Sour Cream Frosting

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Sour Cream Frosting is a creamy spreadable topping for cakes, cupcakes and cookies! Sour cream adds tangy flavor and a velvety texture to this sweet vanilla frosting recipe.

Use today’s frosting recipe to add to your favorite vanilla layer cake, or spread some on a batch of our best chocolate cupcakes!

Vanilla sour cream frosting on a slice of cake with sprinkles.
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Sour Cream Vs. Cream Cheese Frosting

I take my frosting seriously around here. It’s hands down my FAVORITE part of cake. (And I love all parts of cake.)

You’re probably familiar with Cream Cheese Frosting. The rich, thick icing is a staple on everything from Carrot Cake to Gingerbread Cookie Bars.

But have you tried Sour Cream Frosting yet?

While both sour cream and cream cheese frostings include a tangy dairy component, they differ noticeably in flavor and consistency.

Cream cheese is thicker, with a milder “cheese” flavor. When you add it to frosting with powdered sugar and milk, you get a thick icing that you can pipe or spread.

This sour cream icing has a more noticeable tang, thanks to extra acidity. It’s also much thinner than cream cheese frosting. Easy to spread onto all kinds of treats!

I love the way sour cream helps balance out the sweetness of anything you add it to. And so simple to make with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make sour cream vanilla frosting recipe.

Sour cream. Use full fat sour cream here! Low fat versions have more water which will make your frosting runnier.

Vanilla extract. A good quality pure vanilla makes all the difference. I love using my homemade vanilla extract.

How to Use It

Sour Cream Frosting tastes great on all kinds of cakes and cupcakes!

Here are a few favorite treats that would be extra delicious with this frosting:

Vanilla frosting made with sour cream in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Tips and Tricks

  • To make a thicker frosting: Reduce the sour cream by 1/2 a cup. This will make the frosting easier to pipe onto cupcakes with a frosting bag.
  • Storing: Store any leftover frosting in the fridge and use within 5 days.
  • Chocolate: Make our super creamy chocolate sour cream frosting for a delicious twist!

Recipe FAQs

Do you have to refrigerate cakes with sour cream frosting?

Yes, cakes and cupcakes topped with sour cream frosting need to be chilled if not eaten right away. The fresh dairy will begin to spoil if left at room temperature for more than about 2 hours.

How much frosting does this recipe make?

This recipe will make enough frosting to top 24 cupcakes or a 2-layer cake. If you use it for a sheet cake, you will probably end up with some frosting leftover.

How can I make sour cream frosting less thick?

If your frosting is too thick, add more sour cream a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Does this frosting taste like sour cream?

You will notice the familiar “tang” from sour cream, but the prominent flavor here is sweet vanilla! It definitely doesn’t taste like eating straight up sour cream when combined with the other ingredients.

Sour cream frosting in mixing bowl with hand mixer.

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Sour Cream Frosting

4.69 from 16 votes
By: Aimee
Sour Cream Frosting is a creamy spreadable topping for cakes, cupcakes and cookies! Sour cream adds tangy flavor and a velvety texture to this sweet vanilla frosting recipe.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 cups


  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup full fat sour cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
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  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter for 2 minutes. Add in vanilla and sour cream, beat an additional minute.
  • Add powdered sugar and salt. Beat just until combined on low, then turn mixer to high and beat an additional 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Frosting will be smooth.


  • If you want a thicker frosting to pipe on a cupcake, reduce sour cream to 1/2 cup.
  • Recipe makes enough frosting to frost 24 cupcakes or a double layer cake.


Serving: 2Tablespoons, Calories: 91kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 7mg, Sugar: 14g
Course: Basics
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

If you’re tired of ordinary vanilla frosting, give Sour Cream Frosting a try! Whether you spread it on layer cakes or pipe it onto cupcakes, this delicious icing just might become your new favorite cake topping.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on June 8, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Made this for my frosting it was so yummy! I traded rum extract for vanilla and it was the bomb diggity!! 😎

  2. Wow! That sounds surprisingly easy! Would it taste something like regular frosting or would it taste more like sour cream?

    1. I just made this and it’s very runny. I am putting my cake and extra frosting in the fridge and hopefully it will solidify a little…

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh. My aunt used to make a frosting recipe for my favorite cake and I’ve been trying to find a recipe like it and this was IT! Thank you!

4.69 from 16 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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