Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

Super soft and delicious cookies inspired by a vintage recipe. Although they’re perfect for Christmas, these sour cream cookies are an easy, old-fashioned treat for any time of year.

This is a recipe from McCall’s magazine from the ’80s that I’ve changed just a tiny bit.

You can use the glaze recipe that I’ve included, or you can frost them with your favorite buttercream. They’re delicious either way. 😊

They don’t taste like sour cream, but they are different from a normal sugar cookie. They are less sweet and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

Soft and cake-like cookies made with sour cream and topped with a simple glaze.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chilling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Serving Size 30 cookies


For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter salted
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the glaze

  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • dash vanilla
  • colored sprinkles or sparkling sugar optional


  • Mix dry ingredients. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, set aside
    dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  • Beat wet ingredients. Beat butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the sour cream and vanilla and blend on medium-low until combined.
  • Mix and chill dough. Mix in the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, until just combined.  The dough will be very soft. Cover and refrigerate the dough 1 hour.
    wet ingredients being beaten
  • Bake. Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.  Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.  If baking two sheets at a time, rotate halfway through the baking time. Let cool on wire rack.
    soft fulled baked sour cream cookies.
  • Glaze. After the cookies have cooled completely, mix the glaze by combining all ingredients.  Dip cookies in the glaze and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles.  Let dry and store at room temperature until serving.


Instead of the glaze, try sprinkling with cinnamon sugar before baking.
To make ahead bake and cool the cookies, then defrost at room temperature before glazing.  Iced cookies do not freeze well.
Can also be baked on convection bake at 350.
Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Important ingredients and tools

The key ingredient here is sour cream. It makes the cookies moist and soft. Make sure your sour cream is at room temperature before you start mixing the ingredients.

If you’re out of butter, shortening will work just fine.

all ingredients on counter.

Electric Mixer: Helps in beating the butter, sugar, and eggs. A hand mixer is just fine!

Parchment Paper: The dough is sticky.

Wire Rack: You want them to cool without getting too soft.

 Katbite 200Pcs 12×16 In Unbleached Parchment Paper for Baking, Precut Parchment Paper Sheets, Heavy Duty Flat Baking Paper, Half Sheet Baking Sheets for Baking Cookies, Cooking, Air Fryer, Oven Amazon Basics Nesting Melamine Mixing Round Bowl with Lid and Non-Slip Base, 5 Sizes, Blue and White Floral, Set of 10, 4 quarts, 3 15/16 Nonpareil Sprinkles| Blue Purple Pink Rainbow Non Pareils| Cool Rainbow Nonpareil Sprinkles Mix| Cake Cupcake Cookie Decoration Nonpareils Sprinkles| Ice Cream Candy Birthday Nonpareil Sprinkles, 2oz


Everything you need is pretty basic!

Tips for making soft cookies

Ingredients. Start with room-temperature ingredients! Your eggs, butter, and sour cream should all be at room temp.

finished sour cream cookies with rainbow sprinkles on wire rack.

Don’t skip chilling! Otherwise, the dough will be impossible to work with and will spread way too much in the oven.

Dropping the dough. The dough is so soft that a spoon works better than a cookie scoop.

Test the glaze. You’ll want to do a test cookie to make sure it’s the right consistency. The glaze should settle into a smooth coating but not drip off the sides too much.

Sprinkles. Make sure you add the sprinkles before the glaze dries.

🥫 Storage instructions

If you have leftover cookies, storing them in an airtight container is best.

You can also freeze them, but be sure to freeze them unglazed and decorate them after you defrost.

📘 Related Recipes

stack of sour cream cookies with sprinkles
Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This dough was very difficult for me to work with, very sticky even after chilling in the fridge. I ended up scooping them, then wetting my hands and rolling it into a ball so they weren’t so messy looking. But the taste and texture is outstanding, so I suppose it was worth it.

    1. hi liz!!! did you use a cookie scoop? i actually had more trouble with mine this year than in the past. i asked a friend and she said that more water is in butter this year? not sure if that’s true. anyway i’m glad you liked them in the end. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Very good! I tried this recipe yesterday and was impressed how well they turned out. Our whole family loved them! We will certainly make these again!

  3. 5 stars
    The cookies were delicious! Our family really liked them and I highly recommend trying this recipe. We will certainly make these again!