Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24 cookies

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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


grandma's sour cream cookies with pink blue and green frosting and sprinkles on a sheet pan

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).

sour cream cookies on parchment paper close up with blue frosting and sprinkles

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.

three sour cream cookies on a white plate with sprinkles and mutli colored frosting

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. 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. And to my family who may come here and realize I’ve made some crucial misinterpretation — feel free to chime in and translate for me!

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 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.

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

4.66 from 295 votes
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!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 281cal


  • 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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 281cal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 93mg | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Elie says

    I made these looking for a “not-boring” sugar cookie. I really enjoyed the taste of the raw “dough” but in my opinion they would be better with 2 tsp baking powder instead of 3. There is a lot of flavor lost in the baking because there is too much air. They also came out a lot better after chilling overnight to let the fat and sugar come together a bit more. 3* without chilling, 4* with chilling

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Elie! Thanks for your feedback, we really love the cookies as is but glad it worked out for you.

  2. Karen b says

    I made these cookies but I added 1 cup each chopped cherries and chopped nuts to it. But instead of cookies.I made muffins. They are great and not sweet. Try changing around find something new. Good luck😇

  3. Mary Douglass says

    Delicious! My granddaughter and I just finished these up and are enjoying a cup of tea with them. So yummy and soft!

      • Kristy Winegardner says

        For a cookie….not so much but if you are looking for a cupcake cookie size, this is the recipe for you! I’m not mad about it being a cake lover but in my opinion far from a cookie.

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Kristy. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would have been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Sandra! I can’t say for sure if they will stick to the tray if you don’t use it, so definitely keep that in mind if you decide not to. Enjoy!

  4. Jean says

    I have made these cookies many times and they are my husband’s favorite! I make them at Easter, Halloween, and Christmas especially and decorate for that holiday and give to my grandchildren in their own little bags. They love them and look forward to them. Their parents also look forward to them! I am hoping they will remember me for getting my cookies instead of Halloween candy and Easter candy. This recipe is the best!

  5. D. Mcgee says

    I’m sorry to say these cookies were not good. They look and taste like a biscuit.I’m sure the 3 teaspoons of baking powder has something to do with that. I would not recommend this recipe.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe D. Mcgee. It has been a hit for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too.

  6. Irene says

    No a great recipe. Cookie is too much like cake, less cookie. The texture is like cake too much. Spread too much. Should of instructed to fridge the batter for a few hours.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Irene! As stated in the post, these are a cakey cookie. Myself (and others) have enjoyed the recipe, so I wished you would have too.

  7. Vicky says

    Just made these, Yummy. It makes alot of cookies. I want to freeze some. anybody freeze them without icing? and freeze icing also?
    Thank you

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Vicky! Yes you can freeze them. They are best frozen without the icing. So glad you enjoyed them!

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