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Swig Sugar Cookies and Frosting Recipe

42 Reviews

We had a happy accident the other day while making these Swig Sugar Cookies and the recipe was better than ever so we had to share! What is a Swig Sugar Cookie, you ask? On the spectrum between soft pillow-y sugar cookie and shortbread, it falls somewhere right in the middle. They are buttery and soft and pretty much heaven!

A photo of several sugar cookies with pink frosting centered on one cookie in the middle. All the cookies are sitting on a cooling rack.

While making these Swig Sugar cookies with our daughter last year we were a little short on some ingredients. We have a large cold storage in our basement where we keep a stocked supply of baking ingredients, but as it’s winter it gets really cold in that room, so not wanting to go down I changed the measurements.

I switched up how much shortening and powdered sugar we use in our old recipe and they turned out better than ever! A happy accident and now you all can enjoy the Utah favorite, Swig Sugar Cookies!


Swig is a soda shop that specializes in all sorts of yummy soda and flavor combinations. They also sell amazing cookies! They started here in Utah and have exploded all over the place. If you haven’t been to one, you definitely should! Come visit us and we can Swig it up! There is one no more than 2 miles from our house. Dangerously close!

A photo of a sugar cookie with pink frosting sitting on a cooling rack.

I’ll be totally honest, I don’t ever drink soda. I’m just not a fan so the drinks at Swig don’t really do much for me, but my kids love them and pretty much everyone I know loves them. Now what I am a big fan of are the cookies! Good mercy they are irresistible! They have 5 or 6 different kinds to choose from, but I often find myself coming back to the classic Swig sugar cookie.

A photo of a stack of four sugar cookies with pink frosting with unfrosted cookies in the background.

The One True Swig Cookie Copycat

There are a lot of copycat Swig Sugar Cookie recipes out there, but I’m telling you, this change in ingredients is it! This recipe uses a combination of butter and butter flavored shortening for the fat and a combination of granulated sugar and powdered sugar for the sweetness. These cookies are soft and melt in your mouth! When you buy them at Swig, they are cold, like they have been in the refrigerator, and I like them that way. It makes the frosting slightly firm and makes for the perfect bite. I like to throw mine into the fridge for a half hour or so before eating them.

A photo of the cross section of two sugar cookies with pink frosting stacked on each other.

Cream of Tartar FTW!

Then there is the cream of tartar. We always get loads of questions about cream of tartar when we use it in a recipe (like our mega-viral Peanut Butter Banana Bread). It seems like its not a spice that everyone has on hand like we do. Just go buy a jar! Trust me! It adds just the little bit of tang that these copycat Swig sugar cookies need.

A photo of several sugar cookies with pink frosting centered on one cookie in the middle. All the cookies are sitting on a cooling rack.

Frost Yourself

This frosting is really what takes these cookies over the top for me. While the cream of tartar adds tanginess to the cookie, the sour cream adds tanginess to the frosting. It is the perfect balance of sweet and tang and is so, so creamy. Swig dyes theirs pink, so we did the same, but you could dye it any color you want. These would be great for a gender reveal party, a bridal shower, a St. Patrick’s Day party, or just a lazy Sunday afternoon.

A photo of a sugar cookie with pink frosting sitting on a cooling rack.

Rough Edge

  • How to press sugar cookies with sugar

One of the signature features of a Swig sugar cookie is the rough edge. To get the rough edge, you scoop a golf ball sized chunk of dough and roll it into a smooth circle. Then you place the dough on the cookie sheet and smash it with the bottom of a drinking glass. It helps if you spray the bottom of the glass with cooking spray to avoid sticking. We like to smash it to about 1/2 inch thickness, but you can smash them a little more or a little less depending on how crispy or chewy you want your cookie.

  • Never Frost a Warm Cookie

You will want to wait until the cookies are completely cooled before frosting them. I can hardly wait for you to try these copycat Swig sugar cookies! Get your buns into the kitchen and get baking, friend! Xoxo!

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A photo of a copycat Swig sugar cookie with pink frosting sitting on a cooling rack.

Swig Sugar Cookies and Frosting Recipe

4.12 from 42 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Utah's favorite Swig Sugar Cookies recipe with a creamy frosting!


For the Cookies

  • 1 Cup Butter softened
  • 3/4 Cup Butter Flavored Shortening
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 5 1/2 Cups Flour

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup Butter unsalted and softened
  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Pink Gel Food Coloring


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, shortening, granulated sugar, confectioners sugar and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs and mix again.
  • In a bowl add the cream of tartar, baking soda and salt to the flour and whisk to combine.
  • Slowly add the flour to the butter mixer and allow the mixer to combine until the dough comes together.
  • Using an ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out golf-ball size portions on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place only 6 cookies per cookie sheet to avoid edges touching.
  • Roll each cookie dough ball until it is smooth and round.
  • Use a kitchen glass that has been sprayed with a little nonstick spray to press the bottom into granulated sugar, then press down on each cookie dough ball until the cookie is pressed out but not totally flat. Repeat with all cookies.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just slightly starting to brown and center no longer appears wet.
  • Cool completely.

For the Frosting

  • In a clean bowl, using a hand mixer or a clean bowl for the standing mixer, combine butter, sour cream, and salt until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar, starting with 4 cups and mix on low until smooth. We almost always use the full 5 cups.
  • Add in a few drops of pink gel food coloring for the soft pink color. We use 3 drops.
  • Spread on cooled cookies using an offset spatula.


Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months.
Nutrition Facts
Swig Sugar Cookies and Frosting Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 289 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 219mg10%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 3g6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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A photo of several sugar cookies with pink frosting centered on one cookie in the middle. All the cookies are sitting on a cooling rack.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • It’s Marianne, I did refrigerate the cut out cookies for 30 minutes and baked for 10 minutes.

    • Reply
  • Hi this is Marianne again, I rolled and used a cookie cutter, they came out perfect. I put them in the frig. for 30 minutes and they did not spread. Ate one without frosting, so good. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
    • Yay! This is great news! Did you refrigerate after using the cookie cutters? Thank you so much for the feedback!

      • Reply
    • Yes, I put the on parchment paper and put them in the refrigerator for
      1/2 hour.and baked for 10 minutes. I ‘m going to frost them this weekend. I put them in the freezer until the weekend. So glad I tried them.

      • Reply
      • Thank you so much! Enjoy!

  • Can these be rolled
    out and cut with a cookie cutter.

    • Reply
    • Hmmmm…I’ve never trued it but I think it will be too crumbly. If you want a good sugar cookie recipe for cutting out shapes, try this one…https://ohsweetbasil.com/sugar-cookies/

      • Reply
  • Do you potentially have metric measurements for this or any other recipe?

    • Reply
    • Hi Jessie! I’ve gone in and added the metric measurements. At the bottom of the recipe card, there should be a link to convert to metric. We are slowly going through all our recipes and adding this option. If there are specific recipes you would like it add it to right away, let me know!

      • Reply
  • Can’t wait to try these! I love Swig! Do you have to use shortening or can you just use butter?

    • Reply
    • You won’t get the right texture or flavor but they will still be delicious. We really found the combination of the two is what made the recipe perfect!

      • Reply
      • Awesome I’m making them now! I’m assuming the baking soda goes in with all the other dry ingredients? I’m so excited to make them!

      • Yes, it goes in with the dry ingredients. I’ll get that fixed in the recipe. Thank you and enjoy!

      • Dying to try these! I think this will satisfy a craving I’ve been having for years after eating a similar cookie at a baby shower. Yum! Can they really stay out at room temp with the sour cream in the frosting?

      • They can be stored at room temperature, but feel free to store them in the fridge if it makes you nervous! I actually kind of prefer them cold. You’ll have to let us know if they are similar to the cookie you had before!

  • Can’t wait to try these cookies.

    Just an FYI- since the emails have been arriving as Carrian and Cade, they go to my junk mail every time. When it was Oh Sweet Basil, the emails arrived in my inbox.
    Every time I say it’s not junk but the emails still go there. Not sure if others have been having this same experience. I go through my Junk emails faithfully to fish out your emails.

    Love your web site and your recipes. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Carla! I’ll look into that email issue and see if we can do anything on our end. Enjoy these cookies!

      • Reply
    • Do you refrigerate these when done

      • Reply
      • Sure!

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄