These soft and buttery sugar cookies are topped with a creamy buttercream frosting. A classic cookie that is easy to decorate for holidays or parties.
A soft sugar cookie has got to be up there with chocolate chip cookies as one of the classic cookies of all time!
It makes me feel nostalgic thinking of all the times my mom would make these as an after school treat growing up. I loved getting to spread the icing on and then adding sprinkles to the top to make them pretty.
And as an adult, I still love this classic cookie. The buttery cookie paired with the sweet frosting goes so well together.
I’ve made them so many times for holidays, school parties, birthdays, baby showers… it’s so easy to color the frosting or use sprinkles for whatever your theme is.
And because there’s nothing added like nuts or chocolates, they seem to appeal to the masses more than a specialized cookie. A soft sugar cookie is like the cookie that never fails!
How to Make Soft Sugar Cookies
This cookie recipe works like most cookie recipes in that you cream together your “wet” ingredients in one bowl and stir together your dry ingredients in another.
In the bowl of a large stand mixer, add softened butter and sugar and beat until creamy and smooth.
Then add vanilla extract and almond extract until combined. I love that this recipe uses almond extract too. It’s not overpowering at all, but gives it a hint of that flavor to make it really stand out from other sugar cookie recipes.
Then add an egg being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and mixing well. Add a second egg, doing the same.
Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture just until combined.
Bake at 350 for about 8-9 minutes until the edges are just at the very beginning stages of turning light brown.
Then remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
food coloring, optional
Beat all ingredients in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Then spread on cooled cookies.
Tips to Making Soft Sugar Cookies:
- These freeze really well if you want to make a double batch for later! You can freeze the balls of cookie dough before baking or you can freeze the cookies after baking and frosting. If you freeze them after they’re frosting, the icing might “sweat” a little as it thaws, but it will still taste great!
- You do NOT want to overbake these cookies! I find that 8-9 minutes is the sweet spot. If they start turning too brown at the edges, you’ve cooked them too long and the cookies will be hard after they’re cooled
- If you want to add sprinkles or jimmies to the frosting, make sure you do that right away before the icing has a chance to set.
- The frosting will harden a little so that you can stack the cookies on top of each other.
- If the dough is too sticky to handle, you can place it in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.
- These are not roll-out cookies that you use cookie cutters for. It will not work for that as that dough just spreads as it bakes.
- If you do not want the frosting, my mom used to just sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top before baking and they were delicious!
Soft Sugar Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy.
- Stir in extracts.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Stir well to combine.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture just until combined and no traces of flour remain.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes or just until edges begin to turn a light brown. Be careful not to overbake!
- Combine, softened butter, powdered sugar, almond extract and 2 tablespoons of hot water. Beat until creamy. Add additional hot water as needed to reach a spreading consistency.
- Spread onto cooled cookies.
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