These white velvet sugar cookies are the best sugar cookies ever. Different than other recipes, they melt in your mouth and are buttery soft!

Oh, white velvet sugar cookies. You kill me! Or in other words: I can’t stop eating you.

A sugar cookie cut out and decorated like a cupcake on a piece of white parchment paper, with unfrosted sugar cookies on a cooling rack in the background.

Sugar Cookies That Hold Their Shape

So light and delicious, these buttery, tender sugar cookies hold their shape really well as they bake.

If you’ve been through sugar cookie baking angst (as they spread all over the pan into unrecognizable blobs), you know what a huge plus that is.

That snail up there? It’s still going to look like a real, life snail after it’s baked (and if you think that cookie cutter is actually a whale, we’ve had this discussion already; you can read the 800+ opinions here).

No need to stress about the cookies staying in tip top shape in this recipe – save that anxiety for how you’ll summon the self-control not to eat 20.

Sugar cookie dough rolled out, with two snail-shaped cookies cut out of the dough and the cookie cutter resting on top.
White sugar cookies cut out in various shapes all sitting on a piece of parchment paper.

Why These Sugar Cookies Are Unique

The texture of these sugar cookies are unlike any other sugar cookie I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot).

Thanks to the cream cheese, egg yolks, and lots of butter in the batter, these sugar cookies, once baked, are luxuriously soft and unbelievably tender with a creamy flavor that is unparalleled in a sugar cookie.

Every single time I make these, I get requests for the recipe; there really is something special about these cookies.

A white sugar cookie decorated like a cupcake with a brown frosting on the bottom, and white frosting and sprinkles on the top of the cookie.

The dough comes together just about like any other sugar cookie dough.

Cream together:

  • butter
  • cream cheese
  • sugar
  • egg yolks
  • vanilla

And then stir in the flour and salt.

If you’re wondering where the baking soda and baking powder are, it’s not a mistake! This recipe doesn’t call for any leavening agents like most other cookie recipes. (And I promise, they still turn out great!)

Sugar cookie dough in white electric mixer.

A quick chill session in the fridge, and you’re ready to rock and roll with those cookie cutters.

I never, ever get tired of sugar cookies. They are one of my favorite cookies in the whole wide world and my self-control is non-existent when they are around.

Correction: when a good sugar cookie is around. My hips ain’t got time to waste on dry, crumbly, dastardly sugar cookies.

Pro Tip: roll the sugar cookie dough at least 1/4-inch thick and then underbake just slightly and you’ll end up with the best sugar cookies ever.

Heart shaped sugar cookies on baking cooling rack.

How to Freeze Frosted Sugar Cookies

Did you know you can freeze frosted sugar cookies? They do unbelievably well frosted, frozen, and then thawed.

  1. Frost the sugar cookies
  2. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet
  3. Freeze until firm
  4. Place the frozen cookies in a container between sheets of parchment paper (make sure to cover the container); return to the freezer.
  5. To serve, take the container of cookies out of the freezer and place the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet or serving tray and thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.

I rarely get fancy decorating sugar cookies. I know this may offend some, but royal icing and my beloved sugar cookies do not make a happy team. I’m definitely in the camp of soft and creamy frosting.

For a completely luxurious and decadent topping, I use the whipped cream cheese frosting in this post. It is ethereally creamy and so, so yummy, especially if you are after a super soft frosting.

For a more classic sugar cookie frosting, the fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting is perfect for these white velvet sugar cookies.

A sugar cookie decorated to look like a cupcake, laying on a white square of parchment paper.
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White Velvet Sugar Cookies

4.53 stars (535 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (454 g) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) package (227 g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (424 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ¾ cups (675 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Mix well, another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined (don’t overmix).
  • Spread the dough into a thick rectangle on a sheet of plastic wrap; cover. Refrigerate and chill the dough for two hours (or up to 12 hours).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured counter (or dough rolling mat) to about 1/4-inch thick. If the dough is too firm straight out of the refrigerator, let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before rolling (and get in there with some elbow grease to roll it out!).
  • Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes and place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until set but not browned on the edges or bottom (otherwise they won’t be soft and tender when they cool).
  • Remove the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.
Serving: 1 Cookie, Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 127mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g
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Recipe Source: cookies adapted slightly from my friend, Amanda Originally posted in March 2009; updated with new pictures + commentary + recipe notes.

A sugar cookie frosted with yellow frosting and covered in white sprinkles.