Sour Cream Cookies – Sugar Spun Run

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My old-fashioned sour cream cookies have a soft, cakey, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a sweet and simple frosting. They come together quickly with no chilling required! Recipe includes a how-to video!

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

Sour cream is one of my favorite secret ingredients. I sneak it into my pie crust recipe for the most foolproof pie dough, fold it into muffins for the most tender bite, and dollop it into cheesecake batter for that signature tang. Today though, we aren’t sneaking anything–sour cream is the absolute shining star in these adorable and irresistible sour cream cookies!

This is a simple, old-fashioned recipe. These cookies are quite different from many of my other cookie recipes, as they are more cakey than they are chewy. In fact, they kind of remind me of small frosted cakes!

The sour cream lends itself to the cakiness, but it also adds flavor and moisture to the cookies. I also opted to include a bit of sour cream in the frosting, which I think adds depth of flavor and keeps things from being too sweet (but you can leave it out there if you prefer!). 

Overhead view of sour cream cookies topped with a pastel pink frosting on a round cooling rack.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Comes together quickly with NO chilling required.
  • Can be made with lemon zest (or really any citrus zest) for a bit of freshness and depth of flavor.
  • Soft, cakey texture that’s a bit different from the norm around here. If you liked my lofthouse cookies, you will like these too!
  • Versatile; add food coloring and sprinkles to the frosting to suit any occasion. They’d be so cute with Christmas sprinkles for the holidays!


Before we begin, I’ll review a few of the important ingredients we’ll be using in this recipe.

  • Sour cream. Full fat sour cream is my preference! I suppose you could get away with making these cookies with full-fat, plain Greek yogurt in a pinch, but sour cream will work best.
  • Egg. We’ll only need one egg today. Make sure yours is at room temperature so it combines into the dough easily. If you forget to set yours out ahead of time, I do have an easy trick to quickly bring eggs to room temperature.
  • Lemon zest. This is optional, but if you like lemons and have them on hand, add the zest! It helps keep these sour cream cookies from being too sweet.
  • Flour. Make sure you know how to measure flour properly! If you over-measure your flour (the most common mistake with flour), you could end up with a dry, crumbly dough and cookies.
  • Butter. Use unsalted butter and make sure it’s softened (but not melty) before you get started. If you only have salted butter on hand, you can reduce the salt in the cookies to ¼ teaspoon and omit it entirely from the frosting.

SAM’S TIP: For the cookies in the photo I colored the icing by adding a tablespoon of pulverized freeze-dried strawberry powder. It added a nice strawberry flavor, though the cookies absolutely didn’t need the added flavor; I did it for color and fun!

Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

How to Make Sour Cream Cookies

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until lightened in color and fluffy.
  2. Stir in the remaining wet ingredients until well combined. I love adding lemon zest at this step and recommend you do too if you have it (and if you like lemon, of course). It adds such a nice fresh flavor!
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients. If you add them all at once, you may have a hard time getting the dough to come together, so I recommend adding them in three parts.
  4. Bake 1 ½ tablespoon scoops of cookie dough on parchment lined baking sheets. Make sure to give the cookies some space in between, since they will spread as they bake.
  1. Flatten the tops of the cookies with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup if you want a smooth surface for the frosting. This also makes the cookies a little more dense and chewy, which I love!
  2. Make the frosting in a large bowl. I used a tablespoon of pulverized freeze dried strawberry powder to color/flavor mine, but you can just use food coloring if you like!
  3. Smooth frosting over your cookies. An offset spatula works great for this! Don’t forget to add sprinkles (or homemade sprinkles) if you’d like.

SAM’S TIP: If you want even more lemon flavor in your cookies, you can use some lemon zest or juice in the frosting instead of vanilla extract.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do sour cream cookies need to be refrigerated?

I personally do not refrigerate them. The sour cream in the cookies themselves is cooked, and I feel comfortable with the small amount we use in the frosting because it’s stabilized by the powdered sugar. If you still decide to store your cookies in the fridge, they will not be as soft and delicate as if stored at room temp. Storing in airtight container at room temperature (or freezing) is best.

Why are my cookies cakey?

These cookies are supposed to be cakey! This texture is a direct result of adding sour cream to the dough. If you are looking for a similar tasting cookie that isn’t as cakey, try my cream cheese sugar cookies.

Can I substitute the sour cream for something else?

I suspect the sour cream could be swapped with an equal amount of full-fat Greek yogurt but have not yet tried it yet. I have also only tested this recipe with full-fat sour cream (not a low-fat variety) and that is what I would recommend using.

If nostalgic recipes are your thing, then try my whoopie pies or icebox cookies next!


Let’s bake together! Subscribe to my newsletter to be notified of all the newest recipes, and find my free recipe tutorials on YouTube 💜

Sour Cream Cookies

My old fashioned sour cream cookies have a soft, cakey texture and a sweet and simple frosting. No chilling required! Recipe includes a how-to video!


Course: cookie, Dessert

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 24 cookies

Calories: 192kcal

Prevent your screen from going dark


  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

    ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

  • Add sour cream, egg, and vanilla extract and beat together until creamy and well combined. If using lemon zest, stir this in here as well.

    ½ cup (120 g) sour cream, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest

  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    2 ½ cups (315 g) all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt

  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, stirring together until completely combined.

  • Scoop dough by level 1 ½ Tablespoon sized scoop and drop onto prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies at least 2” (5cm) apart. Transfer to center rack of preheated 350F (175C) oven and bake for 10-11 minutes.

  • Within a minute of the cookies coming out of the oven, very lightly flatten the tops with the bottom of a clean glass or measuring cup (optional, but allows for a flat surface for icing). Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet before frosting.


  • Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer on low-speed to beat together until smooth and creamy.

    ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups (190 g) powdered sugar

  • Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt and beat together to completely combine. If using food coloring, add a few drops and stir to evenly color the frosting.

    2 Tablespoons (30 g) sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt, Food coloring

  • Once cookies are completely cooled, spread frosting evenly over cookies (I use 2-3 teaspoons of frosting per cookie).




Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cookies may be frozen for several months.

Strawberry pink frosting

For the cookies in the photos I colored the frosting pink by stirring in 1 Tablespoon of pulverized freeze-dried strawberries.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 282IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.


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