These Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies are cake-like, with a super soft crumb and a delicious powdered sugar frosting. This classic recipe is perfect for any holiday, and will become your go-to cookie. Seriously the BEST!
Best Sugar Cookies
Norma Jean (my mother) made the best sugar cookies. She kept a large container in the freezer during the holidays, and we loved eating them cold on any given whim. Recently, while making her Chewy Sugar Cookies, I decided to tweak it slightly and ended up with these super SOFT sugar cookies. So I’m sharing them with you today, so you can make them for the upcoming holidays.
These cookies are so many things.
- super soft
- thick and buttery
- with the perfect powdered sugar frosting!
- Butter – Use unsalted butter so you can control the salt. Be sure to set the butter out on the counter so it is softened when you mix it in with the sugars.
- Sugar – The mixture of both granulated and brown sugars helps to make these soft.
- Cream of Tartar – I love using Cream of Tartar in sugar cookies, as well as in Snickerdoodles!
How to make the BEST Super Soft Sugar Cookies:
Cream the butter and sugar. In a large standing mixer, mix the butter and sugars together until very creamy. If the butter isn’t at room temperature, it’s important to wait until it is.
Add the wet ingredients. Then add the room temperature egg and vanilla, and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt. Mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix.
Roll into balls. Roll the dough into balls and store in the refrigerator for at least two hours, or overnight.
Bake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls, and place on baking sheet – about 8 at a time. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, and then repeat for the remaining cookies.
Cool. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for a few minutes before removing carefully to a cooling rack.
Make the icing. Melt the butter in a medium mixing bowl. Add vanilla, half and half, and then gradually add powdered sugar until you have the right consistency. You may need more powdered sugar if it’s too thin, or more half and half if it’s too thick.
Decorate cookies. Divide the icing into separate bowls – I usually just do two colors. Then add the food coloring according to what colors you prefer. Create some easy designs with a decorative kit if desired.
I’m not so much into fancy decorating, so I keep this part pretty minimal. But if that’s you’re thing, just go for it! Buy all the sprinkles and tools to make some fancy frosted sugar cookies!
Cookies can spread too thin for a variety of reasons. But if that happens with this recipe, you can pull them out of the oven a few minutes before they’re done, use a spoon to push the edges in, and continue baking.
It’s best to store these on your counter in an airtight container. You can also store them in the freezer, but make sure you use parchment paper in between the cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
Yes, these sugar cookies can be frozen. For best results, freeze them before you add the icing. But you can freeze them after icing, and simply add layers of parchment paper in between the cookies to prevent sticking. You can also freeze the cookie balls, and just remove and bake the cookies fresh.
Cookie Baking Tools: (affiliate links)
Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies
For the cookies:
- 1 cup unsalted butter – softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg – at room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour – plus maybe one more tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the icing
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter – melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 Tablespoons half and half – or milk
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar – or to right consistency
For the cookies:
- In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix again.
- Next, add the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix until just combined. Don't over-mix.
- Form the dough into approximately 16 balls. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place 8 cookie balls on baking sheet, spreading out evenly, and bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the top just starts to brown slightly. Remove cookies, let sit for 5 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack. Repeat for the other cookies.
For the icing:
- Make the icing. Melt butter in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and half and half, and mix well. Then add powdered sugar gradually, until you get a good consistency. You want it to be easy to spread.
- Place the icing in two smaller bowls, and add food coloring. I used blue in one and green in the other. Add the icing to the cookies, and any design you prefer. Then add sprinkles.