Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Recipe

This easy Sugar Cookie Recipe has the perfect balance of soft and sweetness with the added tang of lemon.

sugar cookies

This recipe is one of my favorites. My hubby introduced these little gems back when we were dating. The small box he dropped into my office quickly disappeared and left me daydreaming for the day when I would get my hands on that sugar cookie recipe! His mom generously passed it on to me and it has been a staple here for as long as I can remember. Whenever we have a rainy day (and a stir crazy kid) we whip up a batch and let him decorate to his hearts content.

sugar cookie recipe

Pipe your favorite frosting using a closed star tip and you can easily create a dozen roses (the edible kind) for that special someone this Valentines day! Or use a heart shaped cutter and dip half into melted chocolate. The lemon extract gives these a unique taste that is slightly addicting, but if you prefer to stick to a more traditional route you can use vanilla extract in it’s place. Or raspberry… or orange… The possibilities are endless!

Sugar Cookie Recipe


  • 3-1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light. Stir in the egg, extract, sour cream, and dry ingredients.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll 1/4 inch thick. Cut using your desired shape. Place on the baking tray and cook for ten minutes or until the edges are just lightly browning.
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If you are sticking with my original recipe try this cream cheese frosting on top. You won’t be sorry!


Here’s a quick kitchen tip… make sure your cream cheese is room temp before your start to mix in the frosting ingredients. This will keep the frosting smooth and silky for piping.

PS, If  you liked this post you will LOVE these:

Cream Cheese Frosting


How to pipe a rose

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

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  1. says

    I wish I could have a steady hand to do the top of my cookies like that. My hand shakes to much and those are absolutely pretty. I do love a sugar cookie very much!

  2. says

    It’s amazing how a simple swirl of frosting can mimic the look of roses. So beautiful! They almost look too good to eat… almost… you broke down my last bit of willpower at cream cheese frosting. 🙂

  3. says

    I’m actually making these right now and am wondering if the amount of flour is incorrect? The dough is a cake batter-like consistency (no way could it be rolled out) and I’ve been adding just a ton of flour to try and get it right. Can you please help?

    • Jesseca says

      I sent you an email. Seriously… this proves that I’m far from perfect and should start proof reading my posts before I click publish! It’s 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups of flour. I use the full extra 1/4 cup

  4. Elizabeth Copeland says

    These sound amazing. I’ve never made cookies with sour cream in them. You have the cookie recipe title on the icing recipe.

  5. Cindy says

    My mom got this recipe with her sunbeam mixer over 40 years ago. It’s been a family favorite and Christmas tradition for four generations. It is the best sugar cookie recipe ever. It’s good without the icing

  6. says

    Funny thing – I have been on the hunt for the best sugar cookie. I tried one tonight that tons of people swore by and I would never made them again. I thought they were a bore – dry and tasteless with a funky sour cream frosting. I can’t wait to try these. You sure made them pretty with the frosting!

  7. Emily says

    This recipe sounds delicious! I was just wondering if the dough needs to be refrigerated before cutting/shaping by any chance?

    • Jesseca says

      Nope. You can if you’d like but I don’t refrigerate my dough and don’t have problems rolling and cutting.

  8. Marsha says

    I made a trial batch of these to see if I wanted to use them for a bridal shower in a couple of weeks. DELICIOUS! I opted for Mexican vanilla instead of lemon extract. The cookies came out perfect and the cream cheese icing was divine. I love that they are not too sweet.

    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and for sharing which tip you used to make the rose. These were so easy.

  9. Pattue says

    These look amazing! Would love to make them for my daughter’s upcoming wedding. Do you know if I can make them and freeze them ahead of time?

    • Jesseca says

      I’ve never tried freezing them so I’m not sure. You could always try a test batch long before the wedding.

  10. Hollie says

    Hi these are so pretty! I am in charge of and event I am going to be making these for and need to transport them. Will the icing harden enough for me to stack a few?

  11. pohelly says

    they are absolutly beautiful,

    but i have one question, in the cream cheese : with which I can replace the cream cheese? ^^

    thank you thank you

    • Jesseca says

      Since the recipe is a cream cheese frosting I’d suggest not making any substitutions. Especially with the cream cheese. But if you are looking for something a little different try the vanilla buttercream from my Vanilla Cupcakes.

    • Jesseca says

      I probably should, but I like a little extra salt in my sweets. I use salted butter for every recipe on my site unless I specifically say unsalted.

    • Jesseca says

      It really depends how thin you are rolling your dough and the size of your cookie cutter. I typically get 30 cookies per batch.

  12. Carrie says

    Any idea why the recipe isn’t showing up for me all of a sudden? I saw it earlier, but now it’s saying [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:87]. Thanks!

  13. Jill FCS says

    These look beautiful and sound delicious. Do the finished cookies need to be stored in the fridge?

  14. Ashley Souvannaraj says

    I made these cookies the other day & they turned out amazingly. Love love LOVE this recipe. Everybody gobbled them up (; Thank you!

  15. londerella says

    Orange zest (peel) also makes them yummy. Bit of a Christmas flavour to otherwise bland cookies. Glad to see someone else looking for zing!

  16. mariam says

    These are perfect for my sisters upcoming bridal shower. Do you know how far in advance I can make them and store on counter?

    • Jesseca says

      They look delicious! Did you remember to add the sour cream? There have been a few times I’ve forgotten until the last minute to add that ingredient and my dough looked dry.

  17. June P says

    Thank you for sharing! And the genius idea of icing a cookie this way! Is it possible to use just 1/2 cup butter, rather than 1/4 butter and 1/4 shortening? Thanks!

  18. Sara says

    Hi these cookies are absolutely gorgeous!! I’d like to try them but never have shortening on hand. Is it possible to substitute butter or oil for the amount of shortening?? Thanks for your help!

  19. Mary says

    Yum! I’m going to get dressed and go to the store right now! These look amazing and since I’m pregnant, my cravings are hard core! Lol!

  20. Ana says

    Your cookies look gorgeous! After baking them, how much time can I keep them before they expire ? I’m thinking about how much time in advance I can prepare them…

  21. Misty says

    Sour cream makes all the difference in baking homemade sugar cookies! 🙂 It’s what gives them the super moist texture and keeps them so soft. I’ve got an amazing sugar cookie recipe that has been passed down from generations that are to die for! So addicting! Lol I love the recipe that you have for the cream cheese frosting, I will definitely be baking a batch with some of that yummy frosting on them today! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  22. Anita says

    i doubled the recipe and for some reason it was a bowl of crumbs :-(. had to keep adding and tweaking…..and now they are baked and spongey…..what did I do wrong?? 🙁

    • Jesseca says

      the last time that I made these I noticed that it does go through a crumbly stage. I kept mixing with a stand mixer until it started to come together and then used my hands to form it together a little better. I think it has something to do with the consistency of the sour cream. Sometimes it’s thicker and other times it’s runnier depending on the brand.

  23. REagan says

    for some reason these did not turn out for me:( once baked they were spongey like a pancake and tasted more like biscuits than sugar cookies:( I don’t know what went wrong! does this ever happen when you make them?

    • Jesseca says

      I have never had that problem. Did you make sure you measured correctly? Sometimes I’ll accidentally grab a one cup instead of a half without thinking.

  24. Ceara says

    I am making the cookies right now and it is way to dry, cannot roll it out, seems to need more liquid or moisture. I don’t know what to add, I read the directions over and over, double checked my work, and I think I did everything exactly like it says. Should I add more butter?

    • Jesseca says

      Hi Ceara,

      I just double checked the original recipe that my mother in law gave me and all of the ingredients are listed correct, but I actually had a hard time the last time I made these. What I did was just added a tablespoon of milk. I’m working on an updated sugar cookie recipe that won’t have this problem or seeing where the ingredient list needs to be adjusted.

  25. says

    Hello there! Thank you for sharing this recipe! They are BEAUTIFUL! Two questions. 1) Do they need to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese? 2) How long will it take for them to crust over so I can stack them like your awesome pictures? Thank you so much!!

  26. Deborah says

    These sound scrumptious! I am going to make them for valentines. What do you mean by shortening though? Crisco? Thanks!

  27. Enie says

    how and for how long can you store/freeze/etc your cream cheese frosting? also, can you freeze the cut out cookies or are they best rolled/cut/baked the day of? Thanks!!!!

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