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Soft sour cream sugar cookies are a delicious and irresistible treat, featuring a delightful combination of flavors from vanilla extract, flour, sour cream, and a hint of lemon zest. These cookies are the perfect balance of sweetness and crunch, making them a delightful snack to enjoy with family, especially during holidays.

The soft and tender texture of these cookies, along with their flavorful profile, makes them a must-have addition to any holiday spread. Their versatility shines through as they not only make for a delectable standalone treat but also play a crucial role in creating stunning sugar cookie Christmas trees. Thanks to their ability to hold their shape during baking, they form the perfect foundation for the festive centerpiece, adding a touch of beauty and charm to your holiday gatherings.

A unique aspect of these cookies is their ability to maintain their pale color after baking, giving them an elegant and appealing appearance that fits perfectly with the holiday ambiance. With each bite, the delightful crunch adds an extra layer of pleasure, ensuring that you relish every moment of indulgence.

Soft sour cream sugar cookies are a true culinary delight, worthy of being a holiday tradition. Their softness, rich flavors, and delightful crunch make them a treat that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. So, whether you’re enjoying them on their own or incorporating them into your holiday creations, these cookies are sure to bring joy and deliciousness to your family and friends, making every celebration even more special.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Chilling time: 15 minutes

Total time: 38 minutes

Yield: About 25- 3 1/2″ round cookies



½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

1 large egg, room temperature

½ cup full fat sour cream

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp kosher salt

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour


1 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered, icing, or confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2-3 Tbsp milk or heavy cream

How to prepare

For the Cookies

Step 1:

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest together until it is lightly fluffy. Mix on medium for about a minute. Then add the egg and sour cream into the mixing bowl and mix until it is well absorbed.

Step 2:

Add the baking powder and salt and mix until it is well absorbed. Also add the flour into the mixing bowl and mix until it is just absorbed. Then divide the dough in half and transfer each half onto a piece of parchment paper.

Step 3:

Top each half of dough with another piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out between the parchment to a little thicker and ¼” thick. Then transfer the rolled out dough into the freezer for 10-15 minutes until very firm.

Step 4:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Dip cookie cutters in flour, and stamp out cookies in your desired shape. Transfer the cut out cookie onto the parchment lined baking sheets. Press the scraps together and chill and cut out again.

Step 5: 

Bake 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-9 minutes, or until the edges are firm and very lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting

Step 6:

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until it is light and fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar into the mixing bowl. Mix on low and then gradually increase the speed to cream the sugar into the butter.

Step 7:

Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla extract and the lemon juice, add in a bit of milk or heavy cream to thin out the texture if needed.

To Assemble:

Frost the cooled cookies, and allow the frosting to crust over slightly, so if you want to add sprinkles you do want to do it right when you frost.

Store cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days. It helps to keep them very soft. You can store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator and they taste better when cold.


Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are a delightful and versatile treat that brings a perfect balance of flavors and textures to the table. With the subtle sweetness from the vanilla extract and the tanginess of sour cream, these cookies offer a unique and irresistible taste.

Whether enjoyed as a simple snack or used to create intricate holiday treats like the sugar cookie Christmas tree, these cookies are bound to be a hit among family and friends. Their soft and tender texture, coupled with the pleasant crunch, makes each bite a moment of pure indulgence.

With their ability to maintain their pale color after baking, these cookies exude an elegant charm that complements any occasion, especially during the festive holiday season.

Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are a recipe worth cherishing, and they have the power to create cherished memories with every bite. So, gather your loved ones, embrace the joy of baking, and savor the delectable goodness of these delightful cookies. Whether it’s a special holiday gathering or a simple moment of sweetness, these cookies are sure to brighten up any occasion and leave a lasting impression on all who taste them.

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