PS. Full step-by-step photos coming soon…my camera broke right before Christmas *womp *womp.
Why I Love These Frosted Sugar Cookies:
- Topped with my favorite frosting! This buttercream is based off my go-to Christmas cookie frosting recipe. It’s a creamy vanilla-almond buttercream that is easy to whip up and tastes so good!
- Can make large or bite-sized! While the large size packs an incredibly soft center, the small size makes these the perfect cookie to add to cookie platters! I have baking time instructions in the recipe card for both sizes.
Ingredient & Substitution Notes
- Unsalted butter: I use unsalted butter in most of my baking but if you only have salted, you can use that and simply omit the salt.
- Almond extract: This gives the cookies an incredible sugar cookie flavor, so I don’t recommend omitting it unless you have a nut allergy or aversion to almond extract. It truly makes them so good!
- Light corn syrup: We’re only using 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup in this recipe but it gives the cookies that special, moist texture and also helps the cookies stay moist for days…a must when giving them as gifts! If you don’t want to use it, you can replace it with thick honey or just leave it out entirely (FYI that light corn syrup is not the same thing as high fructose corn syrup!). But if you’ve made my cosmic brownie cookies, you know how much of a difference just a little corn syrup can make!
- Powdered sugar: Using mostly powdered sugar in the dough is what gives us a super soft cookie texture. Do not replace this with all granulated sugar, as the taste, texture, and appearance will greatly vary.
Frequently Asked Questions:
You sure can! While I think these are best enjoyed within 2-3 days, they will stay soft for 4-5 days.
Yes you can! These cookies freeze beautifully. Keep in mind that some sprinkles may bleed their colors when thawing, so if you want to avoid that entirely, I recommend freezing them unfrosted. When ready to serve, thaw cookies and top with frosting and sprinkles.
To freeze, store in an airtight container for up to 1 month for optimal flavor and texture.
This sugar cookie frosting recipe is made with butter and powdered sugar which means you can leave it at room temperature for 2-3 days. However, if you don’t plan to frost your cookies right away, place the frosting in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. When it’s time to frost, let it sit out at room temperature to soften then re-beat it with a mixer to fluff it back up.
If you live in a hot climate where the kitchen tends to be warm it’s best to store sugar cookie frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yes! If you want to make these bite-sized, scoop and roll them into 1-tablespoon-sized balls and then gently flatten the tops before baking (this will ensure the entire cookie cake bake through and avoid a gooey top). Bake at 350°F for 9-10 minutes. This recipe makes about 48 tablespoons of dough, which would give you about 9 large cookies or 48 small cookies.
If you don’t like the flavor or have an almond allergy, you can definitely leave out the almond extract. But it does give these cookies lots of sugar cookie flavor, so I don’t suggest skipping it!
Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter (i.e. 1 stick) softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract see substitution notes below
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup Fun fact: this is not the same thing as high fructose corn syrup! If desired, can replace with honey or omit.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder not baking soda!
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
Buttercream Frosting (double if you like thick layers of frosting on your cookies!)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (i.e. 1 stick) softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract see substitution notes below
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- food coloring optional
- sprinkles optional
Before you begin! If you make this, will you do me a huge favor and leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe? This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together unsalted butter (½ cup, i.e. 1 stick), powdered sugar (¾ cup), and granulated sugar (¼ cup) on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
While mixer is still on medium speed, add in egg (1 large), vanilla extract (2 teaspoons), and almond extract (½ teaspoon), and light corn syrup (1 tablespoon).
Once mixed, add in baking powder (1 teaspoon), salt (½ teaspoon), and all-purpose flour (1 ¾ cups); adding flour half-cup at a time on low speed.
Mix until all flour disappears (it may look crumbly at first but will come together). When pinched between your fingers, dough should be similar to a thick playdoh consistency.
For large cookies: Scoop dough into 3-tablespoon sized scoops, roll into balls, then gently flatten each dough ball into a 1/2" thick disc. Place on parchment-lined baking tray and bake at 350°F for 11-12 minutes, or until most of the tops no longer look wet.
For mini cookies: Scoop dough into 1-tablespoon-sized scoops, roll into balls, then gently flatten each dough ball (you don't need to flatten much). Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake at 350°F for 8-9 minutes, or until most of the tops no longer look wet.
Don't overbake or they won't be soft; they may look slightly underdone in the very center, but they will finish baking on the hot cookie sheet after you take it out of the oven. (Of course, because ovens bake differently use your best judgment to keep them in a minute longer if they look severely under baked.)
After removing from oven, allow the cookies to cool on the hot baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing them from cookie sheet. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To Make Frosting:
Note before you start: I recommend using a stand mixer for this if you have one, as it will make the frosting come together easier. However, if you are using a hand mixer and are having trouble getting it to be light & fluffy, I recommend adding 1-2 teaspoons of milk after the powdered sugar to help thin it out.
In a large mixing bowl, add unsalted butter (½ cup, i.e. 1 stick), vanilla extract (1 teaspoon), almond extract (¼ teaspoon), and salt (⅛ teaspoon). Cream together on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until blended together.
On medium/low speed begin adding in powdered sugar (1 ½ cups); half-cup at a time until all is incorporated.
Turn mixer to high speed, and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. If needed, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of milk to help thin it out.
Add food coloring, if desired (divide into different bowls for multiple colors).
Spread on top of cooled sugar cookies or place frosting in a large piping bag with a metal tip (see post above for my favorite tips) to achieve a more intricate design. Top with sprinkles and enjoy!
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe! This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
Almond Extract: If you don’t like the flavor or have an almond allergy, you can definitely leave out the almond extract. But it does give these cookies lots of sugar cookie flavor, so I don’t suggest skipping it!
Light Corn Syrup: We’re only using 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup in this recipe but it gives the cookies that special, moist texture and also helps the cookies stay moist for days…a must when giving them as gifts! If you don’t want to use it, you can replace it with thick honey or just leave it out entirely (FYI that light corn syrup is not the same thing as high fructose corn syrup!). But if you’ve made my cosmic brownie cookies, you know how much of a difference just a little corn syrup can make!
April T says
very simple and easy recipe that makes delicious cookies!
Love this recipe! I have added it to my notebook for favorite recipes! The almond flavor really makes these cookies stand out!
This is the best recipe I love this
This is the best recipe
Jean Dobihal says
These cookies are delicious and the frosting is perfect. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
These turned out so great! I made the smaller version and they are so cute. I’ll definitely make these again, and when I do I’m doubling the batch! I used honey instead of the light corn syrup and they were delicious.
These cookies were DELICIOUS!! Thank you for the great recipe!
Amazing recipe!! I made it with gluten-free flour and lactose-free butter to accommodate for the allergies in my household and the cookies were still just like the ones from the grocery store (although we think these taste even better)!
Stephanie K says
These are so delicious and easy to make!! These were a huge hit at the cookie exchange!