Soft Sugar Cookies

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These chewy Soft Sugar Cookies have an amazing cream cheese frosting and lots of sprinkles!

After you’ve tried Soft Sugar Cookies, be sure to try these snickerdoodle cookies, these peanut butter cookies, or these oatmeal cookies!

 

Large bite out of a Soft Sugar Cookie sitting atop a container of milk.

Soft Sugar Cookies

It doesn’t get much better than these super-chewy Soft Sugar Cookies piled high with the best cream cheese frosting and a rainbow of sprinkles. These are the ultimate chewy sugar cookies and I hope you love them as much as we do!

This cookie dough isn’t mean for cut-out sugar cookies (my favorite sugar cookie dough for cutout cookies here); these are meant to be big and soft “bakery-style” sugar cookies.

Process shots, making Soft Sugar Cookie dough: combine and mix butter and sugars; add eff, yolk and vanilla and mix until smooth; mix dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients; mix until smooth; roll cookie dough balls in sugar; chill dough balls; bake.

Soft Sugar Cookie tips

  • Start with melted and cooled butter. If the butter is hot when added to the sugars it will melt the sugar and cause greasy cookies. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature before using.
  • Measure the flour accurately. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you will pack in way too much flour (which will result in cake-like cookies with poor texture). To accurately measure the flour, spoon it into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. You’ll have a perfect flour measurement!
  • Use room temperature eggs. This ensures the eggs disperse more evenly into the batter giving these cookies a lighter texture since the eggs trap air. Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, remove the eggs from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before use.
  • Roll tall cookie dough balls. Instead of rolling a perfect ball, I’ve found if you roll the dough so it’s taller and skinnier when the cookies bake, you’ll get that perfectly thick and chewy center AND the crisp edges. Using this technique, the bottom of the cookie ball bakes first, which will push out and become the crisp edge. The top of that tall cookie dough ball then becomes the thick and chewy center. Perfect texture every time!

Why chill the dough?

Chilling cookie dough can definitely be a pain. I mean, when you want cookies, you want them now, right?! That said, chilling this dough is especially important. It’s like marinating meat; the wait is worth it! Here are a few reasons why we chill the dough:

  • The dough becomes more flavorful as it sits. The baking extracts intensify the flavor of the dough.
  • For texture reasons, the butter is melted. If the dough is baked immediately with melted butter in it, the cookies will spread and become thin, hard, and crispy while baking. This is because the fat (butter) hasn’t had a chance to re-solidify. The longer the fat stays solid, the less the cookies will spread.
  • The sugar in the dough also gradually absorbs liquid so when you chill the dough, the sugar has a chance to absorb more liquid and further prevents spreading. 

Process shots for making the frosting: cream together the butter and cream cheese; add vanilla, salt and powdered sugar; mix until smooth.

Cream Cheese Frosting

We are obsessed with cream cheese frosting and it’s our favorite to topping for Soft Sugar Cookies. If you love cream cheese frosting, you’ll love it with these cookies! That said, if you prefer a more traditional sugar cookie, you may want to use a vanilla buttercream frosting, instead.

Here’s my go-to vanilla buttercream frosting recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/16 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

  • In a large bowl or stand mixer with bowl attached, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt.
  • Beat, scraping frequently with a spatula as needed, until all the powdered sugar is fully incorporated.
  • Once everything has come together, gradually add in the heavy cream (1-2 tablespoons at a time) until the desired consistency is reached. Spread over these soft sugar cookies!

QUICK TIP

Set out the butter and cream cheese about an hour before baking so they reach room temperature. If these ingredients are cold, they won’t combine smoothly, and there will be unpleasant cream cheese chunks in the frosting, which make for less-enjoyable cookies. Here are some tips for bringing the cream cheese and butter to room temperature quickly.

Close-up view of a Soft Sugar Cookie with a large bite taken out.

Storing Soft Sugar Cookies 

Instead of freezing already-baked cookies, freeze the dough! Drop the cookie dough balls on a large sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To bake: You can bake these soft sugar cookies straight from the freezer. There is no need to thaw, but you may need to add a few extra minutes onto the baking time. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, and the center is still soft.

Cream cheese frosting doesn’t freeze and thaw well, so I recommend making that fresh.

QUICK TIP

Keep these cookies soft after baking. After baking the cookies, let them cool completely on a wire rack (this will keep the bottoms from getting soggy from the steam). Once cooled, place unfrosted cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature. When frosted, the cookies need to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.

More Delicious Cookie Recipes

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Soft Sugar Cookies

5 from 4 votes
Chewy Soft Sugar Cookies have an amazing cream cheese frosting and lots of sprinkles!
Print Recipe

Soft Sugar Cookies

5 from 4 votes
Chewy Soft Sugar Cookies have an amazing cream cheese frosting and lots of sprinkles!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword chewy sugar cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 46 minutes
Servings 25 -28 cookies
Calories 343kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup; 227g) unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 cup (232g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (72g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk (discard or save the white for another use)
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 cups (405g) all-purpose white flour (See Note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Optional Sugar Coating

  • 1/4 cup (49g) white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) white sparkling sugar (or additional white sugar)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (226g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3-1/2 cups (385g) powdered sugar
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Instructions

  • OPTIONAL COATING: Stir the white sugar and white sparkling sugar together in a small bowl (optional but gives the cookie a nice crunchy exterior and extra flavor!).
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Place the melted butter in a large bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding sugars. If butter is hot it will melt the sugars and cause greasy cookies. Add in the white and brown sugar and stir until smooth. Add in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for a separate recipe or discard), vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir until just combined and smooth.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In another bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. 
  • COMBINE: Add all of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until JUST combined. Do not overmix the dough.
  • CHILL: Roll tall balls of dough (see the photos in the post). If you have a kitchen scale, the balls of dough should be about 1.2 ounces (each ball should be full 2 tablespoons of dough). Roll the balls of dough generously into the white sugar/white sparkling sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate the balls of dough for 1 hour.
  • BAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place dough balls on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pan, spread far apart (I only bake 6-8 cookies at a time, they spread a lot) and bake for 9-14 minutes. Watch carefully, being sure to not overbake. Slightly underbaked sugar cookies are the BEST! Remove and let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack with a spatula.
  • FROSTING: Prepare the frosting while the cookies bake. In a large bowl, beat together the room-temperature butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. Add in the vanilla and salt. Mix to combine. Add in the powdered sugar and then beat until the frosting is smooth (it will seem like you need more liquid, but just keep beating; it will come together!)
  • FROST COOKIES: Frost each completely cooled cookie and add with your favorite sprinkles. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge. Cookies are best enjoyed within 2-3 days.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop, you will pack in way too much flour, resulting in the wrong texture of cookie. To accurately measure the flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. (Video visual here).

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

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The ultimate BEST EVER soft and chewy sugar cookies with the ultimate cream cheese frosting! via chelseasmessyapron.com #cookies #sugar #desserts #easy #quick #dessert #sprinkles #soft #cookie #lofthouse #treat #kidfriendly #cream #cheese #frosting
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9 Comments

  1. Help, I am allergic to almonds, but do not know how I substitute the almond extract, I heard vanilla extract will do the trick, but I do not know how much of it.

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