These Frosted Sour Cream Cookies are super soft and fluffy and topped with a simple frosting. This is a no-fuss classic cookie recipe, with no chill time needed for the dough and just 10 minutes in the oven.
These old-fashioned sour cream cookies are the fluffiest, most flavourful sugar cookies you’ll ever make – not to mention the easiest!
Sour cream is the key ingredient in these cookies, as you can tell by the name. It adds a slightly tangy flavor that helps to balance out the sweetness while also ensuring the cookies are moist and tender. They have a texture that’s slightly cake-like, rather than your typical chewy cookie.
The sweet frosting on top is the perfect compliment to the soft cookie (though optional!). If you want to make this sour cream cookie recipe for the holidays, just add red or green food coloring to the frosting and some festive sprinkles!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Shortening – Using shortening in these cookies helps to create a taller cookie and a softer texture.
- Granulated sugar – adds structure and sweetness
- Egg – hold it all together.
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeeze is always best! Note that this won’t make your cookies taste like lemon.
- Sour cream – Use full-fat sour cream as low-fat has a thinner consistency and not as much flavor.
- Salt – a flavor enhancer.
- Baking soda & baking powder – work to give the cookies a little rise so that they are light and soft.
- Nutmeg & cinnamon – Add a hint of warm flavor to the cookies.
For the Frosting:
- Butter – Soften to room temperature so it’s easier to cream.
- Shortening – Gives the frosting a slightly dried outside texture on the cookies while remaining soft underneath.
- Vanilla – Adds a light flavor to the frosting.
- Whipping cream – Adds creaminess and moisture needed to melt the powdered sugar into the fats.
- Powdered sugar – Adds sweetness to the frosting and structure.
- Sprinkles and/or food coloring – Optional, depending on how you want to decorate the cookies.
Why Is Sour Cream Added To These Sugar Cookies?
Sour cream is added to these cookies to add a hint of tangy flavor but most importantly, makes the cookies super soft, tender, and moist.
Why is there Shortening Used In The Frosting?
Adding shortening to the frosting helps to give it a little more structure and gives the frosting a slightly dry texture on the outside while staying soft and creamy in the center.
What Food Colouring is best For Coloring Frosting?
I prefer gel food coloring because it doesn’t add extra liquid to the icing, causing the frosting to thin out. However, a little bit of the liquid variety won’t thin things out too much so either will work fine. It is only when you want to get really vibrant colors where a lot of coloring is needed that this becomes more of an issue.
How to Make Frosted Sour Cream Cookies
Cream the shortening with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy, then add in the egg and lemon juice. Continue to beat and begin to slowly add in the sugar. Blend until all of the sugar is smooth, then use a spoon to stir in the sour cream.
Add the dry ingredients into a large sieve over the bowl. Use a spoon to stir the dry ingredients through the sieve into the mixture below.
Stir the dry ingredients in with a spoon until just combined. Do not overmix the dough.
You can either drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet or roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out the circles. I prefer to roll them out so that the shape is consistent and they are easier to decorate. I also find that it helps keep the tops of the cookies flat instead of forming a mound.
If you are going to roll out the dough, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it’s ¼ inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass to cut out 2” rounds.
If you don’t want to cut them out, roll a rounded teaspoon into a ball then gently press down on the top with a spoon to flatten them out slightly.
Bake cut-out cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and the drop cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, since they are slightly thicker.
Let the cookies rest for a minute on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and whipping cream, then beat on high to combine.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar while beating the mixture on high, until all of the powdered sugar is combined.
Once the cookies have cooled, use a butter or small icing knife to spread the frosting over each cookie. I usually add about a tablespoon of frosting to each one.
Add sprinkles if desired. If they are larger sprinkles, give them a light tap to push them into the frosting so they won’t roll away.
If you want to color the frosting, add a few drops of color at a time while mixing, until you reach the desired color.
Can The Sour cream cookie Dough Be Made in Advance?
Yes, the dough can be made a day ahead of time. Simply prepare as directed then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a day.
You can also freeze the dough. Just portion the dough out on a baking sheet, flash freeze until the dough is frozen, then transfer it to a freezer-safe bag. You can bake the cookies from frozen but you will need to add an extra minute or two to the baking time.
How to Store Sour Cream Cut-Out Cookies
You can store your sour cream cut-out cookies at room temperature for 3 days. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight. Since the frosting hardens a bit on the outside, you can gently stack them. You may want to put parchment paper between layers to avoid the bottoms sticking to the tops. This shouldn’t happen, but just in case!
Can I Freeze Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies?
Yes, you can also freeze these cookies. It’s easier to do it without the frosting but you can do it with the frosting as well. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Thaw on the counter and enjoy!
More Cookie Recipes:
- Danish Wedding Cookies
- Cocoa Spritz Cookies
- Classic Shortbread Cookies
- Skor Bit Meltaways
- Traditional Italian Butter Cookies (4 Ways)
- Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
Frosted Sour Cream Cookies
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter; softened to room temp
- 3 tbsp shortening
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- sprinkles and/or food coloring optional
- In a large bowl cream the shortening with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and lemon juice and continue to beat.
- Add the sugar gradually while beating. Once all the sugar is blended until smooth use a spoon to stir in the sour cream just until blended.
- Place a large sieve over top of the bowl and add the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon. Use a spoon to stir the dry ingredients through the sieve into the wet ingredients below.
- Stir the dry ingredients with a spoon into the wet ingredients just until combined. Don't overmix.
- Roll the cookie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness and using a cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass cut the cookie dough into 2" rounds. Transfer the cut cookies to the baking sheet and bake for 8 -10 minutes. Remove from the oven just when the top is firm to the touch and the edges are only just starting to brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let the cookies rest for 1 minute before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In the meantime make the frosting. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and whipping cream and beat on high to combine.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar while continuing to beat on high. Continue until you all of the powdered sugar is combined.
- Use a butter or small icing knife to spread the frosting over each cookie. About a tbsp each. Then add the sprinkles if desired. For any sprinkles that are larger give them a light tap to push them into the frosting a bit so that they won't roll away. Now they are ready to eat!