Soft, fluffy, and ultra-tender, you can't beat the cake-like texture of old-fashioned Sour Cream Cookies. They're far easier to make than their sugar cookie counterpart with an easy dough that comes together in less than 15 minutes. No rolling or cookie cutters necessary!
All you have to do is chill the dough in the mixing bowl, then scoop, drop, and bake! Once your cookies are baked and cooled, you can dive in and eat them right away or frost them with a simple vanilla glaze. Add a pinch of festive-colored sprinkles to dress them up for the holidays!
Below you'll find absolutely everything you need to know in order to whip up the best batch of Sour Cream Sugar Cookies -- just the right amount of sweet, buttery flavor. Love sugar cookies, but don't want to wait on the dough to chill? Try out No-Chill Soft Sugar Cookiesinstead!
WHAT DOES SOUR CREAM DO TO COOKIES?
You can count on these cake-like Sour Cream Cookies to bake up fluffy, soft, and super tender. Sour cream is cream that has been soured and thickened with lactic acid, and it is an extremely useful ingredient when it comes to taking baked goods to the next level. It adds both fat and acid to the recipe, and similar to baking with buttermilk, the acidic nature of sour cream has a tenderizing effect on baked goods.
So for a cookie with a super tender, cake-y crumb? Sour cream does the trick. Be sure to use full-fat sour cream for the best results!
HOW TO MAKE SOUR CREAM COOKIES
- Mix Dry Ingredients - To kick off these old-fashioned sugar cookies, you'll start by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk everything together so the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Cream Butter and Sugar - Next, add room temperature butter and granulated sugar to a large mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer to cream the two together. You could also use your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task. You know the butter and sugar have been properly creamed when the butter takes on a pale yellow color and the mixture appears light and fluffy.
- Add Wet Ingredients - Once your butter and sugar are properly creamed, start adding in your eggs (one at a time), followed by the vanilla extract and the star of the show, sour cream! Give it all a mix on medium-high speed until the ingredients are well-combined.
- Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients - The last step in mixing up the dough for these Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies is to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix them in on low until the flour appears fully incorporated.
- Chill - Cover the bowl of cookie dough with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator. You can start scooping the dough as soon as it is chilled through. This typically takes about 1 hour, however, if you'd like to make your cookie dough well in advance, you can keep it chilling for up to 48 hours in the fridge!
- Bake - Have your oven preheated to 375°F and have ready a baking sheet (or two) lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Once your cookie dough is chilled, you can start scooping! Scoop out heaping tablespoon-sized mounds of dough and place them about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet. With damp hands, press down on the tops of the cookies to slightly flatten. Then, bake for about 15 minutes, or until the bottom edges of the cookies are tinging with a golden brown color.
ABOUT THE FROSTING (...OR GLAZE)
It may taste like frosting, but Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies typically come equipped with what's actually referred to as a glaze.
What's the difference? Frostings are thick, made with butter and sugar, and are opaque. If you'd like to top off your cookies with frosting, try our easy Sugar Cookie Frosting recipe! Glazes, on the other hand, are a simple mixture of sugar and liquid, they have a thinner consistency perfect for drizzling, and they set up somewhat transparent!
Regardless of what you're topping off your cookies with, you'll need to allow them to cool completely before adding any sort of icing to them!
HOW TO MAKE THE GLAZE FOR SOUR CREAM COOKIES
Once your cookies have completely cooled, you can add the glaze topping to them. First, transfer the cookies to a work surface lined with a sheet of wax paper. Then, make the glaze.
Here is our favorite recipe for a proper Sour Cream Cookie Glaze:
- 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make it, all you have to do is combine the above ingredients in a bowl, and stir until the entire mixture is in liquid form.
If you're adding sprinkles to your Sour Cream Cookies, be sure to do it quickly! The top of the glaze will set up fast.
Once your cookies are glazed, set them aside for about 30-45 minutes and to fully set.
WANT TO ADD LEMON FLAVOR TO YOUR SOUR CREAM COOKIES?
If you want to add a citrusy vibe to your Sour Cream Cookies, you can do this by adding lemon to the cookie dough, the glaze, or both!
To flavor the cookie itself, add one to two teaspoons of lemon zest to the dough (this is best done before you add the dry ingredients). If you want to make a lemon glaze, simply replace the milk in the glaze with lemon juice. You can do an all lemon juice glaze or half milk, half lemon juice -- whichever you prefer!
HOW TO STORE YOUR COOKIES
Store Sour Cream Cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
CAN YOU FREEZE SOUR CREAM COOKIES?
To make Sour Cream Cookies well in advance, bake as directed and allow them to completely cool. Then, place them in a freezer-safe, airtight container, separated by sheets of wax paper for up to 2 months.
If you’re freezing cookies with a glaze on top of them, you can store them frosted, but you’ll need to take extra precaution when arranging them in the storage container. Be sure to separate each layer with wax paper and take care to stack them delicately.
3 TIPS FOR MAKING SOFT SOUR CREAM COOKIES
- Cream Properly | Creaming is important when it comes to a light and fluffy cookie. In order to properly cream butter and sugar, you'll need to make sure your butter is at room temperature! Room temperature butter is very easily spreadable, yet still holds its shape.
- Don't Overmix | When it comes to mixing in your dry ingredients, be sure to do so at low speed! Overmixing the dough will cause the gluten to over-develop, which in turn may cause your cookies to turn out tougher than you'd like. You'll also want to take care to stop mixing as soon as all of the flour has been incorporated.
- Chill the Dough | Because of all the moisture, this is a sticky cookie dough. You'll need to take care to chill it before you attempt to scoop it out! It will prove very difficult to work with if you do not allow for the allotted chill time. I know, I know -- cookies and patience don't always go hand-in-hand but rest assured -- these Sour Cream Cookies are well worth the wait. Side note: Chilling the dough also helps the cookie to retain its shape and height while baking!
5 MORE COOKIE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Soft and fluffy Old-fashioned Sour Cream Cookies are far easier to make than their sugar cookie counterpart. No rolling or cookie cutters necessary! If you’d like, frost them with a simple vanilla glaze and add a pinch of festive-colored sprinkles to dress them up for the holidays!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter and sugar to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large bowl and a handheld mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each addition. Add the vanilla and the sour cream and mix on medium speed until combined.
With the mixer on low, gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Once the dry ingredients are evenly incorporated, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour to chill the dough. The dough will be sticky.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and have ready a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Drop heaping tablespoon-sized mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing each cookie about 2" apart. With damp hands, gently press down on the top of the cookies to flatten slightly. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges of the bottom edges of the cookies are tinging golden-brown.
HOW TO MAKE A SOUR CREAM COOKIE GLAZE
Once your cookies have completely cooled, you can add a glaze topping to them if you'd like! First, transfer the cookies to a work surface lined with a sheet of wax paper.
- 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and stir until the mixture is in liquid form. Pour a small spoonful of the glaze over the tops of the cookies. If adding sprinkles, be sure to do it quickly, as the glaze will set up quickly!
Set aside for about 30-45 minutes and allow the glaze to fully set.