Sour Cream Frosting - Tangy and Sweet Buttercream
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Sour Cream Frosting – Tangy and Sweet Buttercream

Sour cream frosting adds a delicious tangy note to the classic sweetness of buttercream frosting. This sour cream frosting won’t taste like sour cream, but people will notice its wonderful bright flavor when paired with all manner of cakes and cupcakes.

Cupcake topped with sour cream frostingAdding just a touch of sour cream into frosting can make a world of difference!

Tips for Making Sour Cream Frosting

You can take a few steps to make sure that your sour cream frosting recipe comes out great every time:

  • Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature. The butter needs to be soft but not melting, and the sour cream should have been sitting out of the refrigerator for a few hours before you begin.

Adding sour cream to frosting

  • Beat the butter on high speed with an electric mixer for three minutes. Beating the butter this long is necessary to incorporate air; if you beat it for too short of a time, the frosting will be heavy instead of light and airy.
  • You can use vanilla extract, but try using vanilla bean paste for a stronger vanilla flavor. It’s made with actual vanilla beans and the flavor is sensational.

vanilla bean paste on a spoon

Best Ways to Use Sour Cream Frosting

  • Lemon Cupcakes (Use instead of lemon frosting with lemon cupcakes if you don’t want too intense of a lemon flavor.)
  • Cherry cupcakes (You’ve heard of sour cherries, but sour cream paired with cherries is just as good!)
  • Banana cupcakes (Bananas go really well with the tart flavor of sour cream.)
  • Vanilla cake (This sour cream frosting goes perfectly with any vanilla cake recipe.)
  • NY Cheesecake (Pipe the frosting on top of cheesecake instead of whipped cream to make it even more decadent!)

Piping sour cream frosting on a cupcake


Use full-fat sour cream for the richest frosting flavor. However, low-fat sour cream and even Greek yogurt will also work.

You can also use cream cheese and it will be great – but I like to use a higher ratio of cream cheese to butter than I do sour cream to butter. See my cream cheese frosting recipe for the exact recipe.

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Cupcake topped with sour cream frosting
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4 from 17 votes

Sour Cream Frosting

Sour cream frosting adds a delicious, tangy taste to the classic sweetness of buttercream frosting. It pairs wonderfully with all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword sour cream frosting, sour cream frosting recipe, vanilla sour cream frosting
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 263kcal
Author Stef


  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar add more until it reaches your preferred consistency
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract use vanilla bean paste for a stronger vanilla flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup full-fat sour cream room temperature


  • Beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes until light and airy.
  • Mix in confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar) a little bit at a time.
  • Add vanilla, salt, and sour cream and continue to beat for another minute. If desired, add more more confectioners' sugar to make the buttercream frosting stiffer.


This frosting frosts about 12 cupcakes with a large swirl or an 8" square cake.


Nutrition Facts
Sour Cream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 263 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 103mg4%
Potassium 11mg0%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 503IU10%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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