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A stack of 5 strawberry lemon sugar cookies on a vintage wood Venetian tray.

Soft & Chewy Strawberry-Lemon Sugar Cookies

Thin, soft, and chewy sugar cookies get a yummy strawberry-lemon upgrade with homemade strawberry sugar and lemon zest. You don’t even have to chill the dough before you bake them which means they’re perfect for last-minute holiday get-togethers (or a snow day activity with the kiddos). Sugar cookies don’t get any better than this!

Overview: Strawberry-Lemon Sugar Cookie Ingredients

All you need is 30 minutes and a few basic pantry staples to make strawberry sugar cookies. Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll need, but you can find the full measurements in the recipe card below.

  • all-purpose flour (sub 00 flour) 
  • baking soda
  • cream of tartar
  • salt
  • granulated sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • egg
  • lemon zest
  • pure vanilla extract
  • strawberry or lemon extract (optional) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, but adds more intense lemon flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons Homemade Strawberry Sugar, or coarse turbinado sugar (for sprinkling cookies before baking) (26g)

*I use 00 flour when I’m in Italy, and the weight of different flours varies based on the humidity content of the flour and the environment you’re living in. No matter where you live, just be sure to use the ‘scoop and level’ method to measure your flour into measuring cups and spoons and the recipe works perfectly every time. 

Overview: How to Make Strawberry Lemon Sugar Cookies Measure, Mix, Roll & Bake. 

Ready in 30 minutes from start to finish, these sugar cookies are incredibly easy to make. Here’s a brief overview buy you can  find the full instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/176°C and prepare a baking sheet. 
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. 
  3. Combine wet ingredients with the creamed butter mixture. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. 
  5. Roll and bake the cookies. 

Strawberry-Lemon Sugar Cookies recipe step-by-step photos

Homemade Sugar Cookie Ideas

Here are a few of our favorite ways to turn sugar cookies into something fun and inspired.

  • Make sugar cookie bears by shaping the dough into a bear face like in the above photo and adding nuts and sprinkles
  • Make sugar cookie fruit pizza.
  • Make sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches by adding vanilla or strawberry ice cream to the middle.
  • Make sugar cookie cups by baking the dough in muffin tins.
  • Make sugar cookie bars by cooking the dough in a prepared 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch square baking pan.

Ways to Customize Strawberry Lemon Sugar Cookies

There are all kinds of ways to enhance this sugar cookie dough. Here are just a few to get you inspired.

  • for crunchy strawberry-speckled tops, add larger pieces of freeze-dried strawberries and raw turbinado sugar to strawberry sugar
  • for a lemony twist, top cookie dough balls with Sicilian lemon sugar
  • top with candy sprinkles
  • add 1/2 cup macadamia nuts to the dough
  • add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to the dough
  • add 1/2 cup pecans to the dough

Sugar Cookies Best Tips  & FAQ’s

Why are my sugar cookies crumbly?  Crumbly or dry sugar cookies mean you may have either over-mixed the cookie dough or added too much flour, or not enough butter, or a combination of these things. You may be able to remedy this if your find your cookie dough is too dry by adding a little extra softened butter to the mix. Whatever you do, don’t throw away cookie dough or cookies that aren’t perfect. You can add them to a bowl of ice cream, or even use them to make a cookie crust for your next no-bake dessert or key lime pie!

Why are my sugar cookies cakey? Usually, a cakey cookie means the flour to fat and sugar ratio is out of balance. Which means you may have added too much flour. It can also be if you’ve added more egg or a larger egg than is called for (a typical large egg should weigh about 50-55g once it’s cracked in a bowl). Do not use cake flour which can also give you cakey cookies.

Why are my sugar cookies hard?  If your sugar cookies are hard, you may have overmixed the cookie dough, or you may have baked them too long. Baking cookies longer than required leads to vital moisture from butter and eggs evaporating leaving you with a harder cookie. Also, don’t leave them out uncovered for too long if you’re in a dry environment especially. This can also zap moisture from your cookies.

How do you store sugar cookies? Unfrosted sugar cookies last up to two weeks in the fridge but keep them away from smelly foods. It’s best to either freeze baked cookies layered between wax or parchment paper in freezer bags and pull out cookies as you want. This way they maintain their peak freshness. Alternatively, you may freeze cookie dough logs tightly wrapped in sustainable plastic wrap or parchment paper and stored in freezer bags. When you want a freshly baked cookie, cut off dough slices, roll, and bake.

Why are my sugar cookies spreading out so much? As you know from above, too much flour in your cookie dough can make cookies crumbly and dry. Alternatively, too much butter and sugar can make cookies spread out and lose their shape when baked. Also, if you chill the dough beforehand, it will help keep them from spreading.

Can you overmix cookie dough?  Yes, you can definitely over-mix cookie dough. In fact, doing so will leave you with flatter, crispier cookies because overmixing adds more air to your dough which causes them to rise higher and then fall flat. But this method is great if you want extra crispy cookies.

What does cream of tartar do for cookies? Cream of tartar acts as a leavening agent in baked goods like cookies but also helps create a super soft cookie texture. If you don’t have cream of tartar, replace it with the same amount of baking powder or simply omit it.

Looking for More Delicious Cookies to Make?

We’ve got a few cookie recipes we think you’ll love, everything from the classics to the very special. Here are a couple of our favorites.

Let’s get started!

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A stack of 5 strawberry lemon sugar cookies on a vintage wood Venetian tray.

Strawberry Lemon Sugar Cookies (Soft & Chewy)

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  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 36 Cookies 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Thin, soft, and chewy sugar cookies get a yummy strawberry lemony upgrade and they’re ready from start to finish in just 30 minutes! Sugar cookies don’t get any better than this.


Units Scale
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or 00 flour) (190g)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (3g)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (4g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1.5g)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (150g)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick) (113g)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten (room temperature (50g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon zested)
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (3g)
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract(4g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, but adds more intense lemon flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons Homemade Strawberry Sugar, or coarse turbinado sugar (for sprinkling cookies before baking) (25g)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/176°C and prepare a baking sheet. Line baking sheets with a nonstick Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Combine wet ingredients with the creamed butter mixture. Add the egg, lemon zest, vanilla, strawberry, and lemon extract (if using) to the creamed butter mixture and beat just until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and whisk to combine.  Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently incorporate the ingredients. Add the last 1/2 of the flour mixture and fold with the spatula until no flour streaks remain.
  5. Roll and bake the cookies. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle the tops with strawberry sugar (or another coarse sugar) and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are set and lightly browned on the bottom but not around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool directly on the baking sheet for a minute or two before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!


  • If you want even more lemon flavor, either add 1/2 teaspoon more lemon zest or reduce the amount of vanilla extract and replace it with equal amounts of lemon extract. Just be sure to keep the total amount of extracts used to 1 1/2 or 2 teaspoons. Mix and match the flavors as you want.
  • If the dough is sticking to your hands when you’re trying to roll them out, just add a tiny amount of butter or flour to your hands to keep it from sticking. Or you may place the dough in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up before rolling.
  • If you want a crunchy sugar cookie, omit the cream of tartart and chill the dough for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Bake and enjoy a crunchier sugar cookie. Note that when you store the cookies in a freezer bag at room temperature, the cookies will most likely become soft again.
  • Use this dough to make a fruit pizza crust, because it’s awesome!
  • If you don’t feel like making homemade strawberry sugar to top the cookies, simply top the cookies with turbinado sugar or candy sprinkles.
  • If you want larger deli or bakery-style cookies, roll out 2 to 2 1/2 inch balls, but leave plenty of room for them to spread as they bake! The larger cookies may take a few more minutes to bake than smaller cookies.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 cookies
  • Calories: 64
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 56mg
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
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