Wondering how to make Christmas sugar cookies? These delicious but easy Christmas sour cream sugar cookies with a cream cheese frosting are the perfect embodiment of holiday joy. If you’re looking for things to do, this makes the perfect Christmas activity for kids as well!
Hey, y’all, Tiffany here.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been making these sour cream Christmas sugar cookies with my mom. I continued doing that as an adult in college. My mom even mailed to me both Christmases that I was a missionary in Puerto Rico!
When Phillip and I were first married, and his family came out for our December wedding, my mother-in-law tried these cookies and fell in love. After they went home, she emailed me to ask for the same cookie recipe, so she could make them with my new brother and sister-in-law. They’ve now become a family tradition in her household, too!
Everyone I’ve ever introduced to these cookies has told me that they taste so much better than traditional Christmas sugar cookie recipes – and they’re right. Try them for yourself and see!
The best part about these sour cream sugar cookie recipes is they work for any holiday, not just Christmas sugar! You just need the right cookie cutters!
These cookies go perfectly with these Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Christmas
Sour Cream Christmas Sugar Cookies
The “secret” ingredient for these Christmas sugar cookies is quite simple – it’s the sour cream in the recipe. The addition of sour cream contributes a special touch to the cookies, enhancing their flavor in a subtle yet noteworthy way.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
Optional for Garnish:
- Colored sprinkles
- Edible glitter
- Food coloring for the frosting
Kitchen Tools Needed:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Electric mixer or hand mixer
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
- Cooling rack
- Frosting piping bag, optional
Prepping the Kitchen:
- Prepare for the festive feel of the Christmas season by preheating your oven to 425°F (220°C). As it warms, ready a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to ensure the cookies don’t cling and embrace the holiday spirit.
- Arrange your kitchen tools and ingredients within arm’s reach. The joy of cooking during the holiday season is heightened when everything is easily accessible, creating a warm and festive environment in your kitchen.
The Creaming Method:
- In a large mixing bowl, blend sugar, unsalted butter, and eggs to kickstart the Christmas spirit in your baking. Employ an electric or hand mixer on medium speed, whisking the ingredients until the mixture achieves a light and fluffy consistency, typically taking around 5 minutes.
- Once you’ve reached the desired texture, incorporate the sour cream and vanilla extract. Gently mix until just blended. The sour cream brings a distinctive tanginess, harmonizing with the sweetness of the sugar, and the vanilla enhances the flavor profile, making it perfect for the festive occasion.
Preparing the Dry Mix:
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, blend the all-purpose 5 cups of flour, salt, and baking soda (do not use baking powder). This dry mix will be later combined into the wet mixture, bringing a festive harmony to your baking.
Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients:
- Slowly incorporate the dry ingredient mixture into the wet blend at a low mixing speed. Be cautious not to overmix; otherwise, you might find yourself with cookies that are a bit tough. Aim for a smooth and slightly sticky sugar cookie dough for the perfect holiday treat.
Rolling and Cutting the Dough:
- Sprinkle a clean surface with flour. Take a section of your sugar cookie dough and roll it out to approximately a 3/4-inch thickness. Use the festive cookie cutters to shape your treats – be it classic circles, twinkling stars, or even elaborate designs. The dough is wonderfully forgiving, maintaining its shape with ease. Throw away your remaining dough.
- Arrange the festive cut-out cookie shapes on your ready baking sheet. Let them bake in your preheated oven for 5 minutes, and you’ll notice a gentle golden hue around the edges, while the centers stay wonderfully soft. Once baked, take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Let the delightful holiday aroma fill the air as they cool to perfection.
For extra flavor, you can add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon to the dry ingredients.
If you’re using salted butter, omit the additional salt from the recipe.
Make sure your sour cream, eggs, and butter are at room temperature for easier mixing and better texture.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Now you’ve made the delicious Sour Cream Christmas Sugar Cookies, it’s time to prepare the irresistible cream cheese frosting. This velvety and luscious topping serves as the ultimate adornment for your cookies—a delightful component that effortlessly brings together all the flavors and textures into a single, perfect mouthful, capturing the essence of the festive season.
- 1 cube (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- Up to 5 cups powdered sugar
Optional for Customization:
- Food coloring
- Flavored extracts (almond, lemon, etc.)
- Edible decorations like sugar pearls
Kitchen Tools Needed:
- Electric or hand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium bowl for sifting powdered sugar
- Sieve or sifter
- Food-safe gloves, if using food coloring
- Piping bag and nozzles, optional but recommended for intricate designs
- First and foremost, ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This step is essential to guarantee a velvety, lump-free frosting for your holiday treats.
- Arrange your mixer, bowls, and measuring tools conveniently within reach. This simple step will streamline the process, turning the frosting experience into an enjoyable task rather than a cumbersome one.
Creaming the Base:
- In a large mixing bowl, start by beating together the softened, unsalted butter and the softened cream cheese. Use your electric or hand mixer and beat on medium speed until the mixture is creamy, lump-free, and well-integrated. This usually takes about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Once the base is ready, add in the vanilla extract and gently mix until just incorporated. The vanilla acts as a flavor enhancer, beautifully complementing the rich and tangy profiles of the butter and cream cheese, creating a delightful harmony in your festive frosting.
Sifting and Preparing the Sugar:
- In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar through a sieve or sifter. This removes any lumps and aerates the sugar, making it easier to incorporate into the wet mixture. Depending on your desired consistency and sweetness, you might use anywhere from 4 to 5 cups of powdered sugar.
The Alternating Technique:
- Here’s where the magic happens: you’ll need to alternate between adding the sifted powdered sugar and the milk to your cream cheese mixture. Begin with a cup of sifted sugar, beat it in, and then introduce a tablespoon of milk. Continue this delightful dance, ensuring you mix at a gentle, low speed to prevent over-beating. This rhythmic process will weave the festive sweetness into your cream cheese frosting.
- The reason behind this alternating technique is to prevent clumping and guarantee a silky-smooth texture in your frosting. Moreover, it grants you the flexibility to tailor the frosting to your liking. Should the mixture appear too runny, incorporate more sifted sugar gradually. Conversely, if it leans towards being too thick, a splash of milk can be added to achieve your preferred consistency.
- If you have intentions to incorporate food coloring or extra flavored extracts, seize the moment and add them now. When using food coloring, it’s recommended to wear food-safe gloves to prevent any staining on your hands.
- For a more polished presentation, consider using a piping bag with your preferred nozzle to elegantly apply the frosting onto the cookies. This technique imparts a professional touch to your baked delights.
- This frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. However, it’s best used immediately for optimum taste and texture.
If you wish to add a zesty kick, a teaspoon of lemon or orange zest works wonderfully.
Make sure to taste as you go, this allows you to adjust the sweetness level accordingly.
For special occasions, consider using edible gold leaf or silver leaf for a touch of elegance.
Mastering the art of Cream Cheese Frosting doesn’t just end with a delicious topping. It’s a skill that you’ll find useful in many other dessert recipes, from cupcakes to layer cakes and even as a dip for fruit slices. A delectable frosting is more than just a ‘topping’; it’s the grand finale, the exquisite finish that makes every bite memorable. So, let your creativity run wild and make this frosting your own!
Tip: this is my favorite frosting recipe for cinnamon rolls!
Decorated Sour Cream Christmas Sugar Cookies
Here are some recipe tips and some amazing ideas on how to bake cookies and decorate these sour cream sugar cookies for Christmas.
Decorating and photos were done by Sara Welburn Photography.
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cubes butter (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 5 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 pack (8 oz) softened cream cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 5 cups of powdered sugar
- Cream together the sugar, 1 cup (2 cubes) butter, and eggs.
- Add in sour cream and 1 tsp vanilla
- Mix together
- Slowly stir in flour, salt, and baking soda
- Be careful not to over-beat!
- Roll our onto a floured surface to 3/4" thickness.
- Cut into circles or use cookie cutters.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
- Beat together 1 cube butter and cream cheese
- Add 1 tsp vanilla
- Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk while beating
- You need to alternate or else it will clump up
- Keep on beating until smooth and at the desired texture
- If mix is too runny, just add a bit of powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a tiny bit of milk.
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