Lemon Sugar Cookies with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Lemon Sugar Cookies with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | www.motherthyme.com

When life hands you lemons make lemonade, or lemon sugar cookies.

I love hearing from my readers;  it truly means so much when I get emails from you letting me know you have tried a recipe or other comments.  A few days ago I received a sweet email from a reader named Mary telling me she liked my Lofthouse Sugar Cookie recipe and wanted my thoughts on how to make a lemon version of these.   I just so happened to have a beautiful bowl of lemons sitting on my table eager to be used so I jumped right in the kitchen to whip up a batch of these cookies.

If you have tried my Lofthouse Sugar Cookie recipe you know they are just like the store bought ones; actually I think better.  They are fresh and light and dangerously delicious.  Oh and did I mention these freeze well too?  

Let’s take those sugar cookies and incorporate fresh lemon juice and lemon zest into the batter and buttercream.  The end result is the perfect lemon sugar cookie, soft and moist with hints of lemons. 

The perfect cookie to make when life hands you lemons…

Thank you Mary for the inspiration to make this recipe.

Lemon Sugar Cookies with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | www.motherthyme.com



Lemon Sugar Cookies with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 dozen


  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • food coloring (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl combine cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time stirring after each addition. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla until combined. Gradually add in flour mixture combined.
  3. Chill dough for at least one hour in refrigerator.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll 3 tablespoons of dough into a ball. Use flour on your hands if needed. Place ball on baking sheet and flatten to about 1/2 inch thick, molding sides to keep round shape if necessary. Continue with remaining dough, placing each 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer combine butter and gradually add in confectioners sugar. When all sugar is added, add in lemon zest, lemon juice and blend on medium until fluffy. Add in food color if desired.


Shapes- roll out chilled dough ¼ inch thick on a well floured surface. Flour rolling pin and cut out to prevent sticking. Cut out desired shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool for a few minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool.

Shapes will spread from the baking powder. To define the shape used after the cookie has cooled, place cookie cutter on top of cookie and firmly press all the way down, removing any access cookie for the edges.

If frosting is to thick, add more lemon juice, water or milk until desired consistency is reached.

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Lemon Sugar Cookies with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | www.motherthyme.com

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  1. I love your loft house sugar cookie recipe, everytime I go into the store I walk by them in the store and just smile and walk on by. I will try these lemon cookies for Easter. I hve all the ingredients for once. 🙂

  2. What a refreshing recipe…I just love anything lemon. Came upon your blog through Pinterest, and will now follow you wherever you go ! Your blog is so easy to read and navigate, I will certainly be back !

  3. I have just posted a link to this recipe and your blog on mmaryquitecontrary.blogspot.com. Just thought you would like to know ! This is my very first link on my newbie [created May 25th] blog….I am soo excited that it worked ! Now all I need is to generate some traffic, so I’d better get back to writing more posts…I’ll be checking in with you often, thanks for the wonderful recipe !

  4. These sweeties are in the oven right now. I cannot wait to try them baked, the dough was divine. When baking cookies I use powdered sugar on my hands instead of flour to keep the sweetness going. Why am I saying just cookies, I do it with biscuits, too! Thanks for a delicious lemony treat!

  5. I’ll try that the 2nd time I make these. I made them last night and WOW! are they delicious. They really do melt in your mouth! Such a great lemon flavor. I added just 1 drop of food coloring added to the frosting and didn’t have coconut so I sprinkled with big sugar sprinkles. Thanks so much for this great recipe–I look forward to trying the Loft House Sugar Cookies for the 4th of July.

  6. When you say they freeze well. Do you mean the dough or the baked cookie? What’s your favorite way? I never ever have any luck with anything I freeze. Please help my Mom wasn’t good at freezing thing either so I have nothing to reference.

  7. Yum, I love lemon! I want to make the frosting and just eat that straight from the bowl. I just found your blog & love all of the recipes & beautiful food photos. I am a new fan & looking forward to more deliciousness 🙂

  8. I made the first batch with only 1 c. of sugar as the recipe suggests but it came out absolutely horrible and flavourless ): For the second batch I used 1 1/2 c. of sugar which came out much better! :~)

  9. I made these today and they are FABULOUS! The cookies are nice and soft and they have just the right amount of lemon flavor 🙂 I think I will make them smaller next time though. These are huge cookies……nobody in this house complained though, lol.

    1. Hi Jessica! Although I have never made these with a flour substitute before you can use AP flour instead of cake flour however for each 1 cup AP flour you measure, you will want to remove 2 tablespoons and add in 2 tablespoons cornstarch if you have that handy. Let me know if that helps!

  10. Hi mother thyme,just made these and they are DELICIOUS!!. I used unsalted butter and all purpose flour- I removed about one- quarter flour and substituted with cornflour. Really soft and yummy,thanks a lot

  11. I just made these and they were delightful! I didn’t have cake flour, so I subbed all purpose flour and took out two tablespoons from each cup and substituted two tablespoons of cornstarch. Cornstarch doesn’t have protein, so it made them a little lighter than if I had used just all purpose flour. I really love these cookies and can see myself making them again and again. Thank you for posting.

  12. Just wondering, do you chill the cookie dough right in the mixing bowl? Or do you turn it out and wrap it up in plastic wrap like piecrust dough? thanks.

  13. These sound perfect – I am doing just cookies and non alcohol beverages for just after the church ceremony before the guests leave for the reception miles away – the brides mom wanted something light when they come out during the picture taking please tell me the best way to freeze so I can defrost and put on the trays that morning thank you for about 150 guests how many dozen would you suggest I am also making the traditional Italian seed cookies – thank you

    1. Hi Valerie, I have froze these before before frosting. I would suggest if you freeze them frosted, to wrap them individually in plastic wrap first, then place in a freezer container or freezer bag. This recipe yields 1 dozen large cookies. You could make them smaller to yield more from each batch. I hope that helps! Enjoy!

  14. Hi, I just made these and we can’t figure out why the dough is so sticky and more like cake batter. It doesn’t seem like anyone else had this problem, but I was wondering if it is the cake flour. The icing I could suck up with a straw! Yum!

  15. I just made these, and they came out great! For me this recipe made almost fifty cookies, so yours must have been huge! Haha but in any case, we didn’t even do the frosting and we still couldn’t stop eating them. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hi Sarah, Glad you enjoyed these cookies. I usually use 3 tablespoons of dough per cookies so you get those big fluffy store bought like cookies. The frosting I could eat with just a spoon too! Thanks for letting me know.

  16. What a disaster. This is definitely the worst sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever tried. It stuck to everything! I’ve never thrown out cookies before they’ve even gotten into the oven but these wound up straight in the trash before I baked them.

    1. Hi Sarah – So sorry this recipe didn’t turn out for you. This is a very popular recipe with a high success rate. The batter is sticky that is why it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour and you need to use flour when rolling out the dough. If the dough was still sticky after chilling for an hour I would definitely recommend letting it chill longer. To bad you didn’t get a chance to get them on the baking sheet because they are marvelous once baked. I hope find the right recipe you are looking for. Thanks for sharing the results with me. Happy Holidays!

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