Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
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

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

4.18 from 99 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 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 281cal

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, fluffed and levelled (500g)

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • 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 flour and beat on low until combined — 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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Comments

  1. Rae says

    I accidentally doubled the butter for the cookie. That what I get for baking while distracted. Didn’t realize until after the first batch was out of the oven. They held up though! You would think that doubling the butter like that would make it melt all over the pan right?! Nope. They looked fine, tasted good. They are outstanding, thank you for the recipe. I will double check my measurements next time lol ?

  2. Rosie says

    I was a little o fused as the recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter but the video looks like in 1/2 stick was used. Also recipe says yields 24 ookies…and I was thrilled to get at least 3-4 dozen:-)

  3. Becky Hardin says

    OH these cookies remind me of my grandmother. She use to put sour cream in everything. Always gave it so much extra flavor. I am excited to try these this Holiday season.

      • J. Valdez says

        Are they soft like the sugar cookies you see at the grocery store? Will they stay light and soft fluffy after freezing? Thawing how? I feel like the moisture would make it soggy! Making these tonight with my kiddos! ?

      • Ashley Fehr says

        They are not soggy, just soft! They are soft and cakey, maybe a slightly cakier texture than your average grocery store cookie. They definitely stay soft after freezing! They thaw quickly at room temperature on a plate with paper towel.

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