Published: February 13, 2020Last Updated: By:Elizabeth Marek
They reminded me a lot of these soft sugar cookies I ate as a child. Whenever it was time for my mom to go grocery shopping, I always wanted to go with her. Not because I was a good kid (I definitely wasn’t) but because I knew that the nice lady at the bakery would always give us a free sample cookie! a WHOLE cookie all to myself.
Whenever I set out to make a copycat recipe, the first thing I do is check out the ingredients right on the back of the box. That might seem a bit obvious right? The ingredients list is our first clue.
Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Ingredients: sugar, enriched bleached wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), margarine (palm oil, water, soybean oil, salt, contains 2% or less of: mono- and diglycerides, calcium disodium edta (preservative), artificial flavor, annatto (color), vitamin a palmitate), water, eggs, corn starch, contains 2% or less of: vegetable oil (palm kernel oil, and/or palm oil and/or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil [cottonseed and/or soybean oil]), dextrin, soy lecithin (emulsifier), natural and artificial flavors, confectioner’s glaze (lac resin), colors (yellow 5 lake, blue 1, blue 1 lake, blue 2, blue 2 lake, red 3, red 40, red 40 lake, yellow 5, yellow 6, yellow 6 lake), leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum sulfate, monocalcium phosphate), carnauba wax, food starch-modified, whey protein concentrate, whey, calcium caseinate, nonfat milk, polysorbate 60, sodium propionate (preservative).
I know this looks like a lot of technical words but let’s break it down. First of all, I know from my own bakery owning days that ingredients have to be listed in the order of the biggest amount to the smallest.
- The first ingredient is sugar. This makes sense because of the frosting.
- The second ingredients is enriched bleached wheat flour, which is a fancy word for bleached cake flour. My first clue! Cookies made with cake flour, not all-purpose flour. No wonder they are so soft!
- The third ingredient is margarine, not butter. This might be a deal-breaker for me, I hate baking with margarine. The margarine might be in the cookie or it might be in the frosting or both.
- The next ingredients are water and cornstarch. Hmm I can’t imagine there would be a ton of cornstarch in a cookie recipe so I can guess about how much based on other recipes.
- The smallest amounts are vegetable oil (probably for moisture similar to oil in cakes) dextrin which is a type of food additive to make foods taste fresher and lecithin which is an emulsifier.
- Then we have flavorings, coloring, leavening (baking soda and baking powder) and preservatives.
Now that I have these ingredients broken down, I can go about figuring out how they work together to re-create that top-secret Lofthouse cookie as close as possible.
I started looking for recipes that use margarine or butter in their recipes and came across this sugar cookie recipe from Betty Crocker that looked promising. The recipe used powdered sugar, not granulated. I remember someone once telling me that powdered sugar in cookies creates a very tender cookie. Could that be the secret to the Lofthouse cookie recipe? Worth a try.
The recipe also called for margarine (ugh). So I relented and bought myself some margarine for the first time in my life! I couldn’t bring myself to use all margarine so I did half margarine and half unsalted butter.
I then adapted this recipe to what I saw on the back of the Lofthouse cookie ingredients box. I opted for bleached cake flour instead of all-purpose for a more tender and cake-like cookie.
I also added in some cornstarch which helps the batter keep its shape while baking. Almond extract for that typical sugar cookie flavor and vanilla extract. All I had was real vanilla, next time I might use clear vanilla for a lighter cookie.
The batter ended up looking basically like a thick cake batter, which makes sense!
I scooped the batter out of the bowl using a medium cookie scoop but the batter was so sticky, I basically had to remove it from the scoop with my fingers. I plopped the sticky dough evenly onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and put them in the fridge to chill for two hours.
After chilling, the dough is a bit easier to handle. You can roll the dough into balls then flatten them. They should be about 3″ wide and about 1/2″ thick. Give a few inches of space between each cookie because they are going to spread a lot.
You only need to bake these cookies for 8 minutes! You do not want to over-bake these or they will not have that soft interior.
As you can see, after baking, the cookies have puffed up a ton and spread out. Let them cool a bit before frosting them with the American Buttercream.
So I ended up testing this recipe and tweaking it about 6 times before I was pretty happy with the taste and texture compared to the original Lofthouse Cookie. I did also try the leading Copycat Lofthouse cookie recipe which used AP flour and sour cream and it was VERY dry. Not bad tasting but the texture was not soft at all.
This Lofthouse cookie is CAKEY, super soft and has a light vanilla flavor. Most of the flavor comes from the sweet bakery style buttercream frosting which I piped onto the cookie using an 804 piping tip and piping bag. Of course, I had to finish the cookies off with some rainbow sprinkles!
I compared the original Lofthouse cookie texture with my cookie and I’m 90% satisfied. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was how to get these specific layers. It’s almost like the dough has been laminated before it bakes. Something to keep working on in the future.
But as far as the softness, the taste, and the texture, I’m super happy with this TRUE copycat Lofthouse cookie recipe. I hope you’re satisfied too. Let me know what you think if you give this recipe a try.
I also have to mention that these cookies made an appearance in Ezra’s five-month birthday photo, you can see it on my Instagram.
Want more cookie recipes? Check these out!
Marbled Valentines Day Sugar Cookies
Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
Original Lofthouse Cookie (Copycat Recipe)
4.91 from 370 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Chilling: 2 hrs
Serves: 18 cookies
Author: Elizabeth Marek
- 6 ounces (170 g) powdered sugar
- 4 ounces (113 g) margarine or butter
- 4 ounces (113 g) unsalted butter softened
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 13 ounces (368 g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract or real extract is ok
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (227 g) unsalted butter softened
- 16 ounces (453 g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ounces (113 g) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon electric pink food coloring Americolor brand
- 2 Tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
804 piping tip and bag
Stand mixer with whisk and paddle attachment or hand mixer
In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or you can use a hand mixer) cream together the butter, margarine and powdered sugar until light and fluffy
Add in your vanilla, almond extract and egg and mix on medium until combined
Add in your baking soda, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar and cornstarch and mix until combined
Switch to the paddle attachment and mix in your cake flour just until combined. Do not overmix (or you can do this by hand)
Scoop your batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet with a medium-sized cookie scoop (or you can use a spoon)
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours (or up to 24 hours)
Preheat your oven to 375ºF
Roll the chilled dough into balls and then flatten with your fingers into cookies that are about 1/2" thick and 3" wide. Arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake your cookies for 8-9 minutes or just until the sheen disappears from the top of the cookie. Place onto a cooling rack to cool fully before frosting with buttercream and finishing with sprinkles
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze
For the frosting
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) cream your butter until smooth using the whisk attachment
Start adding your powdered sugar while mixing on low until it's all incorporated.
Add in your vanilla, milk, salt, and food coloring and mix until smooth.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 405kcal (20%) | Carbohydrates: 51g (17%) | Protein: 3g (6%) | Fat: 21g (32%) | Saturated Fat: 11g (55%) | Cholesterol: 53mg (18%) | Sodium: 131mg (5%) | Potassium: 78mg (2%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 35g (39%) | Vitamin A: 725IU (15%) | Calcium: 23mg (2%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!
There is one secret to our recipe we're willing to share! We let the cookies finish baking on the pan out of the oven for the last few minutes of their baking time. Our cookies taste so fresh because they're baked daily in our stores. Did you know kids are able to get cookies for free in our bakery?Why does refrigerated cookie dough taste better? ›
Cookies made from chilled dough are also much more flavorful. This is thanks to a few different factors. The dough becomes hydrated as the dry ingredients soak up moisture from the wet ingredients. This subtle hydration makes the dough less wet, concentrating the flavors.How do you make sugar cookies taste like homemade? ›
A teaspoon or two of extracts will noticeably boost flavor when blended into your sugar cookie mix. Vanilla is the obvious choice. For a more intriguing flavor, add both vanilla and almond extracts. Rum, maple and anise are other delicious varieties to consider.
For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand. The effect was known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.
After completely cool, place in a tightly sealed resealable container, your Toll House® cookies will last up to 3 or 4 months! Can I freeze cookie dough? Bake it frozen or wait until thawed? Our cookie dough can be frozen for up to 8 weeks.Why do Maryland cookies taste different? ›
It's sweetened with maltitol (a natural sugar), which the company says has half the calories of sugar and doesn't promote tooth decay - importantly it still "90% as sweet tasting as sugar".What is Snoop Dogg cookies? ›
Snoop Dogg's peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe - His original cookie features creamy peanut butter and semisweet chocolate morsels, making it the perfect indulgence this holiday season. # christmas #cookies #peanutbutter #recipe #recipes #food #cookie.Why is it called a cowboy cookie? ›
Some claim cowboy cookies hail from Texas, a state many cowboys call home. Others say the treats were named for their ability to withstand long days in saddlebag. Whatever its origin, the combination of oats, chocolate, pecans, and coconut is undeniably delicious.What is the Pennsylvania cookie? ›
Whoopie Pie | Traditional Cookie From Pennsylvania, United States of America.Does baking soda make cookies softer or harder? ›
When added to dough, baking soda releases a carbon dioxide gas which helps leaven the dough, creating a soft, fluffy cookie.Should I use baking soda or baking powder in cookies? ›
Baking soda is most commonly used in cookie and muffin recipes. Baking powder, however, already contains an acid and a base and has a more neutral taste, which works great when baking cakes and bread.Does cream of tartar make cookies soft? ›
The addition of cream of tartar in these chocolate chip cookies makes them softer and chewier than you would if it was stand alone baking powder/soda. Adding a touch of salt to the tops of the cookies adds a sweet and salty complement that really gives these the best flavor possible.Why do you put cream of tartar in sugar cookies? ›
Cream of tartar helps to activate the leavening properties of baking soda, thus adding loft and a light, fluffy texture to cookies, cakes, and more. Prevents browning in sugar cookies.What is the secret to a good cookie? ›
- All Ingredients Should Be at the Right Temperature (Usually Room) ...
- Chill the Dough. ...
- Consistency is Key. ...
- Bake One Batch at a Time. ...
- Cool On the Sheet Pan First.
How do you get sugar crystals to stick to cookies? ›
You can use frosting or an egg wash to get sprinkles to stick to baked cookies. Whichever method you use, start with cookies that have cooled completely. Top the cookies with frosting (homemade or purchased) that is soft but not too runny. (Sprinkles will not stick to dry, stiff frosting.)What is the #1 cookie in the US? ›
1 Chocolate Chip Cookie (No Further Description Necessary)
America's favorite cookie and the one dubbed “the American cookie” is the Chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate chip cookie is simply tantalizing both in flavor and in texture.
Dollar sales of the leading cookie brands of the United States in 2017 (in million U.S. dollars)
|Characteristic||Sales in million U.S. dollars|
The Cravory: Freshly Baked Cookies — Best Seller's Mix
“This 18-cookie pack comes with a mix of its bestsellers, which are baked to order and so soft, ensuring that the lucky recipient gets the freshest possible treats.” And Oprah isn't the only one who loves The Cravery. Amazon reviewers do, too!
To make forming the chilled cookie dough more manageable, pre-portion it by scooping balls of dough into individual cookies, placing them on a sheet pan or in a resealable bag, chilling, and then baking right away.Should you flatten a cookie before baking it? ›
And there are no baking police: If your recipe tells you to flatten your cookies before baking, you just go ahead and do that however you want. So long as they end up evenly flat, that is; squashing cookies haphazardly under your palm means they may bake and brown unevenly.How long should refrigerated cookie dough sit out before baking? ›
Chilling cookie dough for just 30 minutes makes a big difference. The cookies pictured above are the same size, weight-wise. But look at the difference in spread – the cookie dough that was refrigerated spread less. The cookie dough without refrigeration also browned less.What happens if you add an extra egg to a cookie recipe? ›
Balance here is important, because too much egg yolk will incorporate too much moisture, rendering your batch spongy and cakelike rather than the texture of a traditional cookie.Why do homemade cookies taste better than store bought? ›
Homemade cookies usually use all-natural ingredients, which makes them preservative-free. Store-bought cookies, however, have preservatives added to them, which make them unhealthy for consumption. You'll be surprised at the number of preservatives, salt, and sugar in those store-bought snacks!What is sugar cookie punishment? ›
As one of the “punishments” for failing uniform inspection, a SEAL trainee is ordered into the surf to get good, cold, and wet, and then to roll around on the beach until they are completely covered in fine white sand – resembling a “sugar cookie.” They stay that way for the rest of the day.
What is a Nazareth sugar cookie? ›
The sugar cookie is believed to have originated in the mid-1700s in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. German Protestant settlers created a round, crumbly and buttery cookie that came to be known as the Nazareth Cookie. Published recipes for the sugar cookie began to appear in the 1800s.What does ring the bell mean in the military? ›
According to the New York Times, Wakefield used to chill the cookie dough overnight when she made the cookies at the Toll House Inn. And the Times' own experimentation left them to believe that refrigerating cookie dough gives cookies a richer taste, a darker color, and stronger hints of toffee and brown sugar.How do bakeries keep cookies fresh? ›
To extend the shelf life of products, many bakers use specially formulated enzymes for preservation. These naturally occurring protein compounds can keep baked goods soft while preventing crumbling and staling.Why are my cookies cakey not chewy? ›
Why Did My Cookies Come Out Cakey? When cookies are too cakey, there are two main culprits: too much leavening (baking powder or baking soda) or too much egg. If there is too much baking powder or baking soda in the dough, the cookies will rise too much when baking, creating a cakier structure.What is Queen Elizabeth's favorite cookie? ›
These Buckingham Palace Shortbread Cookies are rich, tender, and buttery. They were among the late Queen Elizabeth's favorite sweets for her afternoon tea. This recipe is from the Buckingham Palance Pastry Chef, John Higgins.What is America's most favorite cookie? ›
A new survey shows that 82% of people say they enjoy baking their own cookies. And what's more, 35% say the classic chocolate chip cookie is their favorite. Other cookie flavors cited by respondents included peanut butter, brownie/double chocolate, and oatmeal raisin. Shortbread rounded out the top five.What is California's favorite cookie? ›
CALIFORNIA: Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chips
So there's no better way to define the Golden State than two mighty flavors: peanut butter and chocolate. Want to try making another type of cookie with these classic flavors?
The ingredients you use and how you shape your cookies both play an important role in whether your cookies turn out crispy or chewy. The type of flour and sugar you use, if your cookie dough contains eggs, and whether you use melted or softened butter all factor into the crispy-chewy equation, too.Why are my cookies super soft? ›
It's all about moisture. To keep it simple, cookie recipes that contain a lot of butter, brown sugar or egg yolks are going to yield soft and chewy cookies, because those ingredients add moisture and retain it for a longer amount of time.
Why is my sugar cookie so soft? ›
Well let me tell you – runny cookie dough is NOT the way to go about it. There are a few reasons why your cookie dough isn't as stiff as it should be. There's not enough flour in the dough, the temperature is too high, or you've added too much of the wet ingredients.Why do hard cookies get soft? ›
Simply, the cookies start to absorb the moisture from the slice of bread. You'll notice this after a day or so (if your cookies last that long) when you open the cookie jar and find, essentially, a crouton. The cookies will sap up all that extra moisture.Is it better to bake cookies with Crisco or butter? ›
Cookies Made with Butter vs Shortening
Cookies made with only butter may not rise as much and may spread a bit more, but the edges will be crispier and will have a rich buttery taste. Cookies made with only shortening will result in a cookie that bakes higher and holds its shape better during baking.
Can Butter and Shortening Be Used Interchangeably in Cookies? Butter and shortening can generally be substituted for each other in cookie recipes if you keep a few things in mind: Since butter does contain water and less fat than shortening, you'll need to use more of it as a substitution.What is the secret to chewy cookies? ›
Double Your Yolks Most cookie recipes call for at least one egg. You can try omitting the white of each egg, which tends to dry out when baked, and replacing it with an additional yolk. Plus, egg yolks have more fat than egg whites, which helps to keep your cookies moist and chewy.Does putting cookies in the fridge make them soft? ›
The temperature can be a big factor when storing cookies. Unless otherwise noted, don't store cookies in the refrigerator: The cool air can rob cookies of their moisture and make them taste bland. In general, store cookies at room temperature or freeze them, as specified above.Is cold butter better than melted butter in cookies? ›
“Room temp butter is able to hold onto air,” Szewczyk says. “You can mechanically shove air into it by creaming. Warm butter is not able to hold onto it, so you're going to get a denser dough.” When using warmer or melted butter, cookies will struggle to lift and lighten, resulting in a cakier texture, like brownies.Should butter be melted for cookies? ›
What makes cookies made with melted butter different? Creaming softened butter and sugar together incorporates air into the dough, helping cookies rise, puff up, and become lighter as they bake.Does microwaving hard cookies make it soft? ›
The heat of the oven will only dry them out more and make them hard as rocks. Microwaving them. If you cover your cookies with a wet paper towel and nuke them for a few seconds, they should soften up enough to eat.What does putting a piece of bread in cookies do? ›
The bread trick
To keep your moist cookies soft and chewy, place a quarter slice of bread (per dozen) into the container. The cookies will absorb moisture from the bread, keeping them soft longer. White bread is best, as it won't transfer its own flavors to the cookies.
Why do store bought cookies get hard? ›
Why Do Cookies Get Hard? Like all baked treats, cookies are subject to getting stale. Over time, the moisture in the cookies evaporates, leaving them stiff and crumbly. It's the same thing that happens to breads, muffins, and other baked goods.