These Lemon Sugar Cookie Sandwiches are filled with Lemon Buttercream Frosting. These soft Lemon Sandwich Cookies are soft and chewy, and the lemon frosting is smooth and creamy.
Lemon is probably my favorite flavor of spring. It’s bright, sunny, and truly embodies everything about the spring season.
Now that the spring season is offically here, I’m ready to kick off the season (as well as the Easter season!) with all things lemon, beginning with these pretty little soft lemon sandwich cookies. (How adorable would these be as a homemade dessert for Easter baskets??)
They begin with my favorite chewy sugar cookie recipe and are enhanced with an extra dose of fresh lemon in the cookie dough, as well as a smooth and creamy lemon buttercream spread inside of the cookies.
These Lemon Sugar Cookie Sandwiches with Lemon Buttercream Frosting are easy to make (trust me—they begin with a no chill sugar cookie dough and the homemade lemon frosting only requires a few ingredients!).
Why I Love These Soft Lemon Sandwich Cookies:
Fresh Lemon: Fresh lemon and lemon zest is the key to lemon desserts. These lemon cookies are made without lemon extract, instead being made with plenty of fresh lemon zest. Fresh is best! Extract has a very fake lemon flavor.
Simple: As mentioned above, this lemon sandwich cookie recipe begins with a no chill sugar cookie dough (so they bake up quickly!) and the lemon frosting is very simple to make from scratch.
Pantry Staples: You probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients on hand in your pantry and fridge.
Lemon Sugar Cookie Ingredients:
- Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter is key in most of my baking recipes. You have more control over the salt content in your baked items when you use unsalted butter.
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Almond Extract: This is an optional ingredients, but almond extract really brings out the flavor of both the buttery sugar cookie and the fresh lemon.
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Lemon Zest
Lemon Buttercream (Aka Lemon Filling For Cookies):
- Unsalted Butter
- Lemon Zest
- Powdered Sugar
- Heavy Cream
- Lemon Juice
How To Make The Best Lemon Sandwich Cookies:
- Sugar Cookie Dough: Make the sugar cookie dough by creaming butter and lemony granulated sugar together (you mix the lemon zest and granulated sugar together first). Next, add in the egg and both vanilla and almond extracts. Lastly, add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Roll into balls, roll in sugar, and bake.
- Buttercream Frosting: Make the lemon filling for the cookies by creaming the butter until it’s light and fluffy. Add in the lemon zest and powdered sugar. Then add in the heavy cream, lemon juice, and pinch of salt.
- Assembly: Pair the cookies together, making sure to pair ones of similar size together. Spread or pipe lemon frosting on the inside of one cookie from each pair. Sandwich each pair together.
- Serve: Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to eat.
To keep these really Soft Lemon Sandwich Cookies, I suggest storing these at room temperature. They can be stored in the fridge, but the cookies will not be nearly as soft as they are when stored at room temperature.
Cookies get stale very quickly so these are best when eaten either the day of or the next day. And, to ensure they stay nice and soft, make sure you store these in an airtight container or on a plate with plastic wrap.
*The buttercream frosting should be sturdy enough that it should hold up to warmer temperatures, but if it’s going to be exceptionally hot, I suggest frosting the cookies right before serving.
- If you are making these lemon sandwich cookies ahead of time, you can make the cookies and the frosting ahead of time. Store the baked cookies at room temperature and store the lemon frosting in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to assemble, let the frosting sit for a few minutes to soften, then spread on the cookies.
Why You Should Mix Sugar and Lemon Zest Together:
In the recipe, one of the first steps is to mix the granulated sugar and lemon zest together. While this seems like an unnecessary step and one that can skipped, I promise you, it’s not.
Do not skip this step.
The lemon zest and sugar, when rubbed together, becomes extremely fragrant and extra lemony because the sugar helps to release the oils in the zest.
If you don’t do this, while there will still be lemon flavor in the cookies, it won’t be nearly as strong because a lot of the oils will remain trapped in the zest.
How Many Lemons Do I Need For Lemon Sugar Cookies?
- This varies, depending upon the size of your lemons. Because you use a lot of zest in this recipe, I suggest buying 4 med-large lemons. It might be too much, but better to have extra lemon than not enough.
Here are some other lemon cookie recipes and lemon bars to try next:
Quick and Easy Lemon Sandwich Cookie Recipe Tips:
- Fresh Lemons: When zesting and juicing lemons, make sure you are using fresh lemons. They will have the brightest flavor and the freshest flavor. Using an overripe lemon will lead to a bitter taste.
- Lemon Measurements: Don’t just blindly zest a lemon into the dough or into the buttercream, because you will be surprised how much you’re probably off in your measurements. A pile of zest often looks like a lot more than it is, so I do highly suggest taking the time to actually measure the zest.
- Frosting: If you like a lot of frosting in your cookies, you might want to double the lemon frosting recipe. What I have listed below is the amount you see in each cookie sandwich in photos. If that looks like too little for your preference, consider doubling the frosting recipe.
I’ll take a dozen!
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 -2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, rub sugar and zest together until combined and fragrant. Set aside.
- Cream the unsalted butter with a standing mixer (or hand mixer) until it is light and fluffy.
- Add in the lemon sugar, and continue to cream the mixture until light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg, and mix until combined.
- Add in the vanilla etract and almond extract.
- Finally, add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Roll the dough into 1” balls and roll in granulated sugar.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until cookies are puffed in the centers and have set.
- Allow to cool before frosting.
- Cream butter in the bowl of a standing mixer, or with a hand mixer, until light and fluffy.
- Add in the lemon zest and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
- Add in the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream. If the frosting feels too thick, add in the remaining Tbsp of heavy whipping cream.
- Finally, add in a pinch of salt to offset the sweetness of the frosting.
Spread frosting on the inside of half of the sugar cookies. Top each with remaining sugar cookies and press down lightly. Serve.
Here are some other lemon favorites: