Copycat Lofthouse Soft Sugar Cookies (Halloween!)



You know you love them. Even if you don’t want to admit it. I know that you love them. I know that I love them, especially when they are Holiday themed =). For some reason, the holidays bring out the sugar cookie side of me. Lofthouse Sugar Cookies are what I’m talking about, and even if you don’t know the name, I’m 100% certain you’ve seen them before. You usually find them in the bakery of your grocery store, and they are usually incredibly difficult to resist. Well maybe not usually. More like ALWAYS incredibly difficult to resist. There are some copycat recipes floating around out there, but today I wanted to put my own spin on them. Surprisingly, these sugar cookies are quite simple to make, even though they take some patience. Just like all other sugar cookies, they need their “chilling” time. The buttercream is equally as simple and can be made ahead of time. You will totally be addicted to these sugar cookies once you’ve made them for the first time. I had to keep myself from eating the whole batch before I took photos! I know I know, life is so rough.







I’ll have you know that I struggled with the decision of using either cream cheese or sour cream for this recipe. I’ve baked with sour cream many, many times. It helps in making cookies super soft and fluffy. I didn’t want to go overboard with sour cream though. Sour cream has a tang that can knock you off your feet. For these sugar cookies, I decided to mix the two. It worked just fine for me, and the flavor was perfect…for me. This doesn’t mean you have to do the same. You can certainly just use sour cream and substitute the 1/4 cup of cream cheese for just more sour cream. You could also use softened mascarpone which I LOVE, but don’t LOVE to pay for all of the time. The choice is yours, just make sure you stick with the exact measurements.

The same goes for the vanilla bean. I go crazy over vanilla bean and use it any chance I get. Traditionally, you would not put the seeds from a vanilla bean into the dough. This ingredient can be skipped, especially since purchasing vanilla bean can get pricey. It’s up to you!

Just like anything else, baking requires you to be specific, and these sugar cookies can change depending on your conditions. I obviously live a mile above sea level. Sometimes “drastic” measures have to be taken. It always takes my cookies longer to bake and sometimes I have to adjust the leavening agents (baking soda, baking powder, yeast…even flour). The key is to pay close attention to the dough. You want a cookie dough. You want it to be sticky, but not runny. Adjust the flour amount as you need. I find that it is best to start with a little bit less and work your way up. You can always add more, but you can’t always take away. On the other hand, if you find your cookie dough to be TOO stiff, it’s ok to add a tablespoon or two of milk. I do this often and it always seems to work out in the end.

Have I confused the heck out of you yet??

I’m sorry =(. If you have questions, I’m just a message away =).

Also, sprinkles are not optional.

We haven’t had Santa Fe Brewing’s Imperial Java Stout in quite a while, but I couldn’t resist. I knew that it would be just perfect for this pairing. I know, you’re thinking I should have used a pumpkin beer of some kind because of the whole “Halloween-Fallish” theme, but the flavors just didn’t pair up. If I were sticking pumpkin in the cookie (well, heyyyy there’s an idea!), it would be a whole different situation. So Santa Fe is awesome (both the city and the brewery (=), and their Imperial Java Stout is just delicious. It’s the perfect pairing with sweets. It’s chocolatey and coffee(y) and perfect. It comes in a super cute can, so that should be more than enough reason to give it a shot.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!





Copycat Lofthouse Soft Sugar Cookies
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
47 min

Copycat Lofthouse Soft Sugar Cookies

Lofthouse sugar cookies are those delicious cookies you find in the bakery of your grocery store. Here is the how-to on how to make them at home!


    For the Cookies
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • seasonal sprinkles (optional)
  • For the Buttercream Frosting
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner''s sugar
  • 4 tablespoons half and half (or something similar)


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream together the sugar and butter. One at a time, crack each egg separately into the bowl. Mix to combine. Once incorporated, add the vanilla extract, seeds from vanilla bean, sour cream and cream cheese. Beat again to combine until all of the ingredients come together. In 1/2 cup increments add the dry ingredients into the wet until you have added it all. Mix until everything comes together and a soft dough forms. It should be sticky, but slightly firm. If it''s too "runny" add a tablespoon more of flour at a time until you get this consistency. Dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and cover. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Once your dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
  • Generously flour a work surface, unwrap your dough and place onto the floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with more flour. Taking a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut shapes out of your dough with a cookie cutter (I used a circular cookie and Halloween shaped cookie cutters). Once you have cut as many shapes as possible, place the shapes onto your prepared baking sheets (I had a dozen and a half total, but this will vary depending on the cookie cutter you decide to use). Bake at 425 degrees F for 6-7 minutes until they begin to brown slightly around the edges and feel slightly firm to the touch. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool COMPLETELY.
  • While your cookies are cooling, prepare you buttercream frosting. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream the butter until soft and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and mix again to combine. In 1/2 cup increments, while the mixer is on it''s lowest speed, add the confectioner''s sugar until it is all incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 30 seconds until fluffy. Add in the half and half (or whatever you decided to use) and beat again for about 2 minute until light and fluffy once again.
  • Once cool, frost the cookies with the buttercream frosting. Sprinkle with sprinkles (if desired). Once the buttercream has set, transfer to an airtight container where the cookies will keep for about a week. Enjoy!


Hardware: * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Stand Mixer (with paddle attachment fixed) * Large Bowl * Plastic Wrap * Rolling Pin * Large Baking Sheets * Parchment Paper * Cookie Cutters * Wire Rack (for cooling) * Offset Spatula * Spatula *

Inactive Time: 4 hours or up to 12 hours (overnight)

Categories: American Fare, Autumn, Beer, Cookies, Dessert, Fall, Food and Beer Pairings, Halloween, Recipes, Seasonal, Stout, Sweet
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

35 thoughts on “Copycat Lofthouse Soft Sugar Cookies (Halloween!)

  • October 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    These turned out exactly like the Lofthouse cookies. My only advice is the bake time is somewhere between 6-7 mins if you are not a mile above sea level. Nothing a little trial and error couldn’t sort out. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • October 14, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Julie – That’s a really good point! It always takes me a couple of minutes longer to bake anything. It may be a good idea to start mentioning this in the recipes. Thanks for the heads up! I’m super excited that you like them! Thanks for trying out the recipe! – Justine

  • October 15, 2013 at 11:10 am

    These look amazing! Could I make them as cookie bars instead of rolling them out? I have a tiny one who makes time in the kitchen very difficult.

  • October 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Karie – Thank you! I think cookie bars would TOTALLY work. Actually, that’s a fabulous idea. I’ve never tried it, but I would think you would need to bake them just a little bit longer since it will be a whole “sheet” of cookie. I would go with a 9×13 baking dish perhaps? Keep an eye on them so that they don’t overcook and grease your pan =). Let me know how it works out for you! I may have to try this out myself! Good luck! – Justine

  • October 30, 2013 at 10:07 am

    why does the cookies tend to shrink when cutting them out?

  • October 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Hi Janie! They will tend to shrink when you cut them out because the dough tends to be on the elastic(y) side. It will also help to let the dough chill. This will help them hold their shape. They should bake up nicely either way. Just keep an eye on them as they are baking. Good luck! – Justine

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  • December 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Would it be awful if I didn’t put sour cream in and just put extra cream cheese? That’s quite a drastic change, but I don’t LOVE sour cream.

  • December 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Allison! No, it would not be awful if you left out sour cream and just put in cream cheese! The sour cream taste in the cookies is pretty non-existent, but I totally don’t blame you for not wanting to use it. There have been quite a few people who have tried to make them without the sour cream and substituted in extra cream cheese. You may have a little bit of a consistency problem with the dough (in that it may be a little on the thicker side), but if you just add a tablespoon or two of milk (or something similar) you should be ok. Nothing a little trial and error can’t fix =). I hope they work out for ya! Enjoy! – Justine

  • December 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks so much! I’ll have to try it out. These look too good not to try. :)

  • December 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Is 12 hours the max it can sit in the fridge before baking?

  • December 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Hi Melinda! No, not at all! You can let the dough sit in the fridge for 3-4 days if you wish. Just make sure that it is tightly covered with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t dry out. You could also freeze it for a couple of months. I do this often. Good luck! I hope this helps! – Justine

  • December 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Agree, at 8 minutes, the edges got a little burnt. 7 minutes was much better. Otherwise, the cookies are coming out great! Thanks for the recipe. I have seen many claiming to be lofthouse clones but this seems to be the closest.

  • December 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Gordo – I’m happy that the cookies are coming out great! This seems to be a common theme with the timing for most people. I’m going to go ahead and change the timing in the actual recipe. Thanks for trying the recipe! Enjoy! – Justine

  • December 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Words can’t stress enough to FLOUR YOUR SURFACE! This is one of the most difficult and sticky cookie doughs I’ve ever had the displeasure of working with. I’d even go so far as to say add an extra half cup of flour to the recipe before you refrigerate it and then LIBERALLY flour your surface. The resulting cookies are great but I had to re-work my dough at least three times to get it to cooperate.

  • December 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Why do sugar cookies get so hard after 1 day?

  • December 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Sugar cookies will most certainly get hard and dry out if you don’t seal them up really, really tightly in an airtight container. I’ve had many batches of soft sugar cookies go hard if I don’t store them properly. I hope this helps!

  • December 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Maureen! I think you have a super important point here. This dough is extremely sticky and difficult to work with. I find that some batches work better than others, and sometimes I do need more flour. I just made another batch yesterday, and I found the dough more annoying to work with than ever. It is very important to flour everything (including the cookie cutter). I hope they were the worth the struggle, and I’m happy they at least tasted good even though they were a royal pain int he butt to make. =) – Justine

  • December 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Is it fine not to refrigerate the dough if you are not cutting shapes in the dough?

  • December 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Stephanie! I would definitely advise chilling it somehow, even if it’s just sticking the dough in the freezer for a half hour to speed up the process. Even if you don’t plan on cutting shapes out of it, you run the risk of the the cookies spreading awkwardly (as well as getting an iffy consistency). Chilling the dough helps to solidify the fat (in this case butter). You can totally give it a shot on a tester cookie or two and see how the consistency turns out. If you are in a rush and have access to a freezer, I think this would be the second best option. Just don’t leave it in there too long or you will have to wait for it to thaw ;). Good luck! – Justine

  • December 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

    These cookies are amazing! We refrigerated the dough for about 5 hours and rolled out in two batches (to keep the dough cool while we were rolling out the first batch). We didn’t have any problems with the dough being too sticky and did keep the rolling surface and the pin generously floured. The cookies stayed nice and soft and really do taste like the Lofthouse cookies. Thanks for the great recipe Justine!

  • December 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I am so happy that you guys loved the cookies =). They are definitely one of my favorites and don’t last very long around here ;). Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • December 24, 2013 at 11:01 am

    These cookies were perfect. Not too sweet, just the right amount of flavor. Added about 2-3 Tbsp more flour, baked them for 7 mins at 425F. Amazingly soft. Best sugar cookie recipe ever. Thank you!!! Took the advice of using extra flour for the work area & utensils, it helped a lot.

  • December 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I’m so happy they worked out for you! A lot of flour certainly helps. The dough can get on the sticky side. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday season! Happy Holidays!

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  • April 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I’m IN LOVE with this idea of using powdered sugar instead of flour to “flour” the surface. Brilliant! I am so happy you enjoyed them ;).

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  • October 2, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    These are dangerously delish….this will be my go to recipe for sugar cookies from now on.

  • December 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I make these every year at Christmas and people love them. I think they are not too sweet but yet they remind me of an old recipe. We LOVE them!!

  • February 1, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I know his is a late answer but just wanted to give an idea… If I want cookies to be less crisp, I throw a piece of fresh white bread into the container with the cookies (not touching though) for at least 8 hours and the cookies will soften right up! I believe an apple slice will work as well but I always use bread : )

  • February 2, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you. BTW,. they have been soft when i took them out of the oven, but got hard and crisp as they cooled. I’ll try less time . thank you again.

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