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LoftHouse Cookies! The Copycat Recipe That Comes Closest!

Why Is The Recipe For Lofthouse Cookies Such A Secret?

Copycat recipes are easy to find, with one exception. Those Lofthouse cookies that we see every day in the bakery section of our grocery stores! The thick cake-like cookies that are almost white in color, with brightly colored thick frosting and always the little sprinkles to top them off! A bargain at $3.99 a dozen? No, not a bargain, but they are difficult, if not impossible to duplicate. I have spent hours searching the internet for a recipe that comes closest to matching the cookies that are the favorite of my grandchildren. I have found only two copycat recipes for Lofthouse cookies that even come close and out of those two, have chosen the one that is the most similar in taste, texture and appearance. Yet, even that recipe has its weaknesses. It is not exactly the same, but I think it comes close enough to please my grandchildren. I will give you both, but my vote is for the first.

My granddaughter will be spending the week before Christmas with me. We will be using this copycat recipe for Lofthouse cookies, but we are going to make them in Christmas shapes and decorate them with Christmas colors (made with a real buttercream frosting from my wedding cake baking days) and of course, top them with sprinkles! They will be our official Christmas cookie this year! Since she is the expert, the final judgement is still pending. I think she will give them 2 thumbs up, but I can not guarantee her vote. The first recipe wins my vote, but I gave up years ago trying to predict what 8 year old girls will decide.

(Update, January 2, 2011-  The second recipe is by far, the easier recipe of the two. If you are not interested in using cookie cutters to make shapes, the verdict from the kids is that the second recipe is so close to Lofthouse cookies sold in the grocery stores, that they would be the ones to make. I have now added a royal icing recipe to this article, as well.)

Here is the winner!

  • 1 Cup of butter
  • 2 Cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Cups of sour cream
  • 5-6 Cups of sifted flour (Start with 5 cups, and add until you like the consistency of the batter. Save the rest for flouring the rolling pin and rolling surface.)

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and sour cream (I think it is the sour cream that makes the difference. I used Knudsen sour cream; not low fat, but regular sour cream). Then mix in the dry ingredients. I started with 5 cups of flour and used the rest when I actually rolled them out. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle your smooth countertop (or rolling surface) liberally with flour. I rolled out half the batter at a time. It was easier for me to work with. With a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the cookie batter to about 3/8 inch thickness and use floured cookie cutters to cut your shapes. I put them on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets and baked them for exactly 8 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before you frost them and make sure that your family IS NOT allowed to eat them all before they are frosted! This recipe will make about 30 small to medium circle-shaped cookies. With Christmas shapes, the recipe will make fewer, so keep that in mind.

Traditional Butter Cream Frosting Has No Butter!

Years ago, my husband and I catered weddings. I made the food and the wedding cakes. The cakes were traditional, covered with roses, lilies of the valley, sweet peas, anything that the bride wanted! The cakes were made from scratch, tall, beautiful and tasted as good as they looked! My husband was the photographer and we had a wonderful little business. Most of the cakes served 350 people, even when the size of the wedding was 100 people. I had a thing about large, beautiful cakes. I wanted them to be just as beautiful as the bride. They always were! The buttercream recipe that I used was the one that I will use for the lofthouse cookies and it had no butter. The taste is the most similar to the store bought frosting on Lofthouse cookies. Since the wedding cakes years ago, I have modified the frosting to include butter. The original has only Crisco shortening and if you would prefer, use all Crisco. I do not recommend a store brand shortening for this recipe.

Traditional Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of Crisco shortening (the old recipe used no butter, but 1 cup of Crisco)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract (or a combination of almond extract and vanilla extract, depending on the taste you like)
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar (sifted to remove lumps)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (add the milk slowly, until you reach a consistency you like)

Cream the butter and shortening together, until the combination is light and fluffy. Add the other ingredients and beat well. This decorator frosting is perfect for piping and just as easy to use if spreading with a spatula. I will be dividing the frosting into several small bowls and adding the Christmas food colors to each bowl.

If you are looking for a recipe for icing that will dry hard (to just coat the cookies and not be a thick frosting) and will make them easier to store, this is the icing recipe I recommend:

No Egg White Royal Icing Recipe:

  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk (or more depending on desired consistency)
  • 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • assorted food coloring

Mix the first four ingredients together. If you need to adjust the consistency, use a little extra milk. If you add more corn syrup, the icing will not dry. Add food coloring as desired. This icing will take about 4 - 6 hours to completely dry and is meant to just coat the cookies. I am hesitant to recommend a traditional royal icing with egg whites due to the possibility of salmonella. You will need to make more of this for a few batches of cookies or if you are going to let the kids do the decorating.


Second Copycat Recipe For Lofthouse Cookies!

This second recipe is one that I am very interested in trying! I have to confess, I have not. I was unable to find the key ingredient and after searching two grocery stores, was too tired to keep looking. It was reported on Recipe Buzz and the reviews have been almost unanimous with 5 stars! January 2, 2011- Have now tried these and they are great cookies!

Lofthouse Cookies Using Jiffy Baking Mix (found on the Jiffy website). The mix comes in a 40 ounce box. The website also offers a free recipe book.

Recipe on the Jiffy website:

  • 2 cups Jiffy baking mix
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 5 tbsp Crisco Shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and drop by tablespoon onto greased pans. Bake for 8-10 minutes and remove to cool. The recipe calls for greasing the baking sheets, but I always use parchment paper. They recommend sprinkling with sugar. I recommend using the buttercream frosting and sprinkles. The recipe states that it will make 36 cookies.

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When I am able to find the baking mix, I will be making these. There are literally hundreds of on-line reviews, all praising the quality and flavor of these cookies.


Update: 12/16/2010-was finally able to find the Jiffy Baking Mix. It was in a specialty grocery store and was only $2.79 for the box (40 ounces). My granddaughter and I will make this recipe over the weekend, but don't think we will be using it for the Christmas cookies. It doesn't look like it is appropriate for using a rolling pin and cutting Christmas shapes. As soon as we make the recipe though, I will update with a review so that you have as much info as possible!

12/19/2010: We made one batch of these last night. My granddaughter fell asleep before they were finished, but we dropped them onto the cookie sheets by heaping tablespoon and ended up with 14 cookies. Ouch! The finished size, shape, texture and height is that of the store bought circular ones. I tasted one without frosting. It is not equal to the actual "from scratch" recipe printed first. We will decorate and frost them on Sunday morning, but I don't think they measure up in terms of taste. The first recipe offered tastes pretty good, even though I am an admitted "non-fan" of lofthouse cookies. If you still want to make these after this review (and people will NOT say they are a bad tasting cookie), I suggest tripling the recipe. Then you will end up with 40 soft, cakelike, not too sweet cookies.

The verdict: My 8 year old granddaughter helped with the frosting and sprinkles. These ended up looking exactly like the boxed Lofthouse cookies. The buttercream was creamier, but according to my granddaughter, the taste of the Jiffy Lofthouse is very close. She says the cookies made from Jiffy are better than the Lofthouse store bought version. So, I guess since she is the expert (again, I am not fond of Lofthouse cookies), these cookies are great! If you are not planning to make shapes, these are easier than the first recipe and my grenddaughter thinks they are just as good as the first recipe printed. A couple of friends tried these as well and they loved them!

Regardless of your choice, make your baking fun! Your kids and grandkids will remember these times!


Ginger118 on July 12, 2012:

I found the Jiffy Baking Mix at Walmart for $2.69. After reading the comments from the owner, I tripled the recipe. Wow. We ended up with 6 dozen + cookies. (They are very good, but I do not consider it a copycat of Lofthouse cookies.) I will probably keep this recipe on hand for a sugar cookie recipe since it is so easy and does not require rolling and cutting out the cookies. Thank you!!

Donna Lichtenfels (author) from California, USA on February 06, 2011:

Hi, Leslie! I hope you have as much fun as my granddaughter and I did! The hardest part was finding the Jiffy Baking mix. As far as time, the Jiffy cookies are a lot easier and my granddaughter has decided that we will be making them again when she comes to stay on her Easter break. Her verdict is in!

The kids and grandkids do not hesitate when giving a verdict on the recipes they love best. The best times I have are cooking with my junior chef!

If you have time, check out the churros and the vegetable beef soup recipes that she loves. They are both in the cookbook she plans to publish in about 20 years.

Leslie Fulle on February 05, 2011:

Thank You Mrs. Barclay for taking the time to do this. We all know the best taste tester's are our children & grandchildren. I am definitely fixing to go to the grocery store and get the ingredients I don't have to make these. I am going to try both and let my judges give the verdict. Thank you Again

Donna Lichtenfels (author) from California, USA on January 21, 2011:

Thank you for the history lesson! After all these years, I find out that the buttercream recipe I have used for all these years was an American imitation of a French/English classic. We Americans do sometimes have a habit of thinking we have invented something when we didn't. I am actually going to try to find the traditional French/English recipe and try it, or if you would be so kind as to pass it along, that would be greatly appreciated!

Anonymous on January 21, 2011:

I assure you, original, traditional butter cream frosting did, indeed contain butter. Butter cream has been used since the late 1700's or early 1800's, long before Crisco and similar products were conceived for baking. You may be confusing real, classic butter cream with American butter cream, the type most American cooks are using, which is based entirely upon lard. However, this is FAR from the true French/English butter cream that is traditional and much older.

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