Save on Pinterest

Lemon Stars

These light little cookies have a light, crunchy texture and a citrusy zing. Try stars for the Christmas season and chicks for Easter. —Jacqueline Hill, Norwalk, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    9 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Yellow colored sugar, optional


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extract. Stir in sour cream and zest. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough into 3 balls; cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  • Remove 1 portion of dough from the refrigerator at a time. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-in. star cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, extract, food coloring if desired and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cookies; sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 43 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 23mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Kuharca
    Dec 18, 2018

    Can butter be used instead of butter-flavored shortening??

  • kmcope
    Jan 8, 2018

    I thought these were great! They are plain tasting and not too sweet without the icing, which makes them perfectly sweet and just right with it. I did not use lemon extract, i used fresh squeeze lemon juice in the cookie dough and in exchange for the extract and the milk in the icing. I did not use food coloring but did use yellow and gold sugars (some yellow, some gold) on top of the icing. They looked beautiful on my cookie tray and were popular with my guests. Dough gets sticky quickly so roll out small portions at a time using plenty of flour.

  • misti-blu
    Dec 13, 2017

    Yes, the cookies are quite plain tasting but the flavour really depends on a zingy icing which I used lemon juice for. The dough rolls quite easily after chilling as long as you use a well floured counter and a piece of parchment paper on the top. I rolled them a bit too thin, I think, only staying max 6 minutes in the oven. I used a 2 inch star cutter and got about 6 dozen.

  • mtuttle
    Nov 25, 2017

    I like these - they add variety to a cookie tray. I am glad I followed the directions about working with 1/3 of the dough at a time, as it tended to get sticky very quickly. But the cut-outs held their shape very well.I did change up the frosting a bit. I am not so fond of lemon extract, so I left it out. I added a little vanilla extract and a cup more powdered sugar. Then, instead of the milk, I added real lemon juice (2-3 tablespoons) to the butter/sugar mix. It added the right zing of lemon flavor without the artificial taste. I put the frosting in a sandwich bag, cut a very small hole in the corner, and drizzled the frosting on in a zigzag pattern. With the yellow coloring in the frosting, there was no need for yellow sugars. A very pleasant cookie!

  • Michael
    Dec 6, 2016

    A very simple recipe to follow. One complaint was "no taste". The lemon flavor is subtle and is basically a not too sugary sugar cookie. Instead of adding lemon extract (which can create a bitter bite) consider more lemon rind and/or lemon juice. Another complaint had to do with rolling out the dough. They must have missed the part about 3 hours in the fridge and only working with as much as fills your cookie sheet(s). Again, just like sugar cookies. Most of the lemon zing will come from the frosting.

  • mrs._white
    Dec 3, 2016

    Just ok. Not very "lemony", although adding the lemon frosting helped some. The recipe was very easy, and I had no trouble with it not setting up in the fridge. Rolled easy.

  • malbrecht
    Dec 6, 2014

    This is my favorite Christmas cookie! I love lemon! I have tried other recipes but I keep coming back to this one! It is always a hit at my annual Christmas cookie exchange!

  • karlatj
    Dec 20, 2012

    I did not like this recipe. These cookies did not have any flavor. They were very bland and the dough was dry and difficult to roll out. I will not be making this again.

  • Nana2ian
    Dec 7, 2011

    I made these cookies with a bigger star!! I also added a bit more lemon peel. We loved them, the lemon taste was perfect. and decorating them make them perfect gifts. I think putting a straw hole in the top of each on before baking and putting a red ribbon on them would be a great for parties, put the names of each guest on them with edible markers. I also made some with blue glitter they also looked great!! I will def. be making this recipe for the yrs to come :)

  • blondie_grl93
    Dec 24, 2010

    This cookie was delicious! Very cute and fun looking and even better tasting! My cookies only needed to be in the oven for 5mins or they would burn. I got about three dozon or so. I left my dough in over night and it was very easy to work with and cut out. The frosting was very good and the lemon falvor was great. Everyone loved them at Christmas! I defently will be making again