Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe (2024)

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

Looking for more Christmas cookies? Try these Soft Sugar Cookie Bars, these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies or The Best Snickerdoodle Recipe next!

Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe (1)

I have never liked sugar cookies.

Maybe it’s because my mom was never a fan ofsugar 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.

Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe (2)

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!

Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe (3)

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!

  • Frosted Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
  • Chocolate Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe

Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe (4)

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Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

written by Ashley Fehr

4.74 from 380 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!

Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe (6)

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Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 40 minutes 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
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 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 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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Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret to making cookies soft and chewy? ›

Cornstarch gives the cookies that ultra soft consistency we all love. Plus, it helps keep the cookies beautifully thick. We use the same trick when making shortbread cookies. Egg yolk: Another way to promise a super chewy chocolate chip cookie is to use an extra egg yolk.

Why put cream of tartar in sugar cookies? ›

Cream of tartar makes cookies chewy, as it precludes the sugar in the dough from crystalizing, which would lead to crispiness (ie: the opposite of chewiness).

Why do you put sour cream in dough? ›

The sour cream in this dough does a couple of good things – it makes the texture tender, a little flaky and a little cakey; and it also makes it just a touch tangy. The dough is very easy to roll and to work with, just be sure to chill it thoroughly after you make it.

How to jazz up sugar cookies? ›

Get a recipe, buy the ingredients (butter, sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla). Why buy ready-to-bake when it is really easy to make sugar cookies? You can add citrus zest, cinnamon, or almond extract to the dough. You could also ice them with a tasty frosting and add some nuts or toasted coconut.

How do I make my cookies chewy instead of crunchy? ›

Double Your Yolks Most cookie recipes call for at least one egg. You can try omitting the white of each egg, which tends to dry out when baked, and replacing it with an additional yolk. Plus, egg yolks have more fat than egg whites, which helps to keep your cookies moist and chewy.

Should I use baking soda or baking powder in cookies? ›

Baking soda is typically used for chewy cookies, while baking powder is generally used for light and airy cookies. Since baking powder is comprised of a number of ingredients (baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, etc.), using it instead of pure baking soda will affect the taste of your cookies.

Why use powdered sugar instead of granulated in cookies? ›

The powdered sugar in the recipe helps absorb moisture from other ingredients, giving the cookies a unique bumpy looking appearance and an extra tender and chewy texture.

What happens if you add too much cream of tartar to cookies? ›

Keep in mind that more cream of tartar doesn't necessarily mean a better, more stable result. “Too much cream of tartar will impart a metallic, tin-like taste,” Molly warns.

What can I use if I don't have cream of tartar for sugar cookies? ›

The Best Substitute for Cream of Tartar

For every 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in the recipe, use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar. As an example, if your cookie recipe calls for 1 teaspoon baking soda, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice instead of the cream of tartar.

Is it better to bake with sour cream or milk? ›

Sour cream is one of the fattiest dairy products; the extra fat content (for example, adding sour cream to a cake instead of milk) will make the cake moister and richer, says Wilk. "Fat, in any form (butter, lard, cream, etc.) shortens gluten strands, which essentially leads to the most tender baked goods," she adds.

Is it better to bake with sour cream or yogurt? ›

Yogurt is your best substitute for sour cream. Whether you're baking or making a dip or sauce, yogurt is a 1:1 sub. That means if your recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream, you can replace it with 1 cup of yogurt. Full-fat Greek or natural yogurts work best, but low-fat or even nonfat can be used, too.

Can you over mix sugar cookies? ›

Over-working the dough yields a tough cookie, which is not at all what you want. The very best sugar cookies are soft and tender. → Follow this tip: One of the keys to great sugar cookies is mixing the dry ingredients only until they're just incorporated, and not a second longer.

Can you roll out store bought sugar cookie dough? ›

BAKED SUGAR COOKIES + MELTED CHOCOLATE + SPRINKLES

Combine the classic sprinkle candy with baked store bought sugar cookie dough for the ultimate in sugar cookie treats. Just roll inch dough balls and then press them into circles with a cup. Bake and then dip one side in melted chocolate and nonpareil sprinkles.

Can I roll out Pillsbury sugar cookie dough? ›

Roll on floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut with 2 1/2-inch cutter. Bake 8 to 11 minutes.

What is the secret ingredient to keep cookies soft? ›

Use Corn Syrup

Before you freak out! Corn syrup (and not the high fructose kind) is kind of a baking miracle. It's what's called an invert sugar, meaning it's liquid at room temperature.

What is the trick to keep baked goods like cookies soft? ›

It may sounds like a myth, but a slice of bread can help soft cookies retain their moisture. Add a slice of bread, along with your baked cookies, to an airtight container and store them at room temperature.

What are 3 factors that contribute to a chewy cookie? ›

The ingredients you use and how you shape your cookies both play an important role in whether your cookies turn out crispy or chewy. The type of flour and sugar you use, if your cookie dough contains eggs, and whether you use melted or softened butter all factor into the crispy-chewy equation, too.

What determines the moistness of a cookie? ›

Butter contributes milk solids and water to a cookie, both of which soften it. Brown sugar contributes molasses – again, a softener. Using lower-moisture sugar (granulated) and fat (vegetable shortening), plus a longer, slower bake than normal, produces light, crunchy cookies.

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