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. Maria says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. My husband requested me to make Sour Cream Cookies which is foreign to me (yup, am an immigrant) and obviously, I found your recipe and made some. To my delight, they turned out really delicious. I love them. Hubby was even more delighted…he said these cookies just brought him back to his Gram’s kitchen during holidays. ❤️👍👍

  2. Jennifer says

    I tried these tonight. Not sure if I did something wrong. The dough was sticky, little thick. They didn’t spread in the oven. So they are just like the cookie scoop I used. Still taste ok, but won’t be able to frost them. Did I do something wrong?

  3. Sharon says

    Can you elaborate on what it means by fluff the flour. Is this sifting? And if it is sifting, do you measure the unsifted amount then sift or sift and the measure the sifted flour?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      It just means that you should use a spoon or scoop to fluff the flour before you spoon it into your measuring cup. If you have a scale, you can also weigh each cup of flour — 130 grams is about right and will prevent any cookies or baking turning out too dry

  4. Thomas says

    I am 50years old. My sister has made these for a Christmas present for me my entire life. The. Best. part of my Christmas… ?

    • Laura Maloney says

      I wanted these to turn out so badly to share with my family. I have fond memories of them as a child. However, my cookies turned out flat. No thick puffiness to them. I tried several batches at different times and rack height but no luck. I had cake batter consistency dough and fluffed my flour. Not sure where I went wrong.

      • Ashley Fehr says

        I’m sorry to hear that Laura! I would try weighing the flour next time if possible just to be sure it’s the right amount. If in doubt, you can always bake a test cookie, and if it is too flat for your liking you can mix in a bit more flour.

  5. Joanne says

    These cookies have a great taste. The icing is the best I’ve made but my cookies are wanting to stick together. Is there something I can do to fix that?

  6. Tammy says

    I just left a comment asking for your recipe for the rolled out sour cream cookies, but I think I forgot to include my email. Thanks again.

  7. Lynette Mussack says

    I would LOVE this recipe – my recipes burned up in a fire this last summer so am trying to get a few easier ones to make and need to be getting them made soon 🙂

  8. brenda says

    I love that you added nutritional values. Can you tell me what the serving size is? I’m hoping this isn’t “per cookie.” 🙂

  9. Jasper says

    My dough was on the thicker side and I dropped the dough onto the pan like in the video and my cookies came out looking like biscuits. Any idea why this would happen. I ended up rolling my other 2 trays in my hand and flattening them before baking and they came out more cookie shaped. But mine did not bake really flat like the video showed.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Jasper! It could be the amount of flour in the cookie dough, which can vary a lot depending on how you scoop it. I apologize I didn’t have the weight included which is a lot more accurate, but I will add it in now.

    • Tammy says

      I moved in June and cannot find my recipe for the sour cream cookies for Christmas cookies that you roll out, that my grandmother passed on to me. They had that cake like density. Would you kindly share your recipe with me your recipe. I want to make cookies with my grandkids. I would be so appreciative.

  10. debbie says

    I believe she posted they are not a cutout cookie,But I have found many on the internet that are good ones

  11. Barbara wills says

    OMG they r awesome! I increased butter to 3/4 cups and sour cream to 3/4 cups. I folded in the sour cream and I mixed in flour mixture by hand.

  12. Rosie says

    First batch great! Second time I made them, I used my stand up mixer(thought it would be easier). Cookies turned out flat as a pancake :-((( still taste good but definitely not fluffy.read in an earlier comment, to wait to add the sour cream (& fold it in) so as to not ‘break it down’. Maybe that’s what happened? Just sharing for feedback…and any tips for future attempts.

  13. Kathie Weise says

    I didn’t see any milk in the batter recipe. Or a second recipe. My batter was very stiff, not like cake batter all. The cookies were good though.

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