Desserts | July 31, 2020

Almost Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe

Almost Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe

This recipe post has been updated with new content and photos July 2020, original post, May 2013

What is a Swig cookie? This recipe for Almost Swig Sugar Cookies is a copycat recipe for a popular cookie originally sold in Utah at “Swig” Stop. Later named “SwignSweets” and now just “SWIG”. This unique sugar cookie is scooped instead of rolled and cut out, baked and then topped with delicious creamy pink frosting. Are you drooling yet??

Swig Copycat
Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe

The History of Swig

If you live in Saint George, Utah, or have visited St. George you’ve been to the home of THE original Swig cookie! Swig, a little cookie shack, was rumored to haul in thousands of dollars each day when they first opened. Swig is known for selling cookies, soda and their signature drink a “Dirty Diet Coke”.

Swig recipe

The people in St. George are a pretty tame bunch (I know this, I used to live there). So buying a “Dirty Diet Coke” is about as wild as it gets if you’re a long time resident of St. George, Utah!  The “dirty” in the soda, is an add-in flavoring such as coconut, cherry, lime, cream, etc.

St. George is a beautiful town located about 2 hours north of Las Vegas, NV. This is the St. George, UT temple. We have a special bond to this town, which is now probably too big to be called a town. It’s where I met Grant and fell in love many years ago! We often took looooong walks to the St George temple in our dating days.

St George Utah, Home of original Swig Cookie

Who made the first swig cookie?

Originally the Swig sugar cookie was baked by Dutchman’s Market/Cravings Bakery in Santa Clara, UT. After a few years, Swig started to expand and they broke away from Dutchman’s and used other bakeries to make their cookies. Dutchman’s has a FB page, where you can see the original recipe sugar cookies sold in their store, along with what they call “muddy” sodas. Dutchman’s sell their cookies at room temperature, prefrosted and is still in operation in Santa Clara.

Original Swig Cookie recipe

Swig was first opened in 2010 and grew to 17 stores before being sold. My research and testing on the cookies was done way back when Swig was a two-store operation, only found in St George. If you want to experience a cookie that is similar to the ORIGINAL Swig cookies, you need to make our recipe for Almost Swig Sugar Cookies!

Swig Cookie frosting

Originally, the Swig cookie was served cold and frosted with room temperature frosting after you placed your order. St George is a hot, dry place, so a cool cookie and Diet Coke are a perfect combo!

Swig Cookie

Recipe Development in 2011 aka taste testing a lot of cookies…

I tested several different recipes online claiming to be the original Swig recipe. None of them were quite right. I baked sugar cookies with cream cheese and/or sour cream in the dough, and thought the sour cream gave the cookie a heavier texture, similar to the Swig cookie. I tried an entirely different recipe, altered a bit to create a heavier cookie. Still not quite right.

After comparing several recipes, and more taste-testing of the Swig Shack cookie, I decided the Swig cookie was so dense, it probably did not have any egg in the dough. I altered the recipe again, and swapped the baking soda for baking powder. I also tried cream of tarter (see my note below about that experiment). Yes, it sounds like I am lobbying for a job at America’s Test Kitchen.

My final result is a cookie very similar to the original Swig cookie. If you strip away the frosting on the Swig cookie, it is a very bland tasting treat (trust me, I ate several cookies without frosting for the sake of research). The cookie is so bland on its own, that I added vanilla and sugar to make it more flavorful. I couldn’t help myself. In the recipe notes, I give instructions for a cookie that tastes like the original not very sweet Swig! Make sure to read all of the recipe notes for options and helpful hints.

The End. Almost…

After extensive taste testing on several Swig cookies, I’ve decided the Swig cookie is more like a cross between a shortbread/flattened out sweet biscuit than a cookie.

The store bought version is not very flavorful and quite dry- which may be a good thing, since it is served with a Coke or Dr. Pepper. And don’t forget about the flavor shot in the drink. A bland cookie goes well with a sweet drink and/or a flavor-spiked soda. I’m standing by my theory that all the fuss is about a cold cookie, served in a hot climate, with a fun drink!

Swig Cookie Recipe

I’ve received hundreds of comments over the years on Instagram and on the earlier post similar to this…

“Where do I leave the 5 stars!? My family really enjoys this recipe. I love that I can make a large batch and control the size of the cookie. I earned the nickname “Auntie Awesome” after bringing these to my nieces and nephews tennis tournaments; they feed a large crowd, can handle the summer heat, and soften the hearts of even the toughest competitors!” Daniel

I hope you will give ABK’s Almost Swig Sugar Cookie recipe a try and let me know what you think below!

How to make Swig Cookies at home
5 from 6 votes
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Almost Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe

Make at home recipe for famous Utah Swig cookies! Best served cold with room temperature frosting!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookie, copycat recipe, sugar cookie, Swig Cookie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
cooling time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 18 cookies
Author abountifulkitchen

Ingredients

dough:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly soft
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar or powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour do not sift!
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • sugar for top of cookies

frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1-2 drops red food coloring
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk**

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 convection or 350 regular bake.
  2. Take butter out of refrigerator and microwave for about 15 seconds or just until slightl soft.

  3. Place butter, oil and cold sour cream in a mixing bowl.

  4. Mix for about one minute.

  5. Add sugar and almond extract, mix until smooth.

  6. Add all dry ingredients at once.
  7. Mix just until flour disappears and the mixture comes together in a ball of dough, about 1 minute on very low speed.

  8. Spray the cookie scoop with a little cooking spray.
  9. Scoop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. I use a 2 inch scoop. A 2 inch scoop will produce a cookie similar in size to the Swig cookie. If you don't have a cookie scoop, use an ice cream scoop or roll the dough into a ball about the size of a golf ball. It is best to use a scoop and overfill it a bit to get the desired jagged edge.

  10. Place about 1/4 cup sugar into a small bowl.
  11. Spray the bottom of a flat glass with cooking spray.
  12. Flatten one cookie a bit then dip the glass in sugar.
  13. Press the bottom of the glass against the cookie. Press the cookies so they are flattened a bit ( until the cookie dough just reaches the outside of the edge of the glass) twisting the glass as you press to produce a jagged edge.
  14. I bake 8 cookies per tray. Continue until all cookies are flattened.
  15. Bake in oven for about 10-12 minutes on convection or about 12-15 minutes regular bake or until edges are lightly golden and cookies are slightly firm to the touch.
  16. Remove from oven, let cool. Loosen the cookies from the cookie sheet after cooled a bit, or they will stick to the pan (even though it has been lightly greased).

  17. Place the cookies in the fridge and chill.

Prepare the frosting:

  1. Beat together the butter, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. When all ingredients are incorporated, add the drop of food coloring and a little milk if the frosting needs to be thinned.
  2. Frost after the cookies are completely chilled.
  3. Makes about 18 large cookies.

Recipe Notes

Tips and (surprise) a few more comments

  • The recipe looks a little long and maybe even complicated, but it’s not. Once you get the hang of the technique for scooping and pressing, it takes less than a half hour to make and bake the entire batch.
  • If you want the cookies to taste more like the original Swig cookies make this adjustment to the dough: Omit the almond extract and reduce the sugar to a total of 3/4- 1 cup.I prefer the cookies to be sweeter, so I like 1 1/2 cups of sugar in the dough. 1 1/2 cups of sugar may sound like a lot, but consider traditional chocolate chip cookies have 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar to 2 1/2 cups of flour. The ratio here is 1 1/2 cups sugar to 4 1/2 cups flour.
  • For a more crumbly cookie edge texture, use shortening instead of butter. You may use solid regular or butter flavor shortening. The first time I posted this recipe, I used: 
  • The bit of crunch on the edge of the Swig cookie could be from the baking method, or from cream of tarter substituted for the baking powder. Cream of tarter adds a bit of a crunch, but also a hint of tang, which I didn’t detect in the Swig cookie. In one of my test batches, I tried 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter along with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and thought the cookie was too tangy, not at all like the Swig cookie.
  • This cookie measures about 3 3/4 to 4 inches across when finished baking.
  • The St. George Swig cookie is frosted with quite a thin layer of frosting. I prefer my frosting to be a bit thicker. If you want to frost the cookie with a thinner frosting, add about 3-4 tablespoons of milk to the frosting.
  • This cookie stays quite well in the fridge for about a week  or two if kept in an air tight container. I frost the cooled cookies, then store them in the fridge. Once the frosting is set on the cookie, you may layer the cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper. This allows you to stack the cookies without taking up too much space in the refrigerator.
  • This cookie freezes well frosted or unfrosted.
  • If you are making this for a gathering where there will be other desserts, use a smaller cookie scoop and bake for less time.

66 thoughts on “Almost Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe

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  1. I agree with what you said on Studio 5 today about the cookie not having any flavor. I LOVE SUGAR COOKIES and after hearing so much good about the cookies – I got one in St. George – and after having a couple of bites – I decided that it was a flavorless – dry cookie that didn't warrant the calories. But I LOVED THE FROSTING!! So – I just licked it off 🙂 You said that the Bountiful swig's cookies were made at a bakery in Provo. Do you know which one? Provo Bakery? Shirley's? Isn't there a swig in Provo too?

    1. Merilyn,
      No mention of the bakery, but it could be a commercial or retail bakery there? Interestingly, last night my daughter bought a few sugar cookies at the Bountiful location, and they taste like the St George cookies. Hmmm. Not sure why. I hope they did not change their supplier or the recipe they were using. If so, I'll just go back to buying the flavored soda and make the cookies at home!

  2. I noticed the recipe on this page and the original page (even with the changes in red) are different. Which one is correct?

    We are REALLY excited to try these since my daughter is allergic to eggs. Thanks a bunch for the recipe.

    1. KS,
      The original recipe is half of this recipe. When I decided to re-post this, I went ahead with the double version, since that is the amount I always make. When I posted the smaller version, I was testing the recipe and tried to make it in the smallest quantity possible because it was not yet perfected. I'd go with this latest version. I'm so glad you are able to give these to your daughter! Several years ago, one of my kids could not eat sugar for a period of time, so I know how difficult it can be to find recipes that work when you have food allergies, sensitivities, etc. Let us know how it works for you!
      Happy baking 🙂

  3. I was in St. George a few weeks ago and we made a few stops at Dutchman's for cookies and brownies. We have been going there for years and just love it. I asked if they still bake cookies for Swig and they said they don't anymore. I asked if Swig uses their recipe and the checker wasn't sure, but she said that they had somehow ended up with Dutchman's brownie recipe. So I'm wondering who bakes for Swig now in St. George and in Bountiful? I love Dutchman's and love that they have made such a name for themselves by selling cookies in a gas station made from the owner's Grandma's secret recipe. I want to try your version!

    1. Jamie,
      When I did the original recipe back in 2013, I was told and found online that Swig had their cookies baked by Diutchman's in Santa Clara. After I posted that recipe I heard that about the same time, Dutchman's and Swig parted ways. Apparently, now Swig in St George has their own baker. They tried to duplicate Dutchman's recipe and were a little off the mark. I'm headed to St George in a few weeks and Im going to try to make a pit stop at Dutchman's and see for myself. The Bountiful location and the Lehi locations use a baker in Provo. I talked to a person who works for Swig and that's what they told me. The said there are actually two bakeries used in Provo. Give this version a try. I still tinker with it from time to time, but all of my taste testers love this version. Have a great day Jamie, and thanks for your update!

    2. Dutchman's ARE the best!!! Can't wait to try this recipe too. I'm kind of disappointed that swig tried to copy cat the Dutchmans recipe. It's all because of Dutchmans that swigs cookies got such a great name. There new recipe is definitely not even close to the same! Dutchmans also supplies fabulous Freddy's. When I'm craving a taste of home I head down to the F.F. On 90th and get a Dutchmans cookie. I've heard great things about this recipe and can't wait to try it!!!

  4. I second that testimony of Bountiful cookies being WAY better. Wouldn't have tried one if you hadn't shown up on my doorstep with one in hand insisting (so hard for me to do) to try it out. Making these today, the sprig are so so heavenly but I don't have the citrus on hand so I will settle for the delicious original.

  5. I love Swig, and I think the sugar cookies are great, but for me it's more the experience than the cookie. I love that they're cold and they taste great with the sodas. Really I prefer your pan sugar cookies any day.

    1. Thanks Julie, I totally agree. the experience, especially on a hot day is the big selling point. And who doesn't want to get a drink and chat with their girlfriend, and share a cookie too 🙂

    1. You and me both! I'm addicted to the Bountiful addition. Although lately, their bakery is cooking them a little on the doughy side, so I'm not a fan of a doughy sugar cookie. It's always best at home! Have a great day Heather!

  6. Si,
    What are you trying to do to me? Keep posting these delicious swig cookie recipes. I did the Sprig Cookies a few weeks ago and I think I ate most of the batch myself, they were so amazing!
    Now I will try to make the original recipe. Maybe for Memorial Day so I can have more help eating them.

  7. Oh! This is dangerous information for me to have! I have made your Swag cookies and last night, I made your original Swig cookie. I'm in LOVE! I don't have a 2" cookie scoop, mine is a little smaller 1 3/4". I cooked them for about 12-13 minutes in a regular bake oven. I'm thinking I should decrease the time a little. They seemed a little dry. Do you think switching Almond for the Vanilla in the frosting would be too much Almond? I turn to your blog almost everyday to figure out dinner! You're the best. I also found your daughter's blog, Mint Arrow from one of your posts about 6 months ago. Corrine is not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well! So sad she moved to California! My friend lived in her ward, and suggested I have her come talk to my Young Women. Dang! I bet you're missing her and her adorable Ani!

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      If the cookies seemed a little dry, I would definitely decrease the cooking time. I like almond in the dough and vanilla in the frosting, but I know people who prefer almond in both, so give it a try! I am glad you use ABK for meal planning. So nice to hear you are putting the recipes here to good use. We do miss Corrine and are glad they are not too far away! She is very special person, thanks so much!
      Happy cooking to you, and thanks for leaving a note 🙂
      Si

    1. Challey, Sorry I missed your comment earlier. By now, you probably know these cookies freeze well. I bake the cookies, let them cool, frost and refrigerate. When they are set, I place them in the freezer in pans, separate the layers with wax or parchment paper and cover tightly. The cookies will stay good for at least a month.

  8. Perfect! I love how your version uses shortening instead of oil. Those chocolate pobres look great too. Will be making your Almost Swig Cookies. How many large cookies are in a batch? Thank you!

  9. I just made these with coconut oil instead of shortening since I didn’t have it. I don’t know what the difference would be as I haven’t made it with shortening, but they are amazing! I had my first swig cookie down in St. George over Thanksgiving. I drove down from Oakland, CA to meet my family, and of course heard about the cookies–hadn’t ever heard of them before. I only had one, and found myself craving them back in California. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. I am not familiar with baking with shortening.
    Are you saying that you can substitute canola oil for shortening?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Diedre,
      Sorry I am responding so late to this comment! Yes you may use canola oil in place of the shortening in this recipe. Happy baking!

  11. I don’t usually ever leave comments, but I just got done frosting the last cookie and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Easiest sugar cookie and SO good! Better than Swig and another drink shop that is near by. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

    1. Kimberly,
      Thank you! They are so simple and they freeze and stay fresh if kept in the fridge as well. That is if you can hide them 😉 well enough. thanks for reading ABK!

  12. The provo cookies taste weird now too 🙁 I buy oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies at sodalicious instead!

  13. So excited to try the recipes. I read recripe books like novels. I’m making swig cookies tomorrow. Can’t wait!!

    1. Madison, Sorry I missed your comment, I use unsalted butter, but salted will work as well, just reduce the amount of salt in the recipe.

    1. Hi Jennifer. Sorry I occasionally miss questions! I have never tried baking this recipe all in one pan? If you are looking for tried and true pan sugar cookie, try my Sour Cream Sheet Pan Cookies or the Pan Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies on this blog. Both are excellent!

  14. Hi! If using canola oil instead of shortening, is there a measurement difference? Or does it translate straight across? Also, does it change the texture at all? I’m sorry if this has been asked previously, I didn’t have a chance to read through all the other comments! Thanks!!

  15. Hi! If using canola oil instead of shortening, is there a measurement difference? Or does it translate straight across? Also, does it change the texture at all? I’m sorry if this has been asked before, I didn’t have a chance to read through all the other comments. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Adrian, yes the measurement is straight across. I believe using oil instead of shortening makes the texture a bit more tender or soft, which I prefer. My favorite combo lately is half butter and half oil. Hope you love this recipe!
      xo
      Si

  16. 5 stars
    I made these for the first time recently, and they turned out amazing! I only had enough sour cream for the frosting at the time, so for the cookie dough I made a substitute for the sour cream: in a 1-cup measuring cup I added 2 Tbs of vinegar then filled the cup with heavy cream. It worked perfectly! So delicious. Thank you!

    1. Love that you found a substitution that worked for you. These cookies continue to be hugely popular to this day!
      Thanks for reading ABK!
      xo
      Si

  17. I have been wanting to make this for nearly a year and kept putting it off because it always seemed a bit complicated and time consuming. But you’re right, they were pretty darn easy. Your recipe is basically fool proof. They turned out much better than the sugar cookie that I pay $2 for at our local soda place. Thanks so much for creating /sharing this recipe!!! I will be making these frequently.

    1. Kelly,
      Thank you for your positive comments! This recipe is a favorite.
      Now that you’ve made them once, making these cookies will only get easier! What are you going to do with all that money you are saving on cookies??
      xo,
      Si

    1. Hi Micki, you can roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter. I prefer to use a cookie scoop or roll it into a ball and then flatten them with the sugar coated glass. This makes it look and have a similar texture to the actual “Swig” cookie. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!
      xo
      Si

  18. 5 stars
    I made these for a baby shower today and nobody believed they weren’t Swig cookies. I think they are much better than Swig. I love the addition of almond extract. Thanks again for another great recipe.

    1. Thanks so much Whitney! They are the perfect cookies for a baby or wedding shower. We make them often for those occasions! Such a great cookie for make ahead as well.
      Thanks for reading ABK,
      xo
      Si

  19. The recipe says powdered OR granulated sugar… I feel like those can give pretty different results. Which one do you typically use?

  20. 5 stars
    I LOVE swig cookies and these do those pink frosted cookies justice! So delicious and will make again and again.

  21. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, it is my go to dessert, and I always get compliments! I occasionally put a little twist in it and I make a coconut lime version by adding a little coconut extract to the frosting as well as a lime wedge on top! So good!

  22. 5 stars
    I make mini versions of these at every bridal shower I host and they are a huge hit. I’m always asked which soda shop I ordered them from (ha!). I can’t remember ever having leftovers. The almond extract in the cookies is such a delicious addition. Thank you for the recipe, Si!

  23. 5 stars
    These are great, perhaps better than Swig itself! And, it’s definitely not worth even trying to buy cookies at Fiiz or any of the other drink places I’ve tried. I make these a lot for parties or to take places. They are pretty easy, and always turn out super yummy. I don’t necessarily need the refrigerated cookie like some people do, I think this one is good either way. I’ve even made these smaller “bite-sized” if I’m making sort of snacky party food. Thanks for the great knock-off!!