I love Valentine’s Day! No I don’t need an excuse to show my friends and family how much I love them but I do love a day that’s filled with pink and red and lace and hearts. The fact that we get free reign to indulge in some sweet treats like my soft sugar cookie recipe is definitely okay by me too.
You may have heard me say before that I’m not much of a baker. I have started baking a little bit more lately but it still is something that takes me extra time to get it right. So, I love to have a few really quick and really easy baking recipes on hand for those times when I want to whip up a little treat.
This super simple soft sugar cookie recipe definitely fits the bill! It uses the shortcut of a store-bought cake mix and isn’t overly fussy in decoration. Pair it with my adorable cotton candy punch and you’ve got the perfect little Valentine’s Day snack for the kids.
Check out the soft sugar cookie recipes and variations below. You’re bound to find one for everyone.
- 1 cake mix (I used the confetti cake mix with sprinkles already in it but you can use any kind of cake mix for this recipe - some of my favorites are lemon cake, chocolate fudge cake, and red velvet cake)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking powder (note: I've made them without this before. They are still delicious but come out a bit "cakier" and don't hold their form as well when baking. In that case, I used cookie cutters while they were still warm from the oven to cut them into recognizable shapes again).
- Sprinkles if desired
- Colored sugar if desired
- Frosting if desired
- Filling if desired - I used raspberry jam here but if you make chocolate cookies, they are really good with peanut butter inside or with lemon cookies, they are really good with lemon curd inside. You can also put frosting in the middle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- This is so simple - combine the cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and baking powder until well mixed and no dry cake mix remains.
- You can also mix in some sprinkles at this time if you'd like but make sure not to overmix or they may kind of melt away into your dough and "dye" it.
- Put the dough in the fridge for about an hour, just to make it easier to handle since it's such a soft dough.
- Roll the dough into balls - about an inch in size.
- You can simply pop the balls of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake as is (they will flatten out as they bake) OR you gently press the dough down with the bottom of a glass dipped in colored sugar or into a cookie cutter to create a shape.
- Bake for 9 minutes.
- It's really important not to overbake.
- The cookies will be quite soft when they come out of the oven and should not be brown.
- Leave them on the cookie sheets for a few minutes to harden up a bit before moving them to wire racks to finish cooling.
- You'll notice that I cut out some of the centers of the cookies to allow the filling to show through. Then I spread jam on one cookie and topped it with another (with the "peekaboo window") to make sandwich cookies.
- For some cookies, I also poked a hole in the center when they first came out of the oven. I found the most effective tool for this was the end of a wooden spoon. It gave me just the right size to be able to put the cookie onto the straw of one of the milk bottle beverages.
To make the cotton candy punch, it’s as simple as placing a little bit of cotton candy in a glass (or in this case, a milk bottle) and pouring a soft drink (like a lemon-lime type or even white grape juice or carbonated water) over it. This will add the cotton candy flavor to it but you’ll notice that it melts the cotton candy away. So I added a bit of cotton candy sticking out of the top of the bottle as well to give a hint as to its contents. You can also use a straw to help keep part of the cotton candy sticking up out of the beverage and it will slowly begin to dissolve from the bottom as it gets wet.
The second beverage option is a slightly healthier one. I simply blended frozen raspberries (about 1/3 cup) with 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. It’s still inspired by the colors of Valentine’s Day but hopefully it will help balance out some of the not so nutritious options that day. This one is topped with one of the cookies with the hole in the middle (you know, one of the not so nutritious options!).
Stay tuned – I’m teaming up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you the 12 Days of Valentine’s Day ideas and we’ve got so many wonderful recipes (and more!) to share.