Bakery Style Sugar Cookies

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Hints on how to get the thickest, softest, bakery style sugar cookies. It’s the best sugar cookie recipe around! If you love sugar cookies, see all of our recipes here.

You’re about to meet the best little sugar cookie your hands will ever hold. They hold true to the same characteristics of our bakery-style chocolate chip cookies: thick, lightly crisp around the edges, but oh, so soft and chewy in the middle.

Our sugar cookies might look like an average cookie, but today we’re sharing a few hints with you on how to make the best sugar cookie. A sugar cookie that is anything but average.

bakery style sugar cookies on a table

Why you’ll love this bakery style sugar cookie recipe:

  • Based off this chewy sugar cookie recipe and adapted it just a tad to give it unbelievable taste and texture. Yes, the recipe itself is extremely important, but the technique and ingredients are what you want to pay close attention to here.
  • A unique extract used that will have everyone asking and wondering what the flavor is.
  • Buttery and rich, these cookies stay soft for days.
  • Freeze the dough or freeze the baked cookies. Either works!

Two Key Ingredients

To start, you’ll make a sugar cookie dough just like you would any other cookie dough. Add the ingredients into a stand mixer and mix them well. There are a couple of key ingredients that you’ll want to note.

  1. What gives these Bakery Style Sugar Cookies such a uniquely fresh taste is LorAnn’s Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion. You can find this emulsion on Amazon, or in your local Hobby Lobby and sometimes even Walmart. It is described as “light and nutty” with “citrus and vanilla undertones”. Since most everyone uses vanilla in cookie recipes, this water-based emulsion gives a different taste that everyone loves. I am always asked what kind of flavoring I use in these cookies and today I’m giving away that secret.
  2. Our second ingredient secret is European-style butter. It is churned with sweet cream and has a higher milk fat content which creates cookies that are unbelievably thick and rich.

You’ll notice that the emulsion has a hint of citrus. I also add in a touch of lemon juice. Don’t worry…the cookies are not going to be overpowering with lemon flavor. It’s just a subtle, bright, fresh flavor.

How to Make Bakery Style Sugar Cookies

The basic sugar cookie dough is easy, but there are a 4 tips when mixing the dough:

  1. Use room temperature butter to mix the dough. Notice it’s not “softened” butter, because I don’t want you to melt the butter at all. Melting the butter will change the texture of the cookies. Set the butter out on the counter about 1 hour before you make the cookies and you’ll be set.
  2. Mix with an electric mixer and paddle attachment. This will ensure all the butter and sugar (plus the other ingredients) get creamed well.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl during mixing. This is important to make sure all of the ingredients get mixed properly. Sometimes dry crumbs land on the bottom of the bowl and you’ll want to be sure to mix those in.
  4. Refrigerate the dough. I know, I know. It’s not fun to wait for dough to chill, but for the thickest cookies possible, you’ll want to take the time to do this.

Let me quickly walk you through the technique of making the cookies. You’ll see that our method is similar to our other bakery style cookies.

  1. Scoop the dough with a large ice cream scoop (ours is 1 1/2″ in diameter) and place the dough balls on a non stick baking sheet. You can also line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Press them lightly with a glass that has been dipped in sugar.
  3. Pop these pans of cookies into the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Brush the tops of the cookies with a bit of homemade buttermilk, made simply with heavy cream and vinegar. Don’t skip this step. This little trick makes the top of your cookies just perfect.
  5. Sprinkle more sugar on top. Use colored sprinkles if you’d like. Perfect for showing holiday spirit!
  6. Bake the cookies at 375ºF for 9-10 minutes.  Don’t over bake them. Taking the cookies out just before they turn brown ensures that the cookies will be soft and chewy for days. If you can resist eating them, that is!

If you follow all of these steps closely, you’ll end up with cookies that will rival the best of bakery cookies.

Q: We’ve shared some things that make the perfect sugar cookie for us. What is your ideal sugar cookie?

a pan of sugar cookies with buttermilk on top
a pan of sugar cookies with buttermilk on top

Bakery Style Sugar Cookies

4.67 from 60 votes
Hints on how to get the thickest, softest, bakery style sugar cookies. It’s the best sugar cookie recipe around!
Servings 18
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

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  • In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, Princess emulsion and juice. Gradually blend in dry ingredients.
  • Scoop the dough into about 18 1-1/2" inch balls (about 53 grams each) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the top of each cookie with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar.
  • Refrigerate the cookies for at least 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream and vinegar. This mixture will get very thick and curdle. Use a pastry brush to brush this mixture on top of the cookies.
  • Sprinkle the top of the cookies with extra granulated sugar or sprinkles.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, removing the cookies just before the edges get brown.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes, then move them to a flat surface to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container.


The calories shown are based on the recipe making 18 cookies, with 1 serving being 1 cookie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 40mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Calories 240
Keyword best sugar cookies, EASY COOKIE RECIPE, sugar cookie recipe

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I’ve never met a sugar cookie I didn’t like. Fluffy and light, thick and rich…all are necessary and good. Here are a few new recipes for you to try.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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5 years ago

Followed the recipe to the T and I can honestly say that these are the BEST sugar cookies I have EVER ate!!! One of my pet peeves is folks who change a recipe and then blame the inevitable results on the recipe! Made several batches for family and friends and now they all call me the sugar cookie king!!!

4 years ago

Eeks! Just started mixing. Is your butter salted? Do you add any other salt? My butter is not salted.

Isabelle @ Crumb
8 years ago

Thank you for risking your waistline and your tastebuds to come up with the perfect recipe… it definitely looks like you succeeded. Isn’t it amazing how a small change like the kind of butter you use totally changes the results? I’ve turned into a total butter snob ever since I discovered a high-quality European butter that my local Costco carries. Now I just need to figure out where I can track down this magical emulsion!

2 years ago

5 stars
I’m assuming the salt is to be included with all the other dry ingredients? it’s listed in the ingredients list but not after that, I’ve made these before and they’ve always been great. kind of confused?

3 years ago

These did not turn out – European butter & all the other zusch….flattest cookies I have ever baked. Not sure what happened.

3 years ago

Great tasting cookie. I followed it as close as possible but they cooked flat. I used the exact ingredients also. Any thoughts?

3 years ago

5 stars
The cookies are outstanding !!! Thank you so much for sharing I followed the recipe and they turned out perfect. I am just wondering what happens if you use regular land o Lakes butter and do you lightly brush the cookie with the whip cream and vinegar or put it on thick? I am a baker and would say this is my new favorite cookie.

4 years ago

I could only find salted European butter. Will this work?

4 years ago

can you use regular buttermilk? I have it on hand but not heavy cream….

Diane Largay
4 years ago

5 stars
They sound delicious! Is butter from Ireland ok? I believe it has a higher fat content!

5 years ago

This recipe looks very good…I’m going to make them for Christmas. I’m not much on lemon in my sugar cookies, what can I substitute for the lemon juice? More of the emulsion or vanilla extract?

6 years ago

Do you have a similar recipe that I can use to make cut out cookies? I see an earlier comment that this recipe wouldn’t work well for cutouts as they spread. Thanks!

6 years ago

I used Lurpak, a Danish butter.

6 years ago

4 stars
The cookies tasted great. They were a little flat though. What did I do wrong?

Marisela Flores
7 years ago

If I’m going to freeze the raw dough….do I still brush with the buttermilk prior to freezing? Or do I wait until they are thawed and before I bake them?