Thick, soft and sweet, you will DIE over how good these Copycat Swig Sugar Cookies are! These pressed cookies are made with really common pantry ingredients, are softly baked to keep them tender and frosted with a light pink buttercream. Faster to make than my cut-out sugar cookies and scooped directly onto the baking sheet like my Chewy Sugar Cookies.
Thick and Delicious Swig Sugar Cookies!
During my college days, Swig Sugar Cookies were the thing. Incase you have no idea what I’m talking about or have never heard of Swig, it is a soda stand in Arizona, Utah and Idaho that happens to serve cookies along with their soda concoctions. Year after year, they became popular because of these pressed sugar cookies that were thick and soft with light pink frosting. While they have great soda pop, they are known for their Sugar Cookies.
A True Copycat
While there are lots of copycat recipes out there, some calling for random ingredients like sour cream, it is not a true Swig Sugar Cookie copycat! Through some friends, I was able to get a copy of the ingredients list and since legally they have to list all the ingredients in order from most to least, I was able to figure out a basic recipe to work from. Then from there, I was able to make small tweaks to get these tasting as close to the original as possible. I hope you find that to be true as well! (This is exactly the method I used to create my Cinnabon Clone and we all know how much you love that recipe )
Main Ingredients Needed
Like I mentioned above, you just need some simple pantry ingredients to make these cookies. There are a few extra ingredients that aren’t in a roll out sugar cookie, but have their purposes!
- Butter + Canola Oil – butter used for flavor and the oil helps keep the cookies soft through and through.
- Granulated Sugar + Powdered Sugar– both are obviously used to make these cookies sweet, but the powdered sugar adds a great texture and the cornstarch (that is in all powdered sugar) is a big reason for that.
- Egg– the protein that helps hold the cookies together
- Water– to moisten the dough slightly to help incorporate all that flour
- All Purpose Flour– there is A LOT of flour required for this recipe. Since you press the cookies out, you want them to keep their shape and you do this by adding a lot of flour.
- Baking Soda– this will help the cookies puff up slightly and spread.
- Cream of Tartar– this helps the sugar from crystalizing after its baked, but also acts as a leavening agent.
- Salt– helps anchor the cookie and bring out all the flavor.
A Note about Flour
The most important part about this cookie making process is measuring your flour! Most cookie recipes being successful hinges on the amount of flour you use in them! This recipe is no different. In the recipe card, you’ll see that I have some measurements listed in grams. I encourage you to use your kitchen scale and weight the sugars and flour to have accuracy and have your cookies turn out just as beautifully as mine did!
This is the kitchen scale I use and it works really well considering it was $13 off Amazon and came with an extra battery.
If you do not have a kitchen scale, you will want to whisk your flour well to aerate it before measuring. After you aerate your flour, you will want to spoon your flour into the measuring cups, level the top and pour into your mixer. 630 grams is equal to 5 1/4 cups. Most people will end up with too much flour in their cookies if they aren’t using a scale. Measure 5 cups first before adding the last 1/4 cup. You might not need it.
How to Make Swig Sugar Cookies | Directions
I use the creaming method for making these cookies, which is pretty much standard when it comes to baking. I use a large 3 tablespoon cookie scoop and then a heavy bottomed glass to get that pressed sugar cookie look and bake them at 325 degrees F to keep them soft. Add a light pink buttercream and you’ve got a Swig Copycat!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add your butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, canola oil, water and egg. Stir on low with the paddle attachment to slowly incorporate, then increase speed to medium high until thick, light and fluffy. It will look a little chunky and soupy, but if you keep mixing it, it will fluff up! Should take 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add in all your dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and especially the bottom of the bowl to ensure the cookie dough is coming together as it should.
- Using a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoon scoop) scoop level cookie dough balls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, 6 per sheet. Using a heavy bottomed glass approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter, dip the bottom of the glass into flour and then gently flatten the dough balls so they are 1/2-2/3 inch thick. Bake 11-12 minutes in preheated oven. Cookies should look matte and slightly puffed without any brown edges. Centers will be soft with edges cooked.
- Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. I like to lift the entire sheet of parchment paper with the cookies still on it and transfer that to my cooling rack or counter. Once cookies are at room temperature, transfer to airtight containers, stacking as needed with parchment or wax paper in between. Refrigerate until completely chilled (30 minutes to 1 hour) or freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, frost and enjoy!
Keeping your Cookies Soft
So, the traditional swig sugar cookies are served cold. They are baked and then frozen and transported to each store. From there, they are defrosted in the fridge and frosted on site with that light pink buttercream. Since we don’t need to really freeze these for any reason other than to store them for later, the home cook can skip this step. Also, if you aren’t familiar with or have never tried the original, the refrigeration step can be optional!
Keeping your cookies soft on the counter at room temperature is simple! As long as you keep them in an airtight container, they should remain soft for days. The trouble with storing them at room temperature is the frosting stays soft and can get messy if you try to stack them, even if you use parchment or wax paper in between. SO! I do recommend storing these in the fridge.
Once your cookies are baked and have come to room temperature, you can refrigerate them unfrosted in an airtight container, then pull them out to frost, then refrigerate cookies again in a single layer to set the frosting, then transfer to airtight containers with wax paper in between. Also, feel free to store one slice of white sandwich bread inside the container in the fridge. This will add some moisture and help keep the cookies soft and fresh. Just make sure the bread isn’t touching the cookies directly. (Place it at the top of your air tight container of cookies on a piece of parchment or wax paper.) They should last 4-5 days in the fridge!
About the Frosting
I created a simple buttercream frosting, based on my original vanilla buttercream frosting, and it has worked beautifully! It’s butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla beaten together until thick, creamy and smooth. I add in a drop of liquid red food coloring for that light pink color and then frost away with a butter knife. (The back of a soup spoon also works well!)
If you notice your buttercream has too much air and is not frosting very smoothly, use a rubber scraper or wooden spoon to beat the air out of it before using.
Also, you can definitely keep the frosting white or use a different color! The classic color used is pink, but honestly, the sky is the limit. Also: sprinkles!! So fun!
Almond Extract: To Add or Not To Add
Back in my college days, the original swig sugar cookies used to not have any almond extract included in them, but more recently (like in the last 5 years or so), they have added it into the frosting. Some people think almond extract is synonymous with sugar cookies and some people do not. I can go either way because…well…I’ll eat them both ways. It’s not like I’m turning down any cookies ever. So, if you’d like to add almond extract into the frosting, feel free to do that! Add in 1/2 teaspoon with the vanilla extract and then frost away. Simply omit if you’d like to leave it out.
So, there you have it! My copycat version of the Swig Sugar Cookie that I think is really *really* close to the original. And if you’ve never had these, then I think you are in for a treat. You will LOVE the finished product. It’s a really really tasty cookie that is thick, buttery and sweet. Just watch that flour measurement and you should be good to go!
Other Cookie Recipes You Should Totally Try
- Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Chewy Sugar Cookies (just scoop and bake)
- Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Shortbread Cookies
- Cake Mix Cookies
- Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- Monster Cookies
Copycat Swig Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line lightly colored baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add your butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, canola oil, water and egg. Stir on low with the paddle attachment to slowly incorporate, then increase speed to medium high until thick, light and fluffy. (Should take 30 seconds to 1 minute.) Scrape the sides and mix again briefly.
Add in the remaining dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and especially the bottom of the bowl to ensure the cookie dough is coming together as it should. Stir again briefly.
Using a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoon scoop) scoop level cookie dough balls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, 6 per sheet. Using a heavy bottomed glass approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter, dip the bottom of the glass into flour and then gently flatten the dough balls so they are 1/2-2/3 inch thick. Bake 11-12 minutes in preheated oven. Cookies should look matte and slightly puffed without any brown edges. Centers will be soft with edges cooked.
Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. I like to lift the entire sheet of parchment paper with the cookies still on it and transfer that to my cooling rack or counter. Once cookies are at room temperature, transfer to airtight containers, stacking as needed with parchment or wax paper in between. Refrigerate until completely chilled (30 minutes to 1 hour) or freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, frost and enjoy!
To make the frosting, simply mix the butter, milk, vanilla and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and mix again to ensure its smooth and the consistency you want. You want the frosting to be thick and able to hold its shape, while still soft enough to easily stir with a spoon or butter knife. Stir in the red food coloring.
If you’re storing your cookies in the fridge, you can simply remove, frost and store in a single layer on parchment paper lined baking sheets until the frosting is mostly set. Then transfer them back into those airtight containers, layering with parchment or wax paper. Store in the fridge for up to three days.
If you’re storing your cookies in the freezer, you can easily frost the frozen cookies right from the freezer and then transfer them to the fridge to completely defrost in a single layer on the baking sheets, gently covered with plastic wrap as described above.
A Note about Almond Extract-back in my good ol’ college days, the original Swig Cookies were never made with almond extract. Today, the cookies don’t have almond extract but the frosting does! If you like the flavor of almond extract, add 1/2 teaspoon to the frosting with the vanilla.