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Small Batch of Sugar Cookies

This is the best small batch sugar cookies recipe! This small batch recipe is definitely one for your recipe box. These soft, lofthouse style sugar cookies melt in your mouth and are topped with a rich buttercream frosting. 

one sugar cookie on a white plate next to a rack of cookies.

If you're looking for the best sugar cookie recipe, you've come to the right place. This cookie recipe is a keeper and has been in my recipe files for years.

In fact, this is the sugar cookie recipe I've used to make lofthouse cookies for my kids' classroom parties, for school bake sales, and for holiday parties.

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The cookies are easy to make and they're buttery and soft. The ingredients are mixed in one bowl and bake in 10 minutes.

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Soft Sugar Cookies

Are you familiar with lofthouse cookies? They're the ones that you often see in the bakery section of supermarkets. Lofthouse cookies are popular because they're not only soft and sweet, but they're so pretty too. Often topped with colorful frosting and a scattering of candied sprinkles, they're perfect for parties.

These soft sugar cookies are very similar to lofthouse cookies but they're so much tastier.

They're made with a few pantry staples and bake up in minutes.

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Blue Frosted Lofthouse Sugar Cookies with white crystal sprinkles on a cooling rack

I've taken my easy sugar cookies recipe and converted it into a small batch recipe. This recipe will yield around six perfect sugar cookies.

Sugar cookies are wonderful cookies to make for the holidays or to bring to cookie swaps. They're actually perfect for Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas or Valentine's Day too.

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Ingredients

See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and instructions.

  • butter
  • sugar
  • one egg
  • vanilla extract
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • salt

Pro Tip: The key to making spectacular sugar cookies is to refrigerate the cookie dough before baking. The reason is because chilling the dough solidifies the fat. As the cookies bake, the fat (butter) takes longer to melt which means the cookies won't spread out as much.

How To Make Sugar Cookies

Step 1: Just a quick 45 minutes in the refrigerator, then use either a cookie scoop or spoon and create balls of cookie dough.

Step 2: Slightly flatten the cookies with your fingers.

Step 3: Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.

Icing For Sugar Cookies

Ingredients needed for sugar cookie icing:

  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • milk or cream

Whip the ingredients together with a hand mixer and easily color the frosting with a few drops of whichever food coloring you choose.

Six Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack with one cookie topped with blue frosting next to a glass bowl of blue frosting

How To Frost Sugar Cookies

These cookies are delicious on their own but why not take them up a notch by adding frosting.

After the cookies have baked and cooled, use a butter knife or offset spatula to spread the frosting over the tops of the cookies.

Tint the frosting in the color of your choosing and feel free to add sprinkles to the tops.

How Long Do Sugar Cookies Last?

My sugar cookies stay fresh for 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If refrigerated, they last for 1 week.

Can I Double This Sugar Cookie Recipe?

Yes! If you want to make a dozen cookies, this sugar cookie recipe can be doubled.

When I make a dozen or more of these sugar cookies, I use my Kitchenaid mixer. If I'm making this small batch recipe, I use a hand mixer.

Can The Frosting Be Made Ahead Of Time?

The frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to frost the cookies.

For best results, bring the frosting to room temperature before using and mix it with a spoon or hand mixer. You might need to add additional milk so that the frosting is easier to spread.

Other Small Batch Cookie Recipes

A bite missing from a blue frosted sugar cookie with white crystal sprinkles on a small plate

For this small batch sugar cookies recipe, I use a quarter sheet pan and a quarter sized silicone baking mat. Both of these items can be found in our bakeware page.

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

To see examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

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Small Batch Sugar Cookies | One Dish Kitchen

Small Batch Sugar Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: cookie
Servings: 6 Cookies
Calories: 262kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

FOR THE SUGAR COOKIES

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter , softened
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter , softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream (Start off by using 2 tablespoons of milk. If you would like the frosting to be thinner, add more milk)
  • 3 to 4 drops food coloring , optional
  • sprinkles , optional

Instructions

TO MAKE THE SUGAR COOKIES

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate medium sized bowl, mix together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
  • Beat in the vanilla and the egg.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
  • When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Scoop up a quarter cup of the dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and space the cookies at least 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. The edges should be very slightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cookie rack to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING

  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Tint with food coloring, if desired.
  • Use a knife or offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies.
  • Top with sprinkles, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 109mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

10 thoughts on “Small Batch of Sugar Cookies”

    1. Hi Katie,
      The cookies really don’t spread all that much. They should be big and puffy though. The ingredient amounts are accurate, I would check the expiration date of the baking powder you used. Expired baking powder loses its potency after its use-by date and this can cause your cookies to improperly rise.

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! This is my second batch, hubby who is a die-hard chocolate chip cookie fan has just declared his new favourite.
    Only change I made was to use a mocha buttercream frosting- thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Pat,
      I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed the cookies – they’re some of my favorites too. I bet they were fantastic with mocha buttercream, I’ll have to try that.

      Take care,
      Joanie

  2. Can I add Ricotta cheese to the Sugar Cookie recipe, reminds me so much
    of the Italian cookies. Thanks for your time and trouble

    1. Hi Jayne,

      I’ve never tried adding ricotta cheese to the recipe. If you add it, please let me know how they turn out.

      Thank you.
      Joanie

    2. Beth Kleinschmidt

      Hello..I was just wondering what amount of almond extract to use instead of vanilla? These cookies are magnificent by the way ❤

    1. Angela,

      Just about any substitution will alter the taste and texture of anything you are baking. In the case of these sugar cookies, I have not tested the recipe with anything other than the ingredients listed in the recipe. If you do use cake or pastry flour, you would still need to add baking powder because flours need a leavener to make the cookies rise. Feel free to experiment though and if you do, please let me know how they turn out.

      Joanie

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