Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

These Strawberry Lemonade Cookies are made with a soft, thick, and chewy lemon sugar cookie base that’s topped with bright, tart strawberry buttercream. Delightful cookies with a refreshing summer twist!

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These Strawberry Lemonade Cookies are bursting with the vibrant summer flavors of fresh, ripe strawberries and tart, tangy lemons. These cookies will transport you to a warm summer day sipping an ice-cold glass of fresh strawberry lemonade. 

I tested so many batches of these cookies to get this recipe exactly how I wanted it. I finally landed on the perfect soft, thick, slightly cakey yet slightly chewy texture. The texture reminds me of a combo between the soft grocery store Lofthouse cookies and a dense, chewy Crumbl cookie. The soft lemon zest-infused sugar cookie base is topped with a generous layer of fluffy Strawberry Buttercream that is packed with real strawberry flavor and the prettiest pink color.

How to Make Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

Make the lemon sugar cookie dough

The dough comes together in one bowl and you don’t even need an electric mixer for this one. Start with melting the butter and set it aside while you make lemon sugar. Combine sugar and lemon zest, rubbing it between your fingers to help the zest release its oils. The lemon sugar is added to the melted butter along with oil, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. These are whisked together then the dry ingredients are mixed in.

Chill the cookie dough

The dough is pretty soft and needs to be chilled so the cookies bake up nice and thick and don’t spread too much in the oven. Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

Portion and bake

Once the dough is chilled, use a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop (I like size #24) to portion the cookies onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, spacing them at least 2” apart. Press each scoop of dough down to flatten.

Make strawberry buttercream

The buttercream is made in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. The butter is creamed by itself first until soft and smooth. Then finely ground freeze-dried strawberries are added along with powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. This can be done with a handheld mixer but takes a bit longer and can be a little messy so I prefer using a stand mixer.

Decorate the cookies

Add a dollop of the frosting to each cookie then spread the frosting out to the edges with either a small or offset spatula or the back of a spoon. I like to make a decorative swirl in the frosting and finish the cookies off with more crushed freeze-dried strawberries and fresh lemon zest.

Strawberry Lemonade Cookie FAQs

How Should I Store The Cookies?

The frosted cookies should be stored in an airtight container and can sit at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be refrigerated for up to 5 days. If you choose to refrigerate the cookies, I recommend pulling them out a couple of hours before serving to allow the cookies and buttercream to come to room temperature for the best texture and taste.

Can the Cookies Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze the frosted cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw at room temperature then decorate with the crushed freeze-dried strawberries and lemon zest before serving, if desired.

Where Can I Find Freeze-Dried Strawberries?

Many grocery stores carry freeze-dried strawberries, including Trader Joe’s and Target or they can be ordered through Amazon. You can also buy freeze-dried strawberry powder which is already finely ground and typically also has the seeds sifted out. Be sure to use the weight measurement in the recipe instead of the cup measurement if you use the powder.

Can I substitute fresh or frozen strawberries for freeze-dried?

No, I do not recommend using any other substitute for the freeze-dried strawberries in this recipe. Fresh or frozen strawberries will add too much moisture to the buttercream. The freeze-dried strawberries are the best option because they add a bold, real strawberry flavor without any additional liquid and they also naturally give the frosting its bright pink color.

What other variations can I make?

Instead of freeze-dried strawberries in the frosting, swap those out for freeze-dried raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or even cherries. Any of these fruits would pair well with the lemon cookie and create a mouth-watering summer flavor combo!

Tips for the Best Cookies

  • Chill the cookie dough. Chilling the cookie dough can greatly affect how the cookies bake. It helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much during baking, resulting in a thicker and chewier texture.

  • Cool cookies before frosting. Allow the cookies to cool completely before adding the frosting. If the cookies are even just a little warm, the frosting will start to melt and it will be difficult to spread. To speed up the cooling process, you can pop the cookies in the freezer in a single layer on a cool baking sheet, for about 5-10 minutes.

  • Make the cookies in advance. I’ve found that these cookies seem to get even better after they sit in an airtight container. The cookies get softer around the edges and it gives time for all the flavors to meld together. It’s totally optional but if you can allow these cookies to sit overnight or even for a few hours in an airtight container, I recommend it!

Baking Tip: Weigh Your Ingredients!

I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients rather than using measuring cups because it is the most accurate way to bake. Weighing your ingredients will give you more consistent results with your recipes and a better success rate, every time. Using a scale also saves you dishes which means easier cleanup! I provide gram measurements in all my recipes and this is the scale I love to use.

More Desserts You’ll Love

If you make this recipe and love it, be sure to leave a comment below. Happy baking!

Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

Strawberry Lemonade Cookies are made with a soft, thick, and chewy lemon sugar cookie base that’s topped with bright, tart strawberry buttercream. Delightful cookies with a refreshing summer twist!
5 from 1 vote
Author: Rachel
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 13 minutes
Yield 15 cookies

Ingredients

For the Lemon Sugar Cookies

  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113g0 unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons (42g) vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 large egg + 1 large yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups (300g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon (10g) cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Strawberry Buttercream

  • cups (33g or 1.2oz) freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups (300g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (60mL) heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For Decorating the Cookies

  • freeze-dried strawberries
  • lemon zest
SHOP INGREDIENTS

Instructions
 

  • Lemon Sugar Cookies: Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Combine the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers, rubbing to release the oils in the zest.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, lemon sugar, oil, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Continue whisking until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture lightens in color, about 1 minute.
  • Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Switch to a rubber spatula and mix in the dry ingredients until everything is fully incorporated.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Once the dough has chilled, use a #24 cookie scoop (about 3 Tablespoons) to portion the dough. Roll each scoop into a ball and place them onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2” apart. Press each dough ball down with your palm to flatten it slightly. Keep the remaining dough that isn’t baking in the fridge.
  • Bake at 350°F for 12-13 minutes or until the centers of the cookies no longer look wet and the edges start to turn golden brown. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Strawberry Buttercream: In a food processor, grind the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the ground freeze-dried strawberries, powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, to the bowl. Start mixing on low speed until the ingredients are combined, so the powdered sugar doesn’t spill out. Scrape the bowl well with a rubber spatula.
  • Increase to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. The frosting should be smooth and creamy.
  • Decorating: Use a cookie scoop to add a dollop of frosting to the top of each of the cooled cookies. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the frosting out to the edges and finish by making a swirl pattern in the center. Top with crushed freeze-dried strawberries and fresh lemon zest if desired and enjoy!
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HI THERE!

I’m Rachel

I’m the dessert lover, recipe developer, and content creator behind Sweet Kitchen Cravings. Here you’ll find classic yet special recipes that are sure to impress your loved ones!

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