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Frosted soft vanilla sugar cookies

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

These cookies are inspired by the frosted soft sugar cookies you find at the grocery store (lofthouse cookies). They're reminiscent of a vanilla cupcake with a sweet buttercream frosting and of course decorated to your liking. I love the versatility of these cookies - you could color the frosting, switch up the topping, you really can decorate them however you'd like, and they’ll be delicious!

The cookie dough for this recipe comes together in a pinch. I recommend using some sort of mixer (stand or hand - I've used both with great results) as the cookies are meant to be soft and airy just like a cupcake. When baking the cookies, note that they do spread and have a tendency to brown around the edges. This is part of why we bake a slightly lower temperature. It allows your cookies to spread and rise with a lower risk of burning, though I still recommend keeping a close eye on them when they’re in the oven.

This recipe does call for cake flour and a small amount of cornstarch, and this helps to guarantee a cakey and soft cookie. You can absolutely swap in all purpose flour if it's all you have on hand, but if you can splurge I highly recommend the cake flour for a tender and soft end result.

After you bake your cookies, you could absolutely top them with a store bought frosting or icing, but I like to top them with a delicious and simple homemade vanilla buttercream. It comes together with just a few ingredients and is the perfect sweet topping for these cookies. I like to then top them then with rainbow sprinkles, but these are also the perfect canvas for holiday decorations - like Valentine's Day! For some inspiration, I decorated with freeze dried strawberries and red and pink M&Ms to be on theme for the holiday.

When it comes to measuring out your dough, I love these scoops from Cook'n Feel (I use the medium scoop usually for cookies) or this large scoop from Oxo. You can also use a large spoon, but this cookie dough is a bit wet so a scoop is really helpful for getting more even scoops.



  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 85g

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (canola or vegetable oil)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 96g

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar 40g

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour 140g

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 8g

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 56g

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar 80g

  • 1/2 teaspoon water

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Optional: decorative topping like sprinkles, freeze dried fruit, or M&Ms

Total time: About 2 hours Prep time: 30 minutes Bake time: 13-16 minutes Servings: 8 cookies Equipment

  • Stand or hand mixer

  • Spatula or large spoon

  • Cookie sheets

  • Parchment paper

  • Large cookie scoop (about 2.5 - 3 tablespoons)

Cooking instructions First, make your cookies. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or large bowl with a hand mixer, add your butter, oil, and both sugars. Combine at a medium speed for about a minute. Scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Add in your egg and vanilla extract. Continue to mix for about two minutes until your mixture is lightened. Scrape down your bowl again and your mixer attachment. Mix again for another minute.

Then, using a spatula or large spoon, fold in your dry ingredients - cake flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt - until your dough forms. Place your dough into the fridge to chill for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Once your dough is chilled, it should be firm to the touch, scoop your cookie dough onto two large parchment lined cookie sheets. Each cookie should be about 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons. Note that these cookies do spread quite a bit so you want to give them lots of space.

Bake your cookies for about 13 to 16 minutes, they will spread and look flat and then begin to rise in the center. Watch the cookies carefully after 10 minutes to ensure the edges don't get too browned. If you'd like, you can lightly shape your cookies right when they come out of the oven using a bowl or round tool (like a cookie cutter) that's just larger than the perimeter of your cookies.

Allow your cookies to cool completely, about an hour.

Make your frosting and complete your cookies. Using your stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer, add in your butter and powdered sugar. Mix at a medium to high speed until your butter and sugar combines.

Add in a 1/2 teaspoon of water and vanilla extract. Continue to mix at a high speed for a few minutes until your frosting is smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl and mixer attachment at least once part way through mixing.

Frost each of your cookies and if you'd like you can then decorate with sprinkles or another topping, lightly patting down the sprinkles or other decoration to secure them - and enjoy!

The frosting on your cookies will harden once you leave your cookies out at room temperature, and then you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature. I think these cookies taste best the next day when they're extra soft! Carb and serving info Servings: 8 cookies Carbs per serving (1 of 8): 45 Carbs for full recipe: 360

Note - does not include sprinkles, just cookies and frosting

Carbs for cookies only: 276

Carbs for frosting only: 85

Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.

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