These Fall sour cream sugar cookies are the perfect comfort food! Dye the cream cheese frosting in fall colors, and cut into leaves and other autumn shapes. It’s a great fall activity for kids to do when it’s too cool to be outside.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been making these homemade sour cream sugar cookies with my mom. I continued doing that as an adult in college. My mom even mailed some these sour cream sugar cookie out 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 Fall sour cream sugar cookies and fell in love. After they went home, she emailed me to ask for the same sour cream sugar 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 frosted sour cream sugar cookies recipe has told me that they taste so much better than traditional sugar cookies – and they’re right. Try them for yourself and see why they truly are the best sugar cookie recipe!
The best part about these Fall sour cream sugar cookies is they work for any holiday, not just Christmas! You just need these sugar cookie dough cutters!
Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
When it comes to cookie recipes, simplicity and tradition often win the day. However, sometimes it’s the surprising ingredient that transforms a good cookie into an unforgettable culinary experience.
In the case of these Sour Cream Sugar Cookies, that secret weapon is indeed the sour cream. The acidity and creaminess of the sour cream not only add depth to the flavor of sugar cookie recipes but also contribute to a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. This recipe is an elaborate take on how to create these marvelous cookies from scratch.
- 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:
- Cream cheese frosting
- 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:
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). While it’s heating up, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This ensures that the cookies don’t stick.
- Place your kitchen tools and ingredients within arm’s reach. Cooking becomes far less stressful when everything is within easy access.
The Creaming Method:
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the granulated sugar, unsalted butter, and eggs. Using an electric or hand mixer on medium speed, beat the ingredients until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
- After achieving the desired texture, add in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined. The sour cream contributes a unique tanginess, balancing the sweetness of the sugar, while the vanilla elevates the flavor profile.
Preparing the Dry Mix:
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. This dry mix will later be integrated into the wet mixture.
Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients:
- Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the wet mixture while mixing at low speed. Make sure not to over-mix; otherwise, you will end up with tough cookies. Your dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.
Rolling and Cutting the Dough:
- Dust a clean surface with flour. Take a portion of your dough and roll it out to about 3/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Whether it’s traditional circles, stars, or even intricate shapes, this dough is very forgiving and holds its form well.
- Place the cut-out cookie shapes on your prepared baking sheet. Bake them in your preheated oven for 5 minutes. The cookies will turn slightly golden around the edges but will remain soft in the center.After baking, remove the cookies from the oven and let them rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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 Sugar Cookies, it’s time to whip up the mouth watering cream cheese frosting. This delightfully smooth and creamy topping is the crowning glory to your cookies, the element that ties together all the flavors and textures into one perfect mouthful.
- 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 is crucial for achieving a smooth, lump-free frosting.
- Position your mixer, bowls, and measuring tools within easy reach. This will streamline the process and make the frosting experience enjoyable rather than cumbersome.
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 mix until just incorporated. The vanilla serves as a flavor enhancer, complementing the rich and tangy profiles of the butter and cream cheese.
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. Start with a cup of sifted sugar, beat it in, then add a tablespoon of milk. Repeat this process, being mindful to mix at low speed to avoid over-beating.
- The reason for this alternating technique is simple yet important: it prevents clumping and ensures a silky-smooth texture. Additionally, it allows you to adjust the frosting to your preferred consistency. If the mixture seems too runny, gradually add more sifted sugar. If it’s too thick, add a splash of milk.
- If you’re planning to use food coloring or additional flavored extracts, now is the time to add them. For food coloring, it’s advisable to wear food-safe gloves to avoid staining your hands.
- You can also pipe the frosting onto the cookies using a piping bag fitted with your choice of nozzle. This adds a professional touch to your baked goodies.
- 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 Sugar Cookies
Here are some amazing ideas on how to decorate these sour cream sugar cookies for the fall.
Decorating and photos 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.
More cookie recipes to inspire you!
Looking for more sour cream sugar cookie recipes? Check out my popular guides to help you create mouth-watering cookies for family fun!
- Halloween Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Thanksgiving Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Christmas Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4th of July Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Summer Sugar Cookies with Sour Cream and Cream Cheese Frosting
- St. Patrick’s Day Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Valentine’s Day Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- No Bake Cookies Recipe
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