A single Soft Sugar Cookie with Cream Cheese Frosting with two glasses of milk and a plate of cookies behind

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Begin early in the day. Inspired Cindy Rahe's recipe written for Simply Recipes (links in post)

Course Sweets
Cuisine North American
Keyword sugar cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
chill time 2 hours
Total Time 41 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Author Marta Rivera


Sugar Cookie Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk, to thin frosting as needed

Optional Ingredients

  • gel food coloring to tint frosting
  • sprinkles to decorate


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt together with a whisk. Set this aside.

  2. Add the three extracts to the bowl containing the eggs (don't whisk the eggs), and set aside. 

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and the sugar together on med-high speed until light and fluffy- about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl twice during this time. 

  4. Add the eggs (one at a time) to the butter mixture. After each addition, mix on medium speed for 1 minute before scraping down the bowl. 

    Once both eggs have been added, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is airy. 

  5. Add the sour cream to the mixture and blend, on low speed, for another minute. Scrape down the bowl once again. 

  6. Mix the flour into the butter-egg mixture in two parts on low speed. Scrape the bowl down after a few seconds. Once all the flour has been added, mix for 1 minute to bring the dough together.

  7. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and use a rubber spatula to knead the dough- while it's still in the bowl- to eliminate excess air bubbles. 

    Alternatively, you can turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough by hand. 

  8. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. You can also divide the dough into two equal portions and wrap them separately. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight.*

Bake the Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line sheet pans with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. 

  2. Generously flour your work surface with all-purpose flour, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out a 1/4" thick. 

  3. Use a 3" circle cutter, dipped in a little bit of flour, to cut circles out of the dough. 

    Gather together the leftover scraps of dough and form them into a disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes before re-rolling. 

  4. Transfer the cookies to the sheet pan and bake for 11 minutes. Keep the other pans of cookies in the fridge until the first pan comes out of the oven. 

  5. Once the cookies are baked, transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, lemon juice, and the vanilla extract.

  2. Begin creaming the ingredients on the lowest speed, gradually increasing the speed to medium-high after the sugar has been mixed into the cream cheese. 

  3. Whip the cream cheese mixture until it is light and fluffy- scraping down the bowl once or twice during mixing- this should take about 4 minutes.

  4. If you find that frosting is too thick, thin it out starting with 1 teaspoon- up to a tablespoonful- of the milk. At this point you can tint the frosting your choice of color(s) using the food coloring.

Decorate the Cookies

  1. Use a small offset spatula to spread a tablespoon of frosting onto each cookie.

  2. Decorate each cookie with sprinkles. 

  3. Store the decorated cookies at room temperature, in an air-tight container, for up to 3 days. Separate the layers of cookies with a sheet of parchment.

Recipe Notes

*If you prefer to make these cookies in advance, freeze the disc of dough prior to rolling it out. Freeze for up to 6 months and allow the dough to thaw in the fridge before rolling out. The dough is easier to roll and cut when the dough is still partially frozen.