While the following recipe is as close as I could get to the original, it does have a little more oomph when it comes to flavor and texture.
Flavor of Lofthouse sugar cookies & The Not So “Secret Ingredient”
*Since this version is a homemade Lofthouse, I used pure vanilla extract and A touch of almond extract, But you can use imitation vanilla and leave out the almond extract for a more authentic flavor profile.
Additionally, there is a touch of creaminess to the cookies. And that creaminess is how I realized that the secret ingredient you need for making copycat lofthouse sugar cookies is dry milk powder. And here’s the aha moment, if you check out the label of Lofthouse cookie ingredients, you will in fact see that nonfat milk powder is in the original recipe. So not so secret, after all!
There are so many awesome copycat recipes out there for Lofthouse. And some of them use sour cream. But it is important to know that sour cream will effect not only the taste of your homemade sugar cookie, but the texture as well. Which gets us to the issue of texture..
Texture of Lofthouse Sugar Cookies
The texture of store bought sugar cookies is quite amazing. They are crumbly yet don’t break apart. They are pillowy and soft like a cake, yet still 100% a cookie. And they are drier cookies without being “Give me water!” Dry. And they even have hints of airy layers if you look close enough when you bite them or break them apart. Yep, baking fanatics like myself do this kind of thing on a regular basis!
So how can this texture be achieved by a home baker? The answer is, Cornstarch in many different forms. For the following recipe, you will use a smidge of powdered sugar and cornstarch, as well as cake flour. This will give you the lightest, airiest, and least chewy cookie. Also, shortening over sour cream will give your cookies moisture without compromising that airy texture and neutral flavor.
So what will all this do to the cookie dough? It will make it a drier cookie dough that I found best to chill, roll, and cut out. When rolling out the dough, use powdered sugar to dust your surface rather than flour.
When cutting out the cookies you should first roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. The bit of baking soda will give it a little extra rise in the oven.
Do not, for the love of Lofthouse, over bake these cookies!! If they are even a minute underdone, that’s better than being over baked! Bake them for 7-9 minutes. No more and no less than that time frame is going to give you the best cookie. And use your middle oven rack. You aren’t going for a browned cookie.
The correct frosting is essential in having a proper homemade lofthouse sugar cookie. The vanilla frosting is supposed to be sweet, cutely colored, and finished off with sprinkles. Now the original recipe doesn’t use butter, but you can adjust that any way you prefer. Note that if you use all butter, you will taste the butter since these cookies aren’t flavor packed. So just be mindful of that. If you want a more authentic flavor then go with margarine or shortening over butter. And you can always do an even blend of butter and shortening as well.
The Final Result
I took some Halloween themed copycat lofthouse style cookies to the girls after school. And I was really happy when Bea exclaimed I nailed it and they are even better than the original Lofthouse! Score for Mom!
I hope you love baking these festive sugar cookies as much as I loved creating them for you! For more free recipes and food videos, join me on Instagram. And I just started sharing some baking tips and fun finds on my brand new Tik Tok as well!
Secret Ingredient Lofthouse Cookie Recipe
- 1/2 C unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 -2 C powdered sugar depending on desired sweetness, go up to 2 cups
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract, or imitation vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoon buttermilk or whole milk
- Pinch sea salt
Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies
Use hand or stand mixer to Beat butter, shortening, and sugars until light and fluffy.
Then add egg and vanilla and beat for additional 2 minutes on medium speed.
In separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients and then gradually add to dough on low speed.
Put dough onto parchment lightly dusted with powdered sugar and form a rectangle- wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, Then dust with powdered sugar and roll rectangle to 1/2 inch thickness and use 3 inch round cookie cutter to stamp out cookies.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. You can fit 9 cookies per sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes and promptly remove from oven and cool on wire racks before frosting.
Use a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment to beat the butter (or margarine or shortening) on medium speed until smooth.
Then turn mixer to lowest setting and gradually add in powdered sugar.
Once powdered sugar is fully incorporated, turn mixer speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes.
Add vanilla extract and buttermilk (or milk) and beat an additional minute.
Then spread onto cookies and dust with sprinkles as desired.
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- They can also be frozen in An airtight container for up to a month. Thaw before serving.
- These cookies can also be made into sandwich cookies!
- These cookies can truly be made for any and all occasions. You can use any shape of cookie cutter you want and change up the color of the frosting and sprinkles. They are also fun for kids to decorate!
- As always, if you have questions or need some help baking these, reach out to me!