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overhead view of sugar cookie with buttercream frosting flower

Soft and Cakey Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

  • Author: Allison Ferraro
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes per tray
  • Total Time: About 1 hour 30 minutes (Includes time for decorating cookies. Does not include time for cookies to cool before decorating.)
  • Yield: 18 cookies 1x


Baked from scratch and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting, these thick and cakey sugar cookies are perfect for special celebrations.



for the cookie dough:

  • 1 2/3 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp. (7 grams) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. (4 grams) salt
  • 5 T (71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (132 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (76 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 gram) vanilla extract

for the buttercream frosting:

  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (46 grams) vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (227 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (28 grams) heavy whipping cream (or whole milk)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Make the cookie dough. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer), cream butter and sugar by first beating butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 30 to 60 seconds) and then adding sugar and beating on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add egg to the creamed butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until well blended. Add cream and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined.
  5. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until blended. 
  6. Use a cookie scoop or large spoon to scoop 1 1/2 Tbsp. of cookie dough into balls. Place cookie dough balls at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake cookies, one tray at a time on the oven's middle rack, for 12 minutes or until the cookies are just golden at the edges. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. When cookies have cooled, make the buttercream frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer), beat room temperature butter and shortening on high speed until smooth. Add the vanilla and beat on high speed until blended. Be sure to stop to scrape the bowl as you're mixing. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the sugar. When all of the sugar has been added, turn up the speed to medium and beat until blended. The frosting will be dry. Add the cream (or milk) and beat at high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.


Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Make ahead: These cookies are best when the dough is baked immediately after mixing rather than refrigerating the dough before baking. If you wish to make these cookies ahead of time, I recommend baking the cookies, sealing the unfrosted (and completely cooled) cookies in an airtight container, and freezing the baked cookies for up to 2 months. Let frozen cookies defrost at room temperature before frosting and serving.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: sugar cookies, soft, cakey, buttercream frosting