best soft cutout cookies

You know what I hate? Biting into a cookie that LOOKS soft and hearing that loud CRUNCH. These, are not that cookie. They are, in fact, the best soft cutout cookies.

They’re just the right amount of soft – and make the perfect base for any type of decoration. Soooo even though I made mine fall-themed (cus, obvi 🍁) you can change these up for any season/occasion.

Use whatever cookie cutters you want – kittens, hearts, stars, etc. You can even use a drinking glass to cut out circles if you don’t have cookie cutters. Sprinkle some cinnamon + sugar on top if frosting isn’t your thing (see adorable cinnamon-sugar owl above).

Want to know a ‘lil secret about these cookies? You can make the dough and refrigerate it for 24 hours or you can FREEZE THAT BABY for up to 2 months if you want to be the holiday-cookie-prep-master. Um, yes please 🖐🏻

Want to know another ‘lil secret about these amazing cookies? Use this food coloring to get amazing color payoff. Be careful not to get it on your clothes though – learned that one the hard way.

I’m def going to whip up another batch of these for Halloween – no googly eyes required. Sprinkles, on the other hand, are always acceptable.


  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cane or granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


  • 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 TBS butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Food coloring (we love these ones because the color payoff is amazing!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soften butter in microwave for about 20 seconds – don’t melt it.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Add one cup of flour at a time, and mix between each addition. Add the baking powder and mix. The dough will be crumbly, but you should be able to easily form it into a ball. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water until it’s workable.

Chill dough for 20 minutes. Roll dough out on a floured surface until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Don’t make it too thin or the cookies will burn/not be soft. Cut out cookies and gather the scraps back into a ball. Roll out again, and repeat this until all the dough has been used.

On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, lay out the cookie cutouts. Don’t put them too close together, but you can fit quite a few on a sheet since these cookies don’t spread much. Sprinkle them with cinnamon + sugar or leave them naked if you want to frost them later.

Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once the cookies are COMPLETELY cool, frost them!

For the frosting:

Add cream cheese and butter to a mixing bowl, and microwave for about 20 seconds to soften. Cream that mixture and then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. If you want to make multiple colors of frosting, divide the white frosting into different bowls and add desired color to each bowl.

Yield: about 36-40 cookies (this depends on what size/shapes your cookie cutters are)

This post contains affiliate links for Wilton Food Coloring. 

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