Kid-friendly Sour Cream Frosting Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Sour Cream Frosting

Recipe: Sour Cream Frosting

Sour Cream Frosting

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Silvia ND/
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Sour Cream Frosting

Sour Cream Frosting, with the flavors of orange and vanilla, is a versatile topping and filling for cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. It's the perfect addition to our Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • adjust :

    to change seasonings or consistency to one's taste or to alter portion sizes.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • taste :

    to put a bit of food or drink in your mouth to determine whether more of an ingredient is needed to improve the flavor.

Equipment Checklist

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Whisk


Sour Cream Frosting

  • 2 T sour cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free sour cream or omit frosting and top cakes with 2 T puréed ripe banana)**
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1/2 tsp orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 2 C powdered sugar

Food Allergen Substitutions

Sour Cream Frosting

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free sour cream or omit frosting and top cakes with 2 T puréed ripe banana.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor.


Sour Cream Frosting

measure + mix

In a medium mixing bowl, have your kids measure and mix together 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

stir + adjust

Slowly stir in 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar as needed to make a thick frosting. Have your kids whisk until the frosting is smooth. If the frosting is too thick, spoon in more sour cream, banana, or orange juice until desired consistency is reached.

Surprise Ingredient: Sour Cream!

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Photo by AS Foodstudio/

Hi! I'm Sour Cream!

"I know my name has "sour" in it, and I do have a tangy flavor, but I'm really tasty and add an extra zip and creaminess to lots of foods! Try a dollop of me on baked potatoes, enchiladas, chili, and omelets. I'm great in chip and veggie dips. I even add richness and moistness to cakes!"

  • Sour cream is cream that has been cultured or acidified. It is rich, high in fat, and quite adored by many. A similar product, but less sour, is the French "crème fraîche" (crehm fraysh). In Mexico, the creamy dairy product that tops many Mexican dishes is called "crema" (CREH-mah). In Central and Eastern Europe, sour cream is called "smetana" (SMUH-tah-nah).
  • Either lactic acid bacteria or an acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, can make cream sour. The bacteria occur naturally or can be intentionally introduced to the cream, causing it to become thick and sour. Vinegar or lemon juice act the same way; however, most sour cream is cultured with lactic acid bacteria.
  • Fermented milk may have originated with the Mongols, who used milk from horses, and Russians may have borrowed their method using cow's milk. The sour cream was originally produced naturally by leaving milk out at room temperature, with the cultured cream rising to the top.
  • Did you know you can make your own sour cream? Just stir 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar into 1 cup of heavy cream. Some recipes also include 1/4 cup of milk. Stir (or shake) and leave on the counter overnight, up to 24 hours.
  • Sour cream is used in sweet and savory dishes, like baked goods and soups. A famous Russian dish, beef stroganoff, uses sour cream in the sauce. In addition to baked potatoes, you can put sour cream on loaded potato skins and potato pancakes (latkes). 
  • Reduced-fat or non-fat sour cream and several dairy-free options are also available. Sour cream has been sold in small plastic containers for many years, but you can now find it in plastic squeeze bottles, making it easy to put just the right amount of sour cream on a taco or baked potato.
  • Two tablespoons of regular sour cream contain about 1 gram of protein, 5 grams of fat, 30 milligrams of calcium, and 40 milligrams of potassium.

History of Icing and Frosting!

Photo by Arina P Habich/
  • Icing has been used to cover cakes since the 17th century. One of the first icings was made of eggs, rosewater, and sugar. After the cake was covered, it was put back in the oven to harden the icing.
  • The terms icing and frosting are sometimes interchangeable; however, many experts differentiate between icing and frosting, with icing being thinner and pourable and frosting thicker, creamier, and fluffier. Frosting can be spread with a spatula or piped with a pastry bag.
  • A basic icing is a glaze made of powdered sugar and a liquid, like milk, water, or lemon juice. It is poured on cakes, cookies, or pastries or used to decorate them, as with royal icing. 
  • A frosting's base may be butter, cream, cream cheese, eggs, or whipped cream. Buttercream frosting is one of the most popular coverings and fillings for cakes. There are seven varieties of buttercream: American, French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Swiss. The most common, American, Swiss, and Italian, are described below.
  • American buttercream is the easiest to make and good for beginners or when there is a short amount of time. It is made by whipping softened butter, powdered sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla extract or other flavorings until smooth and fluffy. Additional milk or cream is added to adjust the consistency. It is the sweetest buttercream and the one most commonly used for piping decorations on a cake.
  • Swiss buttercream uses a meringue and is appropriate for intermediate bakers. Professional pastry chefs often use it. To make Swiss meringue, egg whites and sugar are heated together over a double boiler. Then, butter and flavorings are added while the meringue is beaten. The result is a soft, silky frosting.
  • Italian buttercream is also made with a meringue and is suitable for more advanced bakers. This version starts with making an Italian meringue by adding a stream of hot sugar syrup to the egg whites while they are whipped, resulting in a light and stable frosting.

The Yolk's On You

What do you call grumpy soft serve?

Sour cream!

THYME for a Laugh

"Why are you taking that sour cream into the pool?"

"Because I want to take a dip in the water."

THYME for a Laugh

What does a snowman like on his cupcakes?


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