Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

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.

These sugar cookies are perfectly addicting and are best served with a tall glass of cold milk. These are sure to be a hit at parties, gatherings, or a special after school treat. If you thought these were tasty, be sure to try Pumpkin Lofthouse Cookies and Peppermint Lofthouse Cookies.

Lofthouse sugar cookies topped with blue frosting

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 and then again a few weeks ago for the base of these fruit pizzas. 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!

Cookie scoop used for lofthouse sugar cookie recipe

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!

Ingredient Substitutions?

  • 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.

Shaping copycat lofthouse sugar cookies with a glass cup

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…

Shaping 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 ½″ 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!

Lofthouse Frosted Sugar Cookies stacked on a plate

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 Style Jumbo Sugar Cookies

Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Recipe

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.
4.5 from 6 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Chill Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 442kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 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
Frosting
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 12g | Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. These cookies are absolutely phenomenal. Thank you for sharing! On the subject of cream of tartar, besides the distinctive taste, cookies like these or any other light colored cookie recipe often employ cream of tartar to increase the acidity of the dough which inhibits browning. That’s why these cookies can bake up but still stay their creamy, pale, cloud-like color. Thank you again for this post!

  2. The frosting turned out like soup, I’m saying it has to do with using room temperature butter. Guess I’ll just stick to my trusty buttercream frosting. Other than that cookie recipe is amazing!

    1. I’m glad the cookies turned out! I’ve never had the frosting turn out like that, and I definitely use room temperature butter! Maybe add a little less milk or sub heavy cream instead?

  3. Great Recipe. Easy to make. Held their form really well in the oven. More than enough frosting. We made different colored icing for Christmas cookies. The almond flavoring was a nice bonus!

  4. These cookies were fabulous !! The best sugar I’ve tasted in a long time. The only change I made, sub’d creme bouquet in place of almond extract for cookie and for vanilla in frosting. Thank you for the recipe.

  5. I made the cookie dough last night and plan to bake them for Easter. Should I just bake straight from the refrigerator if they have been in there for 3 days?

    1. You may need to let it soften a bit to scoop it or roll it (whichever you prefer). Set it out and check it around 20 minutes 🙂

  6. Made them today, did both the small and big scoops as I had doubled the recipe. The only adjustment I had to make was the baking time, 10 min. was leaving the bottoms a bit too done. I have a brand new oven that was just checked on calibration, but the difference might be the silpat ( I use parchment). They are divine and taste SO MUCH like Lofthouse! Thanks!

  7. This recipe looks amazing, however, I absoluetly hate the taste of almond extract in anything. But I really do love the original Lofthouse cookies, and want to try this recipe. Can I take the almond extract out? Not use it at all? Or can I sub something for it? I wanted to know if that would mess up the cookies taste. I won’t mind it really as long as I can’t taste the specific flavor, because once I made angel food cake and though I used barely any almond extract and followed the recipe, the extract ruined the cake, and all of my family even kind of agreed. If anyone could let me know, that would be great. Thanks!

        1. My husband despises almond. I substituted lemon juice at the same amount. It was perfect. These cookies are fantastic

  8. My daughter’s favorite cookies have always been the store bought version …and then I made these. Hands down, she says, this recipe is “way better.” I have to agree. Super moist, almost to the point where you wonder how they hold their shape, but firm enough to do so, snow white, and just the perfect amount of sweet. Just an all around awesome cookie! The only change for me is bake time is a bit shorter. I also use a glaze instead of the frosting.
    Cookie perfection! THANK YOU for this recipe!!

  9. I try not to use shortening and hope subbing in more butter won’t flatten these out. Has any one else tried to go without shortening?

    1. If you like the flavor of almond extract, you can buy a nut allergen free version from LorAnn oils. I bought it to use for cookies that I sent to my son’s school.

  10. Just made these and they are fantastic! I ended up having to refrigerate them for 4 days before I had the chance to bake and they still turned out awesome! Can the dough be frozen and used later?

    1. I made this dough to bake in two days from now..your comment gives me some reassurance!! I was worried about how they may turn out. Thank you!

  11. Wonderful cookies. Melt in your mouth delish. I am lactose intolerant and had to sub dairy free (smart balance) butter for the butter in this recipe. I went with a half smart balance and half shortening mix. Non-dairy butter is very soft and using part shortening helps balance it out. Did the same for the frosting.
    Thank you for this lovely recipe. Sooooo Good!

  12. Can you taste the almond extract? I don’t want to change the recipe if you can’t taste the almond and it just adds a little something else. 

    1. It’s definitely noticeable but not overwhelming. You could always cut back to 1/4 teaspoon 🙂

  13. We have a bake-sale this week at work – and someone requested Sugar Cookies!!! I’ve just made the dough and will be baking it Tuesday night ..hoping two days in the fridge isn’t too long! Thank you for an easy to follow recipe without a lot of hassle. Aside from measuring tools I only had to dirty my food processor and one other bowl for the dry ingredients, so I already like this recipe a lot! 🙂

  14. My Dad lives lemon. Can I substitute lemon extract? Would it be the same amount as the almond? 

  15. I studied this recipe in the morning, made my list of ingrediants so I could go shopping and here I am at 11pm making 4 hour cookies. I know how to bake and prep for baking but my day got away from me and I promised my daughter these cookies to bring to school to share on her last day.
    To speed up the chilling time I put the dough in the freezer for 1 hour and in the fridge for 30 minutes after that. The dough worked up beautifuly. I wasn’t sure if I had the right consistancy as I sifted my flour after I measured. It was very sticky, but not too wet once I floured my surface.  
    First batch just came out of the oven and they look amazing, perfect little round circles. I rolled my dough and cut 2” circles. I needed to grt 29 cookies out of this batter and amazingly I got 29 cookies with a blod of dough left over. Not even enough to taste one before they head out the door. But they look good, so I imagine they will taste good. 
    I used mynown tried and true Wilton icing sugar recipe for these cookies, always yummy!
    Thank you for such a detailed post on how to perfect these. The last recipe I tried made dry cookies that just were not good.

  16. This recipe is outstanding!!! I plan on making cookie favors for my Kid’s Birthday which is in 3 weeks and I was thinking I’d keep 2 normal lofthouse sugar cookies and 1 red velvet lofthouse sugar cookie but the problem is that I can’t find any red velvet lofthouse sugar cookie recipes! So if I were to turn this into red velvet what do you think I would have to add? and how much of it?

  17. My parents aren’t a great fan of shortening so do you think I could substitute the shortening for another 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps. of softened butter?

    1. It’s actually required to get the correct texture. I know, it’s one of the few things I use it for!

  18. Re: Jumbo Sugar Cookies
    What would i need to change to get a 4″ cookie? These look great but I want to do more detail for Christmas so I need a larger surface.

  19. I’ve these cookies,one of my favorite cookies to make.can the dough be made and froze for later and still get the same results?

    1. Hi Kim! What I like to do if I’m freezing the dough is form it into a 2 1/2″ log and then freeze it. When I’m ready to bake the cookies I simply cut it into 1/2″ thick slices and pop them directly onto the prepared cookie sheet. No need to press them flat. Hope that helps!

  20. 5 stars
    My kids love the ones from the store that look just like these, but yours are so much better!! Nothing better than homemade. They are so soft & the frosting is delicious!

  21. I have shortening (Crisco) but it is not butter flavored. Will that make a difference in the flavor of the cookie? Do I really need to get the butter flavor? Looking forward to making these as I love ‘Cheryl’s cookies from Chicago and haven’t found anything to come close to them. I hope these do it! But that is why i want to be sure to see if i need to make a run to the store for the butter flavored shortening. Thanks for your help.