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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

Soft and cake-like cookies made with sour cream and topped with a simple glaze.

Super soft and delicious cookies inspired by a vintage recipe. An easy, old-fashioned treat for any time of year.

finished cookies with rainbow sprinkles on wire rack.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • A vintage favorite. These were my favorite cookies that my mom made when I was a child, and for some reason, they fell off the cookie rotation for at least ten years. I asked for the recipe after I got married, and it could not be recovered. And then, miraculously, it resurfaced, as a scanned document lurking somewhere. This is a recipe from McCall’s magazine from the ’80s that I’ve changed just a tiny bit.
  • A little different. They don’t taste like sour cream, but they definitely taste different from a normal sugar cookie. They are less sweet and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture. So easy to make, there is no reason not to give them a try!

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

all ingredients on counter.

You’ll need the following for these cake-like cookies:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • butter 
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • sour cream
  • vanilla
  • milk
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • colored sprinkles

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  • mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • parchment paper


Step One

wet and dry ingredients in glass bowls.

We begin by simply whisking together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside the dry ingredients and place the sugar, butter, and eggs in a separate bowl.

Step Two

process shot of dough.

Next, it’s time to beat the butter, sugar, and egg until they are light and fluffy. This takes about 3-5 minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed, so if you have a stand mixer than you can use, that would be very handy.

Add the sour cream and the vanilla to the butter mixture and mix on low for about a minute.

Step three

dough before going in fridge.

Once that is thoroughly incorporated, add the flour mixture in, a cup at a time. The dough will be very soft, almost like a thick cake batter. Tightly cover it with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour to make it easier to work with.

Step Four

cookie dough and baked cookies.

When the hour is up, it’s time to get ready to bake. This recipe makes about 30 cookies and you can usually fit them on two baking sheets. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop out the cookie dough in heaping tablespoons. The dough is so soft that a spoon works better than a cookie scoop. Space them about two inches apart and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges and bottom are light golden brown.

Step Five

glass bowl with glaze ingredients.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before you make the glaze.

Mix the milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla together to form a thick icing. 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.

Step six

small bowl of rainbow sprinkles next to cookies

Before the glaze dries, add sprinkles if you’re using any.

🥫 Storage instructions

If you have leftover cookies, it is best to store them in an airtight container. This will help keep them fresh and tasting great. You can also freeze them, but be sure to freeze them unglazed and decorate them after you defrost.

🔍 FAQs

Do they have a strong sour cream taste?

No, the sour cream flavor is subtle and it just enhances the flavor of the cookie.

Can I use a different frosting?

Yes, a classic buttercream is delicious with these!

What are some variations?

Try adding chopped pecans or substituting almond extract for the vanilla.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

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

📘 Related Recipes

📖 Here’s the recipe

close up view of 9 cookies.
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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

Print Recipe
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
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!


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


  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, set aside
  • 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 in the flour mixture, I cup at a time, until just combined.  Dough will be very soft.  Cover and refrigerate the dough 1 hour.
  • 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 edges are golden brown.  If baking two sheets at a time, rotate halfway through the baking time.
  • After 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
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: iced sour cream cookies, old fashioned christmas cookies, old fashioned sour cream cookies, soft sour cream cookies, sour cream cookies
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 124kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
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