These really are Grandma’s Best Sugar Cookies! They’re perfectly soft, a little bit chewy, sweet, tangy, and topped with an ultra-thick and creamy buttercream frosting.
These cookies are actually Trevor’s Grandma’s sugar cookies recipe!
Let me just take a second to say that Trevor’s grandma was the sweeter than her sugar cookies. I only met her once but the first time we met she hugged me like she’d known me forever.
Apparently when Trevor was growing up she would send a tin of these cookies to him for Christmas. So this post today is dedicated to her! She is the amazing person behind this recipe and I think of her every time we make them!
This recipe is for the softest, fluffiest, sweetest drop sugar cookies. If you want to keep it super easy, you can frost these with store-bought frosting like Trevor’s grandma did. However, I’ve also included a homemade buttercream frosting recipe that’s pretty darn fantastic if you prefer!
- Butter – adds moisture and that warm, buttery flavor.
- Granulated Sugar – makes these cookies sweet and delicious.
- Eggs – helps bind everything together so the cookies can hold their shape.
- Sour Cream – provides moisture and adds a tangy flavor that perfectly offsets the sweetness from the sugar and the buttercream frosting.
- Vanilla Extract – adds warmth and flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour – gives the cookies structure.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – we’re using both of these leavening agents to give the cookies a light and fluffy, cake-like texture.
- Salt – cuts the sweetness and enhances other flavors.
- The BEST Vanilla Frosting – feel free to use store-bought, if desired.
How to make
These cookies take 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to bake! Make sure you leave time to let the dough chill for an hour.
- Cream together butter and sugar then add in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Once that’s fully combined, mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until fully combined. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Scoop the dough out with a cookie scoop and place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.
- Bake then let cook for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, make your buttercream frosting.
- Once the cookies are completely cooled, frost, then serve and enjoy!
How long to bake sugar cookies
This depends on the size of your cookies!
How to decorate sugar cookies
We’re decorating Grandma’s sugar cookies with a delicious, thick, and creamy buttercream frosting. I keep my frosting white, but feel free to add food coloring to give the frosting a festive pop of color!
If you prefer to keep it super easy feel free to use your favorite store-bought frosting instead, but I find store-bought frosting can have a really strong oily flavor, so I definitely recommend doing the homemade version. It’s worth the extra 5 minutes!
You can also throw on some decorating sugar or sprinkles for extra color and texture.
Are sugar cookies supposed to be soft?
It depends on the recipe. This sugar cookies recipe is designed to produce soft, light, and fluffy cookies. My cut out sugar cookies recipe, on the other hand, produces cookies that are a little bit crispier and crunchier.
These cookies do dry out (in a really good way – I actually prefer these cookies after a day or two) as they sit, but they’ll still be soft.
Why are my cookies flat?
If your cookies are spreading too much, there are a couple of different reasons as to why that may be happening.
- You melted the butter. You want it softened to room temperature but NOT melted.
- Your leavening agents are expired. Make sure your baking soda and baking powder aren’t too old. They don’t work if they’re expired.
- You didn’t chill the dough. Chill the dough in the fridge for an hour before portioning it out. This helps the cookies hold their shape as they bake.
- You didn’t line the baking sheet. Make sure you line the baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. This helps hold the cookies in as they bake so they don’t spread too much.
Why is my frosting runny?
If your frosting is runny before frosting the cookies, you under-measured your powdered sugar or over-measured your cream. If it’s too thin, simply whisk in more powdered sugar.
If your frosting is melting after frosting the cookies, chances are you tried to frost the cookies too soon after baking. Make sure the cookies are completely cooled before adding the frosting!
Can you use this sugar cookie recipe for cut-out cookies?
No. This dough is a little bit softer and sticker than dough made for cut out sugar cookies.
If you’d rather give your sugar cookies fun shapes, try my cut out sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting recipe!
How to store
Store leftover sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
To enjoy again, thaw at room temperature if frozen then enjoy!
Grandma's Best Sugar Cookies
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 batch best vanilla frosting
- Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
- Pour in flour, baking soda, powder, and salt and mix until fully combined.
- Cover bowl with saran wrap, place in fridge, and let it chill for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
- Scoop dough onto a prepared baking sheet using a cookie scoop and bake in preheated oven for 8 - 10 minutes. (Time will depend on cookie size - if using a large cookie scoop, I like 14 minutes)
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Let cookies cool completely before frosting.
- Frost, top with sprinkles, if desired, and enjoy!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
This post was originally published December 12, 2014 and has been updated to provide more detailed content.