How to make really soft sugar cookies
If you take a look at my cookie recipes, you’ll know I LOVE chewy cookies. I’m a sucker for some brown sugar and extra egg yolks to bump up the ooey gooeyness factor..it’s a thing.
But for these, I decided to switch things up to make them super delicate and soft because it’s an absolute classic.
Cream of tartar is used to make these extra soft sugar cookies. It’s also used in snickerdoodles to give them a slight tang and softness. There isn’t enough in this recipe to give it any flavor, but it does make for a super tender cookie!
Another difference is the sugar. For this recipe, I used granulated AND powdered sugar. You don’t see powdered sugar too often in cookies but this is what gives them that really light texture.
Typically you would use all granulated sugar or a mix of granulated and brown sugar, depending on if you like a more crispy or chewy cookie. Since softness is key here, powdered sugar is a must.
How to bake these soft sugar cookies
That crinkly edge around the cookie not only makes them look extra tasty, but it also creates the perfect center for the cream cheese frosting!
To bake, start by scooping your cookie dough using a large cookie scoop. Then, lightly butter the bottom of a drinking glass and dip it in some sugar. Press that into the top of your cookie dough to flatten.
You don’t have to flatten it TOO much. It should be just enough to create a slight indent.
This also helps the cookies bake really even so you don’t get any browned edges. Another step that makes these cookies extra soft!
Baking with vanilla bean paste
I absolutely love baking with vanilla bean paste. Not only does it add a bold vanilla flavor, but it also shows off those pretty specks of vanilla bean seeds. Look closely and you can see them in the cookie and frosting!
Taylor & Colledge makes the most convenient and perfect vanilla bean paste. It comes in a clean squeeze tube so there’s no mess…and vanilla bean paste can get pretty messy.
It’s also LOADED with vanilla beans which takes this easy soft sugar cookie recipe up a notch. Sugar cookies can be pretty plain, so I love how the Taylor & Colledge vanilla bean paste adds a little somethin’ extra.
Baking with it is also very easy. Just replace 1 teaspoon of regular vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste for superior flavor. And trust me, you’ll want to make the switch. Your baked goods will taste SO much better!
Cream cheese frosting for sugar cookies
If there’s ever a time for frosting, you can bet I’m going to make it a cream cheese frosting. The tartness of the cream cheese helps to balance out the loads of powdered sugar. Plus, it makes for an extra creamy frosting.
This vanilla cream cheese frosting recipe is very easy and comes together in minutes. It also only consists of 4 ingredients!
It spreads on super smooth and the top layer slightly dries as it sits out. You can even refrigerate the cookies if you need to stack or travel with them. This will prevent the cookies from sticking to each other.
For even more cookie recipes:
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram if you make these Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies. I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!
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These soft frosted sugar cookies are so delicious and delicate. They have a cream cheese frosting on top and are flavored with rich vanilla bean paste!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup granulated sugar + more for topping
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp Taylor & Colledge vanilla bean paste
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 tsp Taylor & Colledge vanilla bean paste
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Gel food color, optional
- Sparkling sugar, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, and salt.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Then add in the sugars and mix until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer running, slowly pour in the vegetable oil. Scrape down the bowl.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
- Mix in your dry ingredients and make sure to scrape down the bowl again so there’s no flour left at the bottom. Also be careful not to over mix.
- Scoop out your cookies using a large cookie scoop (about 1/4 cup amount) onto your baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie.
- Then, using a drinking glass with a flat base, lightly coat the bottom with the tiniest amount of butter. Dip it in some sugar then press it into your cookie dough. Don’t press down too much. Just enough to where the edges crack and you have a slight well in the center.
- You also don’t need to keep buttering the glass. Just that one time is enough.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies won’t darken too much and will seem underdone but they’ll stiffen up as they cool.
- Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the room temperature butter and cream cheese.
- Mix in the vanilla and then the powdered sugar one cup at a time. If it’s getting too thick, don’t add all 4 cups.
- Mix in a tiny drop of gel food coloring if you like. I chose pink but go with whatever color you prefer!
- Frost in a swirl motion on your cooled sugar cookies and top with some sprinkles or sparkling sugar.
- Store in an air tight container either in the fridge or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Keywords: sugar cookies, sugar cookie frosting, soft sugar cookies
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