Pillowy Soft Sugar Cookies
We love to decorate cookies for Christmas, Valentines and pretty much any holiday or celebration. Sugar cookies are a natural go-to recipe but through the years I have found most recipes result in crispy or even hard cookies. This recipe tweaks the standard sugar cookie recipe with the addition of cream cheese. The other secret is using cake flour instead of regular flour. The result? Pillowy soft sugar cookies that melt in your mouth! With snow coming later today I am planning on making a second batch!
Tips for Making Pillowy Soft Sugar Cookies
The first tip, which actually applies to all cookies, is to soften both the cream cheese and butter. I usually leave it out on the counter or use the soften function in my microwave. Softening allows the cream cheese and butter to mix in with your dry ingredients and gives an even texture to the cookie.
Second, as I noted above, cake flour is super fine flour. You can find this in the baking aisle at your local supermarket. I find King Arthur makes excellent flours for baking, and they have a cake flour version. My local supermarket also carries Swan’s Down and Soft As Silk. Either brand would work well too.
Lastly, you need to watch the baking time carefully. In order to get that soft, pillowy texture you will not want to over cook. I usually bake two trays at once and then switch the cookies from top to bottom racks midway through baking. You will need to work with your oven. The second the edges become the slightest brown, take the cookies out to cool.
Decorating soft sugar cookies
These cookies are perfect for dipping into sprinkles or some powdered sugar. As Christmas is next week I used a mix of red, green and multi colored sprinkles for an assortment. I have also used red and pink at Valentines day. My girls love to decorate cookies too so we have also frosted these cookies. Would love to hear if you have tried the recipe and how it came out. Please comment below!
Pillowy Soft Sugar Cookies
- Cookie sheets
- 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 3/4 cup cake flour see note on suggested brands
- Sprinkles optional
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat (I like Silpat)
- Combine flour with baking powder in a bowl.
- Cream together butter and cream in a separate bowl with electric or stand mixer.
- Add sugar to butter/cream mixture and beat for 1 minute. Add egg and beat to combine. Add extracts and beat until combined. Add in baking powder and cake flour (in three sections), mixing to combine.
- Once incorporated, refrigerate dough for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Dough will be sticky so use flour on your hands or wear gloves to roll out 1-2 inch balls.
- If using sprinkles, dip into sprinkle mixture gently.
- If you would like a dome shape, you can use the bottom of a cup to gently flatten the top of the balls but don’t flatten too much or the cookies won’t puff up or be pillowy soft.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove cookies when you see the underside edges turning golden. You will have to watch carefully after about 8 minutes as it happens quickly. The time may also might vary for your oven and altitude.
- Let cool on a baking rack. If frosting, let cool completely.