I know sugar cookie season has come and gone already with all the “sugar cookie” holidays pretty much over, but these are definitely worth sharing (and in my world sugar cookie season lasts all year). My best friend from high school, Amanda, shared these on her family blog and I immediately bookmarked the recipe. I ended up making them for a family/friend luncheon a few weeks ago and they were a hit (the first cookies gone from several cookie options). They were light and delicious and held their shape amazingly well being baked (which is a huge plus with sugar cookies). The secret to this recipe is cream cheese and egg yolks in the dough and it adds a whole new dimension to sugar cookies. At the luncheon several people said they were the best sugar cookies they’ve had, which of course means I am really indebted to my friend, Amanda. Thanks, girl!

**Update (3/23/09) – Ok, here’s the deal, I adapted the original recipe to include 1/4 cup more flour than the original recipe because my dough was so incredibly soft and sticky when I made it with just 4 1/2 cups. However, my Aunt Marilyn (a.k.a. cooking/baking mentor) made these with the 4 1/2 cups from the original recipe and she told me the dough turned out perfectly. She also lives in a humid climate and I live in a very dry climate so that could be a factor, as well as how the flour is measured. Basically, I’m letting you know this so you know there is a 1/4 cup leeway in the flour measurements. Use your best judgement based on how you measure flour and how your dough feels as you make it. Also, my Aunt added 1/4 teaspoon salt as a little pick-me-up to enhance the flavor.**

White Velvet Sugar Cookies

White Velvet Sugar Cookies


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 ¾ cups flour
  • Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream


  1. For the cookies, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg yolks and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour. The dough will be VERY soft; don’t worry, it gets firmer after chilling. Cover and chill two hours or until firm. Roll out on floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into shapes; place on greased baking sheets (or use parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set (but not browned). Cool 5 minutes. Place on wire racks to cool. Frost as desired.
  2. For the frosting, in a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form (it helps to use a chilled bowl and chilled beaters – and make sure the peaks are stiff not soft). Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture and mix carefully (so as not to deflate cream) but well. Frost to your heart’s delight! (Be careful if adding coloring – the liquid food coloring found in the baking aisle can quickly thin your icing so you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar to compensate. I prefer to use Wilton’s gel coloring but either will work.)

Recipe Source: cookies adapted slightly from my friend, Amanda

104 Responses to White Velvet Sugar Cookies

  1. Kids Furniture says:

    wow! it looks great! I will surely try making one of these.

  2. Coralie says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe but I’d love your frosting recipe as well! The frosting can make or break a sugar cookie and I’ve been on the hunt for a good one. Please share!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I made these cookies today and they are amazing. I had made a different recipe yesterday and they were a pain to work with, but this recipe was easy to work with and delicious. Wow. Finally the perfect sugar cookie recipe. Thanks! Angie

  4. Katy says:

    We eat sugar cookies year round as well. yours look very good. I’m going to save your recipe and put them on my to-list. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Marisa says:

    I am SUCH a sucker for sugar cookies. I will definitely be making this!!!

  6. maris says:

    These are gorgeous! With your talent for decorating cookies, would you be interested in hosting a Drop In & Decorate gathering? It’s a non profit organization that encourages people to donate cookies to local charities, if you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email and I can explain more!

  7. Anonymous says:

    They look delicious. I love sugar cookies anytime of the year. But I don’t like to cut out cookies. Do you think I could slice them instead? Karen Green

  8. Leigh Anne says:

    You know how much I love sugar cookies. My favorite so far is a recipe you shared with me so I KNOW if you like these I MUST try them! Didn’t make any sugar cookies for Valentine’s so think I need to make some for Easter and these will be the ones! Thanks

  9. Angela Baird says:

    I’m so glad you put the recipe on your blog, because I ate them at the little party, and they were truly delicious, and very soft and yummy. Thanks…also, another request for the potato salad recipe from that luncheon…I know it’s not yours, but I hear you have the recipe to share…?!

  10. Jenn says:

    Now, I’m a big fan of your sugar gems. Are these better?

  11. Melanie says:

    Jane – thanks for your comment. It was so nice and made my day, and of course I don’t mind at all if you link to this blog. I’m glad you liked these cookies – they are dangerous to have around in my house because I don’t have any self-control!

  12. Jo says:

    These look wonderful and seem so easy. Will put them on my “must try” list as I am sure the kids will love them.

  13. Amy and David Ziehl says:

    Um.. so these are totally delish! David and i couldn’t stop eating them! Yummy Yummy Yummy!

  14. Queen B. says:

    I was so meant to read this today ! Taking the boys to school today, my Little Miss Princess asked if we could make PRINCESS cookies today…. well, looks like i know where I”ll be the rest of the day…IN THE KITCHEN !

  15. Melanie says:

    Brooke – so how did the cookies turn out? I hope you liked them. To be honest, I’m not sure why the recipes doesn’t need baking powder or soda – if I ever find out, I’ll update the recipe!

  16. Julie says:

    Those turned out SO pretty…love it!

  17. Melanie says:

    Hi Rachel – yes, I refrigerate the cream cheese frosting. If I want to frost cookies with it after it has been refrigerated, I let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften up.

  18. Danetta says:

    I have been craving sugar cookies all day and these look so good to me right now. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Melanie says:

    Maris – what is your email so I can find out more about the Drop In & Decorate activity?

  20. PheMom says:

    I’m in. I will definitely have to try these soon! Sugar cookie season lasts all year long at our house too!

  21. Divine Diva In NC says:

    Sugar cookies have no season…they are 12-months a year 🙂I’d like your cookie icing recipe too.

  22. tawni says:

    Woohoo! Thank you so much for posting this. I have been searching for the perfect frosting recipe all morning and now I have found it! Thank you so much! Love this blog…

  23. Danielle says:

    Hi! These cookies look yummy! I am a new baker and this is probably a really silly question, but concerning the amount of flour…is it 4 and 3/4 cups of flour? Thanks!

  24. Melanie says:

    by…K@ Ashcroft – I hope the ladies at your church like them! If not, you could console yourself by eating them all, which is exactly what I would do. I hope they are a raving success!

  25. Maria says:

    I love sugar cookies anytime of the year! Will have to try this one. They are so pretty!

  26. Rachel says:

    Do you store the cookies that you’ve frosted in the fridge? I’m sure they don’t last long…. 😉

  27. Colleen says:

    These look so delicious – is “velvety” redundant? Yum!

  28. Melanie says:

    Angie – you read the recipe correctly. Although it seems like a lot (ok, it IS a lot) – it really is 2 cups of butter. These cookies aren’t for the faint of heart, that is for sure! They are buttery and soft and very delicious. Let me know if you end up trying them!

  29. Netts Nook says:

    Your cookies look great can’t wait to try thanks for sharing. Love the cream cheese .

  30. Mary says:

    I think any time is sugar cookie time! What a great way to introduce SPRING!!!

  31. Melanie says:

    Hi Anne – I know it seems strange that there isn’t a leavening agent but it’s true. I don’t know the science behind baking, but I know somehow these work. They are definitely thick cookies and get substance from the cream cheese and butter (imagine that!).

  32. Angie says:

    I’m making these for a baby shower tomorrow and just have to double check something. It calls for 2 CUPS of butter, right? A whole pound? I’m so used to recipes calling for 2 STICKS that I’m a little nervous to get started without double checking. Thanks!

  33. Melanie says:

    Amy – what a nice comment. Thank you! I hope the cookies turn out great for you!

  34. Donna-FFW says:

    These look so very delicious. I love how you decorated them Almost toopretty to eat, almost! Bet theyre delicious!

  35. Melanie says:

    Brooke – thanks for checking back to let me know how the cookies turned out. I’m glad they were a hit!

  36. Emily says:

    What a name . . . and what a cookie! Yum-e! I love sugar cookies! These babies look like a keeper!

  37. Angela Baird says:

    PS, what did you frost yours with? The frosting was yummy, too. I won’t think less of you if it was store bought, but I’d love to know if you have a special recipe for that, too.

  38. Brooke says:

    I just finished making the cookie dough, and it turned out great. I am curious though…how come it doesn’t need baking powder, or baking soda? Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes.

  39. Rachel says:

    Hi Melanie,

    When you use your cream cheese frosting, do you refridgerate whatever you’ve frosted with it? Just curious with the cream cheese and the cream.


  40. Anne says:

    This is exactly what I have been searching for for Easter cookies! I have a question though – a lot of sugar cookie recipes call for baking powder. Is there something else that makes these cookies cook well without being too doughy (maybe the cream cheese?)? Or are they just so thick that they don’t need the leavening agent? Thanks! And thanks for the frosting recipes too!

  41. Melanie says:

    Angie – thanks for letting me know you liked these! I’m glad they turned out for you.

  42. Melanie says:

    Hi Everyone – I’ll be posting the frosting recipe(s) shortly. Karen – I think these would be a little too soft to slice, but you might as well give it a try if you don’t like to roll them out. If you do, just chill them longer so the dough is very firm.

  43. by...K@ Ashcroft says:

    I made these tonight. Although not an easy recipe (for me anyway). They are wonderful so far (I haven’t frosted them yet)I am taking them to a church ladies function tomorrow night. I’ll let you know how they are received. Of course we already know don’t we. 🙂

  44. Lauren says:

    I have been looking for a sugar cookie recipe… thanks! I would also like to ask you to share the frosting recipe.

  45. Melody says:

    I love this recipe! The cream cheese really makes it special and different. Thanks! Love your blog!

  46. grace says:

    white velvet is a very apt name for these–they’re luxuriuos and completely lovely. very nice, melanie!

  47. Brooke says:

    The cookies were very delicious and turned out really well. The baking soda/powder was not needed afterall. The cookies were very easy to frost, and they were a huge hit with all of the neighbor kids. Thanks for sharing, and I love your blog!

  48. Amy says:

    I’m trying these today and I know they’ll turn out perfect. Every recipe that I’ve used off of here has been great! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes.

  49. Melanie says:

    Ok, I’ve added my two favorite sugar cookie frostings. Both are delicious but the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting will rock your world. And create the need for extra treadmill time. Sorry about that. Enjoy!Oh, and Danielle – I edited the recipe so the 4 and 3/4 cup flour is easier to decipher.

  50. Jane says:

    I made these today for my kids to decorate Easter cookies and they are fantastic. I linked to your blog on mine, I hope that is alright. You have such a wonderful blog with the best recipes, I love it!

  51. Melissa says:

    I absolutely love the whipped cream cheese frosting. I made your banana bars and also a carrot cake with this frosting. It is TO DIE FOR! Thanks for sharing!

  52. Melanie says:

    Jenn – that question is a toughie – I like the sugar gems for entirely different reasons. They have more of a sugary, tender consistency than these cookies. Both of the recipes are good so I can’t choose!

  53. Erica says:

    I am so excited about these cookies and the two icings! Now I know what my next splurge will be. 🙂

  54. Danielle says:

    Yum! These look great. Would you mind sharing a recipe for the frosting as well?

  55. Melanie says:

    Rachel – I’ve never had the cookies last long enough to store the leftover frosted ones. I usually bake up all my sugar cookies and freeze the unfrosted sugar cookies that I don’t think I will use. That way I can just frost the cookies as needed and leftover frosted ones won’t go “bad.” If you do have leftover frosted ones, I would probably store them in the freezer, due to the cream in the frosting.

  56. Jenn says:

    Melanie–made these today. Pretty impressive. Like you said, these are different from the sugar gems. I like the simplicity of the sugar gems, but these are pretty fantistic too! And yes, the frosting is so good!

  57. Melanie says:

    Jenn – glad these worked out for you and that you agree the frosting is to die for! Thanks for letting me know.

  58. Ali says:

    Maybe you posted this already and I missed it, but I was wondering how many cookies this recipe makes? I’m thinking of passing a plate or two around to neighbors and need to make sure there are enough left for me… I mean… for my family! 🙂


  59. Melanie says:

    Ali – depending on how big your cookie cutters are, this is a pretty standard sugar cookie dough, and if you make average sized cutouts (3 inches), it will probably make around 3 dozen.

  60. Ali says:

    perfect, thank you!

  61. Sara says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe… I used it to make valentine cookies for my daughters class and was quite pleased. I did make just a couple adjustments, replaced 1/2 cup white sugar with powdered and also added 1/2 tsp almond extract – but stuck with it other than that.

    The no baking powder thing is amazing… must be something in the cream cheese.

  62. Melanie says:

    Sara – I love your adjustments to the recipe and am so glad that you liked this! Thanks for letting me know.

  63. Steph says:

    I woke up this morning and thought “today I feel like making sugar cookie with the circus (my kids), I bet Mel has one…” Ta-dah! Here it is. I’m so hooked, it’s all so fabulous! Do you mind if I mention you on my blog? I’m going to have to start bragging about all the wonderful things we’re eating and I should give credit where credit is due 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Steph – oh, so my house isn’t the only “circus” around? So glad to know that! And I’m thrilled these cookies made a fun day with your kiddos. I don’t mind at all if you give a shout-out on your blog. I’d be honored!

  64. Katie says:

    Hi Mel,
    About how much does this make I just volunteered to make 120 cookies for my sons second grade class. Do I need to triple that batch or what or do you have a reciepe for sugar cookies that makes alot.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie – this recipe for sugar cookies makes about 3 dozen so you could quadruple the recipe and get 120 cookies (or just make them smaller and probably get away with only tripling the batch). The white velvet sugar cookies make about 2 dozen per batch, depending on how big you cut them. Hope that helps! Good luck with such a big project!

  65. Ela says:

    I’ve been searching for a good sugar cookie recipe that I can send for Christmas package to my out of state relatives. Do you think this recipe for sugar cookies is sturdy enough to withstand mailing? Does your go-to frosting recipe set up good the one without the cream cheese? Thanks.

    • Mel says:

      Ela – these cookies are delicious but not very sturdy. I think this sugar cookie recipe would work better. Both of my sugar cookie frostings stay pretty soft. If you are looking to stack and ship these, you might try a royal icing recipe or something of that sort that hardens and sets up really well.

  66. Reyna says:

    You were not kidding Mel. These are the best. sugar cookies. ever. I have NEVER liked sugar cookies…until now. And with the whipped cream cheese frosting….divine.

  67. Stacy says:

    I’m going to call on my inner Valley Girl and say OMG! These are slap yo momma good!
    Thanks for sharing a recipe that is ‘da bomb!

  68. […] used this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. She has some great recipes on her blog that I have made […]

  69. Anna says:

    I so want to make these but I have a question about salt: do you use unsalted butter in this recipe? With your Aunt’s suggestion of adding 1/4 tsp. of salt, I was wondering if just using salted butter would do the trick, that is if salted butter isn’t already used. I just don’t want to end up putting in too much salt. 🙂

  70. Mel says:

    Anna – I use salted butter and I add the 1/4 teaspoon salt. I know using salted butter is kind of a no-no in the gourmet baking world but I guess that’s what I get for not quite being gourmet. 🙂 I don’t think they are too salty but if you are worried, you could cut the salt down to a pinch.

  71. Carol says:

    Just made these and oh! my! goodness! So good!!! Honestly, just amazing! Santa will be so happy! 😉

  72. […] by Carol Here’s a twist to cream cheese frosting: fold in whipping cream. Another idea from Mel who never ceases to amaze me. Seriously, you need to check out her site. The food is so […]

  73. […] butter does make everything better (see “about” the cupcake theory). Special thanks goes out to Mel who, once again, has changed my life for the better. She is the reason that I know about these […]

  74. […] as “directions?”) It is incredible on homemade oreos. Or carrot cake. Or sugar cookies. Or white velvet sugar cookies. Or a […]

  75. Allison says:

    My mom makes these and I am not sure how much flour she uses but they are divine!!

  76. Holly Bang says:

    Made these today & turned out GREAT! This is a keeper!

  77. Ashley says:

    These look amazing! I’m pretty busy and need to make 75 sugar cookies for an event.. I was wondering if making the dough and refrigerating it overnight and then baking the cookies the following evening would ruin the dough?

  78. Mel says:

    Ashley – refrigerating the dough overnight should work fine. Just take it out in time to soften up enough to roll out.

  79. Amanda says:

    Hey Mel!
    Would you say full fat cream cheese only?And I never buy salted butter, so with unsalted do I need to adjust the salt?
    And lastly, have you ever heard the OBB method of rolling out and cutting sugar cookies?
    “When your dough is made, instead of putting it in the fridge, immediately roll between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper and then place on a flat surface in the fridge. Chill for about 20-30 minutes and then start cutting it out. This way it chills faster and the bonus is that you don’t need to add extra flour to roll it out.”
    I like this method because it saves me time and I don’t have to try to roll hard dough. I just lay the parchment on my baking sheet to chill. The cookies hold their shape well because they are cold. Just wondering if you have tried it

    AND last lastly, can I just say you are amazing?! You inspire me! I love your recipes! Every one I try is delicious and crowd pleasing. Thank you for that! I know you don’t have to go to all of this work to share your recipes and experiences, but I REALLY appreciate it!
    Merry Christmas!

    • Mel says:

      Amanda – great tip. Thanks for sharing! I have used light cream cheese and it works fine but if you are going to go all out, full fat cream cheese is the way to go. It makes the cookies more tender. If you are going to use unsalted butter, I’d increase the salt by another 1/2 teaspoon. And thanks for such a sweet comment!

  80. Amanda R says:

    BTW, that rolling out tip I shared above DOES NOT work with this dough. Too soft.
    AND these were perfect for our Christmas Eve cookie tradition. They were soft and delicious. So good that my husband offended his own mother by telling her that I was making the cookies this year 🙂
    Thanks for another perfectly successful recipe!

  81. Dana deluke says:

    Are these cookies suppose to be stored in fridge when finished. Thanks

  82. Mel says:

    Dana – it’s up to you. I store them at room temperature.

  83. Dana deluke says:

    Made cookies, turned out excellent. I received sooooo many compliments on how good they are. Thanks for the recipe. I did store them in my basement where its a little cooler but not as cold in fridge

  84. Jill H. says:

    I was so excited to find this recipe to make heart shape cookies for my son’s engagement party! Well, I don’t know what happened, I followed the recipe exactly. The dough was not really soft…a bit sticky maybe. I chilled it for 4 hours. It rolled out okay & cut wonderfully, but did not cook up well at all; at the 1/4″ thickness, they still seem to be undercooked, even though I left them in for a bit longer than called for. The cookies are falling apart even though I’m handling them with kid gloves. What a disappointment…I won’t be able to use them.

  85. Jessica says:

    I am thinking of using this delicious frosting for a layer cake that will be served at a party in a park. Do you think this would hold up out of the fridge for a few hours? I’m not piping any decorations, just frosting and adding sprinkles. Thanks!

  86. lisa g. says:

    Hi Mel, I would like to respond to Jill H. comment on March 28, 2013 in hopes it helps her & other readers. Based on my experience in baking; I think the reason her dough was sticky is because her butter may have been TOO SOFT. This also can cause the baked cookie to fall apart. So, regardless of the 4 hours in the fridge, if the butter is too soft (meaning its broken butter); it will effect the TEXTURE of the cookie..any cookie for that matter. There’s a big difference between softened butter and room temperature butter. With softened butter you should be able to press gently on the stick of butter and leave an indentation in the butter. With room temp butter, the butter is brought to the temp of the room causing the stick of butter to flatten on its own by being out of the fridge too long, and this leads to a separation of fat solids and you end up with clarified butter which is broken butter. (picture melted butter with solids floating on top…this is the fat separating and it gets skimmed off the top leaving behind clarified butter.) So, don’t let your softened butter turn to room temp butter. I hope this helps.

  87. Becky says:

    …the egg yolks do the job instead of having BP or soda in this recipe – neat, huh?…(have found this in many very old cookbooks/recipes that just use eggs or egg yolks)…

  88. Megan says:

    This cookie is the best sugar cookie in the world! My sister stalked a girl to get a sugar cookie recipe and the only difference between yours is hers has a half teaspoon of almond extract, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of soda. The recipes taste the same. I’m not sure if you used to have your easy buttercream posted here as well, but you should. I love the whipped cream cheese frosting but not on these cookies. I used regular whipping cream and I’m sure it would have a better texture with heavy. I learned that if you want cream to hold its shape after it is whipped, use heavy whipping cream….it kind of turned soupy by the end (tutorial on cream?). Even so, everyone who had the cookies said they would prefer the buttercream (I use your quick and easy buttercream all the time so they know it well. Cream instead of milk makes the best frosting! Thanks Mel. I love sugar cookies and these are the best!

  89. Stephanie says:

    I made these for Easter at my in-laws’ and everyone loved them! My mother-in-law is an incredible cook and baker herself, so I am always so excited when I impress her, and I caught her sneaking a few. 🙂 My husband couldn’t believe that I made the (whipped cream cheese) frosting; he thought it was so cool that I could make a frosting that had that texture and flavor. Thanks!!

  90. Kristen says:

    ? I’m confused… Wouldn’t you use MORE flour in a humid climate and LESS in a dry one?

    • Mel says:

      Kristen – Sorry the humidity note was confusing. Basically there is a 1/4 cup leeway in how much flour you need. Start with a little less than the recipe calls for and adjust accordingly until your dough is the right consistency. Good luck!

  91. paula reible majouad says:

    Im wondering if the recipe can be cut in half?? i’d really like to try it only in a half amount!

  92. Robin says:

    I just made these this afternoon and must say that if a person is a cream cheese lover and a sugar cookie lover, this recipe may be Heaven for them! The cookie made up easily (the dough was a bit sticky for me but I use parchment paper to roll the dough out — I’m lazy and don’t love cleaning flour off my counter or rolling pin) and it was just fine. The cookies baked up to be quite tender — so much so that when I went to share a bite of one with my puppy, it broke into several pieces when she bumped it with her nose (which was okay since that kept her busy finding every bit of the cookie). These would not be good for shipping, but if a person is looking for a delicate cookie (not a traditional sugar cookie in my mind) with a clear cream cheese note, this one is for you! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

  93. Meera says:

    Hi Mel,

    You mentioned in the CreameCheese eggless chocolate chip receipe that you made them eggless – could you explain what you replaced the 2 egg yolks with?

    Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Meera – it’s been years since I’ve made that substitution and to be honest, I’ve forgotten exactly how I did it, but I think it was the flax + vinegar + water replacement which you can probably try googling for more info. Sorry!

      • Meera says:

        Hey Mel,

        I actually tried it…for one egg yolk = 1 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp Vinegar. Looks like it worked 🙂 Lol…thank you.

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