Lemon Sour Cream Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Our Son-in-Law Robert shared this cookie recipe from his Grandmother, an old-time recipe with flavors that are both sweet and tart, perfect for filling a cookie jar or sharing with neighbors.

The original recipe uses shortening or margarine and ½ teaspoon of an extract, with an optional walnut or pecan half pressed on top before baking. I made a few changes by using unsalted butter and adding a full teaspoon of vanilla extract. The original recipe is also a drop cookie, and then flattened with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. I found it was easier to roll the dough into balls, roll the balls in sugar, and then flatten slightly with a glass.

I also brushed on a thin layer of lemon glaze and sprinkled extra lemon zest to really enhance the lemon flavor, but these cookies are delicious with or without the glaze. I made the glaze thick enough to brush and used a silicone brush which left little ridges for a decorative finish.
Recipe type: Dessert | Shaped Cookies
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ to ½ cup granulated sugar, or more if needed
Lemon Glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature or softer, but not melted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, half and half, or cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, place the butter and lemon zest in a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and lemon zest on medium speed about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. Gradually add the sugar and mix together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Use a rubber spatula to scrap down the side of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beat until thoroughly blended.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the sour cream, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and sour cream, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  4. Cover dough and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Baking sheets may be ungreased, lined with parchment paper, or lined with a non-stick baking mat.
  6. Shape dough into small balls, about 1” in diameter. Tip: Since the dough is a bit sticky, keeping the unused dough in the refrigerator to keep chilled until ready to use between batches makes the dough easier to handle and roll into balls.
  7. Topping: Roll the balls in granulated sugar and place on baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass to gently flatten the cookies to about ½ inch.
  8. Bake: Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from oven. Remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Lemon Glaze and Garnish:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat together until mixture is smooth. Add enough milk, half and half, or cream to make a good spreading consistency.
  2. Spread a thin coat of glaze onto cooled cookies using an offset spatula or silicone brush, and sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest. Set aside until glaze is set.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Ungreased or Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 375° Yield: 6 to 7 Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cookie/lemon-sour-cream-cookies/