Old Fashioned Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Recipe

Perhaps like many of us, recipe developer Angela Latimer at Bake It With Love began baking as a youngster together with her grandmother. For Latimer, it was Grandma Janet, affectionately known as "Granny Janny," who taught her all of the basics ... and this recipe is actually one of hers! "Baking with my granny was a huge part of my childhood memories and holiday traditions," Latimer says.

Whether you want to channel such meaningful family time from your childhood with your own kids, or teach your own children how to whip up some favorite traditional recipes, cookies never fail to warm the heart and your tastebuds. Besides the sweet treat they provide as a snack or dessert, cookies can even offer a type of methodical relaxation. The act of measuring the shortening, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract, and evenly mixing the combination before adding your dry ingredients — the baking powder and soda, salt and flour — slowly to create your dough relaxes you. The spoon can be almost mesmerizing as you stir it up in the bowl again and again.

This recipe creates three dozen delightful sour cream sugar cookies, and they are topped with a scrumptious coating of sugary cinnamon. They're so yummy, in fact, that you'll want to whip them up them again and again — and they're so easy, you can! So without further ado, let's find out what you need to do to make this delightful treat, just like Granny Janny did.

Grab your ingredients to prepare these old fashioned sour cream sugar cookies

One of the things that is so nice about this cookie recipe is you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already. So if you have a hankering after dinner for something sweet, you can make them pretty last-minute — and in a little over an hour, you'll have them warm right out of the oven. How's that for a special surprise to serve for an at home movie night, or even if you have unexpected visitors? They're great served along with milk or even your favorite tea or coffee. Just know that they probably will not last very long when they're done baking. The delicious aroma from the kitchen will let everyone know there's something good going on.

Prepping the cookies will only take just a few minutes, then you will chill the dough for an hour before baking your treats. As far as ingredients are concerned, all you need for the recipe is shortening, granulated sugar, two large eggs, sour cream, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. The cinnamon sugar topping, which gives the treat a tasty dusting, just needs sugar and cinnamon. That's it! We told you it's really simple, and you are really in for quite a delight.

A little mixing starts the cookie process

You'll start the recipe by mixing the wet ingredients together. If you've ever wondered why you do this step, now is a great time to find out the reason. Separating wet and dry ingredients in a recipe allows for better mixing and impacts the flavor and feel of the dish. Throwing everything together at once requires brisk stirring that might create a leathery texture — an end result you definitely want to avoid when baking your cookies! 

In a large bowl you are going to cream together 1 cup of shortening and 1½ cups of granulated sugar until the consistency is nice and fluffy. Then, you'll add the two large eggs (keep the eggs at room temperature),1 cup of sour cream, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Combine the batter together well. You want all the flavors thoroughly blended, so don't skimp on the time spent mixing this up.

Begin mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Now, it's time to add all the ingredients that help your cookies rise. Baking soda makes your cookies airy. While baking powder can often be substituted for the ingredient, keep in mind in any future cooking endeavors that baking soda is more powerful, so you must make some adjustments when you go this route. 

Many recipes use both ingredients (like this one), though, because it needs more leavening, or the dish requires further browning or a tangier flavor.  For this particular cookie recipe, you'll add 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, and ½ teaspoon of salt into your mixture. Combine everything thoroughly. You should not see any powder when you are finished, and it needs to be mixed well.

Add the flour, and blend, blend, blend

Flour, as an ingredient, is all about balance in cookie-making. Too much, and you'll have chalky, tasteless sweets. The substance helps bind the cookies together, and if you use too little, you'll have little blobs on your plate. You need a happy medium.

So be careful with your measuring. This is not the time to eyeball anything — until you have a practiced hand at least. For these cookies, you'll add about half the total of 3 cups of all-purpose flour into the dough, mixing it well. Then, add the remaining flour, and stir that until all of it is fully incorporated. Dividing the flour will aid in its absorption into the dough. With this method, it will become light, fluffy, and sticky.

Prep the next steps while you refrigerate the cookie dough

Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of one hour. Don't skip this step, even though you may be tempted to. Latimer also feels impatient sometimes and wants to go right to the cookie-making. (We can relate!) But the temptation, ultimately, hurts the dish, and you want your cookies to be amazing. "The dough is super soft and not thick with flour, so it really does have to be refrigerated," Latimer says. She recommends that the dough remains refrigerated for two hours or even overnight. Once you get used to making this recipe, you can plan it out in advance so the dough is ready to be scooped out and baked.

If you're really in a hurry, Latimer gave us a trick. She notes you can use a melon baller to shape the dough first, and then refrigerating the shaped balls for a quicker chill. While you are waiting for the fridge to do its magic, you can prepare the topping for the cookies. In a small bowl, mix the ½ cup of granulated sugar with ground cinnamon. Then, set the bowl aside.

Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with the sweet topping

Soon enough, your patience will be rewarded. Once your dough is properly chilled, you can get to baking. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Next, line your baking sheets with parchment paper to avoid any sticking. Take the dough, and form one-inch rounds with it. Be sure to leave approximately two inches of spacing between the cookies for spreading.

For your topping, you have a choice: either roll them in the cinnamon sugar topping and then place on the cookie sheet, or place the circular pieces onto your baking pan and sprinkle the dough balls with the topping. Either way, the result will be undeniably delicious.

Bake those cookies

Bake your cookies for eight to 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies have just begun to turn golden. Remove them from the oven, and allow the batch to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. For optimal enjoyment, let them cool before you eat. Use this time to pour your milk or brew your tea.

You can even leave the cookies on the rack for a few hours. "I left these cookies out open-air overnight and they were still incredibly moist," says Latimer. Plus, the cookies store well at room temperature in an airtight container and will last for up to a week. You can also freeze these treats for up to three months, too. Just a quick defrost, and you can enjoy these cinnamon-y delectables whenever you want. Happy cookie time!

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Recipe
5 from 54 ratings
These delightful sour cream sugar cookies are topped with a scrumptious coating of sugary cinnamon.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bitten sour cream sugar cookie
Total time: 18 minutes
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract, then combine well.
  2. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix into the wet ingredients. Next, add about half of the total 3 cups of all-purpose flour, and mix into the dough. Add the remaining flour, and mix until all of the flour is fully incorporated. Your cookie dough will be light, fluffy, and sticky.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375 F, and line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the ½ cup of granulated sugar with ground cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar topping.
  6. Form 1-inch rounds with the dough, and either roll them in the cinnamon sugar topping, or place them onto your baking sheet and sprinkle the dough balls with the topping.
  7. Leave approximately 2 inches of spacing between the cookies for spreading.
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies has just begun to turn golden.
  9. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Calories per Serving 148
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 13.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 11.3 g
Sodium 67.4 mg
Protein 1.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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