These Strawberry Lemon Summer Cookies recipe come with a punch of lemon and a punch of strawberry in the yummy soft and chewy cookies. Sweet and tart like strawberry lemonade, these cookies are full of flavor and easy peasy to make. No cake mix is used with these, the flavors are natural and strong.
They're perfect for spring or summer or even wintertime when you wish it was spring or summer 😉 Make them for Easter, Fourth of July, Memorial Day or take them to a garden party.
This was inspired by our Tart Lemon Crinkle Cookies and Lemon Blueberry Cookies and would be fun served with our Key Lime Cookies, Cookie Monster Stuffed Cookies or Deviled (Cheesecake Stuffed) Strawberries). Throw a lemon party and serve our Raspberry Lemonade, TikTok Creamy Lemonade, and Summer Squash Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. They also make a great dessert with our flavorful Air Fryer Pierogies and Kielbasa.
Why I love this recipe
I absolutely love lemon foods and cookies. The texture is perfect and when I bite into them, they take me straight to summertime. Both the lemon and strawberry flavors shine through beautifully. They also do not contain any lemon extract. I tested and tested this recipe until I was able to make a cookie with a strong lemon flavor without any extract- they are all natural!
Below is a list of ingredients needed for this recipe. Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- butter, softened, but not too soft. We recommend getting it out 30-45 minutes before starting.
- granulated sugar - no brown sugar in this recipe. I wanted to accentuate the tartness as best as I could and the caramel-y richness of brown sugar just would not go with these cookies.
- vanilla, pure is recommended, but imitation is fine as the vanilla flavor is not highlighted in this recipe. I tested the recipe with both and couldn't taste a difference.
- lemon juice, fresh squeezed is recommended, but concentrate will work in a pinch!
- lemon zest- We highly recommend a microplane. It's life changing!
- all-purpose flour
- table salt
- baking powder - to help the cookies rise and keep their shape, as the dough is fairly wet for a cookie dough.
- baking soda - to help the cookies rise and spread. I tested this recipe repeatedly to get the exact right amounts of leavening.
- freeze dried strawberries- fresh strawberries** work as well, see note below!
- butter, slightly chilled, slightly soft
- lemon juice - again we highly recommend fresh squeezed for the best flavor, but concentrate will work if necessary.
- vanilla, pure is highly recommended in this frosting. Imitation is okay too.
- powdered sugar
- cream or milk, if using milk it should be 2% or whole milk and not skim.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Strawberry Lemon Cookies
Use these process shots to help get the results you are wanting. The pictures can help with texture and be a visual guide for best results.
1. Preheat oven to 350*F. In a mixing bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
2.Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg. Beat on high for 1 more minute. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Form cookie dough balls (around 1 ¼") and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350* F for 9-11 minutes.
4.The tops should be matte and the edges should be set. It's okay if they look slightly underdone, they will continue to cook after you pull them out. Let stand 5 minutes before removing.
5.Turn the strawberries to powder by placing them in a food processor or high powered blender. I use the single cup blender with this blender. This can also be done by hand with a fork but takes awhile.
6.Whip butter* on high speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, strawberry powder and lemon juice and beat until well combined. Next add powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Slowly add milk until desired thickness is reached.
*Butter for the frosting should NOT be too soft! Room temperature is too warm. Use semi-cold butter: it should be cold, but leave an imprint when pressed with your finger you'll be able to leave an imprint. Get the butter out about 30 minutes before use should be perfect if your house is a fairly normal temperature (68-75 degrees).
**To use fresh strawberries, chop up 1 cup fresh strawberries into very small pieces. Do not use milk or the frosting will be too thin.
Substitutions and Variations
We love switching things up when we're in the kitchen. Try any of these variations for something a little different.
- Extra Tart - We tested a strawberry glaze (instead of frosting) with lemon juice and it's knock your pants off tart and delicious!!! Use 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, ½ cup freeze dried strawberries (food processed into powder) and ⅓ cup powdered sugar. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Only recommended for those (like me) who love things REALLY tart. Enjoy!
- Raspberry Lime Cookies - use lime instead of lemon and raspberry instead of strawberry. YUM
- Lemon Raspberry Cookies - substitute freeze dried raspberries for the strawberries.
- Strawberry Margarita Cookies- I make these for Cinco De Mayo and they are fun and yummy! Make as directed but substitute the lemon juice and zest for lime. So fun!
Butter for the cookie dough should be at room temperature for the best results, while butter for the frosting should only be slightly softened. It should still feel cool to the touch and your finger make a slight indent when pressed into the butter.
Bang the pan on the top of the oven 2-4 times when you pull the cookies out. This will give them the perfect crinkle and make the texture even better!
Storing Strawberry Lemon Cookies
These store great! Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days.
To freeze, freeze immediately: place on a cookie sheet to freeze so they don't stick to each other for one hour. Then store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Don't over bake! These cookies are soooo soft, tender, chewy and delicious. I always get many compliments on the texture of these. Part of that is due to NOT over baking. Remove from the oven as soon as the top is matte and the edges are set. Do not wait for them to turn golden.
Strawberry Lemon Summer Cookies
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- zest from one lemon
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup freeze dried strawberries
- ½ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ½-1 Tablespoon milk
- Preheat the oven to 350*F.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer: Cream butter and sugar together on high speed for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and egg then beat one more minute on high speed.
- Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. See photos above to check texture and consistency.
- Scoop 1 ¼" diameter cookie dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. Do NOT over bake! As soon as the edges have set and the tops are matte, remove the cookies from the oven.
- Bang the baking sheet (fairly hard) on the oven 2-3 times to get a nice crinkle and an even better cookie texture. Let the cookies set at least 5 minutes, but no longer than 10 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.
- Place freeze dried strawberries in a food processor or high speed blender (if using a blender, we recommend the single serving cup) and turn them into powder.
- Whip the butter on high speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, lemon juice and strawberries and mix until well combined. Add the milk ½ Tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Frost the cookies and enjoy!