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3 Lofthouse cookies on a round white plate

Frosted Lofthouse Cookies

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Ever heard of Lofthouse Cookies? They’re those soft, thick bakery sugar cookies that are created in all sorts of shapes and decorated for any occasion! These Frosted Sugar Cookies are even better than what you’d find in the bakery and can be customized any way you like. Be prepared for them to disappear fast!

Lofthouse Cookies in a white bowl

Lofthouse Cookies 

Along with chocolate chip cookies, frosted sugar cookies are definitely a favorite of my family. But rolling out the dough and individually frosting them is a labor of love. It’s generally reserved for Christmas, but Valentine’s Day is also an ideal time to show your love with cookies! In fact, these Lofthouse cookies are appropriate for almost any occasion!

I first baked up a batch of these frosted sugar cookies in 2013, so I figured it was time for another batch of this top-notch soft sugar cookies recipe.  Since it’s close to Valentine’s Day, I grabbed my heart cookie cutters and went to work!

Frosted Sugar Cookies on a square white plate

What are Lofthouse Cookies?

Lofthouse cookies are the style of thicker, frosted cookies you find in a grocery store or stand-alone bakery. The official “Lofthouse sugar cookies” originated in1994 when Lofthouse Foods started producing cookies that were sold to in-store bakeries of US supermarkets as well as merchandisers. From then on, most thicker cookies with a softer texture topped with a sweet, creamy frosting were known as Lofthouse cookies.

What’s in a Lofthouse Cookie?

There are so many variations, including this one that originated in the now-defunct McCall’s Magazine. Both baking powder, baking soda, and sour cream are in this version. The bit of almond extract added to the vanilla extract is key to reproducing the specific Lofthouse flavor profile. The factory made Lofthouse cookie flavoring probably came from creme bouquet, an extract with vanilla, almond, butter and citrus flavors. But most home kitchens do not have this on hand.

Notable is the addition of baking powder and baking soda, both leavening agents, which create a less crumbly texture. Adding sour cream is another key to keeping these cookies soft and moist, but it’s not in all versions of Lofthouse cookies. You may also see some recipes where cornstarch is added. This is actually a way to make a substitute cake flour by replacing some of the all-purpose flour with cornstarch to reduce the amount of gluten in the recipe. But this recipe worked well with standard flour.

Lofthouse cookies on a square plate next to sprinkles and cookie cutters

How to Make Lofthouse Cookies

There are a couple of options for making Lofthouse cookies. The easiest is to scoop out rounds of dough onto a baking sheet, then press them into thick rounds with the bottom of a glass. Of course, you will have to search your cabinets for a nice flat-bottomed glass for this task, but these give you the best reproduction of this bakery classic. They can be up to 1/2 inch thick!

If you’d prefer to make cut-out cookies, you can chill the dough, roll it out to your desired thickness, then use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. I made these a little thinner than traditional Lofthouse cookies, but if you don’t over bake them, they’ll still have a soft consistency. Plus, you get more from your batch when you make either thinner cookies or smaller cookies.

As far as frosting these, I like using an offset spatula and just smearing the sweet buttery icing over the surface of the cookies. Then dust generously with sprinkles before the frosting dries to make them extra festive. As seen in the flower cookies below, my decorating techniques tend to be quite simple. I placed a blob of icing in the middle of the flower cut-outs, then garnished each with just one pastel white chocolate M & M. These daisy-shaped cookies looked like spring. In fact, if you’re a crafty sort, these would be perfect to make a cookie bouquet. Just insert a skewer into the side of each cut-out cookie and bake.

Can You Freeze Lofthouse Cookies?

Yes, they freeze well and can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. But if you have added sprinkles or other decorations that might potentially bleed while the cookies defrost, they might not hold up as well as unadorned frosted sugar cookies.

More Cookies You’ll Love:

A pile of daisy lofthouse cookies on a serving plate

This post was first shared in May 2013. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

3 Lofthouse cookies on a round white plate

Frosted Lofthouse Cookies

The famous Lofthouse sugar cookies!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Yield 24


For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, set out for about a half-hour so it's cool, not cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons or more of heavy cream
  • Food coloring or gel, if desired
  • Sprinkles, candy to garnish as desired


  1. Cream the sugar and the butter together with a hand mixer until light. Add the flavorings, then the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the sour cream. Beat in one egg at a time. Add the flour and mix until it forms a ball. Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight if you plan to roll out the dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Roll out cookie dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters of choice. Place cutouts on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake until edges are golden, about 10 to12 minutes. Do not overbake if you want them to be soft.
  3. To make the frosting, cream the butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the cream, one tablespoon at a time to desired consistency. Add food coloring if desired (I used pink gel paste).
  4. Frost cooled cookies and garnish as desired.


Adapted from McCalls via What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 153mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g


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