18 May

{Recipe} The Best Frosted Sugar Cookies*

Frosted Sugar Cookie Recipe

When I was in the 4th grade, my class put together a cookbook as a fundraiser. Everyone submitted recipes from their friends and family, and the illustrations for the chapter dividers and front/back covers were all done by the members of my class… so of course it was a true work of art *wink*… at least to our mothers!

One thing that is arguably a work of art in the kitchen though… the sugar cookie recipe that I first discovered in that book! I honestly can’t remember who originally submitted it and it seems that what I’d thought was a “beloved” cookbook was somehow a casualty of one of our moves growing up (hmmm…), but I started making these little gems regularly around the 6th grade for school functions, friends’ birthdays, holidays, etc… and it kind of became one of my “things”. MANY years later… I can’t tell you how many of my jr. high and high school friends still come out of the woodwork on facebook around the holidays or their kids’ birthdays and ask for “the sugar cookie recipe“. “THE” is all the description that I need to know what they’re talking about. =)

Frosted Sugar Cookie Recipe

I think it’s finally time to post about these – so that instead of countless emails the recipe will be easily accessible in one spot. It’s really a “back to basics” recipe… eggs, sugar, flour, BUTTER… but the secrets to making them great are the cook time (you almost want them undercooked so they’re super soft), and GENEROUS amounts of frosting. No skimping with this one!

Frosted Sugar Cookie Recipe


{*in my own humble opinion}

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400º.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl & set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until mixed well. Add the dry ingredients in slowly & mix well. Chill for at least an hour to stiffen the dough. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin & cut shapes with cookie cutters OR form dough balls and flatten into thick circles with your hands.

Bake 8-10 mins or until just the edges of cookies start to turn a very, very light golden brown. Don’t over-bake. For an extra-doughy consistency, remove the cookies before the edges start to brown.


1/3 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk
1 egg yolk (optional)
5-6 cups powdered sugar (thicken to desired consistency)
food coloring

Whisk butter, vanilla, milk and egg yolk together. Slowly mix in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. If it gets too thick, add more milk in very small amounts, about 1 tsp at a time.



Leave a Comment


whatever DeeDee Wants SAYS:

Oh my yummy! I want to make some today.

Reply May 18, 2011 at 6:46 am

mini coach SAYS:

Cookies are my favourite and they look cool in the pic too.

Reply May 18, 2011 at 8:10 am

Carrie @ Half Baked SAYS:

These look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the lovely images… your little cookie fan is adorable!

Reply May 18, 2011 at 9:53 am


Aww this is apt for kids! Yum

Reply May 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Leslie Swan SAYS:

I can attest to these cookies being THE best sugar cookies on the planet! I can recall eating way too many of them in college. Thanks for making the recipe readily available forever!

Reply May 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Katrina SAYS:

Who cares about the cookies! Look @ the sweetheart. She has more sugar than any cookie could have :) Such a cutie!

Reply May 19, 2011 at 6:11 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Thanks, Katrina! I have to agree with you but if course as her mom I’m a litte biased ;)

May 21, 2011 at 6:05 am

Carolyn SAYS:

Can’t wait to try this recipe?! However, does anyone know a good way to package the cookies individually so the frosting doesn’t get all smushed and look gross?

Reply May 19, 2011 at 8:19 am

[email protected] SAYS:

I have had success in packaging cookies and cupcakes with soft icing in boxes. I would recommend a 4″ x 4″ x 2″ box lined with a piece of cello or parchment paper (line bottom & sides only) for a single sugar cookie. If you use a deeper box lay a bed of shred down. I slip frosted cookies in the freezer so the frosting hardens and they can be handled without finger prints.

Reply May 20, 2011 at 7:21 am

thuy SAYS:

i just made these last night and they are delciious. i don’t usually like soft cookies but these are good. now if only the icing wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the other cookies…thanks for the fab recipe!

Reply May 20, 2011 at 11:16 am


So, normally I hate sugar cookies. The only ones I would eat were those super sweet and soft ones from the grocery store. BUT, I saw these and since my husband loves sugar cookies, I decided to make them. And lets just say that out of a 12 cookies, My hubby only ate 3 because I ATE ALL THE REST! They were so good! I guess I can say that I officially love sugar cookies now! -but only these ones. :)

Reply May 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Too funny, Kim! Glad I could help you cross over to the “fan” side ;)

May 21, 2011 at 6:04 am

Audrey SAYS:

Do you personally think the icing is better or not as good with the optional yolk?

Reply May 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Audrey –
I like using the yolk and do think it makes the icing richer. I think the recipe makes it optional for people that aren’t comfortable with the idea of even a very small amount of raw egg. I’ve never had an issue with it in 20 years though! :)

May 21, 2011 at 5:48 am

Trina SAYS:

Have you tried with meringue powder ? 2 tsp meringue powder+ 2 tbsp water = 1 egg white.
These look delicious ! Can’t wait to try them ~ thanks!

May 25, 2011 at 6:31 am

Marisel M SAYS:

I love this! I’ve been looking for a good sugar cookie recipe for my daughter’s first birthday party. Her color scheme is these exact colors, but I have been troubled finding a blue like that. What did you use for coloring?

Reply May 21, 2011 at 6:32 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Marisel –
I used the Gel Colorings by Wilton. You can get them in the baking aisle at Michaels or right here on Wilton.com. I used the Pink, Golden Yellow, and Sky Blue for these cookies :)

May 21, 2011 at 6:45 am

Gayle T. SAYS:

Do you use real butter?

Reply May 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

Kendall SAYS:

THESE ARE THE BEST! Thanks, Jenn! I am always asking you for a reminder on how to make them…so happy that the recipe is here for me to refer to! Can’t wait to make my next batch!

Reply July 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

Heidi SAYS:

Hey!I just wanted to let you know that I made these cookies last night and posted the results on my blog. My photos didn’t turn out that great but the cookies themselves were some of my favorite! Gosh they were super delicious! I will definitely keep this recipe. Thank you so much.

Reply August 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Thanks, Heidi! So glad you liked them :)

August 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

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