Old-fashioned sour cream cookies are delicious, with a layer of rich, buttery frosting on top and pillowy soft in the middle. These soft, cake-like cookies are just like grandma used to make and are sure to please any sweet tooth.
Bring some old-fashioned love into your day with this classic baked good. The sour cream gives them their distinctive texture and delicate taste. Soft cake-like cookies have been around for years, even before Crumbl made them trendy!
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these simple cookies, which are straight from my grandmother’s family recipe box. This recipe doesn’t require any chilling time, fancy cookie cutters, or special baking skills. Decorate them with fun colors of frosting, and enjoy them with a big glass of milk!
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
Sour cream – Obviously, this is an essential ingredient! The sour cream makes these soft and cake-like. I use full-fat sour cream and haven’t tried the recipe with a low-fat version.
Butter – My grandmother made these with margarine, but I prefer to use unsalted butter for baking.
Coconut – Adding unsweetened coconut to the batter is optional. I usually stir it in after baking half the batch since one of my kids doesn’t like coconut!
Buttercream frosting – Frosting is optional, but a thick layer of buttercream frosting is always tasty. You can make homemade icing or use a store-bought container.
The remaining ingredients are standard baking supplies, including flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract.
How to Make
1. Make the Batter
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir to combine, and then set the bowl aside until later.
Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs using an electric mixer. Combine until they are creamy and fluffy. Then add the sour cream and vanilla on low speed until smooth.
Use a spoon to stir in the bowl of dry ingredients (and coconut, if using). Combining these by hand helps prevent overmixing, which helps keeps them light and tender. There is no need to chill the dough.
Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. You don’t need to grease the baking sheets or use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Use about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie.
These don’t spread much, so if you are using a cookie scoop, slightly flatten the dough before baking using your fingers or the back of a spoon. Bake them in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.
When they are done, they will be golden brown on the edges and just starting to brown on top.
You don’t have to add any decorations to these, but my kids really like it when I add frosting! Buttercream frosting is perfect.
I include a recipe for the frosting below, but you can also just use store-bought frosting. Add some sparkling sugar or your favorite sprinkles for a festive look.
Here are some other decorating ideas:
- Make these with red and green frosting for Christmas holiday baking.
- Chocolate frosting is also delicious.
- Use a simple glaze made from milk and powdered sugar instead of frosting.
My grandmother made the coconut variation I include in the recipe card. But other ideas are:
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime zest to the batter for a fresh citrus taste.
- Add a teaspoon of almond extract to give them a subtle almond flavor.
How to Store
These keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. While this dough doesn’t need to chill, you can store the unbaked cookie batter in the refrigerator for 3 days and then bake as directed.
They can also be frozen. Store them in an airtight freezer container with parchment paper between each layer. If unfrosted, they will keep for 2-3 months. If frosted, then they will keep for about 1 month since buttercream frosting doesn’t keep very well in the freezer.
Tips for Making the Best Sour Cream Cookies
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
- Use butter softened to room temperature
- These cookies don’t spread very much. So if you use a cookie scoop to make them, flatten them slightly before baking.
- You can use ungreased baking sheets for sour cream cookies. There is no need for parchment paper or a silicone mat.
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Sour Cream Cookies Recipe
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut optional
Optional Buttercream Ingredients
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set the dry ingredients aside.
- Use a mixer to cream the butter with the sugar and eggs until light and smooth.
- Put the mixer on low speed and add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- By hand, stir in the flour mixture and the coconut (if using).
- Use a spoon to drop tablespoons of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Cool them on a baking rack. Frost them once completely cool.
- Combine the softened butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
- Whip it on high speed until light and creamy.
- Add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Add your desired food coloring.
- Frost the cookies once they are completely cool.
- Soften the butter by leaving it at room temperature for an hour before starting.
- Use store-bought frosting if you don’t want to make homemade.
- These don’t spread very much. So if you use a cookie scoop to make them, flatten them slightly before baking.
- Use ungreased baking sheets. There is no need for parchment paper or a silicone mat.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.