Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

By Chef Megan Joy / January 19, 2015

Has anyone ever had those Lofthouse sugar cookies from the grocery store? You know the kind- the thick, soft sugar cookies with a sweet layer of frosting and sprinkles on the top. Well, these taste just like them. But homemade, which makes them even better.

The recipe makes a lot, and that’s just fine, because they’ll go quickly (to make things less tempting, I froze half of my dough).

Even with our dry mountain air, well-wrapped, these taste almost better the next day, when the flavors have a chance to meld.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with these cookies, either. Here are some ideas to start:

-Add 2 teaspoons of almond or coconut extract to the dough and top the icing with toasted coconut flakes

-Add 1/4 poppy seeds and the zest of one lemon to the dough and top with lemon icing (sub lemon juice for half of the heavy cream (3 tablespoons))

-Mix some strawberry powder into the icing. Top with edible flowers for a romantic Valentine’s Day cookie.

Happy baking!



Above: The lightest golden brown underside of a properly baked cookie.




How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Adapted from The Novice Chef Blog


Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
Serves: Makes about 3 dozen
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and very fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  3. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream.
  4. In another bowl, combine 5½ cups of the flour, the baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly add to the dough, mixing until incorporated.
  6. You will have ½ cup of flour left. If the dough is still very sticky, add some of the flour until it is a soft dough. I used the full 6 cups, but that was just my kitchen on that particular day. This amount will vary depending on the dryness of your flour. Remember the dough will firm up as a chills, too.
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill overnight, or until firm.
  8. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  9. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼" thick. Cut out shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  10. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and the bottoms are the lightest golden brown.
  11. Immediately transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
  12. Once cool, decorate with icing and sprinkles.
  13. To make the icing, beat the butter and salt until fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, alternating with the heavy cream. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  14. Makes about 3 dozen medium-sized cookies.
Note: This recipe was adapted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, increase the baking soda and baking powder to 1 teaspoon each. Baking times may vary slightly.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

Sheri - December 8, 2015

I am soooooooooooooo happy I found this site!!! I’ve lived at 7200 feet in Wyoming for 8 years now and have struggled making many of my California cookie and brownie recipes. Typically I adjust for the elevation rising from sea level and still can’t seem to get things just right. I looked through your tips on adjusting ingredients. Just wondering if, as a general rule, should I increase the chemical leaveners by 1/4 teaspoon per 1000 feet that the elevation goes down from your 8200? 500 feet? Are most adjustments done by the elevation changing by a certain amount of feet? I can’t wait to try these sugar cookies!! Thanks a bunch!!


if I should add 1/4 teaspoon of ?

    Chef Megan Joy - December 9, 2015

    Hi Sheri, I suggest starting with a 1/8th teaspoon increase to my recipes. If you aren’t 100% pleased with those results, experiment with 1/4 teaspoon increase instead. It’s hard to say for sure because some recipes are more ‘sensitive’ to chemical leaveners than others. Happy baking!

Meme - December 24, 2015

Thank you for posting – I’m west of Denver in the foothills at 5700 ft. Will try baking these this weekend.

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