Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
These Frosted Sugar Cookies are easy to make and don’t require any dough chilling. The perfect cookie for any holiday!
One thing that I love about this time of year is the cookies. Or more specifically, soft cut-out sugar cookies. There’s something so fun about decorating sugar cookies around this time of year, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share this recipe with you.
The wonderful thing about this sugar cookie recipe is that you don’t have to chill the cookie dough. There’s nothing more frustrating than making sugar cookie dough and having to wait 1 to 2 hours before you can even cut them out to bake.
With this recipe, all you have to do is mix up the sugar cookie dough, roll it out, cut out your cookies, and bake them. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
These soft sugar cookies with icing come together with ingredients you likely have on hand already! Here are the ingredients you will need for these cookies:
- All-Purpose Flour: Spoon and level the flour when measuring it so you don’t end up with dense cookies.
- Baking powder: Gives the sugar cookies some lift.
- Salt: Balances out the sweetness of the dough and enhances the vanilla flavor.
- Shortening: Keep reading to see my thoughts on why you should make sugar cookies with shortening.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the dough without flavoring it.
- Egg: Should be at room temperature before being mixed into the cookie dough.
- Milk: Any kind will work.
- Vanilla extract: This is the main flavoring agent in this cookie dough, so you’ll want to use two teaspoons.
- Cream cheese: You will be using this for the frosting. Use brick-style cream cheese, not the kind that comes in a tub.
- Powdered sugar: To sweeten and thicken the frosting. Feel free to sift the powdered sugar first to avoid lumps.
Why Use Shortening?
One important ingredient that you need for these cookies is shortening. I typically use Crisco, you can find it in the traditional blue tub or 1-cup baking sticks like the picture above.
If you’re wondering why shortening is so important in these cookies, let me explain. Butter melts at a lower temperature than shortening, which means cookies made with butter spread a lot faster when they’re in the oven.
Remember how I mentioned that this cookie dough doesn’t require any dough chilling? It’s because the shortening in these cookies helps them retain their shape in the oven, so they don’t spread like cookies made with butter.
Another great thing about using shortening versus butter in these cookies is that it doesn’t require refrigeration. In other words, you can start mixing up your cookie dough immediately, unlike other recipes where you have to wait for your butter to soften.
How to Make Frosted Sugar Cookies
To make this cookie dough, you’ll mix together some flour, baking powder, and salt. For the wet ingredients, you’ll start by mixing together the shortening and sugar, then add the egg, a couple tablespoons of milk, and vanilla extract. You’ll combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix them together until just combined.
Then, divide the cookie dough in half and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface. You can roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thick or a little bit thicker to 3/8-inch thick. I rolled these cookies to 3/8-inch thick because I wanted them to be a little thicker and softer. Then, cut out shapes, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake them.
Once the cookies are done baking, let them cool completely before topping them with homemade cream cheese frosting!
How to Store These Cookies
These frosted sugar cookies with icing should be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll last for up to 3 days.
Unfrosted cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place on your counter overnight and frost as desired.
- You can top these cut-out sugar cookies with any kind of frosting that you like, but I really love these cookies with some cream cheese frosting.
- You can add a drop or two of food dye to the frosting and change up the color for different holidays or other celebrations!
- For the creamiest frosting, use brick-style cream cheese and not the whipped kind in a tub.
More Easy Cookie Recipes to Try!
- Classic Sugar Cookies
- Shortbread Cookies
- Cake Mix Cookies
- Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cut-out sugar cookies:
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (190 grams) vegetable shortening
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg , room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package brick-style cream cheese , softened to room temperature
- ½ cup (95 grams) vegetable shortening
- 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops food dye (optional)
To make the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness for crisp cookies or ⅜-inch thickness for softer cookies. Cut with 2 to 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Re-roll any scrap pieces of sugar cookie dough and cut out more cookies as needed.
- Bake in separate batches at 350° for 8 to 13 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are set and lightly browned. Baking time will vary based on how thick you roll the cookie dough and the size of your cookie cutter.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese and shortening until well combined, then mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until fully combined.
- Frost the cooled sugar cookies and top with sprinkles if desired.
Cut-Out Sugar Cookie recipe from Crisco.