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Soft Lofthouse Cookies

Soft Lofthouse Cookies are easier to make at home than you’d ever imagined. These soft sugar cookies are excellent plain or frosted with your favorite buttercream. Let me show you how to make them.

Round sugar cookies frosted with pink and blue frosting on a white parchment sheet.

HOW TO MAKE LOFTHOUSE COOKIES

What’s great about this recipe is its adaptability. Use it to make seasonal cookies for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s day, or create themed cookies. The sky is the limit. Use seasonal colors and sprinkles to create festive cookie platters.

Detail of a bitten cookie frosted with buttercream and decorated with sprinkles.

INGREDIENTS

First, let’s mention the ingredients. Unlike many other cookie recipes on my blog, this Lofthouse Cookies recipe uses cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Cake flour contains less protein and is ideal for cake and cookies with a super tender crumb.  In addition to cake flour, I’m also using corn starch and powdered sugar to keep the cookies soft. And to keep them moist, I use butter/margarine, oil, and sour cream.

  • Cake Flour, around 9% protein
  • Corn Starch
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Margarine (most brands contain salt if this is the case, omit salt in the recipe)
  • Oil (Canola, for example)
  • Sour Cream
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract

TIP: Bring ingredients to room temperature before using.

Ingredients in bowls.

LOFTHOUSE COOKIES BATTER

In this recipe, I use unsalted butter along with good-quality margarine. I’m not too keen on using margarine in my baking, but when you look at the original Lofthouse cookies label, it includes margarine. However, you can use just butter or just margarine if you prefer. I like the 1:1 ratio of butter to margarine. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I used both margarine and butter, a 1:1 ratio.

Cream together room temperature butter and good quality margarine for 30 seconds (steps 1-2). Then in 2 additions, beat in mild-tasting oil, like Canola (steps 3-4).

Then beat in powdered sugar, beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes (step 5).

Beat in 1 whole large egg (steps 6-8).

In a blue mixing bowl, beating butter, sugar, egg.

Now it’s time to add full-fat sour cream in 2 additions. Beat till well combined, about 30 seconds and up to a minute (steps 1-3).

Spatula with sour cream.

Let’s not forget flavorings. I used Vanilla and Almond Extract.

Beat extracts into the batter (steps 1-5).

Mixing vanilla extract into a batter.

Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt(if using) thru a sieve (steps 1-5).

Mesh sieve filled with flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

At low speed, gradually in 3 additions, beat flour mixture into the butter mixture. Scrape down the bowl in between. Beat until nearly all flour streaks are gone (steps 1-6). Take a spatula and scrape down the bowl, and even the bottom of the bowl, to make sure all is well combined (step 7). This cookie dough is soft and sicky. This is normal (step 8).

Mixing bowl, hand mixer beating flour into butter.

SHAPE COOKIE BALLS

Use 1 tablespoon measure or a handy ice cream scoop to pick up cookie batter from the mixing bowl (steps 1-5).

Ice cream scoop with cake batter.

Place even amounts of cookie batter onto a tray/baking sheet lined with parchment.

Scooping out cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

It’s okay to crowd the baking sheet. Cover cookie dough balls with a food wrap. And chill until cookie balls are not too sticky to the touch, about an hour.

Cookie dough balls on a baking sheet, covered with a food wrap.

Quickly shape each cookie dough ball into smooth balls. Transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and space them out about 2 inches apart.

Hand shaping a ball of cookie dough and placing the ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

HOW TO FLATTEN COOKIE BALLS

First, make sure cookie balls are not too soft. If they are overly soft, refrigerate them until they firm a bit, 30 minutes or so.

Use a small piece of parchment square and a flat side of a glass or a measuring cup.

Place parchment on top of the ball. Then gently press it down with the bottom of the measuring cup. Flatten the balls to about 5/16 to 3/8 inch thick. Peel off parchment and repeat (steps 1-4).

Hand holding a measuring cup and pressing it down to flatten a cookie ball.
Cookie balls and flattened cookies on a baking sheet.

BAKE LOFTHOUSE COOKIES

Bake Lofthouse cookies at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Time can vary by the oven. Only bake cookies till they are well puffed up. Don’t let them brown too much. It affects how soft they stay once they cool.

Baked round cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

PREPARE BUTTERCREAM

To frost cookies, I used American Buttercream, which consists of unsalted butter, powdered sugar, milk, and flavorings.

Use good quality unsalted butter and sift the powdered sugar if needed. I like to use Vanilla Extract and a touch of Almond Extract.

  • Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Powdered sugar, sift lumps are present
  • Milk
  • Flavorings: Vanilla, Almond Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
Mixing bowls with ingredients.

Cream butter for 30 seconds (step 1). Then gradually, in 2 additions, add powdered sugar and salt, and beat at medium to high speed until smooth and creamy (step 2). The mixture will be thick. Beat in flavorings, and to make it a bit softer and spreadable, add room-temperature milk (steps 3-8).

Mixing bowl with creamed butter and sugar.

COLOR BUTTERCREAM

Color buttercream or leave it white. It’s up to you. You can use white buttercream and colorful sprinkles if that’s all you have, no need to get food colors.

I decided to make Unicorn Lofthouse Cookies using pink and sky blue buttercream.

Divide buttercream into two bowls and color it with sky blue and pink gel colors.

White buttercream in two bowls, with food coloring drops in the buttercream.

DECORATE WITH BUTTERCREAM AND SPRINKLES

Sprinkles though optional, take these delicious soft Lofthouse Cookies up a notch.

I used edible silver strands, they kind of look like jimmies. Then I also used white sprinkles, gold and silver sanding sugar.

Pink and blue buttercream in bowls with undecorated cookies and sprinkles on a side.

With the back of the spoon, spread a thin layer of buttercream onto a cookie (steps 1-3).

Then take a small spatula, pick a small amount of pink buttercream, and spread it across the blue buttercream (steps 4-6).

Spreading buttercream onto a cookie with a spoon.

Immediately decorate buttercream with sprinkles. I poured sprinkles into tiny silicone bowls for an easy pour. They are flexible and work great for so many different projects.

I started with silver strands, then white nonpareils, silver, and gold sanding sugar (steps 1-5).

Pouring sprinkles onto the cookie with buttercream.

If you prefer, you can frost cookies with a pink base first and then use blue buttercream to accent the pink frosting.

Buttercream frosted round cookies on a marble slab.

Spatula spreading buttercream on a round sugar cookie.

HOW LONG DO SOFT LOFTHOUSE COOKIES LAST?

These cookies will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up a one week.

HOW TO STORE COOKIES?

Store cookies in an airtight container, layered between pieces of wax paper or parchment. Or, alternatively, store them on a tray, covered well with a food wrap.

CAN I KEEP COOKIES AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

Unfrosted cookies keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. Frosted cookies can be at room temperature, covered for up to 2-3 days. After that, refrigerate.

DOES THE FROSTING CRUST?

Yes, frosting crusts a little and stays soft under the thin crust.

Round cookies frosted with blue and pink buttercream on a cooling rack.

TO MAKE UNICORN SOFT LOFTHOUSE COOKIES YOU NEED

  • TOOLS
  • Get all the tools you need in my Amazon Shop (see Cookie Making Tool Category)
  • Mixer
  • Baking Sheets
  • Measuring Spoon, Cups, Mixing Bowls
  • Parchment Paper
  • 1-inch Ice Cream Scoop
  • Gel Food Colors: sky blue, electric pink
  • Sprinkles: white nonpareils, silver sprinkles, gold and silver sanding sugar
  • Spoon to spread frosting on a cookie
  • Small Offset Spatula
Lofthouse Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Chilling
1 hr
 

Recipe for Soft Lofthouse Cookies. Makes about 30 – 2.5 inch cookies

Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lofthouse cookies, soft cookies, soft lofthouse cookies
Hanielas.com: Hani
Ingredients
SOFT LOFTHOUSE COOKIES
  • 2 3/4 cup cake flour (358grams)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (30grams)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (skip if using salted margarine)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (57grams to 60grams)
  • 1/4 cup good quality margarine (57grams to 60 grams)
  • 2 tbsp oil, canola
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (227grams)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (120 ml)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Almond Extract
AMERICAN BUTTERCREAM
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113grams)
  • 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar (325grams)
  • 2-3 tbsp room temperature milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp Almond Extract
Instructions
SOFT LOFTHOUSE COOKIES
  1. In a mixing, at medium speed beat room temperature butter (1/4 cup, 57grams-60grams), and margarine (1/4 cup, 57grams to 60grams) until smooth, about 30 seconds to a minute.

    TIP: Yes, you can use just butter, if that's all you have. It's fine.

  2. Beat in oil (2 tablespoons), mix well, till well combined and homogeneous. Then add powdered sugar (1 cup and 3/4 cup, 227grams ), beat till smooth, and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then add room temperature egg (1 whole large egg).

    Scrape down the bowl, and beat for 30 seconds until smooth and fluffy.

  3. Then gradually beat in room temperature sour cream (1/2 cup, 120ml).

  4. And lastly, beat in Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon and 1/2 teaspoon), and Almond Extract (1/4teaspoon).

  5. Into a separate bowl sift cake flour (2 ¾ cups, 358grams), baking soda (½ teaspoon), baking powder (½ teaspoon), salt ( ¼ teaspoon, omit salt if using salted margarine), and corn starch ( ¼ cup, 30 grams).

  6. At low speed beat flour into the wet mixture. Beat just till everything is combined. Take a spatula and fold the cookie batter few times, to ensure all is well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl as well.

Shape Lofthouse Cookies
  1. With 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop, drop soft, sticky dough onto a baking sheet or a tray lined with parchment.

    Cover with a food wrap and chill for about an hour or two, until no longer sticky and slightly firm.

  2. Shape each piece of chilled batter into a ball and transfer the shaped balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, about 2 inches apart.

    Take a small piece of parchment and ½ cup measuring cup.

    Place parchment square on top of the ball, with the back of the measuring cup gently press it down to flatten the ball, to about 5/16-inch (7-8mm) thick. Peel off the parchment piece and repeat on the remaining balls.

    TIP: Lightly dust a piece of parchment with flour.

Bake Cookies
  1. Bake at 350F (180C) for 8-10 minutes. Don’t let the cookies brown too much or they won’t be soft after they cool.

AMERICAN BUTTERCREAM
  1. With a mixer on medium speed beat room temperature unsalted butter (1/2 cup, 113grams) for 30 seconds, until creamy. Then gradually add powdered sugar (2cups and 1/2cups, 325grams) in 2 additions. Beat until creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl a few times in between.

  2. Beat in Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon) and Almond Extract (1/8 teaspoon).

  3. Lastly, add room temperature milk (2-3tablespoons) to make buttercream easily spreadable.

  4. Color Buttercream with gel food colors and use it to frost the cookies. Allow to crust before storing cookies in an airtight container, layered between pieces of wax paper or parchment.

Recipe Notes

  • CAN I USE BUTTER IN PLACE OF MARGARINE?- Yes, absolutely, you can.
  • HOW LONG DO LOFTHOUSE COOKIES LAST? – These cookies will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week. You can store them at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. After store cookies in the fridge. For best taste, allow chilled cookies to come to room temperature before serving.
  • HOW TO STORE COOKIES?- Store cookies in an airtight container or covered well with a food wrap.
  • IS IT A CRUSTING BUTTERCREAM- Yes, frosting crusts a little and stays soft under the thin crust.

Did you make this recipe? Tag @hanielas on Instagram and hashtag it #hanielas

Stacked buttercream decorated cookies.

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