This Sugar Cookie Recipe is the perfect pink frosting swirled on top of the best basic sugar cookie. It is my go-to recipe when I want to impress! If you are looking for cut-out sugar cookies for decorating, check out my Cutout Sugar Cookie recipe.

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You may have noticed these cookies look a lot like the iconic Swig Cookies. Swig cookies are different than traditional sugar cookies in the fact that the dough is scooped out, not rolled. And then, after being baked, frosting is added on top. Although these are not ideal for cutout sugar cookies, they are so delicious with or without any frosting! Try these cookies chilled, too!

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Ingredients

Confectioners’ Sugar: Confectioners’ sugar is not the most common type of sugar in cookie dough, but do not leave it out! It adds some texture and softness to the cookies.

Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is not a cream at all, but a powdery acid. It can be found in the baking aisle, near the spices at your local grocery store.

Sour Cream: An unexpected ingredient in the frosting is sour cream. It adds a little tang to each bite.

Food Coloring: All you need is a few drops of red food coloring for the light pink color. Of course, you could make the frosting any color you prefer!

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How to Frost Sugar Cookies

This frosting is so gloriously smooth and creamy it is really easy to use! I just put a dollop on an offset spatula then smooth it around the center indentation of the cookie. For the final “swoop”, I hold my offset spatula steady, turn the cookie in one direction, then turn it back in the other, moving the spatula slightly lower. It sounds complicated, but it’s really quite easy once you get the hang of it. The best part is that practicing is fun and you get to eat any mistakes!

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How to Store

After the cookies have been baked and frosted, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last 5-7 days.

Can I Freeze the Cookies?

If you want to freeze the baked cookies, freeze them without the frosting. Or, freeze the cookie dough to use when you are ready to bake the cookies.

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4.60 from 22 votes

Sugar Cookie with Sugar Cookie Frosting

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
This Sugar Cookie Recipe with a pink sugar cookie frosting is my go-to recipe when I want to impress! The perfect pink frosting is swirled on top of the best basic sugar cookie… it's SO GOOD!

Ingredients

Sugar Cookie

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 226 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (94 g) confectioners' sugar
  • ¾ cup (168 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 5 ½ cups (688 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Sugar Cookie Frosting

  • ½ cups (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cups (173 g) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4-5 cups (440-550 g) confectioners' sugar
  • red food color

Instructions

Sugar Cookie

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners' sugar. Mix on medium speed until just combined.
  • Drizzle in oil and add eggs. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, and salt.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Allow the mixer to combine until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.
  • Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, drop the golf-ball size portions of dough onto a lined baking sheet.
  • Roll each cookie dough ball until it is smooth and round.
  • Using the bottom of a wet kitchen glass that has been pressed into granulated sugar, press down on each cookie dough ball until the center of the cookie is pressed flatter than the edges. Repeat this on all cookies.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until edges are just slightly starting to brown and the center no longer appears wet. Allow the cookies to cool as you make the frosting.
  • NOTE: It is important to NOT over-bake the cookies. Be sure to check your cookies at 7 minutes. Every oven is different and overbaking can result in a tough, crumbly, tasteless cookie. Let your first batch be a test batch so you can ensure the remaining cookies are perfect and soft!

Sugar Cookie Frosting

  • In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, sour cream, and salt.
  • Once ingredients are fully incorporated, start adding the confectioners' sugar, about ½ cup at a time. (You may not need all 5 cups. Keep an eye on the frosting to determine when it has reached your desired consistency. If it gets too be too thick you can add some milk.)
  • Add in a few drops of red food coloring for the soft pink color.
  • Spread on cooled cookies using an offset spatula or butter knife.

Did you make this recipe?

Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.

Try my perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies & Sugar Cookie Icing or Easy Sugar Cookies for more fun baking!

Updated: SUGAR COOKIE TROUBLESHOOTING – everything you wanted to know about sugar cookies!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Mine came out biscuit like too. I followed the recipe but think it called for too much flour. I will use less next time just like the video. I wish I would have watched the video first. Ugh…

    1. I think the issue is overbaking – my daughter made them this weekend and baked them for 1 min longer than recommended and it was an entirely different cookie. You want them soft – tender. It makes a world of difference. I will try to update the recipe to reflect that more accurately.

  2. Followed directions and mine have a weird smell and the kids say they taste like flour…I had high hopes, but this was a fail for me.

    1. Hi Keri- sounds like they were overbaked. I would try 2-3 minutes less. It’s a world of difference! I have no idea what the smell issue is though.

  3. These look amazing! Do the cookies have to keep in the refrigerator with the sour cream in the frosting or can they be shelf stable?

  4. Thank you! These cookies are perfectly delightful. Followed the recipe, as written. Didn’t watch the video until after baking. Will definitely try the swirly frosting design. Everyone loved them. I did end up refrigerating these because of the sour cream.

  5. These cookies are just ok. They’re soft but don’t have a lot of taste. A good frosting would make them better but this frosting has a sour taste that I didn’t care for. Sour cream does not belong in frosting, especially not 3/4 cup of it.

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinion! I now understand that you do not like the frosting. In the many years I have had this recipe on the blog I have heard rave reviews (as well as from IRL friends and family) so I think this is just a matter of taste. Thanks!

  6. I thought these were great! I found they are more like a tea cake, which I prefer. These always get compliments when I bring them to events.

    I always ALWAYS weigh my ingredients, especially flour! I find that always helps!

  7. I absolutely love these cookies! I’ve made this recipe three times now and it has made my permanent list of favorites. When I made them for my Mom, she loved them so much that she asked me to stop baking them because she couldn’t stop herself from eating them! Definite winner of a recipe.

    *I’m reposting this because I forgot to add stars to my original rating.

  8. I sliiiiiiightly overbaked mine but they were still delicious. I’ll bake them for a minute less next time and I think they’ll be incredible. Waiting for the edges to be slightly golden brown is probably misleading. I think it’s going to be trial and error for everyone, but having golden brown edges is too overdone, in my opinion.

    Also, I would add that Swig serves their cookies chilled. We made this recipe, chilled them for an hour after frosting, and it was a game-changer. Even with a slightly overcooked cookie, they were delish! Thank you for the recipe!

  9. I am surprised by some of the reviews for these cookies. I have made them multiple times now and have shared them with others. They are always a hit! I admit that I thought the recipe seemed odd with the amount of oil and the sour cream frosting but it is perfection! I bake mine for 8 minutes 🙂

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