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This Sour Cream Frosting recipe is ultra creamy and a great alternative to using cream cheese! An easy, unique frosting that will add a delicious, tangy twist to cakes and cupcakes.
I'm a cream cheese frosting girl through and through. It is my favorite type of frosting and is classic for cakes like red velvet and carrot.
But, there is a new contender in town.
Sour cream frosting might sound a bit unusual but it is ridiculously tasty. I find it to be silkier, richer and way more flavorful than it's creamy cheese counterpart.
Unlike cream cheese frosting that is usually paired with red velvet or carrot cake, sour cream frosting is the perfect accompaniment to simple vanilla and chocolate cakes or cupcakes. The tart zing from the sour cream elevates plain ol' vanilla and chocolate into something new and interesting.
What is sour cream frosting?
Sour cream frosting is nothing fancy. It is quite similar to a simple American style buttercream where the other ingredients include butter, powdered sugar and milk.
Instead of the milk however, sour cream is used.
The sour cream provides the moisture that the mixture needs to whip up into a frosting, and it adds that signature tangy flavor which is absolutely heavenly.
Better yet, sour cream has a much higher fat content compared to milk, so it adds a lot more silkiness and richness than milk ever could.
Working with Sour Cream Frosting
This frosting is a bit on the softer side. It also has a lower melting point so be sure to keep away from heat and warm temperatures for extended periods of time.
Similarly to my Mascarpone Buttercream, I find that it's best to use this frosting when you're not creating detailed cake decorations. The lines won't be as sharp due to the softer consistency, so it's not the best choice when piping things like flowers.
If you do plan on piping this onto a cupcake, you can cut back on the amount of sour cream until you reach a pipeable consistency. It will still hold a soft peak!
I find that this frosting is best used when casually spread on a cake or cupcake. Like I said, there's nothing fancy about this frosting and I think a simple presentation matches the whole vibe of a simple, sweet comfort food.
Does Sour cream frosting need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Because sour cream is a dairy product that requires refrigeration, you'll need to keep it chilled until ready to serve. Before serving, it is a good idea however to allow the cake/cupcakes to warm up to room temp just a bit.
Chilled cake is just not as good as a room temp cake.
Also, I find that it's best to decorate your cake or cupcakes first and then chill. It's way easier to work with the frosting when freshly mixed!
Could I substitute Greek Yogurt instead?
This was a question that came to mind when I was first making this recipe. I know Greek yogurt is a common swap for sour cream when it comes to other recipes, including cakes and savory ones like dips and sauces.
I have not personally tried swapping out Greek yogurt because yogurt doesn't always agree with me (which stinks because I LOVE the stuff!), but I honestly don't see why it wouldn't work!
Greek yogurt tends to be a bit thicker than some sour cream brands so you may need to use a bit more or add a splash of milk to get to the desired consistency for frosting a cake.
It would still provide a bit of tangy flavor and definitely make the frosting super creamy and luscious.
Sour cream frosting is a new found fave here on the OBB blog.
The sweet, tart, sour cream is a great way to zest up those blah and boring vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. It is silkier than traditional American buttercream and is just as easy to make!
Comment below and let me know what you made it with!!Print
- ½ c unsalted butter (softened at room temp)
- 3 ½ c powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- ½ c sour cream (room temp)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add the softened butter.
- Give the butter a quick mix for a couple of seconds to break it up.
- Next, add the powdered sugar and mix until the butter is distributed in the sugar. The mixture will be completely dry and crumbly at this point.
- Add the vanilla and half of the sour cream. Beat on medium speed until mostly combined, then add the remaining sour cream.
- Mix on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Lastly, add the lemon juice. Mix well.
- Use immediately for best results, or store covered in the refrigerator.
- Keep frosted cakes chilled until ready to serve.
Recipe by Owlbbaking.com
- Makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes.
- DO NOT add the sour cream directly to the butter- the mixture will curdle. Be sure to follow the exact order of ingredients.
- For thicker frosting (great for simple piping) use less sour cream.
- If you don't have lemon juice, you can skip adding it. No need to replace with lemon extract. The lemon juice creates acidic balance which isn't the same with extract.
- Store frosting chilled in the refrigerator.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Frosting
- Method: No bake
Keywords: Sour cream frosting, frosting for cupcakes, easy frosting recipe