Soft Frosted Strawberry Lemonade Cookies


Man oh man you guys- I never thought I’d get here. I got hit hard with pneumonia for the last 2 weeks and I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to get into the kitchen and bake again. Have you ever been so sick you really and truly forget what it’s like to feel like yourself? I definitely had my moments of that through my 104 fevered haze. Thanks to antibiotics and the sweet & loving care of Andy, a few dear friends/sisters, (and my Mom who flew out for 48 hours of TLC,) I am finally feeling like myself. That one was a doozy.

I had a dream about these cookies during a brief fever-induced nap and didn’t hesitate to make them as soon as I had my strength back. You see- I’m always on the hunt for the best way to make strawberry frosting. Stiff, shape-holding strawberry frosting that isn’t runny from strawberry pureé but really has a strong strawberry flavor. The secret? Freeze-dried strawberries. Are you familiar? It’s what you find in many breakfast cereals, and Trader Joes sells them by the bag. They are dried strawberries that are dry and crisp instead of chewy (like normal dried fruit.) Running the berries through a food processor yields a pink powder that is perfect for getting the ideal frosting texture. The finished result really tastes like fresh berries too which is exactly what I was going for with these.


The base cookie is a soft and pillow-y lemon sugar cookie which isn’t too sweet, begging to be topped with loads of frosting. The strawberry buttercream is bursting with sweet berry flavor and dolloped on top gives these cookies that sweet/tart flavor combo that I love so much. These are truly the ultimate summer cookie- so fresh and bright!

I can’t wait to experiment more with freeze-dried fruit in frostings. Do you think you’ll give it a try?

Soft Frosted Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

Soft Frosted Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies


For the Cookies:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1½ sticks, 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus one egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract, or juice in a pinch
  • zest of one lemon

For the Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup freeze-dried strawberries- ground into powder
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • splash of milk or cream


For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and yolk and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the extracts and zest and continue to mix until incorporated.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough and then roll into balls and flatted slightly with your fingertips. Place dough 2-3 inches apart on a sil-pat or parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes or until just set on the edges. (Cookies won't be golden.) Chill dough in between baking each batch.
  6. Allow cookies to cool before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  1. Cream the butter with the strawberry powder and 2 cups of powdered sugar until thick and creamy. Add a splash of milk and the rest of the powdered sugar gradually until frosting is thick, smooth, and spreadable.
  2. Pipe or spread frosting on cooled cookies.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. So glad you’re feeling better!

    These cookies look SO good! I love the idea of freeze-dried fruit, I’ll totally try it.

  2. Good to see you back. Any suggestions for a frosting that will stand up to heat? That doesn’t get soft and runny?

    1. You’d have to use shortening instead of butter for warm weather frosting. Not as tasty but it won’t melt! There is a good organic non-hydrogenated brand I’ve used before!

      1. Thanks, we’ll try that

  3. I reeeeaaally love cookies and am always looking for new ways to make them summer-friendly and let me say these look really summery and refreshing! I have to admit I’m not a big fan of dried fruits and usually avoid using the stuff in my recipes but the frosting in the pictures looks so fluffy and overall delicious that I might change my mind about it :)

    Btw, glad to know you’re feeling better now!

    xo, Elisa

  4. Zena Thomas says:

    Glad you are up and running again. I am going to make this tonight for the sugar. Okies I pulled out of the freezer for my bridge group. Perfect timing! Thank you.

  5. Zena Thomas says:

    Oops, that should have been cookies, not Okies. Darn automatic speller! Also, you can find the freezed dried fruit in strawberry, banana, and apples at Costco.

  6. These look wonderful, Audra! Funny, but I just baked some strawberry-lemon cookies last week for a client. It just seems like the perfect time of year for those flavors! (So glad you’re feeling better, too!)

  7. These look really good. Question: Should I measure 2/3 cup of dried strawberries before I grind them, or after?

    1. Hi! Yes- 2/3 cup of dried strawberries and then use all the powder :)

  8. stephanie says:

    These look amazing! I think I will do half strawberry and half blueberry – how pretty would that be? Maybe for July4th. Thank you for such a great idea. I SO happy you are feeling better.

  9. Glad that you are feeling better again and that you had such wonderful care while you were ill! These cookies look amazing and I am so intrigued by using freeze-dried fruit as the flavor base-such a good idea!

  10. As one of your commenters said…. it is very intriguing to use the dried fruit. I will have to try these and some other flavors of fruit too!

  11. So glad that you’re back on your feet and feeling better — the springtime/early summertime flu is the worst!

    These cookies sound intriguing, and as someone who is basically addicted to all kinds of lemonade in the summer, I know I’m going to have to make these beautiful cookies soon!

  12. I loveee freeze dried strawberries! They’re the best for getting that perfect strawberry flavor without added liquid. Can’t wait to try these!

  13. So glad to hear you’re feeling better, dear! These cookies look delicious… I have yet to try freeze-dried strawberries but this is a perfect excuse to change that!

  14. So glad to see you back in the kitchen, I haven’t had pneumonia, but I have bad health generally, so sometimes I’m just too weak to get in the kitchen and I can’t imagine ever going there again, it’s rough! I adore Freeze dried strawberries, such an intense burst of flavour! Hadn’t thought of making frosting with them, I too have been looking for the perfect strawberry frosting which holds, fresh strawberries are just hard work and artificial tastes bleurgh, thank you for this recipe, going to give it a try!!

  15. Hi Audra!

    Any substitute for freeze dried strawberries? Don’t have any in the local vicinity and I’d really like to make them today. :)

    1. Hey! For this specific frosting- not really. You could use preserves or jam instead but you’d want to adjust the liquids to make sure the frosting wasn’t too runny :)

  16. Glad to know you’re feeling better deary – can’t believe you made these little gems through a fever haze! I would have been glued to the couch. Stiff frosting is the best :)

  17. These are awesome. My boyfriend loves sugar cookies, so I’ve tried a number of recipes, but he announced that these were by far the best I’ve made. Thanks for the great recipes!

    1. I’m so glad he liked them- they’re some of my favorite too!

  18. Just whipped this frosting up for some lemon cupcakes. That is amazing. I would never have thought to use the freeze dried strawberries. BRILLIANT!! and delish!

  19. I just wanted to let you know that over the last few years, I’ve used freeze-dried fruit in frostings several times because of this recipe, and had great results with most of them. (Well. Not the blueberries.) And today I found myself remembering them again – and now I’m about to set out the butter and the eggs and will be making your cookies again later today. Thank you so much for sharing!

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