Panera Bread Sugar Cookie Recipe

Discover mouthwatering Panera Bread-inspired sugar cookies, with a zesty twist! Learn how to bake these heavenly treats at home.

Panera Bread Sugar Cookie

    Panera Bread Sugar Cookie

  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Dessert
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 36 cookies
  • Calories: 120 calories

About this recipe

Panera Bread's sugar cookies are a delightful treat that many people enjoy.

These cookies are soft and chewy, with a slightly crisp edge, making them the perfect balance of texture. They are generously coated with a layer of granulated sugar, which not only adds sweetness but also gives them a delightful sparkle and a bit of a crunch when you take a bite.

The flavor of Panera's sugar cookies is rich and buttery, with a classic vanilla taste that's comforting and familiar. High-quality butter and vanilla extract are key components in achieving that delicious flavor.

One of the standout features of Panera's sugar cookies is their size. They are typically quite large, making them a substantial treat that you can enjoy on its own or share with a friend. The size also means there's plenty of cookie to savor with each bite.

These cookies are a popular choice at Panera Bread, often displayed near the bakery section, tempting customers with their inviting appearance. They pair wonderfully with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, making them a comforting snack or dessert option.

Recipe origin and background

Panera Bread, known for its bakery items and delicious food offerings, has a wide range of recipes, including their sugar cookies.

However, specific details about the origin or background of their sugar cookie recipe are not readily available to the public. Panera Bread, like many restaurant chains, tends to keep the exact details of their recipes, especially for signature items, closely guarded as proprietary information.

It's possible that the sugar cookie recipe used by Panera Bread was developed in-house by their culinary team or inspired by traditional American sugar cookie recipes with their own unique twist.

Such recipes often evolve over time through experimentation and customer feedback to achieve the desired taste and texture.

Why try this Panera Bread Sugar Cookie recipe?

Trying the Panera Bread sugar cookie recipe or a homemade version inspired by it can be a delightful experience for several reasons:

  • Taste: Panera Bread's sugar cookies are known for their delicious, buttery, and slightly sweet flavor. By trying their recipe or a similar one, you can enjoy the same comforting taste at home.
  • Texture: These cookies have a perfect balance of softness and a slightly crisp edge. Biting into one is a delightful textural experience.
  • Homemade Goodness: Baking your own sugar cookies allows you to enjoy the warmth and aroma of freshly baked cookies right from your oven, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  • Customization: You can personalize your cookies by adding your own twists, such as lemon zest, as I mentioned earlier. This allows you to tailor the recipe to your taste preferences.
  • Fun Activity: Baking cookies can be a fun and rewarding activity, whether you're doing it solo, with family, or with friends. It's a great way to spend time in the kitchen and create something delicious.
  • Sharing: Homemade cookies make wonderful gifts or treats to share with loved ones. They're perfect for special occasions or just to brighten someone's day.
  • Satisfaction: There's a sense of accomplishment in making your own cookies from scratch. It's a small culinary achievement that can boost your confidence in the kitchen.

So, if you enjoy sweet treats and the process of baking, trying the Panera Bread sugar cookie recipe or a similar one is definitely worth it for the taste, texture, and the joy it can bring to you and those you share them with.

What does Panera Bread Sugar Cookie taste like?

Panera Bread's sugar cookies are a delightful indulgence that can be summed up in one word: heavenly. These cookies offer a symphony of flavors and textures that make each bite an unforgettable experience.

First, you're greeted with a buttery richness that immediately satisfies your taste buds. The butter provides a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth sensation that's perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. The sugar coating on the outside adds a delightful crunch, creating a pleasing contrast to the soft interior.

As you continue to savor these cookies, you'll notice the presence of pure vanilla essence. The vanilla extract infuses the cookies with warm and comforting notes, adding depth and complexity to their taste. It's a flavor that's both familiar and comforting, reminiscent of homemade treats.

One of the most remarkable qualities of Panera's sugar cookies is their exceptional softness. Each bite is tender and moist, and they practically dissolve on your tongue. This melt-in-your-mouth quality, combined with the sweet and buttery flavors, makes these cookies truly addictive.

Panera Bread's sugar cookies offer a delightful combination of buttery richness, subtle vanilla, a satisfying crunch, and an irresistible softness. They are a testament to the art of creating a simple yet extraordinary cookie that can brighten your day with every bite.

What is in Panera Bread Sugar Cookie?

  • All-Purpose Flour: This is the primary dry ingredient that provides structure and texture to the cookies.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the cookies rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is another leavening agent that contributes to the cookies' rise and texture.
  • Unsalted Butter: Butter adds richness, flavor, and moisture to the cookies.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sugar sweetens the cookies and also contributes to their texture, providing crispness on the outside.
  • Egg: Eggs act as a binder, helping to hold the cookie dough together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the cookies with its sweet, aromatic notes.
  • Zest of one Lemon (optional): If you want to add a twist, lemon zest can provide a subtle citrusy flavor to your cookies.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (optional): This adds acidity and a hint of lemon flavor, complementing the sweetness of the cookies.
  • Extra Granulated Sugar (for rolling): Coating the cookie dough balls in sugar before baking gives the cookies a sweet and slightly crunchy exterior.

Equipment required for this recipe

  • Mixing Bowl: You'll need a mixing bowl to combine and beat the ingredients. Substitutes can include large glass or metal bowls.
  • Whisk or Wooden Spoon: A whisk or wooden spoon is used for mixing the ingredients. If you don't have a whisk, a fork can work as a substitute.
  • Hand or Stand Mixer: While not mandatory, an electric mixer can make the process easier, especially for creaming the butter and sugar. You can substitute this with some extra elbow grease and a wooden spoon.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: These are crucial for accurately measuring ingredients. Eyeballing can be less precise, so it's best to use measuring cups and spoons.
  • Baking Sheet: You'll need a baking sheet to place your cookie dough balls on. If you don't have one, you can use any oven-safe flat surface like a pizza stone or even the back of a regular pan, but be sure to grease it or use parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  • Parchment Paper (Optional): This can be used to line your baking sheet and prevent cookies from sticking. If you don't have parchment paper, you can grease the baking sheet, but parchment paper is more convenient.
  • Cooling Rack (Optional): A cooling rack allows your cookies to cool evenly. If you don't have one, you can use a clean, heatproof surface like a countertop or a cutting board.
  • Rolling Pin (if needed): If you plan to roll out the dough for cut-out cookies, a rolling pin is essential. If you don't have one, you can use a clean, smooth bottle.
  • Cookie Cutters (if making cut-out cookies): If you're making cut-out cookies, you'll need cookie cutters in various shapes. In a pinch, you can use the rim of a glass as a substitute.
  • Spatula: A spatula is handy for transferring cookies from the baking sheet to the cooling rack. A fork or a flat knife can work as a substitute.
  • Oven: Of course, you'll need an oven for baking the cookies. There's no direct substitute for an oven, but you can explore stovetop or no-bake cookie recipes if you don't have access to one.

How to make Panera Bread Sugar Cookie

Unlock the secret to perfect Panera Bread sugar cookies! Explore our delectable recipe with a hint of lemon for a delightful twist.


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon (for a hint of lemon flavor)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set this dry mixture aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar until it becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well combined.
  5. Gradually add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until the dough forms. Be careful not to overmix; just combine until the ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
  7. Place the sugar-coated dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving some space between each.
  8. Flatten each cookie slightly with the bottom of a glass or your palm.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy your homemade sugar cookies with a delightful touch of lemon flavor! Feel free to adjust the amount of lemon juice to suit your taste preferences.

How to serve Panera Bread Sugar Cookie

After baking your homemade Panera Bread-inspired sugar cookies, here are the steps to serve them:

  1. Cooling: Allow the freshly baked cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven. This helps them firm up slightly and makes them easier to handle.
  2. Transfer to a Cooling Rack: Use a spatula or a flat utensil to gently transfer the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack. This allows air to circulate around the cookies, helping them cool evenly and maintain their texture.
  3. Cool Completely: Let the cookies cool completely on the wire rack. This usually takes around 15-20 minutes. This cooling time is essential to ensure that the cookies set properly and have the right texture when you bite into them.
  4. Plating: Once the cookies are completely cool, you can arrange them on a serving platter or plate of your choice. You can also use a decorative tray if you want to add a touch of elegance to your presentation.
  5. Optional Garnish: If you like, you can sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top of the cookies for an extra touch of sweetness and a pleasing visual effect. You can also add a lemon twist by grating a bit of lemon zest on top for a burst of citrus aroma and flavor.
  6. Serve: Your Panera Bread-inspired sugar cookies are now ready to be served. Place them on the table, and your guests can help themselves to these delectable treats. They pair wonderfully with a cup of tea, coffee, or a glass of cold milk.

Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 481 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Panera Bread Sugar Cookie, Panera Bread Sugar Cookie Recipe, Recipe, Easy, Homemade, Top rated

What to serve Panera Bread Sugar Cookie with

Panera Bread-inspired sugar cookies are versatile treats that can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some delicious options to serve with your sugar cookies:

  1. Coffee: A classic choice, a cup of hot coffee pairs wonderfully with the sweet and buttery flavor of sugar cookies. The warmth of the coffee complements the cookies' soft texture.
  2. Tea: Whether it's black tea, green tea, or herbal tea, tea is another excellent choice. The subtle flavors of tea can enhance the experience of savoring the cookies.
  3. Milk: For a timeless combination, serve sugar cookies with a glass of cold milk. The contrast between the sweet cookies and the creamy milk is delightful, especially for dunking.
  4. Hot Chocolate: If you're in the mood for something indulgent, hot chocolate is a comforting choice. The rich, chocolaty drink pairs nicely with the cookies.
  5. Ice Cream: Create a dessert duo by serving sugar cookies with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate, or a fruity flavor can all complement the sweetness of the cookies.
  6. Fruit: Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, or sliced bananas, can add a refreshing contrast to the sweetness of the cookies. It's a lighter option if you prefer some fruity freshness.
  7. Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream can make your sugar cookies feel extra luxurious. It's a simple yet delightful topping.
  8. Yogurt: Greek yogurt or vanilla yogurt can be a healthier choice to balance the sweetness of the cookies. It's a great option for breakfast or a light snack.
  9. Lemon Curd: Since you added a hint of lemon to your sugar cookies, serving them with lemon curd can intensify the citrus flavor and provide a tangy contrast.
  10. Nut Butter: Spread a thin layer of almond butter or peanut butter on your sugar cookies for a nutty and savory twist. The combination of sweet and nutty flavors is delightful.

My recommendations and tips

  1. Read the Recipe Thoroughly: Before you start, read through the entire recipe to familiarize yourself with the steps and ensure you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment.
  2. Use Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your butter and egg are at room temperature. This allows for better mixing and helps create a uniform dough.
  3. Measure Accurately: Use proper measuring cups and spoons for precise measurements, especially for the flour. Too much flour can make your cookies dry, so fluff it up before measuring and level it off.
  4. Cream the Butter and Sugar Well: Creaming the softened butter and sugar together until it's light and fluffy is a crucial step. It helps incorporate air into the dough, creating a tender texture.
  5. Don't Overmix: Once you start adding the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mix only until combined. Overmixing can lead to tough cookies.
  6. Chill the Dough: If your dough is too soft, chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This makes it easier to handle and prevents the cookies from spreading excessively during baking.
  7. Uniform Cookie Size: For consistent baking, try to make sure your cookie dough balls are of the same size. You can use a cookie scoop for this purpose.
  8. Sugar Coating: When rolling the cookie dough balls in sugar, make sure they are evenly coated. This not only adds sweetness but also gives the cookies their signature sparkle.
  9. Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the cookies as they bake. They should be lightly golden at the edges but still soft in the center. Overbaking can make them too crispy.
  10. Cooling: Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack after baking. This prevents them from becoming soggy on the bottom.
  11. Storage: To keep your sugar cookies fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze them for longer-term storage.
  12. Get Creative: Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavors or additions. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, or even dried fruit to the dough for a unique twist.

Potential ingredients substitutes

  1. Butter:
    • Substitute with margarine or a plant-based butter alternative for a dairy-free version.
    • You can also try using coconut oil, but keep in mind that it will impart a subtle coconut flavor to your cookies.
  2. Egg:
    • For an egg-free option, you can use applesauce, mashed banana, or yogurt as a binding agent. Use about 1/4 cup of the substitute for each egg.
  3. All-Purpose Flour:
    • If you're looking for a gluten-free option, you can use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
    • Almond flour or coconut flour can be used as alternatives, but they will change the texture of the cookies, making them denser.
  4. Granulated Sugar:
    • You can replace granulated sugar with brown sugar for a slightly different flavor and texture.
    • For a lower-calorie option, consider using a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol. Keep in mind that the texture and taste may differ from traditional sugar.
  5. Vanilla Extract:
    • If you're out of vanilla extract, you can use almond extract, maple syrup, or honey for a different flavor profile.
  6. Lemon Zest and Juice:
    • If you prefer not to use lemon, you can omit the zest and juice entirely or substitute with orange zest and juice for a citrusy twist.

Final Remark

In conclusion, these homemade Panera Bread-inspired sugar cookies bring a taste of bakery magic to your kitchen. With their buttery richness and a touch of lemon, they're a sweet delight for any occasion. Share the love by baking a batch today and savor the comforting flavors that only homemade cookies can provide. Happy baking!

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