Cookies,  Recipes

Soft Sugar Cookies Recipe

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Sharing is caring!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you prefer hard or soft sugar cookies? I have always preferred soft cookies, but it took me years to find a recipe that actually made melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies.

This recipe has been used for at least ten years so I honestly don’t know where it came from at this point. All I know is that every year, people comment on how much they love them and ask for the recipe. I make them thick and cook them for the least amount of time possible without them being raw. It has taken a lot of trial and error to get them just right.

Shaped and frosted sugar cookies on Christmas plate.

The frosting allows for the cookies to be stacked once they are dry, which is great for storing and making cookie tins to give away. I usually make at least three colors so I can make several designs.

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sugar
  • Egg Yolks
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Flour
  • Shortening
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk
  • Food Coloring

Equipment You May Need

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Large Bowl
  • Mixer
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Cookie Spatula
  • Cooling Racks

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How do I make the dough soft and not too dry or crumbly? To ensure a soft dough, it’s important to properly cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. Also, be sure not to overmix the flour, as that can lead to a dry and crumbly texture.

How can I make the icing the right consistency for decorating? Add small amounts of milk or powdered sugar as needed to reach your desired consistency. For flooding and outlining, you’ll want a thicker consistency, while for filling in, a thinner icing works best.

Can I store decorated cookies at room temperature or do they need to be refrigerated? Decorated cookies can typically be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. The icing may dry and harden over time, but the cookies should remain good for several days.

Can I freeze the cookies or cookie dough for later use? Yes, you can freeze both the unbaked cookie dough and baked cookies. For dough, wrap it well in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. For baked cookies, ensure they are well-sealed to prevent freezer burn.

What’s the best way to store leftover icing? Store any leftover icing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before using it again, bring it to room temperature and re-mix to ensure a smooth consistency.

Substitutions and Variations

Frosting Flavors: Experiment with different extract flavors in the icing, such as almond or peppermint, to complement the cookie’s flavor.

Dip in Chocolate: After baking, dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and let it set for a delightful chocolate-covered variation.

Meringue Icing: Try a meringue-based icing, such as royal icing, for a glossy and smooth finish on your cookies.

Sprinkle Cookies: Roll the cookie dough balls in colorful sprinkles before baking to give them a fun and festive appearance.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

If you like these Soft Sugar Cookies, you might also like my Melting Moments or my Christmas Snowball Cookies. These Butter Cookies are also delicious. Norwegian Berlinerkranser cookies also make a great addition to holiday cookie trays.

Soft Sugar Cookies

Soft sugar cookies made with cream cheese – perfect for any holiday or celebration. Make in any shape and decorate to match the season!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Refrigeration Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 27 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American



  • 2 cups butter softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups flour all-purpose


  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon shortening butter-flavored
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk
  • food coloring optional


  • In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
  • Gradually beat in flour (½ cup at a time).
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease cookie sheets.
  • On lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness.
  • Cut with cookie cutters.
  • Place at least 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake until firm but not brown, 10-12 minutes.
  • Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.


  • Beat butter, shortening, and vanilla until combined.
  • Beat in powdered sugar.
  • Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until spreading consistency is reached.
  • Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add food coloring (optional).

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.