Lemon Sour Cream Cookies

Soft, cake-like cookies that are easy to make. The lemon flavor in these makes them irresistible.

wire rack of cookies

Lemon Sour Cream Cookies

Soft and cake-like cookies with plenty of lemon zest and a classic lemon buttercream.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chilling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Serving Size 30 cookies

Equipment

Ingredients 

For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the frosting

  • ¼ cup salted butter butter softened
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions 

  • Separately mix wet and dry ingredients. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, set aside. Beat butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
    wet and dry ingredients in separate mixing bowls.
  • Add sour cream and lemon. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend on medium-low until combined.  Mix in the flour mixture, one cup at a time, until just combined.  The dough will be very soft.  Cover and refrigerate the dough for one hour.
    sour cream added to bowl and finished cookie dough.
  • Shape. Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.  Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart.
    ingredients for frosting in mixing bowl, fully iced cookies.
  • Bake. Bake 10-12 minutes until edges and bottoms are golden brown.  If baking two sheets at a time, rotate halfway through the baking time.
    baked cookies on parchment paper.
  • Frost. After cookies have cooled completely, make the frosting by beating all ingredients with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until smooth. Frost the cookies and serve.

Notes

These freeze very well before being frosted.
If you’d like a yellow frosting, add a drop of two or yellow food coloring before beating.   
Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
wire rack of finished frosted cookies.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Super soft and fluffy. There are perfect for anyone who loves cupcakes or soft cookies.
  • Delicious lemon flavor. The brightness of lemon is tasty but not overpowering.
  • A little different. If you’re tired of the same old cookie recipes, this is a great new one to try.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on counter.

Here’s what you’ll need for these sweet lemony treats:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • salted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • sour cream 
  • lemon zest
  • fresh lemon juice
  •  powdered sugar

EQUIPMENT

🍴Instructions

Step One: separately mix the dry and wet ingredients

wet and dry ingredients in separate mixing bowls.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

Step Two: add sour cream and lemon

sour cream added to bowl and finished cookie dough.

Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the mixer and on low until combined. Mix in the flour mixture, one cup at a time, until just combined. The dough will be very soft. Cover and refrigerate the dough for one hour.

Step three: bake

baked cookies on parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges and bottoms are golden brown. Rotate baking sheet if baking two sheets at the same time.

Step Four: frost

ingredients for frosting in mixing bowl, fully iced cookies.

After your cookies have cooled, make the frosting by beating all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer for two minutes until it is smooth. Frost the cookies and serve them.

🥫 Storage instructions


The frosting will harden in a cool room, but if your kitchen is warm, they won’t stack well. We typically put them in a gallon-sized bag two layers deep and pop them in the fridge.

Baked and cooled cookies freeze quite well.

🔍 FAQs

Can I add lemon extract instead of zest?

No, I’ve tried it, and it gives them an artificial taste. Use the real thing!

Can these cookies be made without sour cream?

Nope, that’s the whole point! You can substitute full-fat plain Greek yogurt if you insist.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Make sure to beat the butter and sugar thoroughly. This will make them light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mixture slowly, so you don’t end up with a big mess.
  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. You can use bottled if you don’t have any on hand, but it won’t be as good.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

Having a springtime celebration? Make these too:

plate of lemon sour cream cookies with frosting
Lemon Sour Cream Cookies

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I have made these cookies 2 times, each leaving recipients amazed! They were light and fluffy and just enough lemon flavor that both lovers and skeptics enjoyed the flavor. I did not ice them for more of the cookie flavor to come out.