Soft Cutout Sugar Cookies

Desserts, Recipes

These cookies are wonderful all year round but I thought I’d show you how magical they are in the spring! They are so much fun to decorate with the family!

They are nice and soft in the center, golden on the edges, they are perfectly buttery and you’ll love them!

I like to make these on the thicker side because that’s where I get the ultimate softness but not too thick- they still need to be cookies 😉

Soft Cutout Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 â€“ 2.5 Tablespoons room temperature water
  • pinch salt
  • Food coloring as needed

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, ground nutmeg and and beat on high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be soft. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place each portion onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use more flour if the dough seems too sticky. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  • Lightly dust one of the rolled-out doughs with flour. Place a piece of parchment on top. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on top. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
  • Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. If it’s sticking to the bottom, run your hand under it to help remove it– see me do this in the video above. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough.
  • Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating.
  • Make the icing: Mix all of the ingredients together, divide into bowls or piping bags with different colors if you want to make colorful glazed cookies!
  • Decorate the cooled cookies with the glaze.
  • Enjoy cookies right away or wait until the icing sets to serve them. Plain or decorated cookies stay soft for about 5 days when covered tightly at room temperature. You can also refrigerate up to 10 days.

Recipe adapted by Sally McKenney*

Enjoy!

-Hilda

Lemon Cake with Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting

Desserts, Recipes

Spring is finally here, and this cake is the ultimate spring dessert! It’s delicious, zesty, fresh- it’s simply a slice of heaven.

I adjusted the lemon in this recipe since some feedback I received was that it was a tad too lemony. If you LOVE lemon, then add a tad more lemon but I think it’s perfect this way.

It’s moist, fluffy, and the cream cheese frosting is like you’re eating a cheesecake. I hope you enjoy!

Lemon Cake with Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Yields: 10-12 slices

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk at room temperature**
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar**
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup  fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes release from the pans.
  • Mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and set aside.
  • Make your buttermilk if you don’t have a store-bought one on hand – I mixed the milk with apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on high speed until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients just until combined. With the mixer still running on low, add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix just until combined. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake for around 21-26 minutes or until the cakes are completely baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
  • Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until completely smooth and combined. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat 2-3 minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if the frosting is too thin, more lemon juice if frosting is too thick, or add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet.
  • Assemble and decorate: Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand, or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd cake layer and evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with the third cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides.
  • I love decorating with extra lemon shavings or keeping it simple with strawberry slices and fresh mint. It makes for a beautiful cake!

**NOTES**

*You can substitute buttermilk for the milk+ apple cider vinegar mix. Use 1 cup of buttermilk instead.*

Recipe adapted by Sally McKenney*

Enjoy!

-Hilda