead and heat your oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. I prefer using my Silpat mats for cookies because I think they bake more evenly, but use whatever you’ve got!
SHAPE. Now we’re to the point of shaping the cookies. I’ve done both methods and have had great results each time. You have two options…
(1) hand roll and press:
For the first method, I like to use my #20 scoop (shown above) to form balls of dough that are approximately 3½ tablespoons in size. Then I roll them in my hands, then lightly in some flour, and then place 6 on a sheet. Using the flat/smooth bottom of a glass, I’ll press them until they’re ½” thick and approximately 2½” wide. You can see how I do this in the picture below.
(2) roll out and cut out:
If I feel like making fun shapes or don’t feel like rolling the dough in my hands, I’ll lightly flour my kitchen counters and roll out the dough until it’s a little less than 1/2″ thick, knowing that it will spread while baking. Usually I only do this if I’m cutting circles or if I’m doing daisies. The cookies tend to loose their definition or shape so don’t cut anything out with super intricate details.
BAKE. Now once the cookies are ready to go, place them in the preheated oven and bake them for 10-11 minutes.
Note: DO NOT OVERBAKE these cookies or they will get hard! At the 10-11 minute mark they will look soft in the centers and will be slightly firm around the edges. When you remove them from the oven they will continue to firm up (like most cookies do). Don’t second guess yourself, take them out even if you think they’re not done. I promise you won’t regret it!
COOL. Once they’ve cooled for 3 minutes on the baking sheets go ahead and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
FROST & DECORATE. While they’re cooling whip up the frosting (it’s super simple so I don’t think it needs explaining) and then frost them & decorate them as desired.
If you’ve got little kiddos around they’ll love doing this with you. Don’t be afraid to let them help. The only thing that’s left to do is devour them!
Tips, Tricks & Storage
Speed up the chilling! These cookies do take a lot of time so if you need to speed up the chilling process, you can freeze the dough for about an hour and then place in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. This makes sure that the dough solidifies but it doesn’t harden up too much.
If you leave the dough in the fridge longer than the recommended 3 hours, you may need to set the dough on the counter for a bit before trying to scoop it. The cookie dough will need to soften. Just don’t let it soften too much!
Storing dough: It is recommended that you only keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You need to bake it before this point! Make sure you keep it covered while it’s in the fridge.
Freezing dough: Roll the dough into 2 ½ inch logs and then freeze them, wrapped in plastic wrap and again with tinfoil. It should be good for 9-12 months. When you’re ready to bake it, you can slice the log into ½ inch thick cookies. Place them in the oven and keep an eye on the cookies to make sure they are fully cooked.
Storing cookies: Keep the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. After this point, you risk them drying out.
Freezing cookies: Make sure they are unfrosted and placed in an airtight bag. They will last for about 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and then bring to room temperature on the kitchen counter, with the bag opened to avoid condensation forming.
For more sugar cookie recipes, check out:
Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 2 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter - room temperature (1 stick)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup butter - room temperature (1 stick)
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1-2 drops blue food coloring
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream sugar, butter, and shortening until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium-high. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and the whole egg. Mix, then add the egg white and mix until combined.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add dry ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Place dough in an air tight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat, set aside.
- Using a large cookie scoop (#20- approximately 3½ tbsp.), create balls of dough, lightly roll on a floured surface so that it covers the ball of dough completely. Press each ball of dough flat with the bottom of a glass so that it is ½" thick and about 2½ wide. Place 6 cookies onto each prepared baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 10-11 minutes (the cookies will still look soft in the centers, do not over bake) or until the cookies become firm on the edges. Remove and allow to cool for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To Make the Frosting
- Meanwhile, to make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter until it becomes light and smooth. Add salt, food coloring, 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla. With mixing speed on low gradually add powdered sugar. Once powdered sugar is incorporated, bring mixing speed up to high and beat for 2 minutes. Add more milk to reach the desired consistency. Frost onto cooled cookies and top with desired sprinkles.
- Store cookies in an air tight container to keep fresh.
- Cookies can be made smaller using a standard size scoop, which will most likely yield 24 cookies (2 dozen). Baking time should be the same.
- The cookie dough can be rolled out at 1/2" thick and cut with cookie cutters, just note that ones with small details may not turn out the best.