These Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are soft and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness — they’re perfect with or without frosting and make a great freezer-friendly holiday cookie! Includes step by step recipe video
I have never liked sugar cookies.
Maybe it’s because my mom was never a fan of sugar cookies, and never baked sugar cookies, and we never had sugar cookies growing up.
Maybe it’s because the dough can be finnicky and trying to cut it into those cute snowflake and Christmas tree shapes without leaving half of the dough behind in the cookie cutter gives me anxiety.
Maybe it’s because there are no chocolate chips. (Although they do have frosting — I’ll give them that).
Whatever the case, they’re just not something we have often ever.
But the holidays come and I start to flip through family cookbooks and think back to Christmas gatherings at Grandma and Grandpa’s. And as I came across this one in my cookbook my one Grandma had made for me when I was married, I knew I had to share it.
These Sour Cream Cookies are not the difficult, finnicky cookies that require hours of rolling, cutting, baking, and decorating.
They are a soft sugar cookie made with sour cream, and they have a fluffy, delicate texture that I find much more appealing. They are a cakey cookie — like little, frosted hand cakes.
If this is not what you’re looking for, try a different recipe.
Please note that these are not cutout cookies — you can chill or freeze the dough all you want and you still will not get shapes from these cookies.
The flavor is mild and slightly sweet, so they are made to be frosted. If you feel the need to add some lemon zest or extra vanilla, go for it.
Yes, they are cakey. This is just the way the recipe is.
If your Grandma writes recipes the way my Grandma wrote recipes, you know that they’re a little…. well, open to interpretation. And since I’ve never made these with Grandma, I’m just going to say that these are my best guess at what her recipe actually means.
You may or may not get exact measurements.
You may or may not get mixing or baking instructions (in this case, there were none).
These turned out so soft and luscious and perfectly sweet, that I decided to share the recipe my way.
A simple colored frosting and maybe a few sprinkles is really all they need to make them extra special for Christmas, though they are easy enough to make for any occasion…. Or no occasion. Sometimes you just need a cookie!
Can I freeze sour cream cookies?
Absolutely! These freeze perfectly.
In an hour or two, the frosting should set to the point where you can stack and freeze them, but if you want to be extra safe, you could flash freeze them on the baking sheet for an hour before stacking.
Freeze up to 3 months.
Can I use this recipe for cut out cookies?
Not this recipe, but after so many requests, I created a new cookie recipe based on these Sour Cream Cookies that is perfect for cut out cookies, with no chilling and a thick soft sugar cookie.
You can find my Christmas Sugar Cookies recipe here.
Can I add more flavor to these Sour Cream Cookies?
Definitely! If you read the comments, you’ll see that a lot of people love these cookies, and some people it seems are not sure what they are getting with this recipe.
Like I said earlier, these cookies are made to be frosted. The cookie itself is not very sweet. Here are some ways to customize this recipe to your tastes:
- Add the zest of a lemon or orange
- Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract
- As a reader mentioned, you could reduce the baking powder to 2 teaspoons if you want them less fluffy. They will still be very cakey.
- Sprinkle the cookies with granulated sugar before baking.
More sour cream cookies:
These have been so popular that I’ve added two more versions to the family!
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Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all purpose flour, fluffed and levelled (500g)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 1/2 cups powdered icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on high until creamy.
- Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream and beat until smooth.
- Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined. Add flour and beat on low until no white remains — dough will be soft, almost like cake batter. THIS IS FINE.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets 2-3 inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden and centers are set.
- FrostingWith an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla and milk and beat until smooth, adding additional sugar or milk to reach desired consistency (you don’t want it too thin!).
- Color if desired and spread on cooled cookies.
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