Frosted Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 cookies

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These Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are soft, moist and loaded with lemon! There’s no chilling or rolling — just stir, drop, bake and frost (if you want to!). Perfect for Easter or Christmas baking. Includes how to recipe video


long image of lemon sour cream cookies overhead on blue plate with lemon slices

So I stumbled upon the recipe for these Sour Cream Sugar Cookies in the cookbook my Grandma made for me last fall.

I never would have guessed how popular it would become! The problem is, some people loved it and some people hated it.

The issue was that those who didn’t like the recipe really didn’t know what to expect — the cookies are soft and cakey. They are not sugar cookies for rolling or cutting, and they’re pretty delicate.

close up of lemon sour cream cookies with lemon frosting on blue plate

So I’m back again with another variation, obviously. Bring on the haters! 😉

I wanted to try leaving out some of the moisture this time to get a slightly firmer cookie. These cookies are still very soft, and cakey, and delicious. If you’re looking for a firm sugar cookie — this recipe is not it. But they melt in your mouth and will be gone in no time!

I also wanted to add lemon because we love lemon. We love it big time.

square image of lemon frosted sour cream cookies with lemon slices on blue plate

With Easter coming up, my mind always goes to fresh, Springy flavors and potluck foods. Easter is a bit of a wildcard here in Manitoba — it can be cold, it can be really cold, or it can be pretty warm. You never really know what you’re going to get!

Regardless of what the temperature is, I am always so ready for Spring. The winter is long and cold and snowy and blowy and we are all anticipating blue skies and green grasses. Bring on the fresh, fruity treats! (And swimsuit-friendly meals… )

I would love to hear what your favorite Spring meals or treats are! Smoothies, popsicles, fruit salads, Easter meals? I’m itching for some fresh inspiration!

If you haven’t yet, be sure to join my Facebook group to stay up to date on new recipes and take part in polls and surveys to help me pick the best recipes to show you here!

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Frosted Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

4.54 from 52 votes
These Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are soft, moist and loaded with lemon! There’s no chilling or rolling — just stir, drop, bake and frost (if you want to!). Perfect for Easter or Christmas baking.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 269cal


  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar approx. 400g
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream I use 5%
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour about 575g


  • 1/4 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered icing sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons*
  • yellow food coloring optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add eggs, sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until combined.
  • Add the baking soda, baking powder and flour and beat just until combined. Dough will be the consistency of thick cake batter — it is quite sticky and soft.
  • Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets (I get 6 on a regular baking sheet — my cookies are large!), trying to make drops as round as possible. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until no longer glistening in the center. Cool completely.
  • FrostingWith an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and just enough lemon juice to make a smooth, thick frosting (you can add a teaspoon of milk if it is too thick). Color with yellow food coloring if desired.
  • When cookies are completely cool, spread with an even layer of frosting and serve.


*I use the juice of 2 lemons and no milk and the frosting has a strong lemon flavor — if you prefer less zing, use the juice of 1 lemon and just enough milk to reach desired consistency.
**My cookies are very large. You can definitely make smaller cookies and the recipe will yield more, you will just want to decrease the baking time.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 269cal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 92mg | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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  1. Brends says

    These cookies sound absolutely delicious. I am going to attempt them very soon. I am hoping for warmer weather here in Manitoba very soon as well haha. Keeping my fingers crossed for that!! 😉 And as for food that I like to eat in spring I’d say trying to pack as much asparagus in as I possibly can lol. It’s one of my favourite vegetables I absolutely love it.

  2. Julie Jensen says

    I just want to say that this is my new favorite cookie!! I love lemon flavored desserts and I LOVE these! And I usually don’t like frosted cookies (sugar overload) but these are perfect!

  3. Linda Herman says

    Way tooo sweet….too much sugar and with icing on top even more so. Disappointed, would love a lemony cookie without all the sugar

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Linda. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  4. Francine says

    I’m sorry to agree but was disappointed in this recipe. Not much flavor at all. Right now I’m trying to tweak and save my batter ( there is a lot) adding ingredients to the dough. Making smaller cookies. And cooking longer. I too like a cake type cookies but this was a no for me. But worth a try. Thank you.

    • Francine says

      Update on comment. After these sat overnight and I put the frosting on they taste pretty good. Would try again maybe 1/2 the recipe because I still have a lot of cookie dough. Thank you for the recipe

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Francine. The method, timing, and ingredients have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too.

  5. Babsy says

    I made a lot more than 24 cookies and they are delicious. I followed the recipe and chose to not use as much lemon juice in the icing and used a little milk instead. Really good cookie for anyone who likes a frosted lemony soft sugar cookie. (I had to bake mine for about 16 minutes … maybe because I use what I think are called “air bake” pans.)

  6. Stephanie says

    Mine came out looking like dinner biscuits, but the flavor was definitely there in both the cookie and the frosting. My frosting was more like a glaze, it wasn’t very thick. The outside was a little crispy and the inside was pretty soft and moist. Not sure if that’s how they should be but I still enjoyed them nonetheless

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Thanks for the feedback Stephanie! Glad you enjoyed them. For the frosting, if it was more like a glaze it needed either less liquid or more powdered sugar. For the actual cookie, how they look will be based on how they are scooped onto the pan. Sounds like texture was on point!

  7. Tanya S says

    I’m puzzled by this recipe. I used salted butter as there isn’t any other salt and found I wished I would’ve added 1/2 tsp. Also the cookies on there own are faintly lemony and barely sweet. In the icing I used the juice from 1 lemon and found that to be plenty.
    I like soft pillowy cookies and really wanted to like this one. I’ll give it another go with a few tweaks.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t to your taste, Tanya. Myself (and others) have enjoyed it with the amounts listed, so I wished it would of been a hit for you too!

  8. Lisa says

    I made these for Easter and they were a hit!! Now I am making them for my daughters wedding!! I do have a question, can I frost them before freezing?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Lisa! So glad you enjoyed them! I would not recommend frosting them before freezing them.

  9. lyn says

    Why go to all the trouble of making the icing when you can buy it on It’s made by Betty Crocker and as usual her icing is creamy and very lemony. It is amazing what cooking products that can be found just browsing. I only have one problem and that is I get so engrossed in the hunt that time just flies by.

    Have tried this recipe with the Betty Crocker icing and it was awesome and saved a lot of time.

    • Bonnie says

      Easier is not always better, store bought frostings (no matter the brand) are loaded with preservatives and junk I cannot even pronounce. All the ingredients in this particular frosting is readily available, nothing crazy or exotic here.

  10. Shelby says

    I made these today, measured everything out exactly, spooned my flour and all, but the dough just didn’t feel “right” to me. I actually added in one more egg, baked 10 minutes and they are divine! I’m sure we all do things a bit differently when measuring so I would love to suggest to anyone who’s cookies may have come up dry, add a 5th egg 🙂 these are so moist and cakey and wonderful.

  11. Jill says

    Could you please please put in the amount if lemon juice in the recipe? Lemons and the amount of juice they produce vary widely. The lemons from my tree generally produce 1/2 c per lemon. Since ratios are important in baking, telling us the amount makes for a more accurate recipe and better results.

  12. LuAnn says

    I followed the recipe to a tee and they turned out like beautiful lumps of paste. Dry and tasteless. Tbe batter tasted better. And we were so looking forward to eating them. Won’t make again
    My lemons were large so I had to pay attention when making the frosting. The frosting was awesome.

4.54 from 52 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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