Grandmas Sugar Cookies. A hundred year old recipe with a secret ingredient. Its also a huge family christmas tradition!

These sugar cookies have been a staple family tradition my whole life.

My grandma (my dads mom) made them when my dad was a kid and passed the recipe to my mom.

I don’t have a lot of memories with my grandma, as she lived across the country and I only seen her on average every other year. Up until she passed when I was in middle school.

But the one memory that stands out for me, was when she came to visit right before Christmas when I was maybe four years old. It was the one and only time we made and decorated these sugar cookies together.

It is a memory I will forever cherish.

As well as the tradition of making these delicious soft sugar cookies every Christmas.

It is a tradition I have carried with me into motherhood.

CJ making grandma’s sugar cookie with his Tia (my sister) when he was two years old. This was a special day, as it was his first time making them. My sister joined us for baking and my mom and two other sisters (and niece) were baking together in Oregon and we skyped all day long.

I have so enjoyed sharing this tradition and making memories with my own kids. I hope that they will carry it on with them when they become parents one day.

This was Cj and Savanna last year (2015). She was so proud of herself for adding “all the sprinkles”

Original Recipe from an old family cook book.

That is the original recipe that was in an old family cook book from my dads family.

The recipe is really over a hundred years old.

And, yes, that is sour cream as part of the ingredient list.

Its the sour cream that makes these cookies so soft and yummy.

I know that these aren’t your usual sugar cookies you make and decorate for Christmas, but if you try them you will not be disappointed. I have literally never met someone who tried these cookies that didn’t absolutely love them.


We made some yesterday, because I needed some pictures of the cookies for the blog. And my mother in law needed a sweet for a potluck at work. It was for a “baby shower” for a little boy, so we added blue sprinkles. After the blue was gone we used some left over rainbow sprinkles.

When we make them again closer to Christmas, we will use more festive colors.

I hope you enjoy the cookies and making the memories that only the magic of Christmas can give you!

What kind of traditions have you passed down to your kids? Share with me in comments!






  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 12m
  • Total Time: 45m
  • Yield: Around 3 dozen cookies


  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter (I use salted)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla (or Almond or Lemon)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 4 cups Flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. (Just beat it together.) Add in eggs and vanilla. Beat until mixed well.
  3. The instructions from our old family cookbook says to sift the flour and baking soda, but we have never done that. I always just put the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Next you are going to add a little of the flour/soda until mixed well, than a little sour cream, until all ingredients are mixed in.
  4. Drop by teaspoons onto the cookie tray. You can leave them as is, or add sprinkles before baking. Bake 12-14 minutes until done!
  5. Let cool a bit before moving them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before putting them in a air tight container for storage. Enjoy!
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2 thoughts on “Grandmas Sugar Cookies: A Hundred Year Old Recipe and a Family Christmas Tradition

  1. Samantha, I like a good sugar cookie. Sometimes I want crispy, sometimes soft. A soft one made with sour cream sounds really good to me right now. With a nice cup of tea. And I love that you’re passing along a family tradition to the next generation.

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