If you're looking for soft mini sugar cookies that taste like they came from your grandmother's kitchen, you've found them! These were fan favorites at Amycakes Bakery; when served at birthday parties they're often gone before any other dessert. They aren't too sweet, with a thick and soft buttery texture on the inside.
About This Recipe
This simple and quick sugar cookie recipe is easy to follow and makes scrumptious soft cookies. They are frosted with fluffy house vanilla buttercream which has a hint of cream cheese--the perfect complement to these classic cookies!
This versatile dough can make many cookie sizes. I prefer the mini size with a 1-ounce cookie scoop (about 2-3 bites per cookie) which makes a very thick and soft cookie. This small size is perfectly cute for showers, parties, and special events.
You can also use other cookie scoop sizes or roll out the dough for shaped cookies--I go into more detail in the recipe FAQ section.
Cookie Dough Ingredients
- Salted Butter--I use salted butter in all my bakery recipes because it adds the most flavor
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Cream of Tartar--enhances the cookies' texture and color
- (Optional) Instant Clearjel or Instant Pudding Mix--this cookie recipe is delicious and soft with or without this secret ingredient, but I prefer to add it for a texture boost that keeps them softer for longer--and they don't spread as much in the oven!
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
We're using Amycakes Bakery's classic recipe for House Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- Cream Cheese--for a smooth creamy texture
- Salted Butter
- A little Shortening--just a hint for added fluffiness
- Powdered sugar
- Pure Vanilla
- (optional) Instant Clearjel--for added fluffiness and stability
Instructions and Tips
This sugar cookie dough is simple and straightforward and comes together quickly:
- Whisk Your Dry Ingredients
- Using a mixer, cream your butter and sugar.
- Incorporate the egg and extracts until thoroughly combined, then add the dry ingredients
- Bake in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Frost the cooled mini sugar cookies with a buttercream swirl (I use a 1M tip and a disposable piping bag) and top them with the sprinkles of your choice.
Tip: Make sure your butter is soft to the touch. I let mine set out the night before so it's ready to go when I'm ready to bake with it. (According to several resources like this article, salted butter can be left out at room temperature).
Tools and Equipment
FAQ--Refrigeration, Storing and Timing
Here are some common questions about preparing and storing these cookies.
How do I store these cookies?
Store these frosted sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They're best served within 2-3 days, if they last that long! You can refrigerate the frosted cookies that aren't eaten within 24 hours, but serve at room temperature. You can also freeze the cookie dough, as described below.
Can I make the cookie dough in advance?
Yes, you can make the cookie dough a couple of days ahead and keep it in the fridge, although I recommend scooping the cookie dough into balls the day you make the dough and storing them in the freezer. Then you can bake a few cookies any time you have a cookie craving.
Freeze rows of unbaked cookies in between layers of parchment paper, and wrap them in plastic wrap or store them in airtight Tupperware. Allow the cookie dough balls to come back to room temperature before baking.
How long can the house vanilla cream cheese buttercream stay at room temperature?
My buttercream contains some cream cheese for a creamy smooth texture. And according to many articles, it can be left out overnight. I keep my mini frosted sugar cookies at room temperature up to 24 hours since they are best at room temperature. Any longer than that and the cookies can be refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container.
FAQ--Substitutions, Adjustments and Ingredients
Here are some common questions about the ingredients or changes to this recipe.
Can I turn these into larger cookies or shaped cookies?
This cookie dough is very versatile--you can bake it in many different sizes and just adjust the baking time. In addition to the mini-size 1-ounce cookie scoop, I tested the baking time with a 1.5-ounce cookie scoop (they took an extra minute in the oven), and a 2-oz cookie scoop (they took 2 extra minutes in the oven).
I cut large cookies out of dough that was rolled ⅜ of an inch thick, and baked them for the same amount of time as the mini cookies (ten minutes). For a soft texture, I recommend rolling the shaped cookies thick (⅜ to ½ inch) and using minimal flour.
Should I make these cookies with Instant Clearjel or Instant Pudding Mix?
Unlike some of my other cookie recipes where I only recommend using Instant Clearjel, it's listed as optional in this recipe. I have tried this recipe without it and with an Instant Pudding Mix substitute. The recipe is delicious all three ways, but the Instant Clearjel (or Instant Pudding Mix) enhances the texture of the cookies and makes a less sticky dough that doesn't spread quite as much in the oven.
Where Can I find Instant Clearjel?
Although it’s not often available in grocery stores, it’s sold in a variety of online stores. As a reminder, please make sure it is labeled as “INSTANT" (cooktype and original clearjel are not the same):
- I use Prepared Pantry Instant Clearjel–use the code AMYCAKES for 50% off their 18 oz. Instant Clearjel.
- You can find it at Nuts.com at a great price.
- It’s often sold in local Amish Markets, or you might find it in specialty food stores.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! I hope you'll share your creations with me on social media @amycakesbakes! 🙂
Thanks for Reading. ❤️
Soft Frosted Mini Sugar Cookies
- 200 grams (1 ½ cups) Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- (optional) 2 teaspoons Instant Clearjel or 1 Tablespoon(s) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (*See Note #1)
Other Cookie Dough Ingredients
- 1 stick (4 ounces) Salted Butter (soft to the touch)
- 100 grams (½ cup) Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- ¼ teaspoon Almond Extract
- One 1x batch prepared prepared Vanilla Bakery Buttercream Frosting (*See Note #2)
Make the Sugar Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Whisk the Dry Ingredients until well mixed.
- Using a stand mixer (preferred) or handheld mixer, cream the soft butter and sugar just until the butter is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add the egg and vanilla and almond extracts. Continue to beat on medium--the mixture will separate at first but keep beating just until it comes back together to a more uniform liquid, scraping the bowl as needed.
- On low, slowly pour the whisked dry ingredients into the dough, and continue to mix just until it is fully incorporated and a smooth and uniform dough. Avoid overbeating.
- Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan or cookie sheet. (Alternatively, if you don't have a cookie scoop, divide the dough into 13 equal balls--about 2 Tablespoons each).
- Bake the cookies in the preheated 325 degree oven on the middle or top rack (avoid bottom rack) for 10 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are only lightly golden, and the tops of the cookies have lost most of their shine.
Frost the Cookies
- Prepare the House Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Dye some of it with gel food color, if desired.
- Using a 1M star tip and a disposable piping bag, frost each cookie with a swirl of buttercream and the sprinkles of your choice.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container and serve at room temperature. If the frosted sugar cookies aren't eaten within 24 hours, store them in the fridge, but bring them back to room temperature before eating. Enjoy!
- Read my article Instant Clearjel: a Magical Little-Known Bakery Ingredient to see why I think this ingredient is worth having in your pantry. Instant Clearjel must always be whisked thoroughly with other dry ingredients before being added to wet ingredients to avoid clumping. (Make sure what you use is labeled as “Instant"). Instant Pudding mix works similarly as it contains Instant Clearjel (modified cornstarch) as the second ingredient. Adding one of these is optional--these cookies are still delicious but do spread a little bit in the oven without it.
- You will have extra frosting when making the suggested batch size of the house vanilla buttercream recipe, but I find it's better to have extra frosting than not enough, especially when dying colors and using multiple frosting bags. Feel free to halve the frosting recipe if you don't need as much frosting on your cookies and/or if you are only using one color of frosting.