The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (2024)

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4.69 stars (600 ratings)

Feb 4, 2019 338

These are the best little frosted sugar cookies on the planet! A knockoff from the popular soda shop, these Swig sugar cookies are amazing (and so easy – no rolling or cutting out!).

I am sharing my go-to, favorite copycat recipe for the ever-popular Swig sugar cookies! This recipe is the best and has hundreds of five-star reviews to prove it.

The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (1)

What is a Swig Sugar Cookie?

Swig sugar cookies originated years ago at a little soda/cookie shop in Utah. The signature pressed cookie shape with rough, crinkly edges gained popularity and spawned a lot of knockoff cookie shops AND cookie recipes.

If you’ve been around since the beginning of MKC time (bless you), you might recognize this old Sugar Gems recipe.

Posted long before these popular soda/cookie shops started popping up everywhere, it’s proof that pressed (no rolling or cutting!) and frosted sugar cookies have been a favorite for many of us long before they became trendy and went viral online.

The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (2)

How to Make Perfect Swig-Style Sugar Cookies

  • take care not to over flour the dough
  • press the cookies between 1/4- and 1/2-inch (not too thin!)
  • under bake the cookies just slightly

I’ve given both a cup measure and a weight measure for the flour in this recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, make sure to fluff the flour in the container before scooping in your cup and leveling off.

The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (3)

Sugar Cookie Dough

The cookie dough is soft but thick. This helps the cookies develop those signature crinkly, ruffled edges.

To shape the cookies:

  1. Roll the dough into balls. I use my large #20 cookie scoop{aff. link}.
  2. Grab a flat-bottomed glass, spray with cooking spray, and dip into a bowl of granulated sugar.
  3. Press each ball of dough into a thick circle (dipping the bottom of the glass again in sugar between cookies).

The cookies will spread and flatten a bit more while baking, but they will retain their ruffly edges for that signature soda shop look.

The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (4)

Perfect Sugar Cookie Frosting

A delicious sugar cookie is only as good as the frosting on top!

And the frosting recipe for these Swig sugar cookies is exceptional. Soft, creamy and delicious.

Tint with food coloring, if desired, and then frost the cooled cookies leaving a thin border around the edges.

Add any variety of sprinkles! 😍

The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (5)

How to Freeze Frosted Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies freeze exceptionally well. Yes, even frosted!

Here’s how I do it:

  1. Frost cooled sugar cookies (and add sprinkles, if using)
  2. Freeze or refrigerate in a single layer on a sheet pan until frosting is firm.
  3. Place sugar cookies in freezer storage bags or other containers, separating layers with parchment or wax paper. Ideally, don’t exceed more than two to three layers per container.
  4. Take the frozen sugar cookies out of the bags/containers and place in a single layer on serving trays or sheet pans to thaw (takes about an hour at room temperature).

I have made and frozen hundreds of frosted sugar cookies over the years, and I can attest it works brilliantly well. No one can even tell the cookies were made ahead of time.

The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (6)

Rave Reviews

Here are just a few of the hundreds of five-star reviews:

Amy: I’m from PA and have never heard of the Swig cookies before. This is a great recipe! Made it twice came out great both times. Thanks for another great recipe!

Jennifer: Truly the best frosted sugar cookie recipe and maybe best cookie recipe of all out there. This one is a showstopper!

Koye: Super easy. Sent to my sister’s workplace. Gone quickly and several people asked for recipe. Love that they are not too sweet.

Kara: I have tried several copycat swig and these come in first every.single.time!

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The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe} (7)

Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe}

Yield: 30 cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour hr

Cook Time: 12 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 12 minutes mins

4.69 stars (600 ratings)

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  • 1 cup (227 g) salted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (164 g) neutral-flavored oil, canola, vegetable, grapeseed, etc
  • 1 ¼ cups (265 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (86 g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar or baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see note)
  • 5 ½ cups (781 g) all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
  • Granulated sugar for pressing the cookies


  • ¾ cup (170 g) salted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (684 g) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 degrees F for convection bake) and line several half sheet pans with parchment paper.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl using a handheld electric mixer), add the butter, oil, granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Sprinkle the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt across the top of the sugars (don't add the baking soda and cream of tartar in one lump or it might clump while mixing). Mix until well-combined and super creamy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  • Add the sour cream, eggs and vanilla and mix until well-combined, 1-2 minutes, again scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  • Add the flour and mix until no dry streaks remain and the mixture is evenly combined; don't overmix.

  • Scoop the dough into about 3-tablespoon sized portions (I use a #20 cookie scoop) and roll into balls. Place several inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Add about 1/2 cup granulated sugar to a shallow dish or bowl. Lightly spray the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass with cooking spray and dip the bottom of the glass into the sugar. Press each cookie into an even thickness dipping the bottom of the glass into the sugar between each press (no need to spray it again with cooking spray after the first time). The edges of the cookie will ruffle out a bit. It's really up to you how thick or thin to press the cookies. I like them between 1/4- and 1/2-inch thick.

  • Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes until the edges are set (it's ok if the center of the cookies looks slightly under baked).

  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  • For the frosting, in a medium bowl (can use a handheld or stand mixer) combine the butter, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until thick and smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and cream (or milk) and mix until well-combined and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add additional cream, if needed, to adjust the consistency of the frosting so it is thick but still soft and spreadable.

  • Frost the cooled cookies and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.


Vanilla Flavor: I’ve also used vanilla butter emulsion in place of the vanilla extract (in both the cookies and frosting) for a super yummy, buttery vanilla flavor.

Overflouring: be careful not to overflour the dough or the cookies might be dry instead of soft after baking. If you don’t weigh your ingredients, make sure to fluff the flour in the container before scooping in the measuring cup and leveling (don’t pack or shake the flour into the cup!).

Make-Ahead: these cookies do amazingly well baked, frosted, sprinkled and frozen. Once frosted, I place them in a single layer on a baking tray, freeze, and then slide them into a tupperware container or ziploc bag (and separate layers with pieces of parchment or wax paper). They thaw great and taste amazing.

Serving: 1 Cookie, Calories: 374kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 158mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 35g

Follow @MelsKitchenCafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: adapted from my old Sugar Gems recipe and this popular recipe at Vintage Revivals; frosting recipe adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen’s recipe

Other Recipes Like This:

Lemon Swig Sugar Cookies with Divine Lemon Frosting {No Rolling or Cutting Out!}
Super Soft Frosted Chocolate Swig Sugar Cookies
Easy Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies {No Rolling or Cutting Out!}
Easy Sugar Cookie Bars

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posted on February 4, 2019 (last updated July 17, 2023)

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    338 Comments on “The Best Swig Sugar Cookies {Copycat Recipe}”

  1. Angela Reply

    THE BEST SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE EVER!!! Why anyone wouldn’t think so is beyond me. I’ve made LOTS of sugar cookies. These were by far the easiest and most delicious. This is my new go to. Thank you so much Mel!

  2. Valerie Reply

    These are so amazing! Because we love almond extract in our cookies, we added .5 tsp to the dough and frosting. I think your recipe is better than Swig’s. Thank you for sharing it!

  3. Mariam Reply

    This is one of my favorite cookie recipes. I was planning to make these for Christmas gifts for my neighbors. How long can these sit at room temperature? I wanted to give my neighbors an idea of when to refrigerate them to avoid anyone getting sick.

    • Mel Reply

      Hi Mariam, I refrigerate these if they will be left out longer than 3 to 4 hours.

      • Mariam Reply

        Thanks for your reply! I completely missed the storage instructions if it was above! Praying no one gets sick, I left them for about 6-8hrs before giving them out to neighbors. I made a batch for my coworkers yesterday to give today but will probably throw them out since they’ve been sitting out since yesterday morning.

  4. Patricia Janik Reply

    can I use vegetable solid shortening?

    • Mel Reply

      In place of the butter or oil? It probably wouldn’t work in place of the oil. But it might work for the butter – the cookies will have a different flavor and texture.

  5. Karen Reply

    I’ve never heard of Swig cookies, but this recipe has been in my “try” pile for sometime now. So glad I finally got around to making them yesterday. They are delicious but way too tempting to have around. Will be sharing with friends and freezing most of the rest. The perfect treat when you feel like indulging. I’ll definitely be making them again!

  6. Jennifer Reply

    The flour measurements, I think that number is wrong on the grams?

    • Mel Reply

      I test all my recipes using 142 grams of flour per cup, so the gram amount for flour is correct. 🙂

    • Karen Reply

      I just made these using the weight measurements as listed, and they turned out perfect!

      I also made the chocolate version and was surprised that unlike these, the weight measurements were given in ounces. I went with it, and those measurements were spot on as well.

  7. Alison Reply

    These are delicious! And easy. Question—what does the oil in this recipe do? I actually forgot it and they still taste great and aren’t dry…I’m wondering if they won’t last as long without the oil…but these can definitely be made without it! I took them right out at 7min.

    • Mel Reply

      The oil helps with the texture and staying fresh. 🙂

  8. Leslie Reply

    Love this recipe and have made it dozens of times! Was wondering if I could make it without the sour cream? If so, would I omit it completely, or is there a substitution? Thank you!

    • Mel Reply

      Hi Leslie, you could use plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. If you leave it out, you might need to decrease the flour just a bit.

  9. Terri Reply

    They were good the first day. I was very careful measuring the flour, but they are dry and all we taste in the cookie is flour. Not willing to make again.

  10. Katie Reply

    Loved these! They are my new go-to sugar cookie, and definitely the best Swig copycat I’ve made yet!

  11. Elvin Reply

    I wish I could put one hundred!

  12. Kim Reply

    I just made these. They are great. We are making ice cream sandwiches with them for my granddaughters birthday. I also made them low sodium no salt and sodium free baking soda and sodium free baking powder.

  13. Joanna Reply

    Needed a gluten free/dairy free cookie for 30 people.

    Just a few substitutions worked deliciously well – df sour cream, Crisco instead of butter, Bob’s Red Mill gf 1:1, and Crisco frosting (Googled it – used df sour cream for the milk).

    Thank you Mel for a great cookie recipe.

  14. Mikelle Reply

    I have made these for several different events, and every time they get rave reviews! Such a good cookie!

    • Amy Reply

      I’m from PA and have never heard of the Swig cookies before. This is a great recipe! Made it twice came out great both times. Thanks for another great recipe!

  15. Gaelen Reply

    THANK YOU for this! I had a former co-worker would bring Swig cookies from Utah, but we no longer work together and I’ve been looking for a local solution! Until I succeed in opening a Swig franchise here in San Francisco, these are a perfect replacement. I roll my cookie batter into 55g balls and bake for exactly 9.5 minutes.

  16. Christine treash Reply

    what exacty is a vanilla butter emulsion?

    • Mel Reply

      It is like vanilla extract but thicker (and has a different flavor). Emulsions can be used in place of extract.

  17. Teri Reply

    This sugar cookie recipe was easy to make and it turned out amazing! My new favorite.

  18. Jill Gagner Reply

    Made these today with my grandson. OMG good

  19. Katie Reply

    Came across your recipe yesterday and knew I had to try them I have looking for a good sugar cookie recipe. This recipe is bad news because now I can make the best sugar cookie I have ever tasted right at home. I love them so much.

  20. Tricia Reply

    I made all the flavors of this cookie at Christmas time and everyone that ate them loved them! I especially like the lemon. Thanks for the recipes.

  21. Donna Reply

    I love that you are using a Bosch I’ve only use them
    Have for the last 40 years

  22. Dawne Reply

    These are delicious!! For those who have asked if you can use for cut out cookies the answer is yes! I rolled the dough out on lightly floured surface, cut out with heart cookie cutter, put in freezer for 10 min then baked per directions.

  23. Your friend, Audra Reply

    Thank you for this recipe, Mel! At 9PM tonight I decided to send my husband in to work with some sugar cookies for his employees. I needed a sugar cookie recipe that didn’t have to sit in the fridge for hours. This recipe tastes so good and was quick and easy! It will be a highlight for one person in particular who loves sugar cookies and will mostly be alone for the holidays. Thanks for helping me spread some Christmas cheer!

  24. Paula Bloor Camp Reply

    I can’t bake to save my life (but, I’m a gourmet chef when it comes to cooking!) and I’ve made these cookies at least 10 times. They come out PERFECT and everyone about dies over them! I’m making them again for a cookie exchange next week and am going to try making them a little bit smaller. Hopefully it works out!

  25. Vicki Skonieczny Reply

    Hi Mel,
    I have made these Swig Sugar Cookies numerous times and they are a family favorite. Quick question: can they be rolled and cut out like a traditional sugar cookie or will that not work with this recipe? Thanks.

    • Mel Reply

      I haven’t tried that – not sure if they would keep their shape. Good luck if you experiment!

  26. Nicole Guillaume Reply

    Amazing! I love all Mel’s sugar cookie recipes. These were so delicious! They froze well, and left on the counter to thaw for a few minutes they were perfect. I recommend weighing the ingredients like Mel suggests. I was unsure of the size dough ball to make so I did what someone else suggested and did 1.5 ounces. The first dozen were a tad too big so I only got about 30 cookies. The frosting is so yummy! Thanks Mel

  27. rzh Reply

    These turned out great and were so easy! I froze the baked cookies in advance and frosted them on the day since they take a lot of room to store when frosted. Worked perfectly. I plan to try more flavors!

  28. Amy Reply

    Just made this recipe for the first time. They are delicious! Is it possible to bag up these cookies or will the frosting get smashed? I wanted to give them away as a favor.

    • Mel Reply

      The frosting does stay softer than a royal icing that hardens.

  29. Heidi Reply

    I thought I remembered that you had posted you could make these, frost them and then freeze them? I’m making about 250 cookies for a youth trip and would be so happy if I’m not making this up….:)

    • Mel Reply

      You aren’t making it up! I’ll add a note to the recipe. But yes, these do amazingly well baked, frosted, sprinkled and frozen. They thaw perfectly!

  30. Kaili Reply

    Love these as cookies. Make them every year for Christmas! Wondering if you’ve ever used this recipe as a bar in a jelly roll pan? If so, how long do you bake?

    • Mel Reply

      I haven’t tried that with this recipe so I’m sorry I don’t have any good tips. I usually use this sugar cookie bar recipe:

  31. Patti Reply

    I love all of your recipes! They have always turned out for me in the past and they are always so good.
    The cookie part of this recipe turned out perfect. They are a tad crunchy on the edges and soft on the inside. So good.
    But I had trouble with the frosting which just makes me laugh because I bake a lot and the recipe isn’t too complicated. The frosting was really thick and when I went to spread it on the cookie it was pulling away a lot as I’m spreading it. I was difficult to work with.
    I didn’t measure the powdered sugar so I will do that next time and I used heavy whipping cream (because that’s what I had on hand ) so maybe I should have used just milk instead?
    I thought the frosting was too sweet for my liking but I realize that’s just a preference thing.
    I looked through all of the comments and it doesn’t seem like anyone else had trouble with the frosting so I’ll have to remake it and see if I can figure out what went wrong. LOL!
    Thank you for your recipes. I do enjoy them and I love looking through and finding all kinds of things I want to make. I use your recipes for dinner a lot too and they are all so good. Thanks:)

    • Laura Reply

      This happened to me too. The frosting was super thick – I added about 2 1/2 tablespoons of whipping cream to mine. I left it as is because I did patriotic cookies for a potluck at our lake and I didn’t want the icing to just melt off. But next time I will add another tablespoon of milk or cream at least. They are delicious though!

  32. marci Reply

    If you make the cookie dough, roll them out and then freeze, whats the process before going in the oven? Do they need a while to thaw on the counter?

    • Mel Reply

      You can cook from frozen – just add a few minutes onto the baking time.

  33. Brooklyn Barnes Reply

    These cookies are delicious. Thanks for the great recipe Mel!

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