These Old Fashioned Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are soft, thick, and cake-like, and they are slathered with creamy vanilla buttercream.  They are perfect take-along cookies for parties and kids will love them, especially with added sprinkles.  If you like those old-fashioned big fat sugar cookies like the ones Grandma made, you’ve come to the right place! 

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies.

What kid doesn’t love to sneak a good sugar cookie from Grandma’s cookie jar!  Back in the day, big, soft sugar cookies with lots of creamy frosting, filled lots of kitchen cookie jars.  These cookies are similar to my Sour Cream Brown Butter Cookies.  Both cookies are soft and thick and resemble tiny cakes with frosting.  Both cookies also contain sour cream, which adds moisture to them.

Sour Cream Sugar cookies.


  • Sour Cream:  Sour cream adds moisture and softness along with a bit of tanginess to the cookie dough.
  • Butter:  Butter adds a lot of rich buttery flavor to cookies.
  • Vanilla:  Is an essential flavor in ALL sugar cookie recipes.
  • Baking Powder:  A leavening agent to help cookies rise.
  • Baking Soda:  A leavening agent that needs an acid such as sour cream to activate it.  It works as a leavening agent to help the cookies rise.
  • Salt:  Brings out the other flavors in the cookies.
  • Eggs:  Add structure and moistness.
  • Granulated sugar:  Add sweetness to cookies.


I made a basic vanilla buttercream frosting here.  The same one I use for cupcakes.  This frosting makes plenty if you want to pile it high on the cookies.  If you prefer a thin layer of frosting, feel free to cut this recipe in half.  You don’t have to tint the frosting, but I added Wilton Pink Rose gel coloring here.  I used 5 drops from the tiny squeeze bottle.  I like these better than the little jars of coloring.  It’s easier to control how much you are using.  Then I used some rainbow sprinkles from


  • Use chilled dough:  Chill the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.  The chilled dough spreads less and makes a thicker, taller cookie.
  • Use un-greased cookie sheets:  It’s not necessary to grease the cookie sheets for these buttery cookies.  Buttered cookie sheets enhance the spreading of cookies and we don’t want that here.  We want big thick cookies.  You can use a Silpat if you prefer, (it’s not necessary) but does assist in preventing cookies from spreading.  But again, that’s why we chill the dough.
  • Don’t use sugar sprinkles:  Sugar sprinkles will bleed and melt into this buttery frosting.  I suggest using nonpareils or sprinkles.  Sprinkles love to show off the most on top of frosting!
  • Don’t over bake cookies:  When the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and spring back when lightly touched with your finger, they’re done.
Sugar cookies.


I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop for these cookies and the yield was 40 cookies.  I sometimes use a 2 tablespoon scoop for drop cookies, but I think the 1 1/2 tablespoon makes a perfect size cookie.  If you’re not sure what size your cookie scoop is, use a tablespoon measuring spoon, and measure water or sugar into it to see how much it holds.

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies.


Butter Cream Cheese Almond Cookies

Sour Cream Brown Butter Cookies

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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Cindy Gibbs
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 43 minutes
  • Yield: 3940 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American


These Old Fashioned Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are thick, soft, and full of buttery vanilla flavor.  They get frosted with a melt-in-your-mouth vanilla buttercream frosting and they are the easiest drop cookie you’ll ever make!


Units Scale


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, (1 cup) room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons half & half or milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar



  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the  flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, or use a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for a few seconds until light and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes until the mixture no longer feels grainy or gritty when rubbed between your fingers.  It should be light and creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium-high for about 1 minute until all ingredients are well combined.  Add the dry ingredients and sour cream alternately, beginning and ending with the dry, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Do not overmix!!  As soon as the dry ingredients are incorporated, stop mixing.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.  I like to make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Drop scoopfuls onto cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.  Although these cookies do rise quite a bit, they also spread.  Also, place the remaining dough back in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
  6. Bake cookies in the center of the oven until they are golden brown on the bottoms and spring back when lightly pressed on top with your finger, about 13 minutes.  The tops will only be slightly browned.
  7. Immediately transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.  Make sure your cookie sheets are completely cooled before dropping more cookie dough onto them.
  8. Once cookies are completely cooled, frost them with vanilla buttercream frosting or use your favorite flavor.


  1. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, or use a hand mixer.  Beat on high for about 1 minute until the butter is light and creamy.  Mix in the vanilla, salt, and half & half or milk.  Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, while mixing at low speed.  Once the sugar is added, turn the mixer to medium-high and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. If adding food coloring, add it now.  I used a total of 5 drops.  I added one drop at a time and mix well after each drop until I got the color I was looking for.  Make sure you stop and scrape down the sides and go under the bottom with your spatula, before adding more food coloring.
  3. Frost the cookies, using a spoon or offset spatula.  This frosting makes enough to pile it on high, but if you don’t want that much frosting, feel free to cut the recipe in half.  If you’re using sprinkles, drop them on the cookies as soon as you frost them, before the frosting has time to set up.
  4. Once the frosting has set up, store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  • These cookies can be frozen, without frosting, for up to 3 months.  Make sure layers are separated with wax paper and sealed tightly.